Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The War on Poverty Has Failed

Yesterday I read an article on a local (San Luis Obispo, CA) business person’s social experiment on providing jobs to unemployed. Unfortunately his experiment showed that unemployed people either want to cheat the system or not work. It’s a clear sign that the war of poverty hasn’t solved the problem of poverty, but made it worse. Instead of taking the steps to make themselves better, people have the State funded option of not working. The job he was offering was picking grapes for the harvest of his vineyards. While a manual labor position, he was offering to pay between $8-20 per hour depending on their efficiency at picking grapes.

This is a stark difference to the environment of the Great Depression. During the Great Depression the central coast was the hotbed of jobs. People from all over the country flocked to the area, not for the great weather, but for the jobs in the numerous agricultural fields in the area. The Central Coast of California was not affected by the great dustbowl of the Midwest and was able to continue to grow the crops of lettuce, beans and other vegetables. The history books tell stories of people camping out next along the roadways with the hopes of finding a job. John Steinbeck told their stories vividly in his literature.

So what’s the difference today? It has to be the war on poverty that provides an alternative to work. Why work? Each week that Government provides a check to entice you to stay home. Sure it’s intent is to keep you living while you search for a new job, but in reality it has become an anchor on the getting America back to work. While most of the news stories of people not taking jobs focus on the farmers unable to find allowable workers, it also affects a litany of suppliers and distributor’s of the agricultural products. To ensure food safety agricultural products are often packaged in disposable packaging. Without growth in the need for packaging, packaging plants don’t expand. If there’s a lessening of demand for the packaging they close plants or reduce the number of plants. Truck driver’s don’t have work, since they don’t have anything to haul. It kills jobs.

During this economic downturn Congress has decided to extend unemployment benefits at a cost of $40-$60 billion dollars for six months, repeatedly. While Nancy Pelosi claims this is the fastest way to create jobs, I’m arguing the exact opposite occurs. It just provides more benefits for not working. Why take the job in the field that will provide a multiplying affect on the work? It’s easier to stay home.

So lets stop the War on Poverty and spend the money on reducing the deficit. Lets make a better situation for children and grandchildren by getting rid of the humongous deficits the War on Poverty has created and restore the American work ethic in the United States of America.

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