Posts Tagged ‘poverty’

Romney Still Doesn’t “Get It”

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

"Safety Mitt"

In Romney’s response on CNN Wednesday morning, in which he said he wasn’t “concerned about the very poor,” he went on to make another remark we ought to examine.  I realize what he was trying to say, but what his full statement revealed is that he doesn’t understand why the country is on the verge of total collapse.  In stating his lack of concern, he mentioned that “we have a safety net” and that if it’s broken, he’ll “fix it.”  This is the problem with Romney:  We don’t need to “fix” the safety net.  Instead, we need to dismantle it.  What his reflex reveals is what conservatives have known about Romney from the outset:  He is a big government Republican who wants to “patch” the system, but he has no vision for overhaul of a welfare state that dehumanizes, and converts Americans into a permanent underclass, rather than to help them restore their dignity.

Conservatives understand that the welfare state “safety net” cannot be maintained in its current form because it functions too well as a hammock, but not so much as a trampoline. This difference is something Gingrich well understands, and was at the heart of his rebuke of Juan Williams in the Fox News Debate in South Carolina two weeks ago. Taking the approach of Gingrich was a stunningly successful rebuke of the leftist talking points that will predominate in the general election when the Republican nominee squares off against Barack Obama.  Romney doesn’t seem to grasp this, and it’s because he’s part of the Northeast liberal Republican establishment that tends to view the underclass as the object of their own well-intended welfare statism.  They think that people in poverty cannot lift themselves, and they concede the matter by collaborating on the growth of the welfare state with all the other liberals.

It is this fact that should worry you about Mitt’s alleged “electability,” and it further demonstrates why Mitt simply doesn’t get it.  He can’t identify this thinking, because his blue-blooded reflexes are in agreement with lefties’ views of the poor.  He sees them as the inevitable victims of life’s lottery, and not as people who should be launched into productive, self-sustaining lives of prosperity.  In effect, he sees them with the same underlying contempt as liberals actually feel, and expects them to remain a perpetual burden, with no hope of re-training, education, growth, development, or anything that would lead them to an earned prosperity.  If you want to understand the failings of Mitt Romney, it is here you must begin your journey, because what this small slip-up helps you to understand is that at his fundamental root, he suffers all the same moral and philosophical failings of a leftist.  He is one of them.

This is where his tendency toward allegedly benevolent big-government programs is born, and it is here that he aborts conservatism.  In his first reflex, when it counts most, his response is to push people toward a safety net built not of voluntary private actions by citizens in outreach to others among their own number, but to reckless big-spending government programs that convert individual poor people with momentary life issues into a permanent, institutionalized underclass that will never escape, and can never prosper, and must forever be a burden to their fellow men.  It is a hopeless, wilting view of humanity that surrenders to the notion that some people are helpless, from birth, by virtue of their environment, or both.  It assumes that people may be left in such circumstances until doomsday, with no expectations that they will ever lift themselves from that condition.

This giant hole in Mitt Romney’s understanding of conservatism is one of the larger reasons he cannot win in November 2012, because what it admits is a view of the poor much in line with Barack Obama’s, and it pays homage to the same faulty preconceptions about those who languish in our welfare system, where opportunities are seldom recognized, much less pursued.  It explains his inability to connect with conservatives too, because in this view of the poor, Romney prescribes precisely that which will not help those so-afflicted.  He’s admitting that he will be another governmental enabler, like the government programs in which the methadone substitutes for other chemicals, keeping the user strung out in lifelong stupor, but yielding no rehabilitation, either in addiction, or dignity. This is Mitt Romney, and it’s why after more than a half-decade in pursuit of the presidency, he still doesn’t “get it.”

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The Other Side of Class Warfare: Taking Society Down

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Society's Lowest Common Denominator

One of the most divisive and intractable problems we face in the U.S. is the growing poverty in our society.  More people are connected to the governmental umbilical cord than ever in history, and there are complaints emanating from all the usual sources that the wealthy segment of our society doesn’t pay enough for the privilege of their wealth.  I look at this from a completely different perspective, based in reality, and not in some grand socialistic dream about the good in humanity.  I know that humans are fallible and imperfect, and easily fall into a destitution of spirit even more readily than they do into a poverty of material things.  Encouraged to do so, many people are more than willing to live from the efforts of others and to subsist without reference to their own sloth.

