FT201: “War on women? Seems more like a war on men if you ask me.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 20th, 2013

Fundamental Truth

Today Men smoke Marlboro Cigarettes to connect to that Rugged Cowboy on the Billboards

If you had parents or grandparents who lived through the Great Depression and World War II you’ve probably noticed something about them.  They were a hardy breed.  Especially the men.  Sure, we all know someone who changed the oil in their own car.  But back then it wasn’t uncommon to change the sparkplugs, shock absorbers, exhaust system, brakes, ball joints, etc.  They even bought new tires and put them onto the rims themselves.  As well as fixing everything that needed repair around the house.  From the furnace to the toilet to the garbage disposal to installing a new roof on the house.

And all of this after they got home from work.  Or on the weekend after cutting, edging, fertilizing and watering the grass.  So the grass was lush and green for the kids to play on with Dad.  When he wasn’t teaching them to ride a bike.  How to protect themselves in a fight.  Or helping them with their science project.  Getting so involved that their kids turned in things they knew their teachers must have known they didn’t build themselves.  But that’s how it was back then.  There was nothing too complex or too difficult that Dad couldn’t roll up his sleeves and do.  Sure, there may have been some cuss words.  But that rugged can-do attitude forged in the fires of the Great Depression and World War II provided a feeling of safety and comfort in the home whenever Dad was there.  As Dad was both provider and protector.

Today men smoke Marlboro cigarettes to connect to that rugged cowboy on the billboards.  Back then they were that cowboy.  Tough men who volunteered to fight in World War II.  The last time that this type of American man was the rule and not the exception.  But after the war the size of government grew.  With the least manly men of all, liberals, leading the way.  Bringing out the softer and more feminine side of men.  Men who cry.  And explore their feelings.  Eating quiche instead of steak.  Diluting the manliness in them.  As any form of manliness became a socially undesirable trait.

The Left’s Objectification of Women cause Men to Linger in Adolescence instead of Growing Up and Maturing

It started with the Sexual Revolution.  When we went from a family-centered society to one that viewed the idea of family itself as oppression.  Women were encouraged to be sexual things instead of a wife and mother.  Birth control and abortion made it possible to enjoy the sexual favors of a woman without being in a committed relationship.  So men did.  Using women to satisfy their lust.  And only for that.  Allowing women to go on to build a career.  While men began to degenerate into a state of permanent adolescence.  Being that young man who has but one thought on his mind all of the time.

Exit the cowboy.   And enter the government.  LBJ gave us the Great Society.  And Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).  Giving rise to absentee fathers.  And single mothers raising their children alone in government-built public housing.  For the provider and protector left the household.  As the government stepped in to take over that role.  And did a horrible job.  Destroying inner-city families.  As crime-ridden public housing pushed these fatherless boys into gangs.  And drugs.  Which migrated to and infected their schools like a cancer.  Boys who grew up seeing the new normal.  Women are only for sexual pleasure.  Not marrying and raising a family with.  As their children followed the same path.  Growing up without a father.  With the state being provider and protector.  Poorly, of course.

As men lingered in their adolescence they never fully grew up and matured.  The very people who are responsible for this—the liberal left—blamed men for their brutishness.  Saying it was the natural state of man.  And soon made the very act of responding to the attractiveness of a woman as a form of sexual harassment.  The government provides free birth control and access to abortion so women can be as sexually active as possible.  The left attacks the censors and pushes the boundaries on television and in the movies.  Today broadcast television shows often carry warnings like “Strong Coarse Language” and “Intensely Suggestive Dialogue.”  Sexual imagery bombards us.  For sex sells.  It even sells sex on broadcast television.  Such as the Victoria Secret Fashion Show.  With beautiful models dressed only in underwear strut across the catwalk for one purpose.  To bring attention to their sexual parts that their sexy underwear barely covers.  So they can sell their lingerie to spice up sex in the bedroom.  They do all of this and yet attack men as being primeval and brutish when they make inappropriate comments to women.  Such as “You’re looking lovely today.”

