Shrinking the welfare state 19

Welfare is Socialism Lite.

Socialism, in whatever brew, is the enemy of freedom.

If the tax-payers’ money spent by government on welfare were to be  … switched, say, to …

We are tempted to say “to the military”, because it is merry sport to bait the Left.

But to be sober about the matter: if it wasn’t confiscated from the people in the first place, if there were no government welfare programs, government would be much smaller and the people would be more prosperous.

Among President Trump’s many achievements in his first fifteen months in office, working continually against spiteful harassment and every kind of impediment the Left can devise, is a reduction of welfare provision. Not a huge reduction, no, but a change  in the right direction.

Investor’s Business Daily reports:

Earlier this month [April, 2018], the government reported that enrollment in food stamps plunged by nearly 600,000 in one month. Is this part of a broader trend toward greater self-reliance?

The Department of Agriculture, which runs the food stamp program — officially called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — reports that enrollment in January was 40.7 million, the lowest it’s been since May 2010.

In the months since President Trump has been in office, the number of people collecting food stamps plunged by nearly 2 million.

The same is true for welfare. Enrollment in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program dropped 12% last year, to reach 2.3 million.

Better still, the number of workers on Social Security Disability Insurance was down to 8.6 million in March — a decline of more than 100,000 since January 2017, and the lowest level since February 2012.

So far this year, disability applications have averaged 179,000 a month, compared with more than 193,000 a month in 2016. And the number of people dropping off disability rolls is up. Even enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP — the health care program for the poor and children — dropped by almost a million in 2017, to 74 million. …

In other words, millions of people are now free from at least some of their dependence on federal benefit programs. …

The best measure of success for any poverty program is for enrollment to keep trending toward zero.

Here’s Milton Friedman speaking, way back in 1976, about what is wrong with the provision of welfare by the state. You will notice he uses words that political correctness has since eliminated from public discourse. But the points he makes are still valid.

And here he is again on the same subject in another extract from the same source:

 

Posted under Socialism, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, April 29, 2018

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  • Jeanne

    If the trend in the right direction of getting families off welfare is to continue, we must insist that our children are actually educated in public schools. Children can learn, but most refuse to and the most that refuse to know they have an alternative life style available to them. This must end, children must become proficient in math and reading even if they do not excel in other subjects. A high school diploma must again mean something about the individual and those students who are so inclined must be given the skills to make a living without higher education.

    The abysmal proficiency rates across the country are of the Progressive’s own doing. Parents of all flavors know this and have complained for decades. The equally abysmal attitude toward maintaining discipline is also of the Progressive’s own doing and parents of all flavors have again been complaining for decades.

    And so our country has more than half our students in public schools graduating without being able to read and figure well, if at all. They are not about to stretch their minds to any extent and their attitude is one of getting by without doing much on their own, but add to that the idea that somebody owes them…well, nearly everything they want. Even districts that have a test for graduating have so lowered the standards that nearly any student can be “helped” through it with a passing grade. It is a sad and cruel joke played upon each grade of students as they pass through the system. The less able students fail and adapt to failing such that they do not consider it failing. The more able students don’t get enough of what they should be learning and just coast along, not realizing that life is more than just coasting.

    Well…that’s my two cents worth for today.

    • Don L

      “…families off welfare is to continue, we must insist that our children are actually educated in public schools.”

      The latter first: education in public schools is to erroneously believe that politically-established bureaucracies can actually perform the education task; without ideological influence and actually serve students/parents as opposed to political overlords – you insist on more of the same – like more money to education does not decrease the failure rate.

      “Indoctrination: 35 Years of the US Department of Education” by Carol A. Vance & Loyd S. Pettegrew — https://mises.org/wire/indoctrination-35-years-us-department-education

      Education must be privatized with the profit motive in place in a competitive market. Teachers hired by merit and different schools serving different needs of the children.

      [FOX reported today, 05/05/2018, that 40% of all universities do not have even ONE registered republican on faculty and that of the top 100 universities the ratio is 10::1 dems over repubs.]

      “This must end, children must…”; “…diploma must again…”; “…inclined must be given…”

      MUST be done by who or what? This is how progressives succeed by warping people into the deleterious, ubiquitous and emotional notion of government according to SHOULD (ought, must, they have to, we must make them…).

