Poverty

Democrats Want To Fight Poverty, but Don't Value Letting People Work

All the welfare programs California Democrats can dream up won't do as much as some commonsense reforms to let people who want to work, work.

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Get ready to pop the cork on a bottle of champagne. As the American Prospect reported earlier this month, California—where a highest-in-the-nation one in five people is poor, according to the Census Bureau's cost-of-living-based standard—might be on the verge of doing "something that's never before happened in the United States: eliminate childhood deep poverty."

The Legislature simply needs to pass a variety of multibillion-dollar proposals—expanding Medi-Cal, funding universal preschool, investing "major sums" in affordable housing—that Gov. Gavin Newsom has included in his first budget. Obviously, my tongue is firmly planted in cheek—even if Democratic lawmakers and liberal magazine writers might not understand why many of us are guffawing.

California has the nation's most-generous social-welfare programs. It is the most progressive state in America politically and has been for years. There are few achievable left-of-center policies that haven't been tried here, yet poverty is more intractable than ever. Perhaps poverty is so high because of such policies, which always hike taxes, expand programs and regulate the heck out of the private sector.

State lawmakers are consumed by the idea of battling poverty. Local governments are fixated on the problem as well. One of California's poorest bigger cities, Stockton, is implementing a privately funded pilot program to give poor residents a Universal Basic Income—monthly cash that recipients can use with no strings attached—and has been enjoying favorable media attention as the program rolls out.

But one state labor official explained why the Stockton giveaway is a bad idea. His words offer a hint at why nothing the state tries ever reduces poverty. "This concept of universal basic income is a surrender to a kind of grim Dickensian view of the future, frankly, in which people are robbed of the dignity of work," said Barry Broad, who heads the California Employment Training Panel. The money phrase: "dignity of work."

For all their blather about the poor, California officials have refused to pick the low-hanging fruit—simple, easy to reach measures that would make it easier for low-income Californians to pursue dignified and lucrative careers. California imposes onerous occupational-licensing rules. If you want to do anything beyond, say, working in a fast-food job, you've got to get permission from the state.

The average cost of a license is $500, which isn't insurmountable. But paying Caesar is the easy part. The myriad training rules are the main problem. Last year, Sen. Mike Morrell (R–Rancho Cucamonga) introduced a bill (which my employer sponsored) to eliminate the 1,500 hours in schooling required to shampoo and curl people's hair for pay. It costs thousands of dollars to get a barbering and cosmetology degree.

That modest bill died in the Assembly. The committee punted the issue to the so-called Sunset Review. While that panel annually reviews many state regulations, it rarely sunsets anything. The ugly truth is the preponderance of licensing rules and training requirements have nothing to do with promoting the public's safety—and everything to do with protecting existing industries from competition.

Lawmakers don't like to take on existing interest groups and most are aghast at the idea of rolling back government regulations. That's why other bills to reduce or eliminate these burdensome rules have been non-starters. Yet what better way to reduce poverty than to make it easier for people to pursue useful trades? This dysfunctional system reminds me of the dystopian 1985 movie, "Brazil." The outlaw (Harry Tuttle, played by Robert De Niro) fixes heating and air-conditioning systems without a license. Says Tuttle: "Listen, this old system of yours could be on fire and I couldn't even turn on the kitchen tap without filling out a 27b/6. Bloody paperwork."

Meanwhile, conservative-leaning Arizona is reforming such laws. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey this month signed a measure that recognizes new residents' licenses from other states. "There's dignity in all work," the governor said. (There's that phrase again.) "And we know that whether you make your living as a plumber, a barber, a nurse or anything else, you don't lose your skills simply because you moved here." There's little chance California would approve such a reform.

California has tried to deal with the licensing issue, albeit in a perverse way. Attorney General Xavier Becerra last year sponsored Senate Bill 1272 to help law-enforcement arrest people who buy or sell services in the "underground economy." Fortunately, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed it. The state also announced sting operations to catch laborers who have exceeded the measly $500 cap on providing unlicensed contracting. Instead of reforming its rules, California officials hope to fine and jail people.

Backers claimed that such work results in "significant uncollected revenues," in case you were unsure of the motivation. Those revenues are needed to fund anti-poverty programs, but perhaps someday lawmakers might realize that the best way to eliminate poverty is to make it easier for people to legally pursue dignified work.

This column was first published in the Orange County Register.

Steven Greenhut is Western region director for the R Street Institute. He was a Register editorial writer from 1998-2009. Write to him at sgreenhut@rstreet.org.

