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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

The Incredible Entitlement of the Welfare Lobby

Progressive America has a fever and the only solution is more welfare. Celebrities are trying to buy only $29 worth of fair trade arugula at Whole Foods and then taking snapshots of it in a mistaken effort to show how little food stamps buy. Obama is urging more social welfare spending as the answer to the race riots he stirred up across the country by embracing the Ferguson “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” hoax.

Outraged rich liberals are furiously lecturing the rest of the country on income inequality as if there were no escaping the fact that we’re a society of greedy plutocrats that doesn’t care about the poor.

Obama called for “massive investments in urban communities”. Last year, we spent $75 billion on food stamps. The year before that it was $80 billion. That’s up from $33 billion in 2007. The number of participants has doubled approaching 50 million.

Is spending $80 billion on food stamps alone for a sixth of the country not a massive investment?

Food stamp use in Baltimore under Obama increased 58%, but even back in 2009, a quarter of Baltimore and a third of its black population were on food stamps. Baltimore already accounts for almost half of the food stamp using households in the entire state.

Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings called for an “inclusion revolution” after the riots, but the revolution in his district happened a while back where a fifth of the households are on food stamps. Even though the household racial split in the seventh is about even, 85% of food stamp households are black. Cummings says that Baltimore needs to be a model for the nation. It’s a hell of a model.

The nation can’t survive turning into Baltimore. The city is subsidized by Maryland taxpayers, a state full of bedroom communities for consultants and employees of the Federal government. Maryland didn’t become the richest state in America through entrepreneurship and hard work, but by siphoning off massive Federal spending. Billions have already been “massively invested” in Baltimore with no return.

Poor urban areas have not been “abandoned” by a cold selfish nation that spends all its time watching FOX News, as Obama claims, they have been subsidized up to their ears. Every poverty statistic is presented as if it were evidence of our guilt, when it’s actually evidence of our incredible generosity.

The angriest portion of the population lives in subsidized homes, goes to subsidized schools, shops with food stamps and even works at subsidized government jobs servicing the needs of the aforementioned. MSNBC talking heads claimed that the rioters and looters targeted the grocery and check cashing places that were oppressing the community. The only community they were oppressing was that of taxpayers.

Those were the places where urban dependents turned taxpayer subsidies into food and cash. They took their cut of a transaction that deprived millions of working families of their income and turned it over to looters.

And when the looters found the opportunity, they looted them.

Rioters don’t gleefully loot stores of snacks and liquor while posing for selfies because they’re outraged and oppressed, but because their sense of entitlement has turned them into amateur sociopaths.

None of this is about oppression or poverty. It’s about an incredible sense of entitlement.

We’ve blown past the antiquated mores in which living on charity was shameful. What’s shameful now is not spending enough money to subsidize the inflated entitlement of the perpetually outraged.

We are cruel for only dumping $80 billion into food stamps instead of $160 billion or $1.6 trillion or whatever insane figure is meant to be the real objective. Means tested welfare spending under Obama has been in the trillions. Why not the quadrillions or the quintillions? There’s no actual spending limit.

This entire twisted debate about the sad plight of the inner city is an indictment of us for not spending enough money funding every possible gimmick for the rioters and looters while believing that some crimes, such as dealing drugs or beating random people to death, should be punished by time in prison.

All the proposed progressive policy solutions have one thing in common; less responsibility. From wrecking the criminal justice system to pouring even more money into the giant urban pit, they ask America to take more risks and responsibility while expecting even less from Baltimore’s residents.

The single factor in Baltimore’s poverty statistics that mattered the most wasn’t race; it was family. Families headed by a married couple were better off than blacks or whites individually.

There are other names for that phenomenon. Responsibility. Commitment. Work ethic.

Baltimore’s problem isn’t segregation, lead paint or any of the other liberal hobgoblins. It’s a lack of responsibility. Responsible people get married. Responsible people find work or create work.

Jobs aren’t created by government programs. They’re created by people.

If a community doesn’t have jobs, that’s not the fault of the capitalist pigs living on their yachts while lighting their cigars with trillion dollars bills. It’s a reflection on the people who live there.

Tellingly the justifications for the looting involved claims that the businesses don’t come from the ‘community’. The question is why is the average business in a depressed urban area run by immigrants who just got off the plane with few other resources than a large family and a willingness to work their way into the ground? And it’s one of those questions that answer themselves.

It’s not racism. It’s not because life on a particular street is utterly hopeless. If it were, the Chinese or Indians couldn’t make a go of it there.

If an immigrant with eight kids and fewer language skills than even one of the graduates of Baltimore’s overfunded and thoroughly broken schools can swing the financing to open a store that provides vital malt liquor, lottery and potato chip services to the neighborhood, why can’t the looters pawing through the debris of his store figure out the same trick?

