Programs have victimized recipients

Published 8:23 pm Monday, February 19, 2018

By Joe Bass

The media often reports many negative issues regarding schools, including violence, shootings, misuse of weapons, bullying, disrespect of teachers and staff, student hunger, parents not paying required fees, and so on. The same problems can be seen among the parents of the children that act out in schools and do not do well academically.

The above problems and others like them did not exist in schools or society during the late 1940’s, 50’s, and early ‘60s.


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During the mid-1960s, major social welfare, poverty programs were initiated by the federal government, even though the poverty rate had been declining on its own since 1947. Of course, black Americans represented the largest percentage of the poor because of Jim Crow legal gimmicks and Klan terrorism. That was the case in 1950 and 1964. The problem is, after spending more than 22 trillion dollars on poverty programs, it is still the case today.

How did socialistic, welfare programs create the problems we have today that didn’t exist previously? To get to the bottom of this it is necessary to understand normal human motivation and character development that is common regardless of race. That is to say, the problems we see today are not racial issues.

The fundamental human motivator is staying alive and perpetuating our species. This includes our need for food, shelter, good health and so on. Humans develop character, knowledge, skills and culture as we strive to overcome normal challenges to meet our survival needs. Humans, regardless of race, are motivated to acquire these things.

In the process of striving to meet normal needs, humans develop cultures to secure physical resources such as land and what is found on it, so that we can become economically self-sufficient to meet our needs and pass culture, wealth and resources on to our children.

Fifty years of “War on Poverty” spending and programs have short-circuited the normal wealth creating and character development processes that exist among humans. The new negatives we see today did not exist previously. And they are mostly found among Americans that were and still are the focus of welfare spending. This is particularly true of many blacks Americans who continue to be at the bottom of our economic and achievement ladder.

For example, government public housing projects are primarily filled with black Americans that exhibit the many negatives that did not exist before. They were victims of slavery and Jim Crow and today are victims of welfare.

Welfare has robbed them of opportunities by removing normal challenges. If normal challenges had been left in place, they would have overcome them and built their own wealth. This can be seen in the fact that many immigrant, naturalized black Americans, who were not burdened with welfare, are doing much better today than those that were.

I will write about other related issues in the future. There is still much to do for America to fulfill the promises of equality of opportunity for all.

Joseph L. Bass is the executive director of ABetterSociety.Info Inc., a nonprofit organization in Hobson. Email him at