Posts tagged ‘Thomas Sowell’

August 7, 2011

WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE POOR

THOMAS SOWELL: “The whole future of the welfare state depends on how poverty is defined. “The poor” are the human shields behind whom advocates of ever bigger spending for ever bigger government advance toward their goal.

If poverty meant what most people think of as poverty — people “ill-clad, ill-housed, and ill-nourished,” in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s phrase — there would not be nearly enough people in poverty today to justify the vastly expanded powers and runaway spending of the federal government.

Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation has for years examined what “the poor” of today actually have — and the economic facts completely undermine the political rhetoric.

Official data cited by Rector show that 80 percent of “poor” households have air-conditioning today, which less than half the population of America had in 1970. Nearly three-quarters of households in poverty own a motor vehicle, and nearly one-third own more than one motor vehicle.

Virtually everyone living in “poverty,” as defined by the government, has color television, and most have cable TV or satellite TV. More than three-quarters have either a VCR or a DVD player, and nearly nine-tenths have a microwave oven.

As for being “ill-housed,” the average poor American has more living space than the general population — not just the poor population — of London, Paris and other cities in Europe.

Various attempts have been made over the years to depict Americans in poverty as “ill-fed” but the “hunger in America” campaigns that have enjoyed such political and media popularity have usually used some pretty creative methods and definitions.

Actual studies of “the poor” have found their intake of the necessary nutrients to be no less than that of others. In fact, obesity is slightly more prevalent among low-income people.

[READ MORE of Thomas Sowell’s “Misleading Words: Part II“]

July 26, 2011

SOWELL: “Anyone who wants to show that Moody’s is wrong should be prepared to show the actual benefits of the debt-ceiling, not its goals or hopes.”

THOMAS SOWELL: “Regardless of how the current crisis is resolved, Moody’s suggestion of repealing the national debt-ceiling law deserves some very serious thought, because that law is the crucial factor in the political games that allow big spenders to blame others for the consequences of their own irresponsibility.

[READ Thomas Sowell’s “Debt-Ceiling Chicken“]

July 7, 2011

SOWELL: Politics vs. Reality — Part II

THOMAS SOWELL: ” No one is more of a master of political talking points than President Barack Obama. Remember “shovel-ready projects”? These were construction projects where the shovels were supposed to start digging the moment the government gave them the “stimulus” money.

Two years later, Obama can joke about the fact that the shovels were not as ready as he thought. In reality, the shovels were never ready. It can take forever to get all the environmental approvals to build anything in today’s political and legal climate.

If Obama didn’t know that, his advisers surely did. He can treat it as a joke today but it is no joke for those who are saddled with the debts produced by his runaway spending in the name of “shovel-ready projects.”

Nor is it a joke to the unemployed, who remain unemployed despite all the “stimulus” spending.”

[READ Thomas Sowell’s “Politics vs. Reality Part 2“]

May 24, 2011

SOWELL: “The goal is not to keep the poor from starving but to create dependency, because dependency translates into votes for politicians who play Santa Claus. “

SOWELL: “Most American living below the official poverty line own a car or truck — and government entitlement programs seldom provide cars and trucks. Most people living below the official poverty line also have air conditioning, color television and a microwave oven — and these too are not usually handed out by government entitlement programs.” [Read Thomas Sowell’s article at  the JEWISH WORLD REVIEW]