Does the “stunning rise in inequity and high levels of poverty that prove the need for a big safety net,” a net provided by the government? The good news is that inequity has been overstated, and “even pillars of the press now acknowledge huge gains in lifting people out of poverty.”
Hard to believe there is another possible answer, maintains James Freeman in the WSJ:
Recent history shows that a growing economy and incentives to work and hire allow people to rise and thrive in the U.S.
No Accounting for Government Benefits
As for the claims of soaring inequality made famous in recent decades by economist Thomas Piketty, they often failed to adequately account for all the government benefits that contribute to income, especially for low earners.
America’s Kids Less Poor
For example, child poverty has fallen in every state. Jason DeParle in the NYT reports that child poverty has fallen by about the same degree among children. That is all children, regardless if they are white, Black, Hispanic and Asian, “living with one parent or two, and in native or immigrant households. Deep poverty, a form of especially severe deprivation, has fallen nearly as much.”
How a Downturn in Poverty Happened
In a collaborated report from the Times with an outfit called “Child Trends,” the report “found that multiple forces reduced child poverty. Those included:
- lower unemployment
- increased labor force participation among single mothers
- growth of state-level minimum wages.
But a dominant factor was the expansion of government aid.
Really, Government. Aid?
James Freeman is skeptical of the government aid canard. Pro-growth policies during the Clinton and Trump eras, he argues, increased the incentives for firms to invest and hire.
Tax reforms proved to be an incentive for low-skilled workers to return to the workforce. Furthermore, pro-growth policies increased the incentives for firms to invest and hire, according to Richard Burkhauser, an emeritus Cornell professor.
The Manhattan Contrarian has been writing for years on the poverty scam. Francis Menton’s recurring theme has been how “the government cynically manipulates the poverty statistics so that the official measured rate of poverty never goes meaningfully down, no matter how much taxpayer money is spent, thus manufacturing a fake basis to hit up the people for ever increasing funding at regular intervals.”
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