      Your last paragraph is accurate as to consequences and they are the consequences of government according to SHOULD. Government cannot accomplish anything. And, the Constitution does not provide that our government be the educator-in-chief. Did you know that at our founding, without public schools, the literacy rate exceeded 98%. Today, with trillions wasted, as you point out, the literacy rate is about 43%. Should government be involved? Hell no.

      “Bureaucracy” by Ludwig von Mises -https://mises.org/library/bureaucracy

      A funny thing happens when a business’s/school’s success or failure is based on profit or loss as opposed to a bureau where there is no fear of being shut down. Parents ‘insisting’ is not dependent on useless voting … move the kid to a different school … dollars are louder than a vote.

      Betsy DeVos is supposed to be pushing for privatization. Get to it girl! Pointed out above, privatization would create competition for schools to satisfy the needs of children at all capabilities and facility; or lack thereof. It is in fact how it ’twere before the Fabians showed up on our shores and introduced the emotional and unconstitutional government SHOULD notion which politicians jumped all over for votes. Truth and rationality be damned. Profit and loss is the real vote

      And, yet again I have to point out that all the failures of government are funded by the FED phony money. THIS MUST BE EXPOSED! Do you want to change the Republic for the good? Then learn about the FED and fractional reserve then, as I do, go around asking folks if they know what the ‘reserve’ means in Federal Reserve? It is an opening to explain, hand out a pamphlet, explain why married mothers with children can’t stay home to educate (or manage the education of) their children. Empathy for the hard working folk is meaningless if one doesn’t actually know the cause and cure … don’t you agree?

      Ever noticed, you put your two cents in but you only get a penny for your thoughts?

      Anyway, as I often do, here are links to FREE material – pamphlets and booklets (Most of these are specific to the FED – the generator of political corruption and the financial engine of socialism and war – along with failed compulsory schooling.):

      “Education: Free and Compulsory” by Murray N. Rothbard — https://mises.org/library/education-free-and-compulsory-1

      “The Origins of the Federal Reserve” by Murray N. Rothbard — http://mises.org/library/origins-federal-reserve-1

      “The Case Against the Fed” by Murray N. Rothbard –http://mises.org/library/case-against-fed-0

      “Free Prices Now! Fixing the Economy by Abolishing the Fed” by Hunter Lewis — https://mises.org/library/free-prices-now-fixing-economy-abolishing-fed

      “What Has Government Done to Our Money?” by Murray N.Rothbard — http://mises.org/library/what-has-government-done-our-money

      “The Mystery of Banking” by Murray N.Rothbard — http://mises.org/document/614/Mystery-of-Banking-The

      “Organized Crime: The Unvarnished Truth About Government” by Thomas DiLorenzo — http://mises.org/document/6985/Organized-Crime-The-Unvarnished-Truth-About-Government

      Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure” by Murray N.Rothbard — http://mises.org/library/economic-depressions-their-cause-and-cure-0

      • Jeanne

        No sweetie, I do not insist on more of the same. I insist on something completely different than the same. That was my point. DeVos’s seeds must take root, blossom and produce sustainable fruit and it won’t happen overnight. Until then, we, the public, whose tax dollars go into our government schools need to keep feet to the fire on the local level, state level and federal level…as if we haven’t been doing that for decades. But…maybe enough “woke”…gag, cough… conservatives will lend their hands to this task under Trump’s administration.

        I was aware of, prior to your enthusiastic posts, and still understand about the Fed and the fiat money…give it a break, will you. Do you expect changes to the economics of the nation overnight? Do you expect Trump to return to the gold standard? No, you don’t, do you?

        I am willing to take improvement where I can get it and it is my hope that somebody at the federal and state levels, plus DeVos, will start demanding what parents have; a return to discipline and a mastering of the basics so that the greater majority of students are able to learn in whatever public schools are available to them. The statistics indicate that they cannot, which is nothing new…but how fed up can parents and teachers and local school boards get?!

        Thank you for acknowledging that I was accurate about something. And…yes, I did know that about our pre-government school literacy rate.

        As for government being involved, my siblings and I were students at public schools in the poorest county in our state. Amazingly, we excelled at school and in life! My children, the youngest of which is 32, attended public schools in a much wealthier county. Their education does not begin to compare with ours…but they excelled in school and in life. Since my youngest graduated high school, her class has been generally spoken of by high school teachers as the last class that had any gumption, any desire to learn and any sense of themselves as students, who had a common history and feeling of belonging to a diverse, yet homogenous group.