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156 responses to “Democrats Want To Fight Poverty, but Don't Value Letting People Work

  1. Dignity of work is merely one facet of dignity of autonomy; being self sufficient.

    1. You mean “dignity of work” is problematic, what with its racist, white supremacist, Eurocentric, neo-colonialist, toxic masculinity, hegemonic view of human nature. You say “self-sufficient” as if this individualist, isolationist, anti-social, pathologically aberrant behavior is a good thing – humans are social creatures and encouraging self-sufficiency a positive evil. What we should be encouraging is dependency, a recognition that no man is an island, it takes a village and you didn’t build that. We must embrace the warm shelter of our maternal state, reject the cold, hard reality that there’s only so many teats and too many sucklers and it’s about goddamn weaning time.

    2. Here I go (correctly) again: GOVERNMENT FUCKS EVERYTHING UP! GET RID OF 50% OF GOVERNMENT, ESPECIALLY USELESS “OVERSEE” GROUPS (FDA, FCC, ETC.) AND OUR NATION WOULD BLOSSOM, AND MANY POOR FOLKS WOULD HAVE NEW AND HIGHER INCOMES.

    3. One of my big pet peeves is people talking as if individual dignity requires free shit, or regulation of people’s lives. Dignity is how you deal with the shit life throws at you. It is not someone else making sure you are busy and/or comfy.

      1. The conundrum for Dems/Progressives is how do you convince people you want to raise them out of poverty all the while trying to figure out ways to keep them poor enough to remain dependent on the government.

        1. There will always be losers to pander to. Humans are subject to natural selection just like every other creature

        2. It’s not that hard if you build in eligibility shelves/thresholds in the right places. “Get big or get out” regs on business or employment help too. You make it so making that jump is risky enough to dissuade people on the lower levels.

          I don’t believe most of the people involved in this endeavor make it this way on purpose. This is a highly popular way of doing things, such that if you asked people randomly how to construct programs with finite costs, they’d reproduce ones based on need that would have those high shelves. Ask about licensure to insure quality of goods and services, and they’d arrive at some version of “get big or get out” too, and if they knew little about the businesses involved, they’d wind up acceding to highly protectionist rules too, because “the experts” with experience in the business “know what’s good for us”.

        3. What conundrum?…THE LIBS/PC/PROGRESSIVE/CULTURAL MARXISTS & their buddies in the MSM, public schools, colleges, HollyWeird, Madison Ave., etc. have been doing a great job of it for decades by defaming anyone who disagrees with them as INTOLERANT & EVIL HATERS/BIGOTS/RACISTS!

          “The whole point of modern Liberalism is for Liberals to feel good about themselves and thus, their sanctimonious bloviating drones on and on!”
          -Val Varshinsky, Conservative Constitutional Libertarian Blogger

      2. And dignity is how you behave, not how you force others to treat you.

    4. At least the New Deal Democrats implemented programs that actually put people to work, even if it was just digging holes and re-filling them. Today’s progressive Democrats figure that it’s more efficient to just cut them a check and something magic will happen to reduce poverty and decrease social dysfunction.

      California’s becoming an Americanized version of a Latin American banana republic, a land divided between the uber-wealthy who live in gated communities and a horde of poor homeless and service workers, and it’s in no small part due to the state rushing to mimic Third World economic ideas.

      1. But…that is more efficient than make-work, isn’t it?

      2. “…and it’s in no small part due to the state rushing to mimic Third World economic ideas.”

        Rampant corruption, kick-backs and mafia control?

        1. Undergirded with Robin Hood justifications.

  2. The best way to fight poverty is by implementing a Koch / Reason open borders immigration policy. And it’s not the Democratic Party’s fault this country hasn’t done that. It’s the fault of the Republicans, who have allowed their once respectable party to be taken over by alt-right white nationalists.

    #AbolishICE
    #NoBanNoWall
    #OpenBorders

    1. OBL, don’t forget “living wage for those unwilling to work.”
      We can’t have utopia unless we are willing to scramble some eggs…or something like that.

      1. We can’t have utopia unless we are willing to scramble some eggs…or something like that.

        We can’t have an omelette without breaking a few utopias.

    2. HOGWASH. I DON”T KNOW IF WHAT YOU SAY WILL WORK, BUT I CAN ASSURE YOU IT WON’T HELP THE PRESENT POPULATION OF POOR PEOPLE.

    3. So desiring a reasonably efficient immigration system that controls and monitors the flow of immigrants and prevents the overburdening of social, educational, housing services and provides a path for the new arrivals to succeed is akin to alt-right White Nationalism? This modern Libertarian thought? Sounds more like progressive mumbo-jumbo.

