Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Conservative Solution to Poverty and Inequality

A talk by Gary Aminoff
[Previously published in the June edition of the Newsletter of the Southern California Republican Women and Men.]
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the “War on Poverty” as announced by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, along with his “Great Society” program. These two programs were experiments in using the massive power of the Federal Government to radically lift the poor out of poverty and to improve the lives of Americans everywhere.

Fifty years later, or $20 Trillion later, depending on how you count, is a good test of its effectiveness, and has given us the time to conclude that it has totally failed.

The result of the War on Poverty has been to lessen some of the effects of poverty but not to reduce poverty itself. What has happened is that government programs have made the poor more secure in their poverty. Because the government has put a safety net under their poverty through massive entitlement payments, it has eliminated the incentive for most of the poor to attempt to rise above the poverty level.

Because the “War on Poverty” and the “Great Society” were ideas of the left, and since they have demonstrably failed, it is time for the political right to take on for ourselves, based on our own principles of self-responsibility, free people and free markets, making it possible for more people to pull themselves out of poverty and into the middle class, and from the middle class to wealth.

We have to do it because a) the Left has pretty much given up doing anything about poverty at this point in time, other than fostering hate against those who have been successful, and b) we owe it to our fellow citizens to show that free market principles really work, and that capitalism is not a dirty word. We need to show that you are truly free to rise, of your own effort, to climb the ladder of financial success, and that it is really possible to do so.

The conservative plan for how to achieve that will be the subject of my talk on Saturday, June 28.