Old issues. Old prescriptions.


Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 9/11/15


For more than 50 years, the United States government, mostly but not completely at the behest of the Democrats, has been obsessed with two issues: poverty and minimum wage.

It is a provable fact that almost the entirety of the U.S. national debt is attributable to welfare spending. Take away the nearly $19 trillion spent on anti-poverty programs since 1965, and you more than wipe out the debt owed by the U.S. Treasury.

Yet the spending has been for naught. The U.S. poverty rate in 2015 stands essentially unchanged from 1965, the year that Lyndon Johnson’s alphabet soup of Great Society/War on Poverty programs were enacted.

As to minimum wage, the raising of which say its proponents helps “hard working Americans join the middle class,” has done no such thing. The middle class in America has shrunk since the last time the minimum wage was increased.

Somehow, however, the Democrats have failed to notice any of this. Hilary Clinton is out on the campaign trail talking about “giving less-fortunate Americans the help they need” despite the fact that none of the prior “help” has done anything to make things better. She’s talking about raising the minimum wage despite clear evidence that unemployment among young workers – particularly young minority workers – goes up with each increase.

What Democrats either don’t know or fail to acknowledge is the fact that there is only one truly effective anti-poverty program and it’s called a good-paying job. And there is only one way to raise wages for workers and that is to grow the economy. All other ideas for addressing poverty and for increasing wages are doomed from the start.

No society – not even the wealthiest society in all of human history – can provide its citizens a comfortable, fulfilling life by transferring wealth in the form of welfare payments. If you’re on welfare you’re never going to live much more than a low-end-of-the-mediocrity-scale sort of life. Yes, you’ll be fed. Yes, you’ll have some sort of a roof over your head. Yes, you’ll probably have cable TV and air conditioning. But your life will still pale in comparison to people with good jobs attained through education and hard work.

All of this to say that the best – really only – anti-poverty program is the one you provide for yourself.

With respect to wages, they cannot be set by politicians. Wages are nothing more than the going rate for labor and the going rate for anything is set by the marketplace. The only way to get real wage growth is to grow the economy – which creates demand for workers which puts upward pressure on the price for their labor.

Raise wages by fiat and in too many cases, you wind up dropping workers to the real minimum wage, which is $0.00 per hour.

If you want sound policy regarding wages and poverty, look for the candidate talking about growing the economy and encouraging small business. Hint: you won’t find any among Democrats.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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3 Responses

  1. Linda E Montrose says:

    What is it about insanity…doing the same thing over and over and over with the same results but expecting a different outcome? Maybe the majority of the population is insane or under a spell of the liberals and the lies they weave. Whatever it is, something needs to change and soon! We have already come to a point where we may not be able to recover for generations to come! The sooner we get started back on the right track, the better off everyone will be. I remember a better America, BEFORE all the insanity!

  2. Stan Drake says:

    Until Americans understand that democrat/liberal/socialists DO NOT care about your financial well being, America will never dig itself out of the pit the liberals have created. All this rhetoric about raising the minimum wage to help people attain higher standards is just that, rhetoric. What they are really saying is “We know raising the minimum wage will only cost many to loose their jobs, but that makes it easier for us to blame mean old big business, put you on the welfare rolls where we CONTROL you completely.” Until we understand it is really all part of their plan, we won’t fix it. Far too many conservatives think they’re just ignorant and don’t understand the economy. I believe they understand it perfectly, and have become very successful toward their goals of making all America dependent on government. Socialism is just around the bend.

  3. R. Eagleman says:

    Stan is the Man! Right on brother! This minimum wage issue has absolutely nothing to do with raising the standard of living for anyone; it has everything to do with maintaining and growing a large constituency, dependent upon the government and fulfilling the Democrats dream of a Socialistic society. These entry level workers who lose their jobs, due to raising the minimum wage, will get their feet knocked off the rungs of the ladders to a more successful future. This inescapable fact only adds to their ever-expanding constituency. Yep, the Dems understand perfectly the economics and the politics of raising the minimum wage.

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