        I have been reading the anthropologist (among other interests she held) Elaine Morgan’s book from 1976, entitled “Falling Apart; the Rise and Decline of Urban Civilisation” and dog-eared this bit today:

        “…that peculiarly urban malaise known as “anomie”- a condition of apathy and hopeless disorientation caused by the breakdown of familiar and universally recognised rules of conduct.”

        Sound familiar? Let us get back to a time of no anomie. That is a social awareness of fundamental requirements that need to be passed on to the upcoming generations. We…that is “We The People” have failed. We have little recourse right now, but to use the system in place to affect change.

        Wouldn’t you agree?

        That is my four cents for today. Inflation…

        • Don L

          Replying to a closet socialist is not worth my time, dearie. Geez, you read a greeny anti-capitalist and expect change. You ought be on the dem ticket.

          • Jeanne

            Are you drunk? How do you get that from anything I have ever written? Am I that unclear in my writing? Is it because I used the words “social awareness” and you got confused? What is your problem, Don?

          • Jeanne

            Don, it concerns me that I got so frustrated with you that I questioned not only your comprehension skills, but your sobriety. If my posts have led you to believe that I am a closet socialist and that I read Elaine Morgan’s books for her greeny anti-capitalists views, of which I was ignorant, then I have failed again to make my comments lucid.

            If you actually have questions about the points I made, then ask them. I would rather have to explain myself more clearly then have insults slung my way. Something is off in our communication. I can’t believe that you would prefer to destroy all systems in our country before others are in place to provide for the general well-being of its citizens.

            I am a registered Democrat, one of those Blue Dogs, who think along the lines of Reagan.

            • Don L

              Interrupting my vacation:

              The problem isn’t mine, honey:

              “I can’t believe that you would prefer to destroy all systems in our country before others are in place to provide for the general well-being of its citizens.”

              You are too emotionally-driven and too irrational to understand that YOU ARE a socialist. In the quoted sentence you just spoke Hillaryism – the state is the answer. Government systems according to SHOULD.

              And, instead of reading the (“I don’t care”) pussy hat wearing (that she were alive) marxist … have you read Bureaucracy” by Mises? You’d discover the quixotic waste of time fighting to get compulsory schooling to “actually educate”. I don’t care if the price is only a dime. If it doesn’t, or can’t, work then the cost was ten cents too much.

              Or, have you read “The Original Consitution: What It Actually Said And Meant (3rd Ed)” by Robert G Natelson wherein you’d learn that your general welfare/”well-being” is hardcore socialism – an intentional corruption of the Constitution executed by socialists/the left/democrats/bleeding hearts.

              Geez, only the unthinking would read a commies explanation of the rise and fall of anything and not realize the distortion of reality it encapsulates. I would guess it has emotional appeal … a nice read … makes one feel good? Probably even makes one feel superior and moral because they care. Just like Pelosi, Warren and Hillary. Gotta have those feel good, to the detriment of all, systems of the STATE in place

              Bernard Goldberg put it best, when speaking of the left: “A fish doesn’t know it’s wet.”

              So, take your jab dear. I’m more than happy, to hence forth, ignore you.

            • Jeanne

              To favor the destruction of systems that are serving the needs of its citizens before setting other systems in place, is to be in favor of anarchy. These systems are in place, whether we approve or not.

              Yes, they do do seem socialistic compared to leaving each person, each family, each community to fend for themselves when it comes to making roadways, bridges, schools, hospitals, airports…whatever. If our local, state and federal governments had never started, then other systems would have sprung up to serve these needs and the States would have been unto themselves their own experiment in governing and planning and providing, if a collective source were needed to pull off running electricity or providing clean water or building a school to be used by the community.

              Then…if the way one locale worked it out was not to a person’s liking, they could try another community. They could do well enough to teach their own children, provide their own power and clean water, roads, bridges and medical care.

              I suspect that eventually, if this “free-will” system was in place, some might decide that working as a community might serve their needs better and move in that direction as freely as they like. Then what is that to become, a commune? Would our country have become loosely held together communes of questionable ability to provide all that is needed by its citizens into the 21st century?

              But…we don’t have that in place. We have for the most part government led and/or run systems to serve these needs, and it they are destroyed, then what, Don? What happens?

