John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Bastiat Institute: Milton Friedman- On Poverty (1978)

Source:Bastiat Institute- Professor Milton Friedman, lecturing about poverty in 1978.
"Milton Friedman from a 1978 lecture given at Stanford University regarding the responsibility towards the poor."

From Bastiat Institute

Milton Friedman, making a great point for why inner cities are depressed having to do with poverty, bad schools, the awful War on Drugs and at the time back in 1993 pre-Welfare to Work, the bad Welfare system that encouraged low-skilled low-income adults, especially with kids, not to work, but to get on public assistance, because of all the government benefits that came from not working back then. 

The breakdown of low-income families where the father in many cases not in the picture, leaving the mother who doesn't have much of an education to raise her kids by herself, these were big reasons for the Los Angeles riots of the mid and late 1960s, as well as Detroit. And reasons for big inner city poverty today.

You reduce poverty in inner cities not by increasing government cash assistance, but by making quality education K-12 available for everyone. Especially for people who come from single-parent low-income communities and families. As well as making higher education affordable for everyone. 

You have a Welfare system that encourages work and independence over unemployment and government dependence. And that means making education and job training a requirement for everyone who doesn't have it, but is collecting public assistance, even if they're working. 

You don't abandon low-income communities, but instead encourage economic development there. Rebuild schools and and have school choice especially for low-income parents and students.

Instead of putting public housing units in the worst neighborhoods possible, stop doing that all together. And encourage private companies to build affordable housing with subsidize rent for low-income families. As you're doing community policing and reducing crime in those communities. 

You also eliminate the War on Drugs and instead fight illegal narcotics as a public health condition for the users and you're improving education with choice,  better schools, more economic development, quality affordable housing, a Welfare system that encourages independence over dependence, through education and work and not more cash benefits. As well as more infrastructure investment and you would see more people moving into Detroit and Cleveland (to use as examples) instead of leaving there.

Poverty and ghettos, didn't happen by accident. Bad government policy are a reason for how it happened. As well as bad personal choices by too many Americans. There's nothing necessarily wrong with having communities that are dominated by one particular race or ethnicity. Until that community is economically depressed, because of lack of education and economic development, that is when it becomes a government problem, because that community will end up consuming a lot of public assistance and receiving Welfare instead of paying into it. 

Poverty is bad for everyone else in the economy because you have more people collecting from public assistance, instead of paying into it, which also hurts economic growth having communities that simply can't afford a lot of the products that the private sector is producing. Which is why economic development, quality education and productive Welfare system that moves people off of public assistance, are so important.

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