They can. They choose not to.

Hanging out with your friends and committing petty crimes that escalate until they lead to that dreaded “prison pipeline” is a lot more fun than working fourteen hours a day so your kids can go to college.

Especially if the rest of the country can be induced to subsidize your lifestyle using violence and guilt.

It’s easier to loot a convenience store or a check cashing place than it is to open one. It’s easier to go back to another round of looting American taxpayers than it is to get a job.

National poverty and crime rates mysteriously declined after welfare reform in 1996. Unemployment rates fell dramatically. So did murder rates.

But the welfare lobby won’t be satisfied until it rolls back the clock to the welfare, poverty and crime rates of the seventies. Now that the race riots are here, we can look forward to experiencing the entire glorious failed experiment in human misery all over again. It’s as if the Russians had decided to bring back collective agriculture because they were tired of having so much food in their stores.

Baltimore’s problem isn’t poverty. It’s entitlement. And entitlement is just another word for irresponsibility. The inner city doesn’t have a poverty problem. It has an irresponsibility problem.

This isn’t a problem that more “massive investment” can fix. It can only make it worse.

The only answer to a sense of entitlement is perspective. Our values offer us perspective. They teach us responsibility by telling us that the things that really matter are the ones that we work hard for.

The left took away those values and the sense of responsibility. They divided America into oppressors and victims. They stirred up hate mobs to burn and loot over the outrage of the moment, radicalizing irresponsibility and feeding entitlement. But the victims aren’t the ones who live off other people.

They’re the oppressors.

Victims work for a living. Oppressors live off them. The victims take responsibility for their lives. Oppressors only show entitlement.

The incredible entitlement of the welfare lobby has to end if the inner city is to have a future.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW! So then, how come the last few paragraphs reminded me SOOOOO much of Ayn Rand? (Atlas Shrugged)
Very well expressed, Daniel; well done!
Neville, Australia.

Anonymous said...

Though you speak truth to power, Daniel, it will fly right over the swollen heads of progressive liberals who read this because they still haven't learned that you cannot legislate morality, or compassion, or kindness.

TheBigHenry said...

Q: What's the difference between a "human right" and a "human need"?

A: "Entitlementalia".

TheBigHenry said...

Water is a human need. Broadcasting your own ignorance is a human right.

Anonymous said...

The problem with inner city Baltimore, Chicago, Birmingham, Memphis, Detroit, etc. is that these cities are full of people with iq's of 85 or less. Cities such as Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco are as liberal as Sweden, but are doing quite well.

I would not want to live in Portland, Seattle , or San Francisco, because I find liberal hipsters to be repulsive human beings. I prefer the rural south where men are still men and women are proud of it. But I do think it is disingenuous to blame liberalism for the problems of the ghetto culture in American cities. I guess it is nice to think that because it implies that there is a solution. The reality is there is no solution. The problem of large populations of low iq, low impulse control people cannot be solved. All you can do is separate yourself from them and arm yourself in the event they decide to visit your neck of the woods.

Anonymous said...

I used to go to the Inner Harbor and the Orioles games on occasion. I loved cheering on the O's as I was a lifelong fan. Things that began to mount up in the mid 90's that made me stop going.....I just didn't feel safe and even more so with friends and family with me. It has only gotten worse and has not been reported very well in the National Capitol Region media. I feel sorry for Baltimore as this summer will be a tough one...GO Cards! Wacha Wacha Wacha

D.D.Mao said...

And yet the President recently stated with a straight face he never played the race card or pitted one group against another. It's difficult to make any head way against this agenda when it is the foundation of the progressives platform from the top down.

MrOutcomes said...

Very poor. Why not comment on the billions spent on farm support policies, which go overwhelmingly to the richest - and whitest - farmers? Or the billions of taxpayer dollars that go on corporate welfare to huge corporates?

Anonymous said...

1) Appoint Al Sharpton as 'Entitlement Czar'.
2) Have the Treasury Department conjure up a trillion electronic dollars and put them in Reverend Al's bank account. (The US is bankrupt anyway, what difference will another trillion digital dollars on the bonfire make at this point?)
3) Direct all calls for more welfare to Reverend Al.
4) Enjoy the show as Al tries to keep it all for himself.

TheBigHenry said...

"..., and San Francisco are as liberal as Sweden, but are doing quite well."

Several decades ago, SF was the most beautiful American city. Not anymore. Now it is a self-appointed "sanctuary" crap hole.

Homeless people are literally crapping in the streets. Every other street is under construction because the city's infrastructure is crumbling. Crazy people are mingling with ordinary people (usually talking nonsense to themselves). Unkempt drug addicts are stumbling around in traffic.

Johnny said...

Ending this is not the solution, it is just what is going to happen. And it is going to end badly.

Common 'tater said...