    4. What a stupid, uneducated statement.
      Exactly how will unlimited immigration fight poverty?
      You cannot have a welfare state and unlimited immigration at the same time.
      The middle class are leaving California in their thousands each year because of the masses of regulations and the huge taxes. This leaves only the super rich in Silicon Valley and Hollywood bearing the brunt of the tax burden.
      It only takes 1 or 2 big tech companies to decide to set up shop elsewhere and California will financially collapse. They are already on the verge of collapse.
      Tech companies can operate from anywhere in the world and there will be no shortage of states willing to pull out all the stops to attract these tech companies. Once one makes the move, the rest will follow.

  3. “dignity of work.”

    Calling this something other than forced slavery to corporate fatcat masters is a losing position.

    1. STOP WITH THE “CORPORATE” CRAP: IT IS NOT ONLY WRONG, BUT IT MAKES YOU LOOK STUPID. CORPORATIONS EMPLOY PEOPLE, AND GOVERNMENTS PREVENT PEOPLE ON WELFARE TO WORK.

      1. You must be new here.

        1. He is All Cap-italist

          1. Heh, nice

    2. “”forced slavery “”

      You are demeaning the term. You are free to change your employers, be your own employer, or not be employed at all. Slaves could not. You are free to move to another city or state, slaves were not. You are free to reap the benefits of your labor, slaves were not.

      Calling people that work slaves is a losing position.

      1. See Tony’s comment below.

      2. He should have said “not talking about chattel slavery” so the idiotd have a slightly higher chance of understanding the point.

      3. Yeah, slavery involved some major violations of rights, like making it illegal for someone to own property, making it illegal for someone to end an economic relationship with the head of the plantation, violating the physical autonomy of a person, and denying a person equal access to the court system.

    3. GO BE A, “corporate fatcat masters” THEN!!!! What’s stopping you? Too busy blaming other people’s success and calling them, “corporate fatcat masters”??????? The only “masters” who force you to work for them is the Government.

  4. First government breaks your legs. Then gives you crutches. And then tells you, “See! You wouldn’t be able to walk without us!”

  5. No. Democrats SAY they want to fight poverty. Their policies say differently. Democrats want a permanent underclass, dependent on the government for handouts.

    1. Well, it’s not as if they want a permanent underclass dependent on government simply for the sake of having a permanent underclass dependent on government, they want a permanent underclass dependent on government because that’s a reliable Democrat voting base. There’s a method to their madness, it’s not the simple ignorance it appears to be if you take their claims of compassion at face value.

      1. Cant be the party of the poor without poor people. Cant be the party of the oppressed without oppressed people.

        Really, what they do is genius, but so, so evil.

        1. That’s why no one calls Democratics the stupid party.

      2. These policies were not dictated from above, they came up from the grass roots.

        This is where I think the libertarian movement, at least as expressed in discussion among ourselves, has gone wrong. Encouraged by the likes of Rothbard, we’ve adopted class-struggle analysis: the attitude that there are oppressors and oppressed, as distinct classes, rather than there being a 90% or greater overlap between them. David Friedman and Walt Kelly had it right that we have met the enemy, and he is us. The problem is democracy, and don’t think there’s any better type of -cracy or -archy either. All reasonable people who assemble collectively to solve problems create them.

        1. The class consciousness has the adverse consequence of making us think of our opposition as malevolent. They’re actually just as benevolent as we are, they’re simply wrong. Treating them as malevolent just gets people mad at each other; the resulting ill will is truly malevolent and stands in the way of progress.

          Know the best way to get rid of the worst dictator? A comfortable exile in which they get to keep all of their loot, and a bonus on top of it. If that works for the worst of dictators, whom you may think of as inherently malevolent, won’t you treat those you think of as less-bad even better?

          1. LOL. As if dragging Mussolini through the streets and pissing on his dead body wasn’t a pretty good way to get rid of the worst? Saddam fared just about as badly.

            1. Gaddafi had it worse yet getting sodomized with a bayonet and beaten by an angry mob before being shot.

            2. But they had to fight a war, kill a lot of people, do a lot of damage to get to where that could be done! Your suggestion is like the joke “pesticide” that kills pests if you put one on the block and smash it with the other block. Bribery can be done from afar, bloodlessly.

        2. “Deplorables”. Let’s not make the same mistake.

    2. “”Democrats SAY they want to fight poverty. Their policies say differently.””

      They want to create an industry to fight poverty and homelessness on the taxpayer dime. It’s a 10s of Millions a year industry in NYC.

