On the Other Hand...

by Jim Davies

Please Do Not Tread on the Poor!


What, me? - Yes, you!

No, I don't imply that readers are setting out deliberately to crush those who are less fortunate. But yes, I do say - and will show it's true - that that's exactly what most of us are doing, on purpose or not.

It's a bit like trampling on a bed of flowers. The only thing we have to do, for them to grow and bloom, is to avoid stepping all over them; yet no doubt without realizing it, we're treading all over the poor. Let me show you how.

Oh, and please don't confuse me with the tear-jerkers on TV. The so-called "liberals" are experts at stimulating guilt, but I could care less about that. I just ask you to stop treading on them. To help make it clear, let's suppose that we really did want to crush and oppress the poor, and figure out how best to do it. The shocker is, those are the things we're actually doing!

1. Segregate Them - that is, keep them out of sight, and so out of mind; make them live apart, let them fester, but away from our neighborhood.

That's not hard; it has two parts. First, we go away from where they live (that was largely done a generation ago, as the "white flight" to the suburbs) and then prevent them following. No need at all for Jim Crow laws!

Now, I've nothing against moving to the 'burbs; all people should be free to live where they like. But then, we stop the poor joining us by voting for "zoning laws" and other housing regulations. Those drive up the price of real estate, and so make it impossible for the urban poor to buy the house next door. All in the name of pleasant neighborhoods and environmental protection, in one simple move we keep the underclass where it belongs. Easy! - and for good measure, let it be known that segregation all belongs to our shameful past. As Hitler said, the bigger the lie, the more people will believe it.

2. Keep Them Ignorant - ie, prevent them buying a decent education. If their students graduate without the ability to read, write or do arithmetic, there's little chance that they will ever figure out how to beat the system and pursue the American Dream. Yet that's exactly how kids of the poor do graduate.

We do that by unreasoning, persistent support (again, in the voting booth) for the government school monopoly, which takes by force both their money and their kids in one neat trick. A century and a half ago, Americans who should have known a lot better were hornswaggled into accepting socialized schooling on the pretext of giving everyone, especially the poor, a "decent education".

It's gotten steadily worse, and is now putting poor kids into buildings where their natural thirst for knowledge is distracted by the need to protect themselves with handguns from rape and mayhem; and in the core of which they are forced to join 20 or 30 others without the least interest in learning anything the teacher thrusts down their intellectual throats that day. Classroom education was always a compromise at best; in that environment it's a walking disaster. A sure and certain way to dumb them down.

The Russians tolerated total socialism for only 70 years. We seem willing to allow some of it, so as to keep the poor ignorant, for more than twice as long.

3. Prevent Them Working . There's nothing like honest labor to restore dignity and ambition, and nothing like work experience to teach lessons of how to "get on" and climb the economic ladder. So, we have to stop that.

It's easily done: we support (again, in the voting booth!) "minimum wage laws". The simple and immediate - and devastating - effect of all those is to make it illegal to work for less than $4.25 an hour.

So if any ghetto graduate should manage to survive his 12-year government school sentence with any ambition intact and applies for a job, he will be turned down because his "skills" are simply not worth $4.25 an hour, and - until he gets SOME job and learns good work habits - they never will be. So, he's permanently jobless. It doesn't take many months without a job to devastate one's self-respect and hope and ambition; to create a welfare junkie.

4. Keep them Living in Squalor . Again, it's not hard, and again, it's done secretly in that source of so many social ills, the voting booth. We just support Rent Control; laws that prevent landlords charging economic rents.

At first sight (which is all that many people give them!) these laws might be thought to help the poor, by keeping housing costs low; but what they really do is to remove all incentive to buy or build low-cost housing. I mean, would you? - if you knew you could raise rents only by government permission, would YOU invest your savings in an apartment building? - the very idea is crazy.

And sure enough, low-cost housing has deteriorated, over the decades, to the point where the ghettos look worse than Berlin did, in May 1945. By electing politicians who sustained those laws, it was we who caused that squalor.

Finally, 5. Pay Them to Reproduce - and to stay quiet. The more they breed, the more preoccupied they'll be; the less they will be able to control their own families and so the more violence they will live in and the less time they will have to complain about us, who caused it all.

True, this one is expensive - as much as a tenth of our whole tax bill - but it's essential, if we want to crush the poor into the dirt, to give them a pacifier, so they don't rebel. So we pay Welfare, and tell them that they are Entitled to it, and - a nice twist, this - the more fatherless babies their girls produce, the more we pay them. It's really a very clever kind of torture.

Folks, that's all I have room for. If you have been supporting even 1 of these 5 ways to savage the poor, please: step off the flowerbed. Live, and Let Live.

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