Daily Constitutional

The poor are poor, so why are they so rich?

Posted by richardmoore on August 26, 2016 at 6:25 AM

Posted by Richard Moore Aug. 26, 2016

As correlational deductions go, it isn’t all that hard to figure out why poverty keeps on rising.

Here’s a correlation for you: Because of Democratic and Republican trade policies, middle-class jobs have been disappearing and continue to vanish, and with it the middle class.

And we all know what happens when you leave the middle class through the trap door in the floor — you enter the welfare class.

Which, by the way, happens to be very convenient for the ruling elite.

Here’s another correlation: As poverty increases, welfare spending rises, and then poverty continues to increase, only more so. This leads some to correctly believe that welfare spending also increases poverty.

For politicians, these are taxing realities, and the pun is intended.

And, finally, here is the most perplexing poverty fact of all: As the poor remain poor, and more join them, they are getting richer. So is poverty as bad as it’s made out to be?

Oh, what a tangled web of deceit globalist elites and liberals weave, but, fortunately for everyone, I am here to sort it all out.

First, about those trade deals. The elite love to go on and on about how good they are for you, and for the rest of the world. Why, right here in the good old USA, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership alone would boost U.S. exports to the European Union by $300 billion annually, they say, and add $125 billion to the U.S. GDP each year.

That all sounds pretty good, except that it follows a pattern: When the elite talk about the benefits of those trade deals, they talk in macroeconomic terms, that is, what the deals do for the economy as a whole. What they don’t talk about is the rising inequality within that whole.

To say it another way, it doesn’t do the American worker much good if all that increase in GDP is flowing into the pockets of the 1 percent, who promptly turn around and invest it in themselves and in foreign countries.

Read the fine print closely and you’ll find that the elite’s goal of raising wages for average workers is a goal for the developing world, not the developed world. Here’s how Forbes columnist Tim Worstall, a senior fellow at the Adam Smith Institute, puts it, after saying he views eradicating poverty through the economic growth of globalization to be a moral duty, though there is a tiny problem, he says:

“For some policies will be good for one set of poor people, those absolutely poor out in the Great Big World, yet bad for another set of the poor, those who are the poor in the already rich societies. And this globalization and free trade mixture is exactly one of those policies that has this effect. Rising inequality in the rich nations is a logical result of adding those couple of billion low-wage workers to the global economy. We could predict it would happen, theory tells us it should happen and it has happened: no one should be surprised about that. I’ve made clear around here a number of times that I both understand this point and also think that it’s a perfectly fair price to be paying.”

OK, so there you have it from a spokesperson for the elite: It’s perfectly fair for American workers to suffer so that billions of poor people in the developing world can earn $30 dollars a month more, thereabouts. Overall, poverty will decrease, just not your poverty.

You have to love it when the elite are honest. Every now and again, of course, others of their ilk will also admit that some of the best jobs we had — such as those in a huge portion of our manufacturing sector — have gone away, and the jobs replacing them don’t pay as well — yet.

Ah, the promise of tomorrow, but if you really want to blame something or somebody for lower wages, they say, blame technology and the easy flow of capital. The ability to relocate those things easily around the world has robbed us of our comparative advantage.

But you can’t put the genie back in the bottle, they sigh, and, anyway, it’s not free trade’s fault.

Oh, but you can put the genie back in the bottle, Truth is, those “free” trade agreements aren’t free at all; they are loaded with conditions and agreements that, in an effort to quickly boost developing world standards of living, tilt the balance toward those nations, and load up developed nations with environmental and economic requirements that impinge their sovereignty.

These agreements have little to do with open markets and everything to do with government control of international trade, both to advance a globalist political agenda and to simultaneously enrich the global elite.

But, hey, they are reducing world poverty.

Now about welfare increasing poverty. Sure, it does. Rising welfare benefits are the sop to the fallen middle class to keep them pacified about the transfer of international wealth: Don’t worry about your jobs disappearing, the government will take care of you — if you behave and vote right.

As Robert Rector and Jamie Bryan Hall of The Heritage Foundation point out, welfare reforms enacted in 1996 — basically, a work requirement was attached to the benefit — brought about an unprecedented drop in welfare caseloads among those groups required to work. Unfortunately, they observe, welfare reform affected only one of more than 80 means-tested welfare programs.

What to do?

The no-brainer answer was to expand the work requirement. However, this proved inconvenient on many different levels. First, it threatened the jobs of government workers who oversee caseloads and depend upon a high number of them.

Second, the elites of the private sector would have to create jobs for those required to work. And third, people who become untethered to the government check might just decide to vote against the government. No way, and I can’t say José!

And so the answer was to obliterate the work requirement while at the same time making welfare more and more comfortable, which answers, finally, how the poor get richer while staying poor. As Rector and Hall point out in the Heritage report, thanks to welfare, the extremely poor are not exactly extremely poor. According to their examination of data from the government’s Survey of Income and Program Participation, 86.5 percent of families with children apparently living in extreme poverty in the U.S. have air conditioning in their homes or apartments; 89 percent have cell phones; 88 percent have a DVD player, digital video recorder, VCR, or similar device; and 67 percent have a computer.

Lots of them have shiny new SUVs.

“Only 1 percent of families supposedly in extreme poverty report that they ‘often’ did not have ‘enough food to eat’ over the previous four months; another 8 percent said that they ‘sometimes did not have ‘enough to eat,’” Rector and Hall wrote. “The remaining 91 percent report that they ‘always’ had enough food to eat.”

Food stamps, housing and heat subsidies, free medical care, and more — you can live quite the living on welfare. It might not be Shangri-La but you don’t have to drag your tired body out of bed to go to work every morning.

And so, Voilá! We have a welfare class that becomes economically, culturally, and politically dependent — a system and a people biased against work that reproduces and expands itself.

Such a welfare system only acts to sustain, reinforce, and grow the welfare population.

While it might be tempting to applaud the success of our safety-net programs, this is anything but a safety net — this is the creation of a government-subsidized privileged class that attains a de facto middle-class existence without any need to work for it.

Indeed, as we know, most will be penalized if they do work.

As such, poverty in the West is something the government and its crony elites need to sustain and grow: Our global elites need poverty to exist, and they are going to force you to be poor, even if you are comfortable.

They need new poverty in the West to redistribute wealth to the developing world, where modest wage gains will keep the masses happy and the elite ever richer, while the potential unrest caused by stripping that wealth away from the U.S. middle class will in part be mitigated by the creation of a government bubble for the newly minted welfare class.

As for the desperate who cling to the edges of their American Dream, they’re too tired and overworked and overwhelmed to rise in rebellion. They’re too tired to do anything, except maybe vote.

But, believe me, vote they should, before they tumble through the trap door in the floor and find themselves in their very own town of Pleasant Governmentville.

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