  6. The best way to fight poverty is for an individual to work hard.

    1. The best way to fight poverty is for an individual to work hard.

      FTFY

        1. {sigh} Next door neighbor (60yo) is a hard worker, but can’t keep his electricity on. He has living with him a meth-addled ex-wife, who can’t/won’t get a job, and a son (26yo) who won’t get a job, and doesn’t pay his child support.
          He recently moved out to take care of his ailing mother, finally started getting ahead, bought himself on older truck, got a crappy job, got his truck in good shape, broke off and started doing his own house-painting business. Meanwhile, the ex-wife and son are just living w/o electricity.
          So, I guess, there’s something to it besides working hard. Just wish he’d figured it out in time to teach his other two children.

          1. Sounds like he made some poor decisions.

            1. But maybe they didn’t seem like poor decisions at the time. I could easily see his thinking his bride wasn’t meth-addled, but just ambitious and active. Maybe he didn’t know about her meth habit, or maybe she developed it later.

              Breaking up with people is very hard. Relationship desire is subject to a lot of hysteresis.

            2. Turns out that being poor is mostly the result of making poor decisions. Some exceptions are out there but not many

    2. The best way to prevent poverty is to have a skill which is required by other people such as a mechanic or an architect.
      Having a degree in gender studies is completely useless to everyone and will not get you anywhere near employment.
      In fact, if a resume came across my desk with a gender studies’ qualification it would be thrown straight in the nearest bin. Who the hell needs an activist working for them.

  7. If you want to do anything beyond, say, working in a fast-food job, you’ve got to get permission from the state.

    Nope. Not even that:

    The California Food Handler Card Law (based on SB303) requires all food handlers in California, unless exempt, to get a Food Handlers Card within 30 days of date of new hire and renew every 3 years … will be issued upon successful completion of an approved food safety program and an exam with a minimum score of 70%.

    1. Well, after all, there a gazillion CA college graduate with degrees in ‘things other than making a living’ that need a make work job like grading useless tests. How else can they continue to afford the phones and internet access necessary to complain about their student debt?

    2. And don’t even think of selling lemonade!

    3. and the fee is? No government license/card with a safety can be issued without paying a fee.

  8. The Democratic Party has been pro-poverty ever since they fought for slavery and after losing the Civil War, they put Black Americans in ghetto high rises.

  9. STOP WITH THE REPUB VS. DEM CRAP: IT IS GOVERNMENT OVERALL, ESPECIALLY ADMINISTRATIVE GOVT. THAT IS THE CAUSE OF NEEDLESS POVERTY.

    1. You might want to invest in a new keyboard.

      1. Or perhaps learn what the caps lock key does.

        1. it is helpful for those of us hard of hearing

      2. Or at least tell us the story of how the Caps Lock key became stuck.

    2. Excuse me. Republicans run on the platform of LIMTED government. Republicans who act like Democrats we call RINO’S.

  10. If more poor people worked instead of relying on government handouts, then government would lose control over them (and their votes)

    We can’t have that happen.

    1. <- Says every DNC candidate before campaigning. A few RHINO'S also.

  11. No, its not about “letting” people work. Its about making people face up to economic reality that they have to earn their way in life. And that work, in the economic context, is something that other people are willing to pay you to do (not just some prefered activity that you think should get you a paycheck).

    1. It’s like Say’s Law… production must precede consumption or else you will consume more than you are producing and decrease the overall wealth that exists in the world.

    2. Then “Do what you love, the money will follow” doesn’t work?

    3. Hmmmm, guess that unlicensed psychiatric ward in the utility closet of my building’s laundry room is legit. Why won’t that guy’s health insurance pay the bills I keeps sending?

  12. Doctors making six or seven figures but treating Medicare patients = slavery.
    Forcing a poor person to do menial labor in order to eat and clothe himself = dignity!

    1. Certainly more dignified than sitting on their ass all day collecting welfare money to buy soda and fried meats, until they get so fat that they need Medicaid-funded heroic healthcare measures provided by doctors making six or seven figures.

      1. Sweet baby Jesus has this stereotype had legs. Tell me what use Eric Trump brings to civilization. You don’t care, right? He gets to benefit from unearned wealth to the nth degree, and it’s none of my business. But by god if one destitute person eats a steak, fuck him and fuck him hard, and use the feds to do it.

        1. This is just desperate deflection.

          1. I’m trying to get you idiots to consider the moral conundrum at the heart of this conversation. But as you are idiots, you won’t be able to.

