Each year, the United States spends $65,000 per poor family to “fight poverty” – in a country in which the average family income is just under $50,000. Meanwhile, most of that money goes to middle-class and upper-middle-class families, and the current U.S. poverty rate is higher than it was before the government began spending trillions of dollars on anti-poverty programs.
In this short little book, called a Broadside by its publisher Encounter Books, Kevin D. Williamson uncovers the hidden politics of the welfare state and documents the historical evidence that proves Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society” was designed to do one thing: maximize the number of Americans dependent upon the government. The welfare state was never meant to eliminate poverty or ease the burden of privation; it was created to do one thing and one thing only — to keep Democrats in power forever.
It has worked marvelously well from that standpoint. But like addictive drugs, it’s side affects have been brutal. The destruction of families, especially but not exclusively Black families, has been its central achievement. Before the Great Society intruded with its elixir for Democrat power and control forever, most Black children grew up in two-parent families. Today 70% of Black children do not have fathers living with them and many do not even know their father. Walter E. Williams wrote a column in 2005 that made this point succinctly:
What about the decline of the black family? In 1960, only 28 percent of black females between the ages of 15 and 44 were never married. Today, it’s 56 percent. In 1940, the illegitimacy rate among blacks was 19 percent, in 1960, 22 percent, and today, it’s 70 percent. Some argue that the state of the black family is the result of the legacy of slavery, discrimination and poverty. That has to be nonsense. A study of 1880 family structure in Philadelphia shows that three-quarters of black families were nuclear families, comprised of two parents and children. In New York City in 1925, 85 percent of kin-related black households had two parents. In fact, according to Herbert Gutman in “The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom: 1750-1925,” “Five in six children under the age of 6 lived with both parents.” Therefore, if one argues that what we see today is a result of a legacy of slavery, discrimination and poverty, what’s the explanation for stronger black families at a time much closer to slavery — a time of much greater discrimination and of much greater poverty? I think that a good part of the answer is there were no welfare and Great Society programs.
Thomas Sowell often explains the dire need of Democrats to keep Blacks and as many others in a perpetual state of dependency, and in fear of Republicans if possible, in order to maintain Democrats in power. In Liberals, Race and History he wrote:
If the share of the black vote that goes to the Democrats ever falls to 70 percent, it may be virtually impossible for the Democrats to win the White House or Congress, because they have long ago lost the white male vote and their support among other groups is eroding. Against that background, it is possible to understand their desperate efforts to keep blacks paranoid, not only about Republicans but about American society in general.
Liberal Democrats, especially, must keep blacks fearful of racism everywhere, including in an administration [the Bush administration] whose Cabinet includes people of Chinese, Japanese, Hispanic, and Jewish ancestry, and two consecutive black Secretaries of State. Blacks must be kept believing that their only hope lies with liberals.
The Dependency Agenda clarifies and explains just how the Democrats have designed a system to gain power by keeping as many people in a state of dependency on government as they possibly can.
Encounter Books has an entire series of short books which they call Broadsides. Historically, a Broadside was a short notice or announcement printed on one side of a large sheet of paper and posted somewhere for all to see. It could be said that America was founded with a Broadside, the Declaration of Independence. The Broadsides of Encounter Books carry on that tradition in a slightly different format that also resembles the writing of the pamphleteers of the 18th Century, such as Thomas Paine. His pamphlet Common Sense was integral to the American Revolution. Of it, John Adams said, “Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.”
The Dependency Agenda is $5.99 at Amazon. Kindle edition is $4.79.