The Roots Of ___________ Poverty

My second-most compelling conviction is honored today.  I am passionate about the prestige, importance and significance of fathering.  This day, America honors the estate of fatherhood.

Like a child on Christmas morn, I love the tradition!

My amazing colleagues who blog here do an outstanding job of analyzing and commenting on the headline foibles of our inept political office holders. (leaders intentionally NOT used there)  It’s all one can do to keep up with their prolific output, because work and life renders most of us readers instead of writers.

But today, this day – something in me simply has to write…about dads.


On the next-to-last day of October, 1995 – the WSJ carried an op-ed piece written by Discovery Institute’s George Gilder.  The title was bold, The Roots of Black Poverty.

Brave man.

Gilder is well known for his analysis of poverty.  He writes with keen insights regarding an age old problem.

Notice that I’ve removed the word Black from the title line above.

I’m not chicken, nor am I attempting to plagiarize Gilder.  I’ve deliberately removed the adjective in his title to expand his application of the truth.  I think his premise is not only limited to blacks.  Hopefully, my liberties are justified.

Liberals, to use one of my favorite Thomas Sowell characterizations, view themselves as the virtuosos of intellect, compassion and governance.  Not only is their legislation predicated upon this arrogance, it serves also as the justification for commandeering public funds to alleviate poverty, thereby forcing those in disagreement to participate, despite their opposition.

Condescendingly, liberals inform others (mostly via bumper stickers), ‘against abortion, then don’t have one.’

Wow, why didn’t I think of that?

Note, no such offer to decline participation for those who oppose generous entitlements for the many.

Duplicity is rather convenient.

Gilder is spot-on.  The blight of un-accounted-for fathers in the black community, is demonstrably more acute therein than in other ethnic and socio-economic sectors of culture.  I am not suggesting that the problem exists exclusively (in substantial proportion) with the black subculture.

Today, I’m suggesting just the opposite.

Hence, I omitted the word in the title, and will do so throughout.

What Gilder is saying about blacks needs to be noted about whites, Hispanics, Asians and Jews – wherever and whenever applicable.  This is necessary because he concisely demonstrates that public policies aimed at helping the poor, actually hurt them in much more significant ways.

scarecrow lion

Anyone with half a shred of the scarecrow’s deficiency and a trace of the lion’s problem should be deeply troubled by what Gilder’s research suggests.

Part of his article refutes the claims of those famous personalities (civil rights leaders) who have a fundamental stake in perpetuating racism.

He is compelling.

Of these ‘fantasies of racial hatred,’ Gilder notes ‘In the face of the fury of the charges of bigotry, whites find it easier to go along than to tell the truth.’  He makes a rather good point, one helpful in describing the politicization of everything controversial over the past fifty (80?) years.

And then he drops the bomb; ‘what then, is the real cause (if you let go of the racism card) of black crime and poverty?’ (he is certainly not saying that criminal activity is exclusive to the poor; nor am I…)

Welfare state feminism,’ is Gilder’s answer.

Here’s where I say bye-bye to the black word.  Restated, what then is the real cause of widespread crime and poverty in America?

Gilder’s thesis still works: welfare state feminism.

And here’s why this explanation just might be correct…

Gilder posits that ‘thirty years (now more like almost fifty years) of affirmative action programs have artificially elevated __________ women into economic power over ___________ men.’

Note: the word ‘black’ not needed

Poor men, beset with more than enough problems of their own, now have to contend with circumstances that portend additional ominous disadvantages which they neither have the skills or the resources to overcome.

To inch toward vulgarity, they’re screwed.

To a woman standing in the benefits line, with children – the worst thing that can happen to her is for a man or a marriage to be added to her profile.

Single, poor, and mother are the best qualifications she can offer.

Gilder points to the undeniable historical precedent that successful social constructs have always been patriarchal.  Contrary to that paradigm, ‘welfare state feminism (has) destroyed… ________ families by ravaging the male role of provider.’

Note: the word ‘black’ not needed.

‘Welfare state feminism has ‘artificially elevated’ _________ women into economic power over _________ men,’ he writes.

Note: the word ‘black’ not needed.

Under the guise of ending poverty and saving children, government rescue efforts have disproportionately targeted _________ women, to wit: job training programs, college aid and welfare benefits.

Note: the word ‘black’ not needed.

On the basis of sex and purportedly under the constraints of equality, _________ women have been ushered to the front of the line and been given access to ‘…cockpits, police squad cars, fire stations, construction sites and university athletic teams.’

Note: the word ‘black’ not needed.

Gilder was right back then…and he’s still right, ‘welfare state feminism’ indeed demotes and dismisses the male as provider.

Yet, males do not simply go into the woods to hide, licking their wounds.  He explains, ‘Men either dominate as providers or as predators.  There is hardly any other option.’

What then, are the implications?

Gilder explains, “The key problem of the underclass – the crucible of crime, the source of violence, the root of poverty – is the utter failure of socialization of young men through marriage.’

This is the pinnacle of the article’s contribution to our understanding, and it is worth rereading…

He reiterates, ‘Yet nearly all the attention, subsidies, training opportunities and therapies of the welfare state focus on helping women function without marriage.  The welfare state attacks the problem of the absence of husbands by rendering husbands entirely superfluous.’

This truth is not without the acknowledgement that men share a part in this culturally devastating tragedy.  Gilder isn’t trying to portray men as the victim.  They too bear responsibility for their conduct.

The simple point is that these misguided policies have created sure-fire enmity between _________ men and ___________ women, as well as between ___________ men and the government.

Note: the word ‘black’ not needed.

It’s not even two against one, its worse.  More like behemoth Wal-Mart -vs- Carl’s Drug Store in the suburbs of Memphis.

These hard truths are color-blind.  Blacks are not alone on the welfare role.  That is why I’ve gone to great lengths to expand Gilder and speak to an even larger scope that did his article.

It’s Father’s Day.  Strong provider-fathers, on-duty, present and engaged – that is what America must have to prosper.  Indeed, the globe as well.

Liberals with perhaps just intentions have, once again – harmed the very ones they aspire to help.  Bad public policy which disregards the appropriate response to social ills, contemptuous of human nature – always discourage the bonum publicum.

It’s a fine mess with devastating consequences.



Categories: Family, Liberals, Marriage

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,352 other followers

%d bloggers like this: