Mike Kueber's Blog

July 30, 2012

Eliminating poverty in America

Filed under: Issues,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 4:45 am
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The cover of  Time magazine this week was titled, “How Guns Won.”  Obviously Time was lamenting the fact that the gun-control fanatics did not win.

Similarly, an op-ed piece in the NY Times today lamented the fact that America seems unable to end poverty.  The Times piece began, “Ronald Reagan famously said, ‘We fought a war on poverty and poverty won.’ With 46 million Americans — 15 percent of the population — now counted as poor, it’s tempting to think he may have been right.” 

Implicit in the Time’s op-ed piece is that it is America’s obligation to end poverty.  I disagree.  America should endeavor to provide opportunity for every American to avoid poverty, but all Americans should have the right to live in poverty if they choose to ignore the opportunities that they have. 

The author of the op-ed piece, Peter Edelman, seems to think that poverty can be eliminated through the ballot – i.e., income redistribution.  That approach seems short-sighted because it might produce short-term numbers but long-term dependency on government.

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