I realize that what I am going to tell you will cause many to hurl derision in my direction, but it’s time that we tell the truth about who the real free-riders in our society have been.  Our country cannot thrive so long as the free-riders of whom we ask exactly nothing can collect by virtue of their unwillingness to contribute anything.  Our “welfare” system is becoming the largest segment of a rapidly growing government that rests not on a poverty of material things it provides, but on the grotesque destitution of spirit of those among those who these programs were intended to assist.

First, I’d like to address the question of entitlement programs, and differentiate among them on the following basis: Social Security, a program I think has thoroughly impossible problems, has been promised on the basis of individual contributions over a lifetime of work.  While it is clear that some substantial reform is necessary, and many  have been misled about the nature of the program, it is not the program I wish to discuss.  Instead, I’d prefer to focus on the massive programs for which there is no connection between benefits paid and the manner in which they are funded.  This includes the myriad programs that fall into the category widely regarded as “welfare,” and includes everything from public housing to Medicaid, among the more well-known, but includes also Pell Grants and Home Energy Assistance, and extends now even to Internet Service and Cellular Phones.

Over the last number of days, I’ve been verbally hammered via email and on the phone by those who have become disheartened at the things they now witness in their daily lives.  It’s not merely that these programs exist, or that they now provide every imaginable need, but that the recipients no longer appreciate them as a gift of a generous society.  Instead, they now view these benefits as a primary means of existence, and a right to which they are entitled to exercise.  Imagine subsisting in the belief that society owes you a living, based on no more exhaustive claim but for your existence.  It is to say “I’m here, so pay for me.”  If this seems stunning to some Americans who are less familiar with this sub-culture of economic dependency and moral depravity, it shouldn’t.  We have allowed our politicians to create a system in which they are rewarded with votes by providing material goods to people who produce nothing, owe nothing, and more, are being conditioned to believe that they possess an endless right to the wealth of those who produce the wealth of the nation.

Ladies and gentlemen, there can be no doubt that by permitting government to become the great dispenser of benefits, we have built a monster that has taken on a life and a force from which we may not escape.  We have such stellar intellectuals as Elizabeth Warren, a candidate for Senate in Massachusetts, and a former Obama White House flunky, who tells us a few things that ought to disqualify her from any office anywhere on the planet:

“I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever.’  No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody.”

Do you understand her claim?  She is saying that society enables people to become rich.  This is a lie.  If society enables people to become rich, why aren’t we all rich?  Why? What’s the difference between one person’s wealth and another person’s poverty?  She doesn’t explain that, but she does continue to make absurd statements that reveal her poverty of understanding  of both economics and human nature:

“You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did.”

This bizarre and reckless politician is telling you that the roads came first.  She is plainly asserting that roadways came before commerce.  They did not.  Commerce was the reason the roads were built, and the people who were engaged in that commerce are the ones who built the roads.  If there was nothing to protect, we would not need police.  This asinine would-be Senator actually believes that “the rest of us paid for” all of these things.  She is lying.  Find for me the total number of dollars paid for any roadway by those who do nothing but take from this system?

“Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless — keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

This is pure sophistry.  There is no instance in which her narrative is true.  We cannot  afford any more of this notion.  The people who have paid for those products are most frequently the people who had a hand in producing them.  This is a serious problem.  She is an advocate for free-riders who actually insists on bolstering the notion that free-riders are the great virtue in our system who somehow provide the ability of the rich to become richer, while nevertheless providing exactly and precisely nothing.

This must stop.  We must begin to strip such power from politicians. We must challenge this nonsense at ever turn.  We must begin to say “No” and mean it, not merely to these politicians, but also to the people who have become dependent upon them.  It simply ludicrous to suggest that the infrastructure depends on the payments of people who don’t pay, while people who do pay are compelled at gunpoint to build and provide  it.

We have a real problem, and this insufferable leftist demonstrates it quite well: The poverty we face is in intellect, philosophy, and spirit, and we can no longer afford the luxury of all of these programs.  We must end the welfare state before it ends us.  With each day it continues, it increases its own numbers as more people give up the will to earn their existence as they find themselves increasingly surrounded by those who will not.