The Archetypical Young Man Today is a bespectacled Man-Boy in a Plaid Pajama Onesie Sipping a Hot Chocolate

It’s a confusing world today.  Women are encouraged to look as beautiful as ever while men aren’t supposed to notice.  Liberals encourage them to explore their sexuality while they condemn men for wanting to enjoy that sexuality.  Pulling them even further away from marriage and family as they turn to the world of online pornography.  Further objectifying the already objectified woman.  But in cyberspace men know their advances won’t be construed as sexual harassment.  Social media even pulls the sexes further apart.  Often the only time they get together is for sex.  The Japanese young are even turning away from sex.  As the cost of living in their nanny state is so great they don’t want to be burdened with the high cost of raising a family.  Not surprisingly, life-like sex robots are a reality now in Japan.  And elsewhere.

The left has been marginalizing the role of men in today’s society.  They get women in as many male roles as possible.  Even in the brutal sport of boxing.  Which exemplifies man’s brutish nature.  But celebrates the advancement of women in a male-dominated society.  Even same-sex marriage further and subtly diminishes the role of man as the head of the household and provider and protector of the family.  By equating the sexes.  A man can have a husband or a wife.  And a woman can have a wife or a husband.  Advancing the idea of the obsolescence of man in traditional male roles.  As President Obama’s Life of Julia showed how the government can be the provider and protector for women from 3 to 67.  And the recent ad to get the young invincibles to sign up for Obamacare.  Showing what the left considers to be the archetypical young man today.  A bespectacled man-boy wearing a plaid pajama onesie while sipping a hot chocolate.  A far cry from the rugged manliness of the Marlboro Man.

Is this the ideal man women want?  Is this the man that can put a new tire on a rim?  Is this the man that can win a world war?  Is this man going to make anyone feel safe and protected?  For when it comes to raising a family who do you want as father?  Bespectacled pajama man-boy?  Or the Marlboro Man?  Paula Cole put this well in a song during the Nineties (see Where have all the cowboys gone).

Where is my John Wayne
Where is my prairie son
Where is my happy ending
Where have all the cowboys gone…

Where is my Marlboro man
Where is his shiny gun
Where is my lonely ranger
Where have all the cowboys gone

And we have a war on women?  Seems more like a war on men if you ask me.  And, sadly, it’s one men are losing.  Sad for both men and women.  And the nation.  As real men are now the exception now and not the rule.

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The Democrats win Elections because they are Good at Lying and Manipulating People

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 5th, 2013

Politics 101

The Southern Democrats fought to Maintain Slavery, Formed the KKK and Implemented Jim Crowe Laws

Children love candy.  And sweet treats.  They will gorge themselves on them.  And ruin their dinner.  Or sicken themselves so much from these sweet treats that they will vomit.  If parents let them.  But parents don’t.  Sometimes making for some unhappy children.  But parents don’t do this because they are mean.  They do this because it’s best for the children.

Politicians are a lot like parents.  Bad parents.  Because their ‘children’ can vote.  And because they can they will feed them all the sweet treats they so desired.  No matter how bad they are for them.  No matter how bad they are for the country.  Why?  Parents will do what’s best for their children.  While politicians do what’s best for them.

The Southern Democrats fought to maintain slavery.  They formed the KKK following the Civil War and the emancipation of their slaves.  They then implemented Jim Crowe laws to segregate the South.  That were in effect until 1965.  Then the Southern Democrats opposed the Civil Rights Act (1964).  One of the longest serving and most revered Southern Democrats, Robert Byrd, was an Exalted Cyclops in the KKK.  And he filibustered the Civil Rights Act.  Yet at his death the Democrats eulogized him with great awe and reverence.  Despite all of this Democrats say Republicans are the racists.  And blacks overwhelmingly vote Democrat.  Why?

The Democrats destroyed the Black Family with AFDC and Public Housing

Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.  The Republicans won the Civil War.  They maintained martial law in the South following the war to protect the emancipated slaves.  They did not form the KKK.  Nor did any of them serve as the Exalted Cyclops.  They opposed Jim Crowe laws.  And fought for the Civil Rights Act.  So why is it that the general perception is that Republicans are racists while those with a racist past, Democrats, are not?  Because the Democrats are real good at lying and manipulating people.  That’s why.  And they’re bad parents.

One of the greatest political feats in the history of the United States was the turning of blacks against their emancipators and defenders.  And changing their allegiance to the people who once enslaved and oppressed them.  And how did they do this?  With the Great Society.  Full of tasty treats.  Especially for blacks in the poor inner cities.  The candy?  Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).  And public housing.  Which just destroyed the black family.  As the nanny state replaced the black father.  And gathered these single mothers and their fatherless children in crime ridden public housing of the inner cities.

