War on Poverty Part IV: Abusing the System

In 1965, Lyndon Johnson announced his War on Poverty initiative, a sweeping vision of government intervention to provide all manner of welfare to those in need. Today, America has over 70 welfare programs to aid the poor and has spent $22 trillion on the so-called War On Poverty. One would think such massive resources and efforts would have eradicated --- or greatly lessened --- poverty in America. Instead, the poverty rate, which was 14 percent in 1965, has increased to 14.3 percent. In this four-part series, we explore the failed War on Poverty and how more government is never the answer.

War on Poverty Part IV: Abusing the System

The War On Poverty is an unmitigated failure. The United States has gone from 26 million people on food stamps in 2007 to more than 47 million today. The cost of the program has gone from $33 billion to $77 billion. It has become so flawed that the Wall Street Journal reported millions are now legally entitled to collect food stamps as long as they have little or no monthly income. Thirty-five states have abolished asset tests for most food stamp recipients. These and similar paperwork reduction reforms advocated by the USDA are turning the food stamp program into a magnet for abuses and absurdities. Furthermore, according to the Journal, the Obama administration is far more enthusiastic about boosting food stamp enrollment than about preventing fraud. And there is fraud --- a lot of it.

When looking at American poverty, one might expect poor people to be on food stamps --- the homeless, the drug addicted, the perpetual scammer --- not people with jobs, living in suburbia. One woman interviewed in a documentary received $750 each month from the food stamp program while making $70,000 annually, allowing her to purchase filet mignon and steaks. As she noted, it was easy to apply, so she took advantage. She also had a $9,000 breast augmentation while on food stamps.

So how good has the war on poverty been for American families? In 1960, just 9 percent of children lived in a single parent home. By 1980, there were more than 6.2 million families headed by a single woman, making up 19.4 percent of all families with children. By 1990, that number had risen to 84 million families, or 24.2 percent of the total. Today, that number sadly is at 34 percent.

Blacks have been hit especially hard. At the beginning of World War II, the illegitimate birthrate among black Americans was slightly less than 19 percent. In 1965, near the start of the Great Society, the rate of unwed births for blacks was 25 percent. Beginning in the late 1960s, the trend rapidly accelerated, reaching 49 percent in 1975 and 65 percent in 1989. Today, it is 72 percent. Nearly three-quarters of all black families are now single parent.

Fewer than half, just 46 percent of US children younger than 18, of all races, are living in a home with two married heterosexual parents in their first marriage. This is a marked change from 1960, when 73 percent of children fit this description.

Back in the early '90s, the University of Washington showed that an increase of roughly $200 a month in welfare benefits per family correlated with a 150 percent increase in the illegitimate birthrate among teens.

There is one important caveat: Poverty in America is generally very different from poverty elsewhere in the world. According to the government's own surveys, 80 percent of poor households have air-conditioning. Nearly, two-thirds have cable or satellite television. Half have a personal computer. Forty percent of America's poor have a wide screen HD television. Three-quarters own a car or a truck. And nearly a third have two or more vehicles. Ninety-six percent of poor parents state that their children have never been hungry at any time during the last year because they could not afford food. And 82 percent of all poor adults reported that they too were never hungry at any time in the prior year.

Listen to the Full Series on War on Poverty

Part I: Founders' Thoughts

Part II: The Great Depression

Part III:The Great Society

Part IV: Abusing the System

Political commentator Bill O'Reilly joined the Glenn Beck radio program on Friday made an important prediction about President Joe Biden's chance of reelection in 2024.

O'Reilly told Glenn that former President Donald Trump was brought down because of COVID. "if COVID had not appeared, O'Reilly stated, "he [Trump] would have won reelection."

O'Reilly went on to predict that like Trump, President Joe Biden would lose reelection because of COVID. People saw a president who could not put out an intelligent fact-based message about COVID and people will remember that," he explained.

O'Reilly later added that "Trump and Biden are one-termers because of COVID."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Critical race theory: Marxism is a religion

Uttam Sheth/Flickr

Marx didn't actually tell his followers that the system needed to be destroyed. And it's not what Marx actually believed. Very few Marxists actually understand what Marx laid out.

Marxism isn't a list of demands and instructions. It's Marx's attempt to tell the future. Some of it he got right, most he got wrong. For example, he predicted the rise of automation.

Believe it or not, Marx was not an anti-capitalist. If anything, he revered it.

In a letter to Engels, he complained that too many people misunderstood his message, that his plan is to merge with capitalism. To make it new. He wanted to reify his brand of socialism, reify is a Marxist term, actually. It basically means to make an abstract idea concrete.

