Direct handouts and social welfare do not work to address the issues of poverty. Poverty can only be alleviated by addressing the root socio-political causes. It is not because I am not concerned with the general welfare that my articles up until now have not addressed poverty. A fair and equitable society cannot be created or maintained that allows a large portion of the population to live without the basic necessities of life. In the last article I directly point out that all taxation comes from the working class and the working poor. Therefore any and all money used for social welfare programs comes directly or indirectly from these two sources. A society can’t fund social welfare off the backs of the very people who need those programs, especially if that sector of the economy is shrinking. Only in a society in which the working poor are moving steadily forward into the working class can social welfare be paid for by farming the working class. This is the fallacy of socialism and the social welfare state. Both of these types of states discourage social mobility into the ranks of the non-government supplemented worker. In fact both socialism and the social welfare state encourage the use of social programs as a means of gaining a political quid pro quo, in which workers reward politicians with votes purchased with social programs. If you are to have a state in which social welfare works you have to have a state which generates money in a way that doesn’t rely on the middle class as tax farms or a state in which the working poor are not “poor” and as such not in need of extensive welfare programs. You can’t raise people out of poverty by taxing them, neither can you raise them out of poverty by increasing the cost of living. Solutions are not easy. If they were easy the crop of mental midgets that occupy Washington would already have grasped the solution.
Poverty is cultural. It is both a top down and a bottom up cultural problem. People at the top are not willing to give up their positions of power (and yes this is about power not money) and people at the bottom are not willing to change their cultural and social attitudes that keep them poor.
To address the problems of poverty it must be done from a cultural viewpoint not as a problem of economics. Underlying social problems must be front and center in the fight against poverty, then maybe handing out money to the poor might actually work. In the past when this approach has been suggested it is always with an eye towards changing the culture of the poor. While work is needed in that direction, the real culprit in continuing poverty are the political elite. It is also not a problem of money or the lack of money that exacerbates this social ill. The root of poverty is power. People in power are tasked with alleviating social ills while at the same time their hold on power is predicated on their ability to motivate the people below them to vote in their favor. It is much easier to control people if you hold the power of the purse and it is much easier to do that with the poor than rich or even middle class. So it is in the vested interest of the elite to dole out money in such a way that it does not actually fix problems of poverty, but to hand out money and make noise in ways that are emotionally satisfying to the poor while not making real progress towards social ills. This is where the fundamental problem resides.