              You say I am emotionally-driven and too irrational to think at all, but you seem to lack the ability to think outside your rigid belief system, even in order to consider the consequences of implementing “Now, God Damn it, NOW” what you believe to be the only way it must be.

              Instead of lambasting my posts because I do not totally and completely accept your opinion and hurling insults to prove your point, you could engage me in a discussion about what I apparently consider worth posting despite your attitude of superiority.

              You are an economic sage and certainly not an idiot. That is your forte. I admit that I am different and a complicated atheist, and I am a mere human being, too, who much of the time is winding her way through matters that confound most folks and I am using the reason and education that I have to come to my decisions and viewpoints.

              I simply air them here, as others air theirs and you air yours. If our posts speak to some readers of different abilities and interests, perhaps they will choose to think on these topics further and seek to learn more about them. I have certainly learned much over the years by reading the articles and the comments, as well. It would be a shame if you discontinued to engage in discussion with me, as there are so few of us who post comments and, despite what you believe, there may be a little something you might learn from my viewpoints.

          • Jeanne

            So, Don, I continued in my book and came to the bits where Morgan certainly more than sympathizes with Marxism and expounds on some of the drawbacks of capitalism and the change that was occurring during the time the book was written. And..yes, she looks toward greener energy solutions at a time when her native land and ours were still experiencing polluted air and waters and the idea was fresh that fossil fuels were drying up.

            Still, she writes insightfully about social characteristics and their evolution in cities and rural locales and I have long considered her AAT to be much more reasonable than the Savanah theory. I picked up this book based on my readings of her anthropology books, “The Scars of Evolution, “The Descent of Woman” and “The Decent of the Child” and am only just aware of her Socialist and Green bent.

            However, I would not throw any of her insights out because of her politics, any more than I would dismiss a skilled surgeon for her belief in God. The worth of Morgan, like the rest of us, is more than just her politics.

            • I agree with much that you have argued, Jeanne. But not all. A few points to put to you:

              Elaine Morgan. Had never heard of her. Looked her up. Apparently she thought homo sapiens evolved from apes who lived in water. She was also, you say, a Marxist. She saw “some of the drawbacks of capitalism” – those being what exactly?

              Wales never experienced polluted air and water (except inevitably in small local areas). Wales has a coal-mining industry, but the greater part of it is green – green are the hills and dales it sings about in its national anthem – laced with sweet rivers.”How green was my valley?”

              No one except Greens and other Marxists ever really believed that fossil fuels were drying up.

              A person has only to commit one murder and he is a murderer. If he spent the greater part of his life without committing a single crime, it can make no difference to the fact that he is a murderer. Guilty. A Marxist might write entertaining plays (as, say, Brecht did), but it makes no difference to his guilt as a Marxist. Marxism is a crime against humanity.

              A surgeon can operate successfully while being a believer in some religion and he is guilty of nothing – except inconsistency of thought, which won’t harm his patient.

              If all that is true of Elaine Morgan, she belongs as a minor entrant on the list of the 20th Century Destroyers of the West along with Bernard Shaw and the Webbs.

              “Anomie” was a favorite diagnosis of “what is wrong with capitalist societies” by 20th Century Western leftist writers. Sartre in particular favored it. In fact, as is so often the case with the Left, they were diagnosing their own sickness, not that of “the West”, or “the bourgeoisie” (to which despised class they belonged almost to a man and woman).

            • Jeanne

              She was a Socialist, as was her husband. She did, indeed, live in a polluted part of Wales. You can read a bit here about her past: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/elaine-morgan-author-whose-most-celebrated-works-expounded-the-aquatic-ape-theory-of-evolution-8762170.html

              I only knew of her anthropology theories, more complicated than an ape living in water, which I found very interesting.

              So, no, I would not throw out her work in anthropology because she was a Socialist. Except for her admiration of Marxism in theory, I am not sure what she had actually done to be considered a destroyer of the West. But…maybe I haven’t learned enough about her. Nevertheless, I am not interested in her politics, but in her extensive work in the Aquatic Ape Theory.

              Anomie is defined as “lack of the usual social or ethical standards in an individual or group” which seems a definition that anyone could use to explain what we see in the newer generations and is how I interpreted what she meant when she was discussing urban versus rural, not against each other, but comparison and the shifts in culture thereof. I had thought it would be an interesting book from an era to compare to “Coming Apart” by Charles Murray.