Marx didn't hate capitalism. He actually thought it was necessary. And he knew communism would never happen without the aid of capitalism.

Marx didn't hate capitalism. He actually thought it was necessary.

From there, he takes these ideas to some weird conclusions. Horrible conclusions. The main one being revolution.

What does the first phase of the Marxist revolution look like? How will we know if it has started? How can we tell if it's already begun? Marx's idea of the "dictatorship of the proletariat," where the working class would rise up in revolution and earn their freedom.

But what did Marx mean by freedom? Like so much of Marxism, it involves giving up your individuality, in service to the collective: "Only in community with others does each individual have the means of cultivating his gifts in all directions; only in the community, therefore, is personal freedom possible."

That's from his book The German Ideology, which he co-wrote with Friedrich Engels, the guy who paid all of his bills: "Free competition, which is based on the idea of individual freedom, simply amounts to the relation of capital to itself as another capital."

His idea here is that capital ruins any idea of freedom or individuality. And competition is what he uses as proof. In other words, Marx's definition of freedom has nothing to do with actual freedom, freedom as we know it.

He wrote, in Capital: "It is not individuals who are set free by free competition; it is, rather, capital which is set free."

He's saying that Capital manipulates our individual freedom and forces us to exploit ourselves. For someone who didn't believe in God, he sure had some fanciful ideas about the forces that control the universe.

For someone who didn't believe in God, he sure had some fanciful ideas about the forces that control the universe.

Marxists have always argued that capitalism is a religion. That our debt to capital is no different than our debt to God. Critical Theorist Walter Benjamin wrote an entire book called Capitalism as Religion, and wrote that capitalism is "the first case of a cult that creates guilt, not atonement."

There were many strains of socialism before Marx. There were entire movements, named after socialist and anarchist philosophers. But Marx was the one who figured it out, with the help of a rotating cast of people paying for his sloth, of course.

Marx's influence on socialism was so profound that socialism was practically re-named in honor of Marx. Marx has been deified.

He created a utopian society. Very hypothetical. It requires a working class that is devoted to daily readings of The Communist Manifesto.

This assumes that people who work all day — at a real job, where they can't just sit on the couch all day as Marx did — even have the energy to read dense theory when they get home.

Marx made a religion.

This post is part of a series on critical race theory. Read the full series here.

The Capitol riot was foolish and tragic, but Pelosi's Select Committee "investigation" on the January 6 "insurrection" has devolved into a show trial complete with bad tears and bad acting. But this is just a charade designed to distract us.

What's going on behind closed doors is truly nefarious. The Biden White House and the U.S. national security apparatus are seizing that event to redefine domestic terrorism and expand the powers of government to prevent it. There is an alarming blueprint for sweeping government action called the "National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism," put together by the National Security Council.

On his Wednesday night special this week, Glenn Beck exposes the collusion between the Biden administration and Big Tech to surveil, root out, and silence America's deplorables – all in the name of national security.

Watch the full "Glenn TV" episode below:

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Terry Trobiani owns Gianelli's Drive Thru in Prairie Grove, Illinois, where he put up a row of American flags for the Fourth of July. But the city claimed he was displaying two of them improperly and issued him a $100 ticket for each flag.

Terry joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to explain what he believes really happened. He told Glenn that, according to city ordinance, the American flag is considered "ornamental" and should therefore have been permitted on a federal holiday. But the city has now classified the flag as a "sign."

"Apparently, the village of Prairie Grove has classified the American flag as a sign and they've taken away the symbol of the American flag," Terry said. "So, as a sign, it falls under their temporary sign ordinance, which prohibits any flying, or any positioning of signs on your property — and now this includes the American flag. [...] The only way I could fly the American flag on my property is if I put it on a permanent 20 to 30-foot flagpole, which they have to permit."

Terry went on to explain how the city is now demanding an apology for his actions, and all after more than a year of small-business crushing COVID restrictions and government mandates.

"COVID was tough," Terry stated. "You know, we're in the restaurant business. COVID was tough on us. We succeeded. We made it through. We cut a lot of things, but we never cut an employee. We paid all our employees. I didn't take a paycheck for a year just to keep our employees on, because it was that important to me to keep things going. And, you know, you fight for a year, and you beat a pandemic, and then you have this little municipality with five trustees and a president, who just have no respect for small businesses. And right now, what I see is they have no respect for the republic and the United States ... I think it's terrible. The direction that government, at all levels, have taken us to this point, it's despicable."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


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