            Inheriting vast wealth does not satisfy a Protestant work ethic, I’m sorry I have to explain. So why do you insist that those who are not so fortunate do so?

            1. “I’m trying to get you idiots to consider the moral conundrum at the heart of this conversation. But as you are idiots, you won’t be able to.”

              There is no moral conundrum: Work and trade are the reasons we are not still eating lichen stew, and fucking ignoramuses like you are too stupid to understand that.

            2. I’m trying to get you idiots to consider the moral conundrum at the heart of this conversation.

              Not exactly sure what’s moral about paying people to sit on their ass all day.

              Inheriting vast wealth does not satisfy a Protestant work ethic, I’m sorry I have to explain.

              That’s a separate issue from a government jobs program. Even FDR understood that the devil finds work for idle hands, especially amongst the lower classes where petty crimes increase as unemployment rises.

              1. This past week, Medicare paid people over $6,000 to watch me sit on my ass all day. A psych ward charges the feds over $2,000 per day per patient. It turns out, a patient can leave the hospital without signing discharge papers if the staff find him so annoying that they call security to explain to him why waiting 2 or 3 weeks for a commitment hearing is not an option.

            3. “Inheriting vast wealth does not satisfy a Protestant work ethic”

              True, but irrelevant. It has to do with the rights of whoever gave him the wealth.

        2. “He gets to benefit from unearned wealth to the nth degree”

          Damnit dude, are you really going to make me defend that worthless nutsack of a person Eric Trump (or his puss-wad of a brother, or super hot yet equally worthless sister)?

          As completely worthless as all of the fat retard’s kids are, yes they absolutely get to benefit from whatever wealth cheeto jesus has accumulated. If they want to invest their capital in more real estate or just boring ass index funds and take risk with it, generating more money, they get to do that.

          That money was taxed once, and it’s going to be taxed AGAIN, (and moreso if lizzie has her way). How much does the govt get to take from the rich? Maybe capital gains should be taxed at the top marginal rate? or just tax it at 90% what the hell, they don’t need it right?

          Yes they get to benefit from the wealth accumulated by their family, and any libertarian should want to protect their ability to do so.

        3. Who cares? His spent wealth keeps others employed …and to a degree so does foods stamps..just asked Nancy Pelosi. In fact that was her “New Green Deal” in thew Obama admin.

          1. “Who cares? His spent wealth keeps others employed”
            That wealth was not a result of coercion.

            ” …and to a degree so does foods stamps..just asked Nancy Pelosi. In fact that was her “New Green Deal” in thew Obama admin.”
            This ‘wealth’ is.

        4. Tony, I am not sure you understand how a heart attack happens. It does not involve federal agents monitoring someone at TGIF and then feeling emboldened to spend hours having sex with him later in the week if they suspect that his veggie burger was really a cheese burger. A heart attack happens when some hooligan crushes too many Ritalin tablets and slips them into the guy’s drink. People who get paid via medicare should be more careful about prescribing Ritalin to residents who first got hooked on it when the local government employees worried that their test scores might lower the home values in the neighborhood.

    2. Forcing a poor person to do menial labor in order to eat and clothe himself = dignity!

      Thanks for the backup, Tony.

      1. If we reach a stage in our economy where robots simply make it impossible for enough people to work to earn a living, will you use the government to force them to do pointless work anyway? You know, for their character?

        1. Not at all. We will subsidize their $500,000.00 training to become a robot technician, a new job that will pay at least $15.00/hr.

          1. Why would robots need humans to repair themselves when other robots could do it so much better?

            1. Perhaps and when AI cancels out human enterprise we are all F#$ked.. and the point is?

              1. The point is, even if there were literally no jobs for any human, there would still be conservatarians bitching about people not living up to their standard of a Calvinist work ethic bullshit–but only if they are poor.

            2. Tony thinks (and I use that term loosely) there’s a limit to human wants

        2. Tony
          May.3.2019 at 10:39 am
          “If we reach a stage in our economy where robots simply make it impossible for enough people to work to earn a living,…”

          Shitstain here is too stupid to have read history, especially the part where Malthus predates his stupidity and finds failure.

          1. You are a walking crack baby.

            1. Tony
              May.4.2019 at 12:46 pm
              “You are a walking crack baby.”

              From the fucking lefty ignoramus.

        3. Progressive power depends on controlling who can gather large numbers of people. That’s why they work so hard to control mass transit and oppose cars. Robots make it feasible to start a factory in the suburbs or exurbs where the cost of transportation and housing is lower but the low population density makes it impossible to get a large number of people to a traditional factory.

          Urban residents can follow the robot factories to the exurbs. My grandparent’s generation would travel from the Bronx to the Catskills on summer weekends for the fun of it. This generation thinks that moving to Orange County for a better life is unbearable. The lower cost of living in Orange County could make the 4 day workweek standard.

    3. Poor people are above work. You see: they’ve had a hell of a time.

      1. The only people who’ve been permitted to say they are above work are those who have inherited great wealth by virtue of being the correct combination of sperm and egg.

        So how high do you want the inheritance tax to be?

        1. “The only people who’ve been permitted to say they are above work are those who have inherited great wealth by virtue of being the correct combination of sperm and egg.”

          AW, THE WORLD ISN’T FAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          Go whine to your momma, shitstain.

        2. Envy looks ugly on you sir

          1. What a fucking copout. You’re the ones trying to impose your moralistic bullshit on everyone.

            1. What’s immoral about work?

              1. Nothing, but there’s also nothing immoral about not working.

                There is something arguably immoral about letting a person starve when your community can afford to feed him, even if he doesn’t share your particular moral standards.

                1. “Nothing, but there’s also nothing immoral about not working.”
                  Terrific! Help yourself.

                  “There is something arguably immoral about letting a person starve when your community can afford to feed him, even if he doesn’t share your particular moral standards.”
                  First, it is nearly impossible to starve in the US. Aside from that, if someone chooses not to work, well, see if diving in dumpsters qualifies as ‘not working’.
                  It is perfectly moral and even admirable to refuse to pay someone to sit on your lazy ass. The world is better off without parasites, and perhaps an imbecilic human can learn not to be one with the proper incentives.
                  Oh, and Tony? Fuck off and die someplace.

        3. “So how high do you want the inheritance tax to be?”
          What has that ideological mind set ever accomplished?

          Please tax the non productive wealthy into extinction

    4. Forcing a poor person to do menial labor in order to eat and clothe himself = dignity!

      You confuse “force” with “allow” and “menial” with “dirty working class labor that Tony wouldn’t be caught dead doing”

      1. You’re right, I don’t want to do shit work until I’m too old to walk. Just because some asshole billionaire needs me to do their labor isn’t enough of an excuse for me to accept such a system when there are perfectly good alternatives that don’t piss me off.

        1. “You’re right, I don’t want to do shit work until I’m too old to walk. Just because some asshole billionaire needs me to do their labor isn’t enough of an excuse for me to accept such a system when there are perfectly good alternatives that don’t piss me off.”

          Nobody “needs” a piece of shit like you to do anything, but most decent people hope you will die an early death and make the world a better and smarter place.

          1. Look, I have nothing against day drinking, but mean drunks should find another hobby. For their own sake.

            1. “Look, I have nothing against day drinking, but mean drunks should find another hobby. For their own sake.”

              Most decent people hope you will die an early death and make the world a better and smarter place.

    5. Shitstain here to prove how stupid leftiess can be:
      “Doctors making six or seven figures but treating Medicare patients = slavery.”
      Yes; the are forced to do so at the point of a gun. you pathetic piece of shit.

      “Forcing a poor person to do menial labor in order to eat and clothe himself = dignity!”
      What “force”?

      1. I thought doctors could decline to take Medicare.

        1. I stand corrected on that; gracias.

    6. Forcing a poor person to do menial labor in order to eat and clothe himself = dignity!

      Spoken like a worthless piece of crap who has never actually done any menial labor.

      Try digging a ditch, asshole. The pride that is engendered by looking at the blisters on your hands and knowing that you earned them is life changing. To the contrary, I have never known anyone to look at a blister caused by 20 straight hours of video gaming and do anything but wonder where their life went wrong.

      1. The difference between taking selfies on a vacation and making a documentary is how many tickets viewers buy. It is fine to work smarter instead of harder as long as the new strategy does not involve roping in more forced labor and forced financing.

    7. You get paid only what someone is willing to pay you.
      Doctors are very highly skilled and save lives.
      Manual labour jobs can be performed by anyone which makes them low paid since you can be replaced if you are unwilling to work for the wage offered.
      This does not make it slavery. If you are not happy as a manual worker, then learn a skill. It is nobody else’s responsibility to force an employer to pay you more, and certainly not the government’s This is why I disagree with the minimum wage and certainly disagree with increasing it. Doing so is likely to force many low profit businesses to close, resulting in all their employees losing their jobs.

    8. People have been doing menial labor to eat and clothe themselves for tens of thousands of years.

  13. There are two kinds of people in this world:

    1. Allow me to form relationships with the people around me, making arrangements for how time is spent, money is earned, goods exchanged.