            • I followed the link to The Independent article on Elaine Morgan. Vera Brittain! Anthony Crosland! Roy Jenkins! CND marches! Names from a sad past. They bring it all back, and Ah yes, I remember it well. Thing is, the Socialism that is destroying Great Britain (and Europe) is not the national socialism of the Third Reich, nor the murderous socialism of Lenin and Stalin. It is the Fabian socialism of Bernard Shaw, Beatrice and Sidney Webb, Vera Brittain, Anthony Crosland, Roy Jenkins, CND marches (funded by the USSR) – and the Elaine Morgans and their husbands. Fabianism was a doctrine of incremental change, through the welfare state and on into the visualized socialist utopia. “Socialism by Evolution not Revolution”, was their catch-phrase. (Their utopian vision has had to be replaced as an objective by an Islamic republic, because the following generation of socialists invited the Muslims in, and are nurturing them in their now aging bosoms.)

              Before that theme becomes a whole essay, I’ll leave it there.

              One or two other observations on the article:

              Steven Pinker is NOT “right-wing”. (See my essay “Enlightenment, atheism, reason, and the humanist left”.)

              I knew Phillip Tobias. A very respectable anthropologist. Wiki says he did not agree with the Aquatic Ape theory.

              I have not read Charles Murray’s book “Coming Apart”, but judging by the summary of it on Amazon I would venture to say that he is not dealing with “anomie” – which is usually translated, by the way, as “alienation” (of individuals from society in general) – but with vast differences of occupation and preoccupation between classes in America.

            • Jeanne

              Yes, I am very aware of the Fabian Society and its influence in the past and today. As I was reading this latest book by Morgan that I found, I happened to read about anomie the morning of reading your article, and it seemed an appropriate turn of a phrase to the idea of generations losing their link to the social requirements needed to become self-reliant and yet responsible citizens of a free country, so I mentioned it in my post about education.

              I read Morgan for her anthropological work, of which the AAT will probably and finally replace the Savannah Ape Theory. It has always had an uphill battle, since scientists fight tooth and nail to keep their current theories around which much of their work is based and from which they developed corollary theories of their own. Morgan is a wonderfully engaging writer and her works are a pleasure to read. I don’t care that she fell in with Socialists and thought that was a political theory that was the answer to humanity’s woes. What she believed in this century is unknown to me, as well. Perhaps she altered her political beliefs.

              What does it matter to her views about how urban civilizations arose and declined or how she describes the younger generations adrift? Bertrand Russell, Albert Einstein, George Orwell and Martin Luther King were socialists. Should we eschew their contributions in other fields because of their political beliefs?

              If we do not, does it make us complicit in their desire to bring the world in line with Marxism?

            • I remember a documentary the BBC made about apes living at the seaside. (It was probably in support of the Aquatic Ape theory.) It showed one female ape finding some scattered grains (rice, I think) in the sand, and taking a fistful of sand with the grains in it to the edge of the water, dropping the mess into the pool, then picking the grains from the surface, free of sand. She was described as “a genius ape”. Later it emerged that the sequence was a fraud. The ape had been trained to “wash” the grains. When fraud is necessary to “prove” a case, the case is thereby proved false. Not the whole theory, of course, but that fake footage of the genius ape certainly casts doubt over everything else.

              While Phillip Tobias agreed that the”Savannah” theory of Apes-into-Humans was mistaken, he was not wholly convinced by the Aquatic Apes theory. I don’t know enough about either anthropology or evolution to have an opinion myself. But I find that the theory is not widely accepted. Which doesn’t mean that it is not interesting.

              George Orwell famously found what was wrong with socialism, and taught the lesson to the whole world. Martin Luther King’s niece insists he was a Republican. Einstein’s views on politics are of no importance; not his sphere of interest. As for Bertrand Russell, he was intellectually seduced in his dotage by a Communist to support Western nuclear disarmament – to the delight of the CND people. Most of them were unaware that they were being used for Soviet propaganda. Of course it would have suited the Soviets if the West had abandoned nuclear weapons. They would have won the Cold War.

              Being interested in the works of writers who were Marxists does not make one complicit in their schemes. I read the whole of Marx’s “Capital” once – something NONE of the many Lefties I knew ever did. (It convinced me that Marx was wrong.) But it is necessary to be aware of what their agenda is. Maybe Morgan had no ulterior motive in writing her anthropological works. But if she didn’t, she’s a rare bird among her fellow socialists of that generation.