Well Daniel, as usual you hit the nail on the head. Also as usual, the people that need to read and understand this, won't. So, here is my take on this:

1. It is really not much simpler than elementary school arithmetic. We have this problem because our current system rewards irresponsibility and punishes responsibility.
2. Both parties helped, encouraged, and rewarded the dismantling of our production (evil, nasty, corporate run factories as well as small entrepreneurial specialty manufacturing) along with the jobs. Unions, originally intended to protect the workers are a part of the problem as well.
3. Both parties refuse to close the open borders that allow millions of low skill, often marginally functional, and semi-literate invaders cross into here. The terrorists are a bonus I guess.
4. As for Mr. Outcomes remark, the big Agribusiness people may be getting fantastic subsidies, but the nearly extinct family farmer (1/2 section or less) really did not get much out of these programs, and most went broke or were not financially viable.

Y. Ben-David said...

All of this reminds me of the famous Talmudic statement: "Those who are merciful to the cruel, end up being cruel to the merciful". What do these "liberal" and "progressive" people who go around claiming they "love humanity" think they are doing when they hamstring the police which causes a big increase in crime, most of whose victims are poor blacks? Why do they think supporting values and welfare policies that cause the break down of family values leading to generation after generation of poor, uneducated people in poor health with no future is "helping them"?
I completely reject the idea that inner city people have "low IQ's" which was stated in an earlier comment. The problem is VALUES. Today's Obamaesque liberals say that what is important is having good laws on the books. Charles Murray in his outstanding book "Coming Apart" pointed out that the Founding Fathers did NOT believe that..they felt their new Constitutional system would only work if people controlled themselves and had the proper values. All the laws in the world won't make people act properly. Making "hate speech" illegal will not bring brotherhood to the world. Prohibition thought that a law would make people stop wanting liquor.
In reality I am convinced that these "liberal/progressives" like the gang that is in power today in the White House have no interest in people's welfare. They despise the society they live in and want to see it dismantled. They do this in the name of "human rights" which is the furthest thing from their minds.

Robert B. Johnson said...

The board game "Obozo's America: Why Bother Working for a Living?" is a hilarious graphic depiction of the work of the welfare empire. You can see a full pdf of the playing surface at www.obozosamerica.com

Rita said...

a little song from England:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq_lhlIn1e0

and a little postcard from once GREAT Britain:

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRnIgXC1yoFnfw1wtGSZ7Paa_UKShl__xdCgNxEAKpxUY_sfUdHCQ

Anonymous said...

Rings true...from Chicagoan.

Anonymous said...

If only the welfare inner city blacks realized they are still slaves today, they might gain ambition. But alas, this slavery is more insidious.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to recall the last "farmer riot", where the white farmers burned down the grain silo, bowling alley, Grange Hall, and "Tiny Tap Bar", to protest the loss of subsidies that allow them to produce the food you eat while you sit at the keyboard dropping crumbs and try to seem interesting while proving you're completely clueless to what is happening around you. Can you provide sustenance for yourself? No?
Then thank a farmer. And God. MrOutcomes, you're today's winner of "did I say that out loud?". Drool on, moron. stormfriend sends.

Anonymous said...

Life on the dole IS almost a full time job of sorts.. All those hours in waiting rooms filled with whiny tots in dirty diapers is no walk in the park. Not to mention that the lying, obfuscating, and general need to 'hustle' for real money is career path for many.
They don't seem to realize that an actual, genuine job might be less aggravating.

The illegal immigrants are equal participants in this circus, but have the advantage of giving a blank stare in response to any question in English, if the gov't paid translator isn't around.

sophie

Anonymous said...

http://rthabaltimore.org/2015/04/sign-the-petition-stop-the-water-shut-offs-now/ gives the perspective that "the government" can gift foreign nations, so why not residents.
--michelle

Anonymous said...

Y. Ben David,
The statistics are out there, but I can offer 25 years in the trenches and assure you that there is an I.Q. problem in some sectors of society.
There is a distinct connection between intelligence and culture, and culture overrules everything else..
However, when meeting a young person from a stable home, who has been raised to meet just average expectations, the differences in Race or background is far less marked. Caribbean people who have autonomy in their own countries and still experience the last vestiges of British tradition, can compete on a much larger stage with little difficulty.

tranquil said...

Outstanding column!

Anonymous said...

I was with you til you pulled the old, 'if an immigrant w/etc, etc.. start a business' lie. These immigrants & I include illegals in this from Asia, India, Latin America, etc.. are being given taxpayer dollars to start their so called businesses, whether hotels, motels, restaurants convenience stores to corporations, you name it. US veterans are denied the basic promises made to them while foreigners are being given a free ride, so can the praising parasitic 'immigrants', they aren't the hardworking, by the bootstraps immigrants of the past.

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