Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Professor Steve Horwitz: Are the poor getting poorer?

Just spotted this on Facebook, rather timely given what I've been blogging about today.

People often say that "the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer." Economics professor Steve Horwitz explains why in the United States, this characterization is largely a myth.

Real income levels of the poorest 20 percent of Americans have actually risen over time. Further, the individual households that comprise the bottom income bracket do not stay the same. The majority of Americans in the poorest 20 percent become wealthier over the course of their lives.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Ben Franklin on Welfare Policy

The Cablenator left a comment on my post from Friday about a recent WSJ article on the use of food stamps in the United States. His comment, in part, reads:
Food stamps offer little in the way of incentive to break free from the welfare system if they facilitate other areas of spending that are clearly non-necessities. Plain nutrition-cakes are entirely humane and discourage dependency.
I agree. This brought to mind something that Benjamin Franklin once said, one of my favorite quotes of his:
I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.

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