    2. Don’t I just deserve goods for being here?

    Don’t expect too much of a society from the 2’s.

    1. Capitalism is a primitive system dependent on the inevitability of limited resources. We can do better. We should at least try.

      You people wouldn’t want to be thought of as moralistic Calvinist rubes, after all.

      1. Capitalism is a primitive system dependent on the inevitability of limited resources.

        No it’s not.

        We can do better. We should at least try.

        And try we do. History’s got a mountain of corpses from all the attempts at it.

      2. “Capitalism is a primitive system dependent on the inevitability of limited resources. We can do better. We should at least try.”

        I’m becoming convinced you show up here to prove how fucking stupid a lefty can be. You’re good at it.
        Capitalism is nothing of the sort and if it weren’t for trade, you’d have been beaten to death as a worthless parasite while Oog made basket so Uug could bring more food home.

        1. It’s just that I don’t find your constant shilling for parasitic morons who call themselves capitalists, like Trump, to be all that convincing vis a vis the best possible human condition.

          1. “It’s just that I don’t find your constant shilling for parasitic morons who call themselves capitalists, like Trump, to be all that convincing vis a vis the best possible human condition.”

            I certainly find your constant stupidity to be proof you have the brains of a house-fly.

            1. “Capitalism is a primitive system dependent on the inevitability of limited resources. We can do better. We should at least try,” wrote Tony, on his Dell computer which he purchased at Best Buy, and took home in his Toyota Prius.

              1. All of which were produced by artisans in home-made sandals in the backyards of their rural communes, delivered on the backs of unicorns.
                Because they are so ‘evolved’!

                1. That’s where the unicorns are… I have been looking for them.

                  1. Once gas taxes went up in New Jersey, they needed to conscript the unicorns, because there were not enough horses to haul all the stuff they wanted to deliver, and something happened to the hair grease powered FedEx truck.

      3. Actually, forcing others to give you stuff is the most primitive system of all.

        1. Doing work that does not hurt others so as to produce things for your consumption… that is primitive. It’s very base.

          Doing work that DOES harm others so as to take their produce for your consumption… that is also primitive.

          These both occur naturally in the world. They have existed the moment a living thing required consumption for existence. The question is which is right. Only one fits that bill. Literally every economic arrangement is either wholly one, and therefore just, or partly to wholly the other and thereby unjust by the fact that it expropriates from the innocent. There is no system that avoids such a characterization and as such, there is no “third way.”

  14. >>>State lawmakers are consumed by the idea of battling poverty.

    laughable. *perpetual* poverty lifeblood of (D).

  15. Maybe Democrats want to fight poverty because “poor people” is a euphemism for “trump voters”

  16. “Democrats Want To Fight Poverty,…”

    That’s a stated preference. The revealed preference says the opposite.
    If the Ds can keep people poor and dependent on the dole, they continue to vote D.
    This has been known since the demise of the Roman Empire; keep upping the corn dole and keep buying those votes.

  17. I live in Ann Arbor. Most of my neighbors would vote for California-style policies if the state was blue enough to gave them that chance (fortunately it isn’t). But…exactly none that I know secretly and cynically want to keep poor people poor and dependent in order to grow the Democratic voter base, and I am sure the same is true of the vast majority of California prog voters. The problem is they simply cannot grasp the cause and effect relationship between the lefty policies they love and the bad economic consequences for poor and working class people.

    1. “…But…exactly none that I know secretly and cynically want to keep poor people poor and dependent in order to grow the Democratic voter base, and I am sure the same is true of the vast majority of California prog voters. The problem is they simply cannot grasp the cause and effect relationship between the lefty policies they love and the bad economic consequences for poor and working class people.”

      Agreed. Never assume cupidity where stupidity will suffice.
      See Tony above; he’s not cleverly trying to rebut the points about trade and markets. He’s simply too stupid to understand.
      Regarding the pols, however, I’m not willing to accept that level of stupidity.

      1. And never blame cupidity or stupidity when ignorance is likely.

      2. Agreed… most rank and file people act out of a good heart but a stupid mind. Politicians, however, act out of a bad heart but a sharp mind.

        1. I don’t think the pols are all that sharp either. At least not when it comes to economics. They’re savvy about currying favor and back-stabbing and mutual back-washing (depending on the occasion) and which kinds of rhetoric and policies to pitch to which interest groups. They rarely have long-term, evil-genius plans.