Without a strong male role model in a child’s life they tend to get in trouble.  Because a single mother cannot discipline children as much as two parents can.  So a fatherless child strays.  They run with others who pull them further into trouble.  And when the state gathered large groups of fatherless children in public housing they ran in gangs.  Creating the crime that made public housing crime ridden.  And because all these kids went to the same schools they took their trouble into the schools.  Leading to lower graduation rates.  Fewer college enrollments.  Higher unemployment.  And lower median incomes.  This is what the Democrats gave blacks with their nanny state.  And they got them dependent on the nanny state.  So they continued to vote Democrat.  Even though voting Democrat was the worst thing blacks could have done.  Based on what Democrats have done to the black family.

If You raise the Price of the McDonald’s Burger there is no Cost Savings by eating the McDonald’s Burger

Today minimum wage workers across the country were demanding that the government raise the minimum wage to about twice what it is.  To $15/hour.  For these entry level jobs.  The Democrats support this.  For it’s more candy for their children.  Even though it’s not good for them.  For these are not careers.  Nor should they be.  These are entry-level jobs for people with no skills.  So they can gain some rudimentary skills to help them with their next step up their career ladder.  People don’t go to medical school and then work at McDonald’s.  No, they go to medical school explicitly so they don’t have to work a minimum wage job.  And those who don’t have to work a minimum wage job all of their life have a better life.  Both monetarily.  And personally.  With the satisfaction of doing something that gives their life greater meaning.

Of course if they raise the minimum wage to $15/hour minimum wage workers will lose their jobs.  For if you raise the labor rate prices will rise.  And sales will fall.  And with fewer sales businesses will lay off some of their minimum wage workers.  And the Democrats know this.  They’ve worked hard to get tariff protection to protect their union brethren in the automotive industry.  Because those higher wages raised the price of cars.  And reduced sales.  Hence the tariff protect6ion.  To force people to pay more for their cars.  By forcing the price of the competition higher.  So they can continue to sell cars built with their more costly union labor.  So Democrats know higher labor costs raise prices and reduce sales.  So why do they want a higher minimum wage?

People buy fast food because of the value.  They get a decent bang for the buck.  But if you reduce that bang people will buy less.  For if McDonald’s costs as much as a delicious burger at, say, Red Robin, which burger do you think the people will buy?  They’re going to buy the Red Robin burger.  For if you raise the price of the McDonald’s burger there is no cost savings by eating the McDonald’s burger.  So they won’t.  The Democrats know this, too.  But they also know by giving their children this candy they can get their vote.  It will make their children’s lives worse in the long run but that’s okay.  As long as they can get their vote now.  For that’s all that is important.  Not the lives they destroy by being bad parents.

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Liberal Democrats’ War on the Black Family keeps Blacks Poor and Dependent on Government

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 12th, 2013

Week in Review

The surge of liberalism during LBJ’s Great Society marked the decline of the black family.  Following the Sexual Revolution encouraging women to explore and enjoy their sexuality young women did.  And a lot of them got pregnant.  Which is when the Great Society stepped in and took care of these single mothers.  With Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).  And grouping them together in crime-ridden public housing.  Telling the fathers don’t worry about your babies.  We’ll take care of them.  So many boys grew up without fathers in crime-ridden public housing with other boys growing up without fathers in the same crime-ridden public housing.  Boys who got into trouble.  And took that trouble to school.   Creating broken families.  And broken schools.  In the inner city.  Which was predominantly black.  Causing the Great Society to hurt poor black families more than other poor families.

Kids attending broken schools do not get a good education.  And kids from families broken by liberal Democrat policies do not do their homework.  Hurting their earning potential.  And keeping them dependent on the government.  Once a kid starts down this path it will be very difficult to leave it.  For once you let your English and math skills fall behind others your age you just won’t achieve what they will (see Children’s future earnings predicted from age nine by Nick Collins posted 10/7/2013 on The Telegraph).

Future earnings of children can already be predicted by the time they are nine simply by looking at English and Maths scores, according to a new study…

A mathematician from Harvard University found that children’s grades in English and Maths could help predict their likelihood of going to University at age 20, and their average earnings at 28…

Prof Gary Chamberlain analysed hundreds of records from thousands of classrooms across 866 schools in Tennessee, which dated from the school years 1988-89 to 2008-09.

