Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Lower Classes and the Empty Souls of the Wealthy Political Class: How living among poverty has shaped my views.

I have lived much of my life among the lower classes. I grew up in a lower middle class home. I have spent hours in the poorest neighborhoods in my city. I also lived in Uruguay and visited many homes that were literally made from garbage, the poorest of the poor. 

Many of those around whom I have worked and lived are strong advocates of government welfare programs. I have walked into the homes of an immigrant family with multiple people living in it, and their only income is from government programs. Many of those I visit get their food from food-stamps. In many cases their homes or apartments are subsidized. Government aide is omnipresent when among the less-privileged areas of society. 

Because of this, I can see why many who work with them would be for these government programs. After visiting the poor and seeing the exuberant wealth of others in society, I get why people rage against the wealthy and against those that do not support government programs. I understand that. I understand why someone would vote into office based on their claim to support these programs. 

People assume I am also for government welfare when I am among them. When I tell them I am not they assume it is despite my time spent with the poor. This is not true. I am against government programs because of my time spent among the under-privileged.

The government does not help the poor. There I said it. What the government does is rob the poor blind, limit their economic ability, and then throw them a handful of change back and say, “See we are helping you.” If you break someones leg and then hand them a crutch, you can hardly be praised for "curing" them.

First, giving someone money is not helping them necessarily. If only it were that easy. Helping is talking to someone, finding out where they are trying to go and life, and see what you can do to help them get from point A to point B. This could of course involve monetary assistance. It could involve a hundred million things. But to say that you are helping the poor by signing a piece of paper and then taking money from one group and giving it to another is absurdly and profoundly flawed.

Government aide does not help the poor. Ever since the “war on poverty” began under Lyndon Johnson’s "Great Society," poverty has remained stagnant, while it had been steadily decreasing before.

But even if we assume throwing money at the poor helps them, and government programs actually do benefit the poor,  the idea that government protects the little guy at the expense of the wealthy is absurd. The reality is all the opposite, the government protects the wealthy and politically connected at the expense of everybody else. 

Most of the money the government spends is not given to the poor. It is spent on military, on corporate welfare, paying off debts, and on employing a lot of wealthy middle class bureaucrats that run the system (i.e clerks, IRS workers, welfare agents, etc.). In other words to pay politician's friends. Almost all congressman and senators (Republican and Democrat) are heavily funded by big business. Many of the senators or their aides have sat or currently sit on the boards of large corporations. To think the government is “protecting us from corporations” is absurd. The government is a giant cartel of the big banks, big business, and big labor. Barack Obama was paid millions of dollars from Wall Street to get elected. Is it honestly possible to think he will turn around and hurt the big banks in order to help the poor? 

If Congress members were seated according to who gave them the most money. From Dave Gilson,
The government hurts the poor in multiple ways. First, licensing, fees, and other barriers to entry the government sets up. It is in the wealthy class’s best interest to protect itself from the young and poor, because the young and poor are often motivated, ambitious, and eager to pull themselves out of poverty.  What is more they will generally charge less for services. This is why professionals run to the government to get them to create all sorts of licensing and tests that increase the amount of time it takes to enter a given profession, therefore decreasing supply of their product and allowing them to artificially inflate their prices. The original “healthcare crisis” was that healthcare costs were too low so doctors went to the government to create licenses and other  barriers to entry to decrease supply and increase prices. A personal example is a mechanic my family knows who is a great mechanic but because of business license fees and zoning rules do not allow him to operate a mechanic’s shop from his house, he instead works at McDonald's. 

The government is constantly taking money from the poor through taxes (i.e. sales tax), and most insidiously through inflation. The wages of the poor drop because the government is printing money and giving it to the wealthy and politically connected. Inflating the currency always happens at the expense of the poor who now can buy less with their dollars than they did a year ago, or even a month ago. While the minimum wage used to fill up a tank of gas perhaps with some extra to buy a soda, now it is barely enough to get the car out of the parking lot.  

Big government is robbing the poor blind. They are limiting their opportunities for growth by throwing up barriers to entry for business and limiting the growth of business through regulation. The government mortgages the lives of the poor through national debt. The government takes money from the poor to hand out all sorts of goodies to their wealthy friends, lobbyists, and banksters. The government is constantly financially raping the poor and then they throw the poor a chunk of change and say “without me you would die.”

This is disgusting. This is wrong. I cannot and will not support this evil system.

I love being among the poorer classes. I love siting in their humble homes and talking with them, learning from them. I know they are strong and capable of rising to their dreams and aspirations if the government would just get out of the way.

The truth is they are not poor, in money perhaps, but not in character and love and honesty. The only poor I see are the hearts of those men who take money from poor and middle class, give most of it out to their friends, throw a little bit back, and have the audacity to call it charity. Those are poor, empty souls.

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