In a previous article I discussed the futility over the past few thousand years of charity in alleviating poverty.
But forced charity, where government takes from some of us to give to others, makes the situation even worse because it's the kind of charity that gives the poor a feeling of entitlement to even more charity.
Truth be told, we encourage poverty in this country. We enable the poor to continue being poor. We pay poor people to remain poor. In 1964 when the War on Poverty began, the national poverty rate was already decreasing to 19% and was heading downward without any government intervention.
After five years the poverty rate settled at 12.6% but then one welfare program after another kicked in and predictably the poverty rate rose to over 15% in the 80s and 90s (1) and would have gone even higher had we not throttled back a bit on the War on Poverty with the passage in 1996 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act. However, that did not completely eliminate welfare and so after nearly 5 decades the poverty rate is still 12.6% and the poor in America today number over 37 million souls.
Sadly, handing money all these years to the poor has only resulted in the successful manufacture of even more poor people.
Now you may be asking why should I concern myself with poor people, why can't I mind my own business. I would love to mind my own business but the government comes into my bedroom at night and while I am sleeping, takes a third of my money out of my wallet to pay for the upkeep of poor people.
Every poor child that goes to school in my home town costs the taxpayer about $10,000 a year. That's every year for a decade and a half. The poor of course pay nothing in taxes for the education of their children.
What's worse is that rich people who do pay taxes have few children while the poor have many children. A poor mother with just 4 kids will, over her lifetime, cost the rest of us more than a few million dollars on schooling, food, health care, and prison facilities to house the little darlings when they grow up. Then those little ones start the whole thing over again.
Offer Money to Stop Having Poor Children
I propose that the government take a different approach to the poor than welfare: give an incentive to voluntarily get sterilized.
We should offer poor men $10,000 and poor women $25,000 to get sterilized. This would save local, state and the federal government more than 50 times that amount over the years.
If every poor person took up this offer, poverty would be virtually eliminated in less than a generation. Before anyone starts getting their neck hairs fluttering, the operative word here is 'voluntary.' However, we must also wean everyone else off the government teat. Otherwise the poor will always be with us. And that is truly a cruel thing.
Wikipedia, War on Poverty