The data proves this (see Only 5% of Black Students Graduate High School Ready for College based on ACT Scores posted 8/24/2013 on Pithocrates).  Those with the highest number of out-of-wedlock births (blacks) have the lowest high school graduation rate, the lowest ACT scores and the lowest median family income.  While those with the lowest number of out-of-wedlock births (Asians) have the highest high school graduation rate, the highest ACT scores and the highest median family income.

Family matters.  And those who study hard, go to college, establish a career, get married THEN have their children do better than those who party more than study while in school.  And kids with a single parent are at a great disadvantage as they have only half the parenting available to get them to do their homework.  As well as to discipline them and to instill a work ethic.  Doing homework isn’t fun.  But if they don’t do their English and math homework they just won’t have as successful a career as others who do their homework will.

The reason why black families continue to struggle after 40 years of Great Society programs that were to fix everything that was wrong is that the left exploits them to win elections.  With liberals accounting for only about 21% of the electorate they have to put together coalitions of voting blocks.  And with blacks about 13% of the population that’s a nice voting block to take for granted.  All the left has to do is to keep destroying the black family and convince them that they can’t get by without their liberal programs.  Which isn’t that hard to do when the liberals control our public schools.  Where they even pass out free birth control.  And provide access to abortions without parental notification.  Destroying the family anyway they can.  And replacing the family with government.  Just like they did with AFDC and that crime-ridden public housing.

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Study finds that the Liberal Policies Like that Favored by President Obama make People Unhappy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 8th, 2012

Week in Review

Money can’t buy happiness.  A new study proves it.  For it’s not buying the richest country in the world happiness.  So there is something else apparently that leads to a people’s happiness (see Canada among the happiest countries in the world by Tavia Grant posted 4/2/2012 on The Globe and Mail).

It finds the world has, broadly speaking, become a “little happier” in the past three decades, as living standards have risen. (One exception is the United States, where life satisfaction has not improved).

Interesting.  Life satisfaction in America hasn’t improved.  I wonder why.  And what are the things that make people more satisfied in life.  Here are some of those things according to this study.

•Happier countries tend to be richer ones. But more important for happiness than income are social factors like the strength of social support, the absence of corruption and the degree of personal freedom.

•Unemployment causes as much unhappiness as bereavement or separation. At work, job security and good relationships do more for job satisfaction than high pay and convenient hours.

•Behaving well makes people happier.

•Mental health is the biggest single factor affecting happiness in any country. Yet only a quarter of mentally ill people get treatment for their condition in advanced countries and fewer still in poorer countries.

•Stable family life and enduring marriages are important for the happiness of parents and children.

•In advanced countries, women are happier than men, while the position in poorer countries is mixed.

•Happiness is lowest in middle age.

Liberal Democrats are all for bigger government.  Continuously raising taxes to pay for it.  The federal budget has exploded as a result.  As has the debt.  For despite the vast wealth they’re taxing out of the private sector it isn’t enough.  And as it is anywhere where people manage large piles of money there is corruption.  The bigger the pile the bigger the corruption.  And so it is with government.  Just look at the billions thrown away on pork barrel spending on worthless projects like the Murtha Airport.  This kind of out of control corrupt pork barrel spending makes people unhappy.  Apparently they would be happier with a government that lives responsibly within their means like they have to.  At least, according to this study.

High taxes and onerous regulatory compliance costs are squeezing small business.  Millionaire entrepreneurs of yesteryear say they couldn’t do what they did today.  The explosion in new regulatory law just squashes innovation.  It’s simply too costly and too complicated to go into business.  There are so many laws that it impossible to know them all.  Unless you’re a lawyer.  And lawyers are about the only ones who understand these laws.  Or, at least, understand them enough.  So they can sue any business for violating some obscure law the business owner is unaware of.  And they do this all the time.  It’s legal extortion.  For business owners find it cheaper to settle out of court just to make the lawyers go away.  As a result this active interventionist government pushed by liberal Democrats is a drag on job creation.  Whose answer is more benefits for the unemployed rather than helping the job creators.  This tenuous job environment makes workers feel less secure in their own jobs.  And less happy.  According to this study.

Liberals attack religion and their moralizing.  They attack conservatives and their moralizing.  Liberals instead prefer fewer restraints placed on life.  For who is to say what is right and wrong?  So they favor relaxed drug laws.  Free contraceptives.  Abortion on demand.  And as much consequence-free fun as they can have.  In public places.  And in quiet neighborhoods.  Where property damage is just kids blowing off a little steam.  I mean, who hasn’t done a donut on a neighbor’s lawn because they told them to be quiet at 2 in the morning?  Well it turns out people prefer having quiet church-going people for neighbors.  Who treat people with respect and behave well when in public.  These are the people that make other people happy.  According to this study, at least.

