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RUSH: New York Times again, headline: ‘New York City to Reward Poor for Doing Right Thing.’ They’re going to raise some private money. Now, that’s all well and good, fine and dandy, but they don’t need private money. There is so much tax money that is being raised in New York that they don’t need to go ask the private sector for this. They’re going to do it anyway. The program is going to reward people for showing up and doing what any responsible person would do. ‘Seeking new solutions to New York’s vexingly high poverty rates, the city…’ Why do you think there’s such a high poverty rate in New York? Mr. Snerdley, you want to take a stab at this, just off the top of your head? Why is there such a high poverty rate in New York? You have eight million people there. In many ways it’s the capital of industry in the country. Why is there so much poverty in New York City? Well, you’re partially right about that. New York is its own welfare state in addition to the welfare state created by the federal government. You couple this with the high taxation, plus all the giveaways that have come up. If you give away poverty — this is the best way to understand this. it’s just human nature. If you give away poverty, in other words, if you’re willing to give everybody $20,000 a year in benefits, the poverty line in this country is 20 grand. If you give some people 20 grand, that’s fine with them, they’ll accept it, which is one of the primary problems with liberalism. It destroys ambition; destroys potential; creates dependency in people who are otherwise totally qualified and capable of going out and being more. It is because of the institutional contempt for average people that the American left has. They don’t think they’re capable of anything. They don’t want them to be capable of anything. They don’t want them to be capable of learning anything. We had the story about Chicago schools earlier this week, where mostly poor and minority kids can’t pass tests — and they’re being passed anyway, moving up grade after grade after grade. I wouldn’t be surprised if part of this is done on purpose. Liberalism requires ignorance. For liberalism to prosper, as many people as possible must be ignorant. That’s why they’ll accept all these conspiracy theories. If they’re not taught science, for example, if they’re not taught biology they’ll believe all this propaganda about global warming. If they’re not taught basic civics, they won’t understand the way government works.

If they’re not taught economics, they certainly won’t understand even the most simple economic terms, such as low taxes equals high revenue and high employment. If instead they’re inculcated with class envy, taught to despise the person who has a dollar or more than you, and live on the basis that life’s unfair and you’re getting screwed and then rely on liberals and Democrats to come along and level the playing field, bammo! That fits the bill for them precisely. Then you create a legion of voters that will keep voting. ‘Yep, if you’re gonna give me poverty, I’ll vote for you and accept it.’ That’s one of the problems with New York. They are giving away poverty, and they’re doing it under the guise of compassion.

All during the mid-eighties, late eighties and early nineties, some of the solutions to homelessness were abominations. ‘Well, we’re going to give ’em shopping carts.’ Well, that’s really compassionate. That’s really going to help. Give them a shopping cart so they can wheel their meager possessions around. Or we’re going to give them e-mail accounts or we’ll produce videos to teach ’em how to dive in dumpsters for leftovers. I mean that was really compassionate. But yet it was. It was treated that way. It was described as compassionate. ‘These people trying to help the homeless.’ They weren’t doing anything more than sustaining the circumstance. ‘Seeking new solutions to New York’s vexingly,’ they’re not vexing at all to me, ‘the city is moving ahead with an ambitious experiment that will pay poor families up to $5,000 a year to meet goals like attending parent-teacher conferences, going for a medical checkup or holding down a full-time job, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday.’ Well, now, they’re already getting what they get from New York in the welfare state. Then if they go get a full-time job, they’ll be rewarded $5,000 for doing that in addition to whatever they get paid in the full-time job. If they attend parent-teacher conferences, they’ll get paid five grand. If they go for a medical checkup or something like that, they’ll get five grand. Now, folks, this is what normal people do every day. It’s called life. They don’t expect $5,000.

Well, I take that back. They’re going to now, because if you’re going to tell one group of people, ‘Hey, we’ll give you five grand to go to doctor. We’ll give you five grand to go to a parent-teacher meeting.’ Well, a lot of people could use five grand and say, ‘Why not me? I already do it. Why not reward me?’ This is paying for the bare essentials. This is the bare minimum: go get a job. You know, every time the homeless discussion came up, I would advocate, ‘Why don’t we train these people to go to work?’ Boy the libs would freak.

‘Easy for you to say! Why, you have no heart.’

‘What do you mean ‘easy for me to say’? What’s wrong with work? Work is a defining thing in most people’s lives. It’s the center of their passion. It’s achievement. There are goals that can be met. There are all kinds of great things that can result from work. Where would we all be if we all said, ‘Screw work’?’ So now we’re going to basically pay five grand to New York on top of whatever else poverty payments are for mediocrity. ‘Under the program, which is based on a similar effort in Mexico,’ and that’s really working, isn’t it? This similar program in Mexico, that’s really keeping people in Mexico, isn’t it? Under the program, ‘parents would receive payments every two months for family members meeting any of a series of criteria. The payments could range from $25 for exemplary attendance in elementary school to $300 for a high score on an important exam.’ This is a disaster waiting to happen. We’re now going to compensate and reward people who are just in the process of pursuing things that are normal: doing well on a test; showing up when you’re supposed to show up. Some brilliant guy said, ‘Eighty percent of success is showing up on time.’ Well, some people can’t, so we’re going to pay ’em 300 bucks or $25 to do that.

Thank you, New York. This is really going to fix it.

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