Sunday letters: Cal Thomas right about poverty

January 12, 2014 


I loved the Jan. 6 side-by-side positioning of the columns by Cal Thomas and Eugene Robinson. It made very clear the differences of opinion between conservatives and liberals regarding poverty and welfare.

While Mr. Robinson regards unemployment benefits as economic stimulus (“The cruelest cut of all”), Mr. Thomas makes a compelling, data-based argument that the so-called war on poverty has had a deplorable effect on those in poverty (“The war on poverty at 50”). Instead of being an incentive to strive to better oneself, it has been an incentive to rely on government benefits. If Mr. Robinson is correct, we should hope for greater unemployment to boost the economy. If Mr. Thomas is correct, we should put the unemployed to work on infrastructure improvements or other meaningful employment.

Remember that those in favor of open borders argue that illegal immigrants will do jobs that American citizens will not. During the Great Depression, most self-respecting workers would take on any job they could get.

Mr. Robinson would hail this difference in attitude as indicative of the more humane and moral benefits we have invented to subsidize the indigent.

Mr. Thomas would deplore this difference as indicative of the absence of pride and self-reliance in the workplace, an attitude that has raised past generations from cycles of poverty and has made this country so great.

John Magurn


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