Paul Ryan for poor people

Apparently, poor, misunderstood Paul Ryan really cares about poor people.  He just hasn’t been given the opportunity to show it.  And liberals mis-understand him just because he’s always wanting to cut government programs that, you know, directly benefit poor people.  Alas, if only liberals understood that these programs– rather than a much-needed  provision of food, shelter, etc., to others that might go without– are actually a hammock, leading the poor inevitably to indolence and poverty.  Look, I’m not naive and there really is something to the culture of poverty (something, mind you, but only a small part of the equation), but if you think the solution is to basically eliminate all the government help for poor people, well, I guess you’re Paul Ryan or Ayn Rand.

Shockingly, Paul Ryan’s prescriptions to help poor people are short on specifics:

“Paul wants people to dream again,” Holloway said of Ryan. “You don’t dream when you’ve got food stamps.”

Trips to Newark and Texas are slated for later this month. Woodson said Ryan has also asked him to gather community leaders for an event next year, and to help him compare the results of their work with the 78 means-tested programs that have cost the federal government $15 trillion since 1964.

The takeaway for Ryan, a Catholic, has been explicitly religious. “You cure poverty eye to eye, soul to soul,” he said last week at the Heritage forum. “Spiritual redemption: That’s what saves people.”

How to translate spiritual redemption into public policy? So far, Ryan’s speeches have been light on specifics.

Maybe you don’t dream when you are on food stamps, but you don’t sleep well when you are hungry.  It might also be noted that some of the most godless nations on Earth have among the lowest poverty rates.  The idea that you are going to solve poverty by individual-level spiritual conversions is just completely delusional.  There is one specific given– vouchers.  Of course, there’s no evidence that policy actually works.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

3 Responses to Paul Ryan for poor people

  1. pino says:

    if you think the solution is to basically eliminate all the government help for poor people, well, I guess you’re Paul Ryan or Ayn Rand.

    Does it really mean I hate the poor if I advocate that unemployment benefits have to end at 26 weeks?

    • Lee Crawford says:

      Only if you’re unemployed and have been for more than 26 weeks like many of us who have watched jobs move off shore to the benefit of those at the top and, of course, their investors.

      • pino says:

        watched jobs move off shore to the benefit of those at the top and, of course, their investors.

        Why do you hate the citizen of that third world country that will finally have the ability to remove themselves from bone jarring poverty?

        But seriously.

        How long do you think that the government should pay unemployment benefits for? The overwhelming evidence suggests that people don’t seriously begin looking for jobs until 2 weeks before the benefits run out. Using that, we could set policy to say that the benefits should last 6 weeks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: