The standard narrative in this country is that lefty theories of Big Government serve the poor, and that opponents of Big Government are out to help the rich. This narrative has it exactly backwards. Big Government protects Big Business while the free market improves the lot of the poor. Tom Woods recently wrote a wide-ranging response to a speech by a lefty Catholic cardinal . The cardinal had droned on about inequality and Piketty and such nonsense. Woods provides one killer argument after another showing how the free market improves society and helps the poor. Here is one of my favorite passages from Woods’s piece: The vast majority of the progress that has been made against poverty in the world occurred without violence. The statistics are there for everyone to see: as economic liberalization spread throughout the world, poverty declined. In 1820, 85 percent of the world’s population was living in “extreme poverty.” That had fallen to 50 percent by 1950, 33 percent by the early 1980s, and 18 percent by the beginning of the twenty-first century. As I have explained in The Church and the Market and elsewhere, this is the natural outcome of the extension of the market economy and the division of labor . Shake your fist at reality all you like, but the only way to increase the overall standard of living is to leave the private sector alone to increase the amount of capital per worker . In the United States, poverty had been falling consistently until the federal government’s war on poverty took shape. But over the past 50 years, that progress has come to a halt : the poverty rate has fallen so negligibly as to be statistically insignificant. In the United States, the purchasing power of the lowest quintile of income earners increased by 15 to 20 times over the course of the twentieth century. When we look at the figures from 2011, the American poor—not the American public in general, but the American poor—97.8 percent had refrigerators, 96.6 percent had gas or electric stoves, 96.1 percent had televisions, 93.2 percent had microwave ovens, 83 percent had DVR capability, 80.9 percent had cell phones in addition to land lines, and 58.2 percent had computers. People living in poverty today live better than the kings and queens of several hundred years ago. This did not come about because of government. It happened because of the free market. Government did not invent the light bulb, or give poor people in harsh areas access to climate control. Government did not invent the car, the plane, or the communications devices that spread ideas throughout the globe. The free market did that. The free market has made it possible for people to do more with less. The free market is why people in the United States do not starve. The free market brought us all the wonders mentioned by Woods, and more. Meanwhile, Big Business runs to Big Government every time someone comes up with a new innovation, and lobbies government to pass new laws and regulations to protect the existing businesses. Why do you think businesses hire lobbyists? To do away with regulations? In some cases, yes — but in many cases, business actually asks government to enact new regulations that make it hard for newcomers to enter the market. Again: the standard narrative has this backwards. To some extent, the battle over the size of government is indeed a battle between the 47% and the 1%. But the truth is, the 1% run to government for help, while the free market improves the lot of the 47%. Proponents of liberty and the free market need to stop acting defensive about their ideas. Liberty and the free market benefit everybody — but they especially benefit the poor.

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The Free Market Is the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Poor People

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Typical dishonesty from a dishonest writer. Here’s Hiltzik: Here are the main points. See if you can guess which one has gotten the most headline play in the news. 1. Wages would rise for 16.5 million workers. 2. Income for families living below the poverty line would rise by a combined $5 billion, and by $12 billion for those earning less than three times the poverty level. 3. About 900,000 people would be moved out of poverty. 4. The raise would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers. Those are the main points? How about I quote, in its entirety, the summary at the head of the report: Increasing the minimum wage would have two principal effects on low-wage workers. Most of them would receive higher pay that would increase their family’s income, and some of those families would see their income rise above the federal poverty threshold. But some jobs for low-wage workers would probably be eliminated, the income of most workers who became jobless would fall substantially, and the share of low-wage workers who were employed would probably fall slightly. The way Hiltzik explains it, there is only one “main point” that is negative — yet the full summary I just quoted notes not only that half a million people would likely be out of work, but that (duh) their incomes would “fall substantially” and that the general effect on employment for low-wage workers would be bad. The report also notes near the top: Moreover, the increased earnings for some workers would be accompanied by reductions in real (inflation-adjusted) income for the people who became jobless because of the minimum-wage increase, for business owners, and for consumers facing higher prices. Funny, I don’t see higher prices for consumers among Hiltzik’s “main points.” Nor do I see lower income for business owners among Hiltzik’ “main points.” And while Hiltzik is happy to tell us about the $5 billion increase in income for those in so-called “poverty” and the $12 billion increase in income for some relatively less well-off people, the report actually lists three different effects on income in one place, and four in another. Hiltzik gives us the two rosiest income effects, but fails to mention this one: Real income would decrease, on net, by $17 billion for families whose income would otherwise have been six times the poverty threshold or more, lowering their average family income by 0.4 percent. Funny how increases in income for some are among the reports “main points” — but decreases in income for others are . . . not. After a while, it starts to look like Hiltzik’s “main points” have been cherry picked by a reporter with a history of dishonesty and sneakiness, who wants to sell readers his partisan and slanted view of the report’s findings. Shockingly . Thanks to Dana.

