Altruism: a concern for the welfare of others.
Hell isn’t merely paved with good intentions, it is walled and roofed with them.
The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.
A key to the mentality of the left is that it judges itself by its best intentions and judges its opponents by their worst deeds.
Ask any Democrat, “Why is black American poverty greater than white American poverty” and you will get a unanimous and resounding answer, RACISM!” No one doubts that there is an element of residual racism in our nation or any nation. But using this as an explanation of differences between black and white Americans is literally nonsensical and insulting to our current black citizens and those that came before them.
Last week I posted a Prager University video by Larry Elder entitled “Black fathers matter.” In it he presented a compelling case that our altruistic welfare state was, in fact, counter productive. It resulted in more rather than less poverty among black Americans.
The following statistic puts a hole in the Democrat Party explanation for poverty among black Americans – a hole big enough through which to drive a Caterpillar earthmover.
[Source: Worse than racists, by Walter E. Williams]
[From the Williams article] The poverty rate among blacks is about 30 percent. It’s seen as politically correct to blame today’s poverty on racial discrimination, but that’s nonsense. Why? The poverty rate among black intact husband-and-wife families has been in the single digits for more than two decades. Does one want to argue that racists discriminate against female-headed families but not husband-and-wife families?
These additional statistics document the remarkable accomplishments of black Americans and should reshape Democrat liberal/altruist thinking – but data never influences liberals.
[From the Williams article] As a group, black Americans have made the greatest gains — over some of the highest hurdles and in a very short span of time — of any racial group in mankind’s history. What’s the evidence? If one totaled up the earnings of black Americans and considered us as a separate nation with our own gross domestic product, we would rank among the 20 richest nations.
What is the most altruistic program that the left has undertaken? Don’t guess. I’m going to give you the answer. It is Linden Johnson’s Great Society – specifically the War on Poverty. The left points at “selfish” conservatives (I guess they mean me) and ask, “Would you let the poor, the elderly, and children starve in the streets?” In no other arena has the altruist/progressive/statist had more success in redirecting American taxpayer money to address a “social” issue of great importance to them. The Johnson administration’s Great Society programs were heavily directed at helping “the poor.” The tab for that help is variously reported but is somewhere around $20 trillion. It is well to remember that our national debt is only $19 trillion. In other words, without the Great Society Programs for the poor, we would have NO NATIONAL DEBT and NO DEBT CRISIS. Even without the War on Poverty American taxpayers would still have given the “poor” somewhere between $1 and $4.5 trillion (that’s trillion with a “T”).
Statistics to think about when evaluating the “success” of liberal programs to “help” black Americans” (recall that the Great Society programs started in the mid 60s):
- Between 1970 and today, the number of black elected officials skyrocketed from fewer than 1,500 to more than 9,000, but black poverty has remained roughly the same.
- Between 1940 and 1960, when black political power was virtually nonexistent, the black poverty rate fell from 87 percent to 47 percent.
- In 1950, 72 percent of all black men and 81 percent of black women had been married.
- Every census from 1890 to 1950 showed that black labor force participation rates were higher than those of whites.
- Prior to the 1960’s the unemployment rate for black 16 and 17-year olds was under 10 percent.
- Before 1960, the number of teenage pregnancies had been decreasing; both poverty and dependency were declining, and black income was rising in both absolute and relative terms to white income.
- In 1965, 76.4 percent of black children were born to married women.
- Between 1960 and 1964, blacks were rising into professional and other high-level positions at a rate greater than the five years following passage of the Civil Rights Act.
The above data preceded the Civil Rights Act when Jim Crowe Laws were in full force in many states. What happened after the Great Society and the War on Poverty with all of its welfare programs were instituted? (And, of course, I am not justifying these racist laws, but just highlighting the ability of black Americans to succeed despite such draconian impediments. But one needs to explain why our black citizens lost ground after their repeal.) Here are some facts.
- Since the 1960s the black labor force participation rates have been lower than whites and unemployment rates for black 16 and 17 year olds has never dropped below 20 percent.
- By 1992, 54 percent-of all black children were living only with their mothers.
- In the 1980s and 90s, an absolute majority of those black families with no husband present lived in poverty.
- By the 2000s, 75% of blacks with a high-school degree or some college were not married.
- In 2005, Black people accounted for 13% of the total U.S. population yet they were the victims of 49% of all the nation’s murders; and 93% of black murder victims were killed by other black people.
- Currently, greater than 70% of black children are born to unmarried mothers.
- Today, black males between the ages of 14 and 17 commit homicide at ten times the rate of white and Hispanic males of the same age combined.
- In many urban areas, the black illegitimacy rate is well over 80 percent.
It will be an everlasting scar on the soul of our Nation that 500,000 black Africans were brought to the United States in slave ships. But that is a scar and not an ongoing festering wound. That group who endured so much pain can look down from heaven with great pride. They were the seed of the American black population; a population that now exceeds 39,000,000 free Americans. American blacks are more numerous than the populations of Uganda, Sudan, Ghana, Mozambique, Ivory Coast, Angola, Cameroon, Niger, Mali, Malawi, Zambia, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Chad, Guinea, Rwanda, South Sudan, Benin, Somalia, Burundi, Togo, Sierra Leone, the Central African Republic and the list goes on.
The average black American employed in a full-time job earns $32, 021 per year. Compared to black African nations in western Africa where any racial inequality would befall non-blacks we can look at the eight countries in the region that are members of the West Africa Economy and Monetary Union (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo). These nations share a common currency, a common central bank, a development bank, a regional stock exchange and a common banking regulator. The average yearly income in West Africa is $309.
Thus, a black American earns more than 100 times that of a black West African. Analyzed data from the U.S. National Vital Statistics System, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that the life expectancy at birth for non-Hispanic black men has risen from 68.8 to 70.8 years and for non-Hispanic white men rose from 75.3 to 76.2 years. These new statistics lowered the differences in the average lifespans for the groups from 6.5 years to 5.4 years. Thus, black Americans are advancing more rapidly than white Americans in longevity. By contrast, the life expectancy for blacks in Africa is lower in every nation than for black Americans and as low as 46.5 years in Sierra Leone.
Liberal/progressive/statists score everything based upon the amount of money we are spending. Ergo, the candidate proposing more spending is correct. The candidate that attributes the failure of a project due to a lack of sufficient spending is correct. The candidate that decries cutting spending is correct. The candidate that would never cut a program that serves “poor” Americans is correct. The candidate that espouses spending more for central government planning and execution is correct. I challenge you to find a Democrat candidate that is an exception to these statements.
The data shows the wrong-mindedness of liberal thinking!