            • Jeanne

              No, as far as I can determine, Morgan had no ulterior motive in her studies of anthropology. No, the fraudulent grains of rice washing is not the AAT, but I did not see that documentary and can’t say if it was referring to the AAT. It is detailed in her book, “The Aquatic Ape.”

              You are correct, her theory that supports Hardy’s hypothesis is not yet widely accepted, but I believe it will be.

              As we have heard, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and I think good-intending people thought that some form of socialism was going to be the answer to the woes of the human condition. I also think that many of them were monsters, even if they didn’t realize it, and I think some of them were damaged people would have been monsters despite any political views.

  • Don L

    It cannot go without being mentioned that it is the corruption of the Supreme Court in cahoots with monarchists (then) and socialists (now – both parties) that brought forth the Welfare state and worse.

    First, the Founders never ever created a scenario where the federal government got to rule on whether or not the federal government was violating the constitution. The States, as free and independent nations in a voluntary Union (a contract) were the check and balance on the central government – they made the determinations. The Supremes were to rule on conflicts between the states. Would one rely on the word of a thief as to whether or not he stole? DUH.

    Even before the ink was dry on the founding documents the monarchists, led by Alexander Hamilton, among the founders were plotting to overthrow the constitution. They went along with the revolution and lied about their adherence to the constitution in order to reestablish a monarchy, with its associated mercantilist economic policies (crony guild capitalism).
    ______________________
    From wikipedia: [emphasis added]

    Implied powers, in the United States, are powers authorized by the Constitution that, while not stated, seem [seem is the lie] implied by powers that are expressly stated. When George Washington asked Alexander Hamilton [quid pro quo: bank for capital close to Mt Vernon] to defend the constitutionality of the First Bank of the United States against the protests [1] of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Attorney General Edmund Randolph, Hamilton produced what has now become the classic statement for implied powers. [2] Hamilton argued that the sovereign duties of a government implied the right to use means adequate to its ends [collusion with court already in place].

    Although the United States government was sovereign only as to certain objects, it was impossible to define all the means it should use, because it was impossible for the founders to anticipate all future exigencies. Hamilton noted that the “general welfare clause” and the “necessary and proper clause” gave elasticity to the Constitution. Hamilton won the argument with Washington, who signed the bank bill into law.

    Later, directly borrowing from Hamilton, Chief Justice John Marshall invoked the implied powers of government in the United States Supreme Court case, McCulloch v. Maryland. In 1816, the United States Congress passed legislation creating the Second Bank of the United States. The state of Maryland attempted to tax the bank. The state argued the United States Constitution did not explicitly grant Congress the power to establish banks. In 1819, the Court decided against the state of Maryland. Chief Justice Marshall argued that Congress had the right to establish the bank, as the Constitution grants to Congress certain implied powers beyond those explicitly stated.

    In the case of the United States Government, implied powers are powers Congress exercises that the Constitution does not explicitly define, but are necessary and proper to execute the powers. [Constitution provided means for amendment – no ruling by a court is allowed to expand central power.]
    ________________
    Notice this all came about in order to force a central fractional reserve bank into existence. Unfortunately, then as now, lawyers cannot be trusted to do what is right but what is in their interests. It is a shame the notion proffered as to disallowing attorneys from serving in either the executive or congressional branches as they are already members of the judicial branch was not included in the Constitution. Shakespeare had it right: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”.

    The intentional corruption and distortion of the general welfare clause was to throw open the door to all manner of government intervention in everyone’s lives. The argument is always, “We don’t know what they meant.”. Baloney – the meanings and intent are everywhere in the terms of the day: writings and extractions from legal usage are right-in-your-face clear. General welfare meant no law favoring any state, region and, especially, not a person but ALL STATES EQUALLY; GENERAL as in everybody. Welfare State, here we are. Or, as it is in reality – un-Constitutional control over your life; allowed as ‘precedent’ and ‘tradition’ by legalese distorting BS!

    Lincoln came along to destroy State’s Rights and thereby destroyed the voluntary Union to create the STATE of coercion. There’s a reason Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin. Mao and every other totalitarian dictator considered him a role model. Why do you think the ruling-class and the central planners celebrate these “all power to the omnipresent and omnipotent central government” champions?