        2. Not sure about a “sharp mind” ever listen to Eric Swalwell or Shelia Jackson Lee? Me thinks they were just smarter than their voters which is really scary.

      3. Too stupid to understand something that people think they’re smart for understanding because it’s simple enough for them to understand. How avant-garde.

    2. Those aren’t the party leaders, those are the rank and file.

      The party leaders absolutely know what they are doing.

      1. I don’t think party leaders know any better than the rank and file what the policies will result in. Party leaders know one thing better than the rank and file does: leadership. Organizing. Human relations and motivation. In every quality other than that, they average out the same as those they lead. No, actually on average they’re a little less knowledgeable about other things than are the people they lead, because the time and effort they’ve spent on learning human relations was not available to learn other things.

        1. But they know one thing most people do not… pragmatic politics. The know “the game.” Most people think the government is a democracy. It isn’t. “Most votes” doesn’t mean jack. The RIGHT votes is all that matters. Politicians know this, rank and file people have blinders on.

          It’s why presidential candidates don’t bother with CA or TX. And it’s why most people think they (the candidates) SHOULD bother with CA or TX.

  18. “something that’s never before happened in the United States: eliminate childhood deep poverty.”

    After all the usual programs fail, I envision LAPD Wermacht troops sweeping through the Barrio.

    1. Nah, they’ll just blame Trump and double-down. California’s current political direction will change when and only when the tech-industry cash gusher dries up. Until then, my forecast is that it’s only going to get proggier and proggier.

  19. This isn’t the slightest bit complicated: If somebody doesn’t have a job, you can buy their vote with the dole. If somebody is wealthy, you can threaten to take it away, and get graft and taxes from them.

    But the people in between, working, but not wealthy? They’re a waste of skin so far as Democrats are concerned. The fact that they’re working makes them think they don’t owe you anything, and they’re not making enough to hit up for any kickbacks.

    What have they got that the Democrats want? Nothing, really.

    1. Not sure the poor and the uneducated vote in big numbers

      1. They do, but the people in the middle are who I’m talking about.

  20. I have been watching the democrats fight poverty for nearly 6 decades. I have noticed that they have great names for their programs and give the programs big budgets, but almost none of the money appropriated got to the people that the democrats said they were helping. Now they also made a lot of welfare as it was called then available also. But if they got welfare they could not take a job or they would lose the welfare.
    Each election season the democrats would again campaign on helping the poor but it would up being some fore of welfare (now call entitlements) but very few jobs were ever provided for the chronically unemployed. Now for all societies there is a working class which varies in the number employed/unemployed and for that class there was some help but not to the degree that money was thrown at the problem.

  21. The dems have gone all-in on the Cloward-Piven Strategy ever since Obama took over their party.

  22. Give a man a fish….

    1. But aren’t you guys against teaching a man to fish if he can’t afford to pay the tuition?

      1. No, we want the government to remove the mandate to pay the tuition, or at least reduce the hours required.

  23. why would you assume they want to fight poverty when if it disappeared their captured political class would then disappear and they have completely failed at alleviating it even one iota after $15 trillion and 6 decades? the poverty rate is exactly the same as right before all the great society legislation was passed by lbj. reason writers are controlled, ineffectual, effete opposition. a bunch of fucking stupid pussies.

  24. “For all their blather about the poor, California officials have refused to pick the low-hanging fruit—simple, easy to reach measures that would make it easier for low-income Californians to pursue dignified and lucrative careers.”

    The transparent purpose of Leftist welfare policy is to expand their power base with a permanent hereditary government dependent class, along with an expanding government apparatchik class to “serve” them.

    1. With most of the money going to the apparatchik class, earning full salary pensions at 50.

  25. By calling socialists “liberals” while pretending to criticize that other half of the kleptocracy, Greenhut lets his own nationalsocialist mask slip. How a professional magazine staff can be so clueless about dictionaries and definitions, or so derelict about running a platform shot through with tu-quoque whining by socialists about other, less godly, socialists will someday interest historians. But here, today, liberal means laissez-faire–the doctrine Herbert Hoover hated, especially after the Liberal Party repeal plank handed the GOP 5 consecutive losses.

    1. no one thinks “liberal” and “laissez-faire” mean the same thing anymore. “Liberal” means “progressive”, a nicer waying of saying “socialist”, “commie” or Fidel-worshipping Stalinist.

      “Laissez-faire” means “libertarian” or “child slaver”.

  26. California should repeal the minimum wage too, so more people can start working.

  27. “Democrats Want To Fight Poverty”

    There is nothing in the history of the democrat party to suggest that’s true.

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