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Perennially Dishonest L.A. Times Writer Michael Hiltzik: The CBO Report Saying 500,000 People Will Lose Jobs From an Increase in the Minimum Wage Is a…

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The Hill : The new healthcare law will cost the nation the equivalent of 2.5 million workers in the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in a report released Tuesday. The nonpartisan agency found the reform law’s negative effects on employment would be “substantially larger” than what it had previously anticipated. It said the equivalent of 2.3 million workers would be lost by 2021, compared to its previous estimate of 800,000, and that 2.5 million workers would be lost by 2024. It also projected that labor force compensation would be reduced by 1 percent from 2017 to 2024 — twice its previous estimate. The White House says it’s OK, because people are choosing not to work. Choosing , you see. The White House swiftly pushed back against the findings, seeking to dismiss suggestions from Republicans that the Affordable Care Act has contributed to a slower economic recovery or would “kill” jobs. It pointed out that the CBO concluded the reduction in worker hours was almost entirely because of workers choosing to work less. “The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in business’ demand for labor,” the CBO report said. That’s lovely — but it’s ObamaCare that is providing the disincentives to work, which is what leads to all that choosing not to work stuff. As Investor’s Business Daily explained in 2010 , in response to a similar comment from CBO about people choosing not to work: The conclusion isn’t a surprising one; any extra support from the government takes some pressure off of workers to provide for themselves. However, ObamaCare’s progressive subsidies, i.e. more generous for those who earn less, carry more of a disincentive than the flat, universal benefit favored by some Republicans. As Capital Hill has noted previously, work disincentives will be particularly strong for older workers because both health care premiums and the law’s subsidies grow much bigger with age. Further, the new health law will give some older households without access to employer care a big incentive not to earn too much. That’s because earning more than 400% of the poverty level would make them ineligible for subsidies that may be well in excess of $10,000 for couples. Consider this example of a single individual age 62 in a high-cost area and no access to employer care. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Health Reform Subsidy Calculator: * At 200% of the poverty level, or $23,000 in income in 2014, an individual would get $10,750 in premium subsidies. * At 400% of the poverty level, or $46,000, an individual would get $7,830 in premium subsidies. * And at 401% of the poverty level, an individual would get no government support. Everybody knew this would happen. Don’t pretend it’s not a surprise. Oh: deficits are projected to be $1 trillion higher than previously thought. To put that number in perspective, one trillion is greater than the number of times Barack Obama will use the word “I” or blame his problems on President Bush in all eight years of his presidency. A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real numbers economic collapse. Thanks to gary gulrud.

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CBO: ObamaCare Will Cost 2.5 Million Jobs By 2024

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It is not about preserving the legacy, it is about voting Democrat, the party that started the War on Poverty by providing handouts. From the article: He also singled out U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., the conservative black Republican appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley. “A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy,” Barber said. He […]

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NC NAACP Chief Denounces Extremists Of All Kinds, Including Conservatives

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Freedom is the only sustainable promise

On December 27, 2013, in Barack Obama, Uncategorized, by IDontThinkSo0001

Decades of a hugely expensive War on Poverty, years of a rapidly expanding welfare state, and it seems like poverty is worse than ever.  Donald Lambro relates some melancholy statistics: It doesn’t get very much, if any, attention on the network news programs, but national poverty rates have been rising under the Obama administration over the last four years at least. According to the U.S. | Read More »

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Freedom is the only sustainable promise

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