LBJ was a big liberal Democrat.  His Great Society was a bonanza of welfare benefits for the poor.  Especially for single mothers.  The government said to these single moms, “Look, you don’t need a husband in your life.  We will provide for you and your children.  We’ll even provide public housing for you to live in.  So you don’t need a husband.  And your children don’t need a father.  We can be all of that for you.”  Well, the worse place to live was in public housing during the Seventies.  Where crime and drugs use was rampant.  With no stable family structure kids of single parents turned to the street.  And crime.  Taking that behavior into their schools.  Spreading the trouble.  Having the government take over the role of family was like introducing a cancer into a healthy being.  And it spreads still to this day.  The idea that family isn’t important.  And that government can provide.  But more government has only made people less happy.  At least, according to this study.

The policies of liberal Democrats encourage irresponsible behavior.  Consequence-free fun.  They’ve attacked religion and tried to remove it from everyday life.  To the point that people today have very little if any moral compass.  Young women have babies out of wedlock.  Some of these mothers sacrifice everything in a herculean struggle to raise their children.  Working and sacrificing everything for their children.  Even a happy family life with a husband and father that would have made children rearing easier.  Some single mothers are superheroes.  Some are not.  And neither as are happy as a family with two parents providing for and nurturing their children.  And having time to spend with them in their childhood because they’re not working a second or third job.

So this is why America has not improved in the area of life satisfaction.  Because of the extraordinary growth of liberal Democrat policies.  The very things that lead people to be less happy.  At least, according to this new study.

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LESSONS LEARNED #28: “Politicians love failure because no one ever asked government to fix something that was working.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 26th, 2010

THE TELEVISION SHOW Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. aired from 1964-1969.  It was a spinoff from the Andy Griffith Show.  Gomer, a naive country bumpkin who worked at Wally’s filling station, joined the Marines Corps.  And there was much mirth and merriment.  To the chagrin of Sergeant Carter, Pyle’s drill instructor (DI).  Think of Gunny Sergeant R. Lee Ermey’s Sergeant Hartman in the movie Full Metal Jacket only with no profanity or mature subject matter.  Sergeant Carter was a tough DI like Sergeant Hartman.  But more suitable for the family hour on prime time television.

Gunny sergeants are tough as nails.  And good leaders.  They take pride in this.  But sometimes a gunny starts to feel that he’s not himself anymore.  This was the subject of an episode.  And Gomer, seeing that Sergeant Carter was feeling down, wanted to help.  So he stuffed Sergeant Carter’s backpack with hay before a long march.  While the platoon was worn and tired, Sergeant Carter was not.  He was feeling good.  Like his old self.  Until he found out he was not carrying the same load his men were.  He asked Pyle, “why hay?”  He could understand rocks, but hay?  Because if he outlasted his men while carrying a heavier load, he would feel strong.  But knowing he had carried a lighter load only made him feel weak.

This is human nature.  People take pride in their achievements.  They don’t take pride in any achievement attained by an unfair advantage.  Self-esteem matters.  And you can’t feel good about yourself if you need help to do what others can do without help. 

AN OLD CHINESE proverb goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”  Let’s say I am a fisherman in a small village.  I catch fish to feed my family and sell/trade for other family needs.  There’s a man in my village who asks me for a fish each day so he can eat.  I’m a caring person.  So I give him a fish each day.  So a pattern develops.  Each day he shows up when I come in from my fishing.  He takes the fish and goes away.  It works out well for him.  He doesn’t have to work.  He can live off of my kind charity.  Then I move.  Without me being there to give him a fish each day, he no longer can eat.  And dies.  If I only had taught that man to fish. 

Kindness can lead to dependency.  And once dependent, you become lazy.  Why develop marketable skills to provide for yourself when someone else will provide for you?  The problem is, of course, what happens when that charity ends?  If you’re unable to provide for yourself and there is no longer someone providing for you, what do you do?  Steal?

Dependency and a lack of self-esteem are a dangerous combination.  And they feed off of each other.  This combination can lead to depression.  Behavioral problems.  Resentment.  Bitterness.  Envy.  Or a defeatist attitude.