    To learn about the Hamilton & Lincoln legacies destroying America (An eyeball-to-eyeball promise: If you just read these book recommendations, you will never again have to guess who qualifies for office nor ever again be fooled by the career-politicians’ cadre of talking faces masquerading as experts (propagandists):

    “The Original Constitution – What It Actually Said And Meant (3rd Ed)” – Robert G Natelson

    “Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Arch Enemy Betrayed the American Revolution–and What It Means for Americans Today” – Thomas J DiLorenzo

    “The Real Lincoln” – Thomas J DiLorenzo

    “Lincoln Unmasked – What You’re Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe” – Thomas J. Dilorenzo

    “The Creature from Jekyll Island : A Second Look at the Federal Reserve” – G Edward Griffin

  • The Burro

    I think it worthwhile to use some of the numbers in this piece to calculate what has been saved in welfare payments monthly.

    Food stamps saw a reduction of 2 million persons. The monthly best estimate I could find for the per-person outlay was $126. Saving of $252 million per month (2 million x $126). I think since these persons probably stayed on welfare but did not qualify for stamps, so I will leave the monthly number as $252 mn.

    Disability monthly increments are down 168K annually and at $1,171 per person per month, saves $197 million per year = $17 mn monthly. These persons would have got a job and thus left the DI roll altogether. However, the aggregate number of persons on DI went down as the increment was added, suggesting the numbers are 187K lower monthly than they would have been = 187K x $1,171 = $219 million monthly.

    TANF is down monthly 314,000. At $757 average per month = $237 million monthly.

    We now have $237+219+17+252 millions = $755 million monthly = $9.1 billion.

    While doing this arithmetic, I discovered the TANF program has “take-up” rates ie the persons entitled to it actually getting the money, as low as 5% of who could get it depending on the state. This is due, it seems, to the entitled persons being so functionally incapable that they cannot manage the paperwork or getting to appointments. There is also another possibility: see below.

    Each and every day of my life I deal with welfare persons. I do not see these individuals as lost souls needing my help, but rather hard, cold calculating persons working out what is best for them. Let us face it – that is how we all are. We do not do go around and distribute our earnings to one and all – we take care of ourselves first (including family of course) – and then throw perhaps what is left over as donations. This ignores the charming influence of the governments taking what we earned, in the form of taxes, and giving it to the “poor” in welfare transfers.

    I will state from first-hand experience that every person on welfare that I encounter, who can be employed, is actually working. The work they do is in the cash world. It is therefore not traceable. The reason many of them cannot get to appointments or take up certain benefits is that they are not functionally retarded, but too busy making money.

    I will provide a very recent example. As the owner of two buildings separated by a third, similar building, I had the pleasure of dealing with the occupants of the intervening building. The family consisted of a mother on the Section 8 program, and two grand children. The mother did not stay at the house – a total violation of the Section 8 rules. She stayed at her boyfriend’s home from which she operated a cash-based hairdressing business about which she bragged yielded $2,000 per month.

    The day at the intervening house, let us call it 68, started at 11:30 am – persons on welfare rarely rise before this hour. At once the dope-smoking began. It got so bad I had to order my workers next door at 60 to close the windows as the smoke drifted into 68 and was getting my men high. How can persons on welfare afford ganja – see below?

    The party continued literally every day as men came to the premises to smoke, chat and have sex in the bathroom as the bedrooms were always full. My men and I were treated to the lovely entertainment provided by sexual activities in the bathroom as we rehabilitated my bathroom on the other side of the wall. I had to remove the sheathing on the wall. This made noises and conversations very clear, and entertaining indeed as well as highly educational I would say.

    At around 8:00 pm the party would break up and work begin. After following several of the gentlemen to their place of work, I discovered one collected pallets. At $11 per pallet delivered, he got about $160 per day picking up these discarded items and taking them to the pallet centre. Worthwhile work in my world. Another took his place on a street corner selling marijuana. At $10.31 per gram for Candyland street quote 03-01-18, Vallejo, Ca downtown area, he did about thirty deals in the one hour I observed before caution got the better of me. $300 per hour gross – not bad!

    The house at 68 was occupied by the legitimate occupant’s daughter – again a Section 8 violation. She delivered sustenance to the two men mentioned as well as other moral support services as detailed. I did not feel it wise to discuss the proceeds split on the earnings but the point made is these persons were demonstrating entrepreneurial talents, not to mention a certain joi de vivre, living as they chose and subsidised by the government.

