The View From 1776
Thursday, August 11, 2011
The Irony Of The Welfare State
In liberal-progressive mythology, the welfare state’s redistributing wealth was supposed to eliminate greed and crime, bringing social harmony and peace to the land. In practice, the welfare state has produced the opposite.
Current riots, looting, and burning in London again put the spotlight on the welfare state and its odious results. Frank Madarasz emailed this article from the UK Daily Mail:
The connection between growth of the welfare state and social disorder is firmly established by historical experience. Major eruptions of rioting, looting, burning, and killing by looters in the post-Worlld War II United States - Watts (Los Angeles) in 1965, Cleveland 1966, Newark, NJ, and Detroit in 1967, New York City in 1977, and Los Angles again in 1992 - all occurred after massive infusions of federal welfare entitlements funding. Bewildered by this contradictory result, liberal-progressive commentators ascribed it to a “revolution of rising expectations.”
All of these incidents devastated large sections of the cities in which they occurred. Small businesses were wiped out, housing was not replaced for years (in several cases, never), and working families departed for safer places, leaving concentrations of welfare “clients” who had never worked for a living and never would.
Great Society programs under the Johnson, Nixon, and Carter administrations, from the mid-1960s until 1980, were the first to make welfare benefits entitlements without regard to earlier eligibility requirements. The Great Society not only failed to meet its objectives; it made conditions decisively worse, measured by the Federal government