Progressive Policies and the Poor

Thomas Sowell, writing in the National Review, had some thoughts on the impact of modern Liberalism on the welfare of blacks in the US.  I think they apply to all minorities, to whites, to our poor generally.

Severe restrictions on building housing in San Francisco have driven rents and home prices so high that blacks and other people with low or moderate incomes have been driven out of the city. The same thing has happened in a number of other California communities dominated by liberals.


Liberals try to show their concern for the poor by raising the minimum wage.  Yet they show no interest in hard evidence that minimum-wage laws create disastrous levels of unemployment….


The black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it has disintegrated in the wake of the liberals’ expansion of the welfare state.  Most black children grew up in homes with two parents during all that time, but most grow up with only one parent today.


Liberals have pushed affirmative action, supposedly for the benefit of blacks and other minorities.  But two recent factual studies show that affirmative action in college admissions has led to black students with every qualification for success being artificially turned into failures by being mismatched with colleges for the sake of racial body count.

Sowell summarizes the matter starkly:

In all these cases, and many others, liberals take positions that make them look good and feel good—and show very little interest in the actual consequences for others, even when liberal policies are leaving havoc in their wake.

The party of Jim Crow may be attempting to correct its past.  It is, in fact, failing miserably.  Modern Liberals give so little thought to the 50 years of empirical evidence defining the consequences of their actions that I have to conclude that they’re well aware of those consequences.  One of those consequences, flowing from the poverty enforced maintained by their actions, is the continued dependency of our poor on the largesse of the Modern Liberals in government.

That’s not just petty ego stroke, that’s political power.

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