What did Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom do on the 50th anniversary of the federal government’s War on Poverty? Exactly what I would have done if I were him — he pretty much hid under his desk:
Fifty years after President Johnson started a $20 trillion taxpayer-funded war on poverty, the overall percentage of impoverished people in the U.S. has declined only slightly and the poor have lost ground under President Obama.
Aides said Mr. Obama doesn’t plan to commemorate the anniversary Wednesday of Johnson’s speech in 1964, which gave rise to Medicaid, Head Start and a broad range of other federal anti-poverty programs. The president’s only public event Tuesday was a plea for Congress to approve extended benefits for the long-term unemployed, another reminder of the persistent economic troubles during Mr. Obama’s five years in office.
“What I think the American people are really looking for in 2014 is just a little bit of stability,” Mr. Obama said.
Stability is what keeps people — and nations — poor.
“Stability” is the handmaiden of “security,” which people desire and which government always tries and always fails to provide. Stability is stasis, which is another word for stagnation. But that’s what you get when you prop up established players, whether by legal preferences or outright bailouts. In other words, crony capitalism.
What we need is a dynamic economy filled with risks — and opportunities. One where the established order is at constant risk of losing its markets, its capital, and its people to newcomers with better ideas.
This is how you create wealth, how you lift people out of poverty.
Too many of our people have forgotten this. Our President never knew it — or doesn’t care, as it provides few opportunities to give favors to your friends and punish your enemies.
On our current path, Chicago’s future is Detroit. And America’s future is Chicago.
It ain’t much, but it is stable.
For a little while, anyway.