These are often unintended consequences of government programs.  A failed program, then, has far reaching consequences beyond the initial economic costs of a program.

LIQUIDITY CRISES CAUSE a lot of economic damage.  If capital is not available for businesses to borrow, businesses can’t grow.  Or create jobs.  And we need jobs.  People have to work.  To support themselves.  And to pay taxes to fund the government.  So everyone is in favor of businesses growing to create jobs.  We all would like to see money being easy and cheap to borrow if it creates jobs.

But there is a downside to easy money.  Inflation.  Too much borrowing can create inflation.  By increasing the money supply (via fractional reserve banking).  More money means higher prices.  Because each additional dollar is worth a little less. This can lead to overvalued assets as prices are ‘bid’ up with less valuable dollars.  And higher prices can inflate business profits.  Looks good on paper.  But too much of this creates a bubble.  Because those high asset values and business profits are not real.  They’re inflated.  Like a bubble.  And just as fragile.  When bubbles burst, asset values and business profits drop.  To real values.  People are no longer ‘bidding’ up prices.  They stop buying until they think prices have sunk to their lowest.  We call this deflation.  A little bit of inflation or deflation is normal.  Too much can be painful economically.  Like in the Panic of 1907.

Without going into details, there was a speculative bubble that burst in 1907.  This led to a liquidity crisis as banks failed.  Defaults on loans left banks owing more money than they had (i.e., they became illiquid).  They tried to borrow money and recall loans to restore their liquidity.  Borrowers grew concerned that their bank may fail.  So they withdrew their money.  This compounded the banks problems.  This caused deflation.  Money was unavailable.  Causing bank runs.  And bank failures.  Business failures.  And unemployment grew. So government passed the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 to prevent a crisis like this from ever happening again.  The government gave the Federal Reserve System (the Fed) great powers to tweak the monetary system.  The smartest people at the time had figured out what had gone wrong in 1907.  And they created a system that made it impossible for it to happen again.

The worst liquidity crisis of all time happened from 1929-1933.  It’s part of what we call the Great Depression.  The 1920s had a booming economy.  Real income was rising.  Until the Fed took action.  Concerned that people were borrowing money for speculative purposes (in paper investments instead of labor, plant and material), they put on the brakes.  Made it harder and more expensive to borrow money.  Then a whole series of things happened along the way that turned a recession into a depression.  When people needed money, they made it harder to get it, causing a deflationary spiral.  The Great Depression was the result of bad decisions made by too few men with too much power.  It made a crisis far worse than the one in 1907.  And the Roosevelt administration made good use of this new crisis.  FDR exploded the size of government to respond to the unprecedented crisis they found themselves in.  The New Deal changed America from a nation of limited government to a country where Big Government reigns supreme.

ONE PROGRAM OF the New Deal was Social Security.  Unemployment in the 1930s ran at or above 14%.  This is for one whole decade.  Never before nor since has this happened.  Older workers generally earn more than younger ones.  Their experience commands a higher pay rate.  Which allows them to buy more things.  Resulting in more bills.  Therefore, the Great Depression hit older workers especially hard.  A decade of unemployment would have eaten through any life savings of even the most prudent savers.  And what does this get you?  A great crisis.

The government took a very atypical moment of history and changed the life of every American.  The government forced people to save for retirement.  In a very poor savings plan.  That paid poorly by comparison to private pensions or annuities.  And gave the government control over vast amounts of money.  It was a pervasive program.  They say FDR quipped, “Let them try to undo this.” 

With government taking care of you in retirement, more people stopped providing for themselves.  When they retired, they scrimped by on their ‘fixed’ incomes.  And because Social Security became law before widespread use of birth control and abortion, the actuaries of the day were very optimistic.  They used the birth rate then throughout their projections.  But with birth control and abortion came a huge baby bust.  The bottom fell out of the birth rate.  A baby bust generation followed a baby boom generation.  Actually, all succeeding generations were of the bust kind.  The trend is growing where fewer and fewer people pay for more and more people collecting benefits.  And these people were living longer.  To stay solvent, the system has to raise taxes on those working and reduce benefits on those who are not.  Or raise the retirement age.  All these factors have made it more difficult on our aged population.  Making them working longer than they planned.  Or by making that fixed income grow smaller.

