Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Shared Destiny

The most important things we can accomplish we must do with others. Our strength lies in our ability to connect and network with others. Most in the Tea Party know we all share the same destiny. We get it… Our government does not.

When President Johnson started the war on poverty he could not have imagined where this would lead. Also, it was not just the President but most of Congress and most of the voters were in support. Regardless of which side of the War On Poverty law you came down on, no one had any clear sense of where this would lead nor the impact in would have on the nation and horrors of this well-meant tyranny on generations of our most impoverished. This program appeared to most as compassionate the right thing to do, and was grounded firmly in Christian values.

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims is the most oppressive. C.S. Lewis
Mr. Birdnow wrote the best informative article I have ever seen concerning our social poverty programs by linking the programs to government, economics, and labor. As it turns out, as most things government does, it is more complex than meets the eye or fully understood by citizens outside the social system networks.
After reading this article you will have a broader view of what we are facing.
Brian Birdnow
Dan Glazier is undoubtedly sincere in his declarations, but he unwittingly illustrates a nearly insurmountable obstacle in the continuing quest to conquer poverty. That obstacle is the anti-poverty industry, itself. When trying to define the “anti-poverty industry” we generally mean the large and ever growing cadre of social workers, bureaucrats, health care providers, public interest attorney-judicial types, the subsidiary clerical people who assist the aforementioned personnel, and the academic-educational underpinning of this entire system, all of whom have a material stake in the preservation and maintenance of a permanent underclass, which keeps a roof over their own heads, and puts food on their own tables. The anti-poverty industry, although populated by idealistic and earnest workers, depends on an intractably large and growing underclass as a precondition for the continued existence of their own jobs.
The structure of the anti-poverty industry is centered within the numerous layers of the political system. It also branches out into the private sector, and includes many entities, which are neither fish nor fowl, those being quasi-governmental systems such as the public transit authorities and the like. The governmental element of the anti-poverty industry is vast, and growing daily. The federal government employs hundreds of thousands of social workers, dispersed throughout the dozens of agencies including HHS, Homeland Security, Treasury, and the DOD. In addition, the federal agencies employ tens of thousands of clerks and other support staff to further advance their missions. All of these personnel owe their employment to poverty, and the preservation thereof.
This basic industrial structure is replicated in each of the fifty states. The state governments employ thousands of social workers in their various agencies and departments, they use thousands of bureaucrats of different types to keep the paperwork flowing, and the machine humming. Unemployment counselors, welfare caseworkers, public health officials, state probation and parole officers, and the clerical staffs attached to these bureaus all have a stake in the establishment, and maintenance of a permanent underclass.
When we move down to the county/municipal level we see an expansion of the anti-poverty business. The county and city governments employ countless people in jobs, some patronage and some professional, ostensibly dedicated to the eradication of poverty. The social workers, bureaucrats, clerks, caseworkers, court personnel, and public health officials are joined by hundreds of thousands of other anti-poverty workers, who are based in the schools, and increasingly in the universities. Many serve as record keepers who archive and catalogue data, while others serve as professional scolds who lambast their fellow citizens in the newspapers and journals. The common denominator uniting this disparate cohort is the fact that they depend on the poverty of others for their livelihood.

In addition to those who directly depend on poverty for their monthly paycheck, there are thousands of others who are indirectly dependent on poverty for their daily bread. The anti-poverty business now encompasses many technically private entities that actually depend on poverty, and government funding, for their survival. The Legal Services shell-game, building subsidized housing, health care for the indigent, and contracts to bus low income students and to transport poorer workers to and from their jobs are all generally private endeavors, but the existence and viability of the agencies involved hinges on the continued impoverishment of a large and growing underclass.
None of this is meant to impugn the integrity of the earnest and idealistic folks who labor in the anti-poverty business. They all hope to end the scourge of poverty, and with God’s help, they might someday succeed. If, however, we reach a point where (as Herbert Hoover said in the spring of 1929) “…the poorhouse is vanishing from among us…” we will have no need for the veritable army of anti-poverty workers. The social service providers, the welfare caseworkers, the unemployment counselors, and the various supervisors and underlings in the thousands of antipoverty bureaus around the country will be laid off due to lack of business.
As former President George HW Bush said back in 1989, “The best anti-poverty program is a job.” Bush The Elder was not a man noted for eloquence, but he got that one right. An economic boom such as the one the country experienced between 1983-2008 would be a much more successful attack on poverty than the redoubled quasi-socialist approach of the Obama Administration. However, a political party and a President who have bet their political futures an a business-as-usual approach to fighting poverty cannot run the risk of actually succeeding by unleashing the heretofore bound Prometheus of the American economic engine. This would likely bring about substantial declines in unemployment and poverty. The only observers who would find any clouds in this sunny scenario are the legions of anti-poverty workers who would correctly sense their waning job security if we really make any progress in conquering poverty.
Happy New Year to all Townhall readers, even the liberals!
Brian Birdnow
(Brian E. Birdnow is a historian and teaches at a university in the St. Louis area. As reported on TOWNHALL web site.) Which I read everyday. (Drop him a note.)

Professor Birdnow we owe you.
When we consider how deeply entrenched Social Security, Food Stamps, Medicare, Prescription drugs, Medicaid, and all the other direct and indirect family support systems are we become sensitive to the political dangers for politicians in broaching the subject of social programs reforms. If some magic wand was waived and all of these support programs were ended tomorrow what would this country look like in thirty days? The center could not hold.
In spite of the inherent dangers for the politicians and for the country, we must alter each and every program or in a few more years the country will be consumed by the cost. Do we see any signs in any of our candidates that gives us hope that they see this picture clearly. Do we think any of them have doable ideas that will help alter these programs in positive ways without doing massive harm. All I am hearing are the same political platitude, I have heard since……forever.
As Jefferson so eloquently put it, "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government."
The National Debt clock tells us, as of this moment, each taxpayer's obligation to the federal government's social programs (SS, Prescription drugs, Medicare, and other unfunded liabilities) is $1, 037,876.00. This number has risen a few thousand bucks since I started writing this missive and by the time you finished reading it the clock will have added another few thousand bucks to each of our debt.
All of the Kings horses and all the Kings men can never turn this clock back to what it was again.
With all of this to-do and focus on 'who-be-da-Prez', it is Congress that is most critical for our goals as the Tea Party and hopefully for the majority of voters. The Senate is the key for us as well as the need to expand our presence in the House. Given the liberal media excitement over who said what about whom, they are ignoring/avoiding what is going on in all the other areas of the elections. For us this is a serious and a deadly mistake. Real power for change comes through our Congress.

As the election for president heats up all attention will be on it…. We must be focused on our goal of winning back our government and that is about the House of Representatives and the Senate. This branch of government has the real power if it is used. (Think Obamacare)

It is now 269 days, 9 hours, and 38 minutes till the November voting get under way.

Makes you feel like the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. So much to do, so little time.


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