    The legal occupant collected Section 8 rent subsidies ($1,781 monthly), plus SSDI of $428 she stated, and general assistance which she informed me was another $642. I have not been able to identify this program and its specifics. Just these few programs added to $2,251 or $27,000 per annum roughly. This does not include the free medical, food, church assistance etc which abounds in this type of household.

    At $27K pa, cash in hand, this is equivalent to around $40K gross. The lady concerned would be severely pressed to get a job at that rate – she could not write or read well. So she made the understandable decisions to enter the cash world and altogether did rather well. I doubt very much when asked if these persons had any earnings they admitted to it as it would kick them off many of the programs.

    In other words, the welfare system pushed quite capable persons to become unemployed, liars, and criminals. Isn’t the welfare system marvelous? And these adults – such fine examples for their children to emulate.

    If this story is too far-fetched a year ago I had to take over a building and found the occupants’ total welfare income compared to me was $108,000 per year ie that to have their living standard, I would have to earn $108,000 in net cash in hand or after all deductions. The household had six adults- and not one worker among them. Not one of them could read or write properly.

    After the welfare services started to compare notes, this family was taken to task. However, even though welfare fraud was confirmed, not a penny was sent back or a person locked up. What did happen was the welfare agencies cut them off – and can you guess what happened ? Yup, four of the six got jobs and the household now has a gross income of $160,000 including the predictable cash amounts. Their home used to have six cars outside and a Harley worth $25K. Three of the cars were Mercedes Benz’s from 2012 and later. By way of comparison, my car is a 1998 Nissan Altima bought from a former tenant for $1,000 and has 280,000 miles on it.

    The message is clear to me: Mr. Friedman you are correct in stating abolish welfare. Mr. Trump, you need some new publicity as where are the accolades? For God’s sake man, you would have to be dead today not to get a job (come to think of it, I have an opening for a corpse!).

    Long live the poor, and may they be always with us.

    And I will rest my pen.

    • liz

      Your story is a perfect illustration of why blacks are slaves “on the Democrat plantation”. The welfare state perpetuates their downward spiral as ignorant, uneducated, “unemployed, liars, and criminals”, dependent on handouts and “affirmative action” in exchange for votes and on-call rioting.

  • Don L

    Milton Friedman is correct on all he says about the welfare state, bureaucracy and the impact on society. In deed, his many speeches on free enterprise are all absolutely correct. And then he throws it all away by his support of the FED. Specifically, his love affair with monetary policy and currency inflation is to advocate for the most immoral and insidious of the government interventions.

    Milton has admitted that the FED is perhaps not the best way to implement his monetary scheme whereas it is too political and susceptible to corruption. No, he thinks some other independent panel of honest men (If men were angels there would be no need for laws – James Madison).

    Friedman has always stated his monetary goal was 2 1/2 percent currency inflation per year. This presupposes that the ‘experts’ could actually manage the economy to hit this target. They never have done so and in fact cannot. The very notion is an absurd impossibility. F.A. Hayek termed it the Pretense of Knowledge Fallacy: https://mises.org/library/pretense-knowledge

    So, Milty seeks honest men to achieve what cannot be attained. But, let’s say he could. What then? Well, we would then have what we have now: the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer by government design. How? By inflating the currency, every dollar is diluted and therfore has less purchasing power and the new money drives the cost of goods and services up as more money chases the same number of goods – the poor get hit the hardest. Those who get the all the new money first get all the rewards of enhanced purchasing power the out-of-thin air dollars afford. It is theft, a hidden tax on all, it is immoral and illegal in any other business except banking.

    Further, manipulating the currency and interest rates destroys the mechanisms of the free market which coordinate demand and supply. The proof is every economic downturn in the US is directly traceable to currency inflation … Period:

    “Austrian Business Cycle Theory: A Brief Explanation” by Dan Mahoney – https://mises.org/library/austrian-business-cycle-theory-brief-explanation

    Or,

    “The Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle and Other Essays” by Richard M. Ebeling – https://mises.org/library/austrian-theory-trade-cycle-and-other-essays

    And, concerning the 2007-08 Great Recession,

    “Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse” by Thomas E. Woods and Ron Paul – Sorry, no free.

    Again, what a shame that for all the great things he says about free enterprise, he negates it all with the immoral advocacy of the FED and currency inflation.