FDR used a crisis to create Social Security.  Now our elderly people are dependent on that system.  It may suck when they compare it to private pensions or annuities, but it may be all they have.  If so, they’ll quake in their shoes anytime anyone mentions reforming Social Security.  Because of this it has become the 3rd rail of politics.  A politician does not touch it lest he or she wishes to die politically.  But it’s not all bad.  For the politician.  Because government forced the elderly to rely on them for their retirement, it has made the Social Security recipient dependent on government.  In particular, the party of government who favors Big Government.  The Democrats.  And with a declining birth rate and growing aged population, this has turned into a large and loyal voting bloc indeed.  Out of fear.

A PROGRAM THAT straddled the New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society was Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).  Its original New Deal purpose was to help widows take care of their children.  When program outlays peaked in the 1970s, the majority of recipients were unmarried women and divorced women.  Because this was a program based on need, the more need you had the more you got.  Hence more children meant more money.  It also reduced the importance of marriage as the government could replace the support typically provided by a husband/father.  Noted economist Dr. Thomas Sowell blames AFDC as greatly contributing to the breakdown of the black family (which has the highest incidence of single-parent households).

With the women’s liberation movement, women have come to depend less on men.  Some affluent women conceive and raise children without a husband.  Or they adopt.  And the affluent no doubt can provide all the material needs their children will ever need.  Without a husband.  Or a father for their children.  But is that enough?

The existence of ‘big brother’ programs would appear to prove otherwise.  Troubled children are often the products of broken families.  Mothers search for big brothers to mentor these fatherless sons.  To be role models.  To show an interest in these children’s lives.  To care.  When no such role models are available, some of these troubled children turn to other sources of acceptance and guidance.  Like gangs.

AFDC has compounded this problem by providing the environment that fosters fatherless children.  And another government program compounds that problem.  Public housing.

POOR HOUSING CONDITIONS hurt families.  They especially hurt broken families.  Without a working husband, these families are destined to live in the cheapest housing available.  These are often in the worst of neighborhoods.  This is an unfair advantage to the children raised in those families.  For it wasn’t their fault they were born into those conditions.  So, to solve that problem, government would build good public housing for these poorest of the poor to move into.  Problem solved.

Well, not exactly.  Public housing concentrates these broken families together.  Usually in large apartment buildings.  This, then, concentrates large numbers of troubled children together.  So, instead of having these children dispersed in a community, public housing gathers them together.  Where bad behavior reinforces bad behavior.  It becomes the rule, not the exception.  Making a mother’s job that much more difficult.  And because these children live together, they also go to school together.  And this extends the bad behavior problem to the school.  Is it any wonder that public housing (i.e., the projects) have the worst living conditions?  And some of the highest gang activity? 

Government didn’t plan it this way.  It’s just the unintended consequences of their actions.  And those consequences are devastating.  To the poor in general.  To the black family in particular.  AFDC and public housing enabled irresponsible/bad behavior.  That behavior destroyed families.  As well as a generation or two.  But it wasn’t all bad.  For the politicians.  It made a very large constituency dependent on government.

THERE ARE SO many more examples.  But the story is almost always the same.  Dependency and a lack of self-esteem will beat down a person’s will.  Like an addict, it will make the dependent accept poorer and poorer living standards in exchange for their fix of dependency.  Eventually, the dependency will reach the point where they will not know how to provide for themselves.  The dependency will become permanent.  As will the lack of self-esteem.  Conscious or not of their actions, Big Government benefits from the wretched state they give these constituencies.  With no choice but continued dependence, they vote for the party that promises to give the most.  Which is typically the Democrat Party.

But how can you fault these politicians?  They acted with the best of intentions.  And they can fix these new problems.  They’ll gather the brightest minds.  They’ll study these problems.  And they will produce the best programs to solve these problems.  All it will take is more government spending.  And how can you refuse?  When people are hungry.  Or homeless.  Or have children that they can’t care for.  How can anyone not want to help the children?  How can anyone not have compassion?

Well, compassion is one thing.  When the innocent suffer.  But when government manufactures that suffering, it’s a different story.  Planned or not the result is the same whenever government tries to fix things.  The cost is high.  The solution is typically worse than the original problem.  And the poorest of the poor are pawns.  To be used by Big Government in the name of compassion. 

Of course, if Big Government were successful in fixing these problems, they would fix themselves right out of existence.  So as long as they want to run Big Government programs, they’ll need a stock of wretched, suffering masses that need their help.  And, of course, lots of crises.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

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