There Is Only One Way Out of Poverty
What’s the best way to help poor people escape poverty?
Progressives and conservatives have very different answers to this question, but before we explore those answers, let’s agree on this: Both progressives and conservatives believe that the government has a moral obligation to help those who, through bad luck or unfortunate circumstances, can’t help themselves. Nobel Prize-winning economist, Frederic Hayek, said on the subject: “There is no reason why, in a society that has reached the general level of wealth ours has attained, the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all…some minimum of food, shelter, and clothing sufficient to preserve health and the capacity to work.” Whatever the media might tell you, there isn’t a conservative out there who would not agree with Hayek’s statement. As I have documented in my book, Who Really Cares, when it comes to philanthropy and charitable giving, conservatives actually out-give progressives -- by a lot. Where the two sides disagree is on the role the government plays – not in protecting the poor from poverty, but in lifting them out of it. Here’s a disturbing piece of data: On balance, since President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty programs came fully online in 1966, the poverty rate in America has hardly budged. That rate, as computed by the United States government, was 14.7 percent in 1966. And today? It’s 13.5 percent. The rate has fluctuated a few points up and down over the decades. The net result is just one percentage point of progress. And this is after the government has spent over 20 trillion dollars on poverty relief programs. 20 trillion dollars – the current size of the US debt -- and the needle has barely moved. Now, it’s true that the official poverty rate doesn’t measure consumption. Certainly, poor people today have many more things than poor people did in 1970. Across all income levels, including the poor, Americans are likely to have cell phones, air conditioners, flat-screen TVs, computers, and a car. And life expectancy has lengthened considerably thanks to overall improvements in health care. But it demeans poor people to say that this material progress makes poverty less of a problem. Our goal should never be to merely make poverty less miserable for people. Our goal must be to make poverty more escapable. Many progressives offer a straightforward solution: more funding for poverty programs. They believe that we need to transfer more wealth – through government taxation -- from people who have money to people who don’t. This is the income inequality argument. Conservatives have a different answer: more opportunity. Conservatives define success by how few people need help from the government, not by how many people we can enroll in government programs. When they see sixty percent more people on food stamps after the recession than we had before it started, conservatives say, “That’s not a success. That’s a failure” You see, conservatives believe that simply giving people money doesn’t help them escape poverty; on the contrary, it can keep them locked into it. Getting things without working for them is a very hard habit to break – so much so, that it can become a way of life. According to my research, earning your way out of poverty is much more empowering and enduring than being supported by a variety of government programs, which do little more than maintain people in their poverty. This doesn’t mean that the government doesn’t have a role to play. Indeed, wherever possible, the government and private charities should require people to work in exchange for social assistance. When we do this, we help people in two ways. First, through welfare, we are helping them meet their immediate material needs. And second, through work, we are helping them earn their own success—the key to a fulfilling and dignified life. Whether we’re progressive or conservative, shouldn’t that be what we want for our fellow citizens?
Progressives and conservatives have very different answers to this question, but before we explore those answers, let’s agree on this: Both progressives and conservatives believe that the government has a moral obligation to help those who, through bad luck or unfortunate circumstances, can’t help themselves.
what's the best way to help poor people escape poverty progressives and conservatives have very different answers to this question but before we explore those answers let's agree on this both progressives and conservatives believe that the government has a moral obligation to help those who through bad luck or unfortunate circumstances can't help themselves okay now I'm a little bit worried because we started off with what's the best way to help poor people out of poverty but okay here's what a conservative icon Nobel prize-winning economist Friedrich Hayek said on the subject is it gonna be the three things there is a graduate high school don't have a kid get a job or something no reason why in a society that has reached the general level of wealth ours has attained the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all some minimum of food shelter and clothing sufficient to preserve health and the capacity to work whatever the media might tell you there isn't a conservative out there who would not agree with Hayek's statement as I've documented in my book who really cares when it comes to philanthropy and charitable giving conservatives actually out give progressives buy a lot where the - how do you break down conservative and progressive and also I wonder if that if the charitable donations I wonder if that includes donations to church it might not but also this has to be broken out for income as well there's a lot we'd have to control for here so firstly income is important let's say the average progressive makes 1,000 a year and the average conservative makes 10 million a year then these numbers on is important either right so it'd be interesting to break this down an income and then it's also interesting to know if we have if church contributions are included in this as well because tithes are a little different I think than charitable donations where the two sides disagree is on the role the government plays not in protecting the poor from poverty but in lifting them out of it here's the disturbing piece of data on balance since President Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty programs came fully online in 1966 the poverty rate in America has hardly budged that rate as computed by the United States government was 14 point 7 percent in 1966 and today it's thirteen point five percent the rate has fluctuated a few points up and down the decades the net result is just one percentage point of progress and this is after the government has spent so I've learned a lot of interesting stuff on data in my immigration studies because of how complicated data's are and the importance of having like I don't know if you'd come if you'd call it control a counterfactually something but let's say for instance let's say that we're measuring the median income in a city okay let's say that we implement some some policy let's say that the median income is what we're just making a numbers we'll say 50 K let's say that we implement um let's say that we implement some policy and then let's say like 8 years later let's say that the median income is is here ok we'll mark this five years so like the question might be well was this a successful pop policy well if we measure it hmm it doesn't really seem like it was a good policy at all didn't really do anything but we don't actually know that by just one point of data what we have to do is we have to use control cities that are of roughly equivalent like socio-economic conditions to figure out if this policy was good or bad so for instance let's say that we had this but let's say that we we plotted out a few control cities that were roughly comparable and let's say that we found out that they did this right well if we had like three or four or five or six other cities that we plotted out that did this and then we look at a policy that we enacted right here well now all of a sudden our policy is really good we're not necessarily comparing the growth from A to B we might be looking at the difference between like other types of cities that have similar conditions and much the same you know on the other point maybe other cities did this right maybe other cities have this kind of growth and now you're looking at your policy and it's like well the policy didn't do much well actually it did it did a lot it at a very detrimental effect on on your city you know having controls for social studies for social experiments I shouldn't say experiments I guess would be studies right for social research is really really really important how did this apply to immigration oh because it's really important to ask the question because people like Boris or card debate like all day like oh how did this present aggression because when you're studying the impacts of immigrants on native wages you can't just look at when the immigrants were here what happened you have to compare it to the rest of the country as well yet really really really important to have these control cities to compare your datasets to some studies can be made or broken actually this is true of every discipline this is actually two of every single scientific discipline not just the social ones but like a lot of these studies can be made of broken just based on methodology do you have good controls how do you get controls for national data so you need you need it talk to like an economist or something to like figure out exactly how to do it but my understanding is like let's say that I let's say that I test some policy in Omaha some new wage policy in Omaha if I want to find out how that wage policy works what I might do is I might pick out like six or seven other cities so maybe I compare Omaha let's say that it's similar to like st. Louis Minneapolis Kansas City I would pick out other cities similar to Omaha and then I would track like the groups of the population that I would expect to be impacted by said policy between all the different cities to see if there was some growth that happened in Omaha that didn't happen in the other cities and then try to like draw like causal links that way that would be like the goal is another.
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