The Failure of Progressivism

Commentary by Dick Young

Americans today are looking back over the last 60 years of progressive dominance in government and they are wondering what they got for it all. FDR created myriad social safety nets that have allowed the poor in America to remain poor for their entire lives and to exist in relative comfort (relative to the poor in other nations, not relative to other Americans). Today nearly half of working Americans don’t pay any tax at all, and many receive welfare from the government.

Whether it’s refundable tax credits, food stamps, rent assistance, medical payments or any of a number of other supplements, many in America are on some sort of welfare. This is not the dream promised by progressives. Welfare is supposed to be temporary, yet more and more Americans are taking part of welfare in some way.

The progressive Democrats have been giving welfare recipients fish, rather than teaching them how to fish themselves. For some families, generations have grown up on the public dole, and the idea of self sufficiency is just a distant memory. Pat Buchanan recently wrote a piece entitled Food Stamp Nation where he says that one in every five people in New York City is using food stamps. One in five. That’s an overwhelming number to be sure.

Without a doubt, seen in hindsight, the last 60 years of progressive government have been a complete failure. Only during the Reagan era did America see some light, but that has since dimmed under the Bush and Obama administrations.

A return to local, self-reliant government is needed. People’s destinies should be in their own hands, not those of a federal government in Washington D.C. A movement toward states rights, with a focus on empowering people, not supporting them with welfare, is needed. Federal mandates for education and health care have clouded the capacity for innovation at the local level. Soviet style dictates are no way to run a free market economy and are bound to leave the poor in even worse shape than they started.

The tenth amendment is not simply about gun rights, or marijuana or gay marriage or any of the headline grabbing social issues of the day. The tenth amendment is about the decentralization of economic planning. Today the federal government and bloated state governments around the country are killing innovation and the creation of jobs for the poor that would get them off the dole and on to a path of self sufficiency that is much more dignified for any human being. No one wants to rely on some one else for their bread, especially in the world’s wealthiest nation.

It’s time to ditch the welfare state and to turn towards free market principles.

Commentary by E.J. Smith

Congressman Barney Frank is the epitome of what’s wrong with Washington. His flip -flopping on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is an embarrassment to the country. And for the first time, this 14-term incumbent is feeling the heat thanks to Sean Bielat. So much so that Frank had Bill Clinton come to Massachusetts to stump for him. He’s also spending less on helping other Democrats than he has in the past. Frank has worked for 45 years and Forty-four of them have been as a politician. For the first time in his pathetic political career he’s feeling the heat from tea party supported Bielat.

The following two tabs change content below.
Richard C. Young is the editor of Richard C. Young’s Intelligence Report, and a contributing editor to both and

Latest posts by Richard C. Young (see all)