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Letter: Democrats have destroyed jobs, kept people poor

Re “Some (much needed) help for the state GOP” (Monitor editorial, July 19):

I am sure that all Republican politicians appreciate your advice. We are glad that you care so much about helping the Grand Old Party. I can’t help wondering whether the Monitor really cares about the people at the bottom or cares only about talking about the people at the bottom.

I care about results, not rhetoric. I care deeply about the people of our great country, our state, my town. I care about policies that result in people escaping the bottom, not trapping them there. I care about the middle class being able to live the American Dream. I care about action, not talk. I care about action that works, not action that backfires and hurts the very people who should be helped.

Democrats talk a good game, but their policies have destroyed jobs and kept people poor. They have trapped children in failing schools, leaving them in a lifetime of poverty. If Democrats really cared about the poor and the middle class, they would examine the results – not just the intentions – of their programs. They would realize the terrible harm they often cause, and they would fix the programs to stop punishing those who try to better themselves.

SPEC BOWERS

Sunapee

Legacy Comments22

I think the letter writer should look at how we fund this state and tax the middle has to pay as we subsidize the affluent so they live the good life off the middle class folks who try to make ends meet somewhere in the middle. Of coarse the middle here is located next to poverty...

You are incorrect Bruce, the poverty rate was declining. Look at the Census stats. We have been fighting the war on poverty for 40 plus years and what do we have to show for that fight? Govt thought and still thinks the way to end poverty is to make poverty more comfortable. They do not focus on getting folks out of poverty with school choice in poor neighborhoods, they do not promote job training, and they are under the impression that by giving folks hand outs they will change their motivation levels. You show me where the war on poverty has worked Bruce. And I mean where has it worked beyond the 5 years you stated, It stagnated after that, and records prove that those programs grew year after year, as did the govt jobs that are suppose to run them. If it worked, where are the results..? The poverty rate has not moved much at all in 40 plus years.

By all means, lets look at the stats. http://www2.census.gov/prod2/popscan/p60-068a.pdf What are you smoking? It seems that when one's beliefs depend on not seeing the evidence, then one doesn't see the evidence. LBJ's 'War on Poverty' --despite being underfunded, had a significant effect on the poverty rate in this country. Without it, the rate would NOT have gone down as dramatically as it did. If you have some counterfactual data, and some actual links--post it.

BTW, the reason it 'stagnated after that', is as a I mentioned in a previous post, that following Nixon's reelection in '72, he slashed/eliminated many of the programs begun during LBJ's presidency. Many ended before they had a chance to bear fruit. What 'records and what programs are you referring to that "grew year after year"? Again, the poverty rates in the other advanced democracies--which have better social safety nets, are all LOWER than ours, while they also enjoy greater social mobility--meaning their poor have a better chance of moving up into the middle class than do the poor in our own--formerly known as the 'land of opportunity'. And now, thanks in considerable measure to 30plus years of libertarian economic nonsense having guided both Democrats and Republicans, we seem to be on a fast track to corporate fascism/ feudalism.

Former State Rep. Spec Bowers came back to Concord this winter to testify against a minimum wage bill I was sponsoring in the NH House. He expounded a somewhat unorthodox historical theory at considerable length: he informed the NH House Labor Committee that the minimum wage was a racist plot to keep black men unemployed. I am just saying, take his words with a grain or two of of salt.

Nothing new here, I put forth quite a few sentences about why I thought we are not making headway in the War on poverty and not one person who disagrees with me, addressed what I said. Show me where we have made progress. Instead we getting the Dem talking points about how these programs are not funded, and the usual crapola about capitalism. Is it so hard to fathom that the govt cannot manage or run anything? They never fix their programs. Nor do they address the causes of poverty, especially in the black community.

Let me take a stab at why "...not one person who disagrees with me, addressed what I said." Here is one example: "Unions are declining, look at Detroit, and what has happened there." Your statement appears to confuse cause and effect and totally ignores correlation without causality. It is, frankly, impossible to reply to.

No confusion here. The Issues I put forth are ones that the left does not want to discuss, because if they did, they would have to admit their policies are failures. As far as unions go, there is nothing new there from the left discussion wise. Detroit is an example, a sad one, of what happens when unions have so much power and corruption they bankrupt a city I have said it many times, if you do not want to look at what works and what does not, based on your politics, we will fix nothing. Nobody wins if we cannot compromise.

Rabbit: as gracchus points out, your comments put forth opinions that are frequently illogical--confusing cause and effect, and bald assertions that you take as self-evident, but rarely support with actual facts. Your comments about Detroit are a prime example. Then you issue your usual prattle about 'compromise', after making claims that blame 'the left' for everything wrong under the Sun. Compromise requires the ability to see more than one side of issues. Based on your posts, you seem constitutionally unable to do so.

We do not fix anything anymore. Instead we focus on what our parties stand for. The failure of the War on Poverty is never discussed by the left. The stats are there, and ignored. That also applies to education. More spending has not improved our schools, yet the left continues to stay on the same path of failed programs and demanding more money be spent on them. Kind of like having a car that is a lemon and you think that one more repair will fix it. We are in that trap. Unions are declining, look at Detroit, and what has happened there. We make nothing in the US. Race is now in the forefront. it should be not because of the GZ trial. The focus should be on why black communities are still suffering. Why 75% of black children are born to single Moms, why young black men are in gangs, drop out of school and worship rap artists, sports figures and folks like Jackson and Sharpton who keep alive the past. Till we take a hard look at what works and what does not, nothing will change. I hoped this President would use his position to address the issues of the Black community. He is a perfect example of how a black child came from nothing and succeeded. He should be saying you can be me, you can overcome and be successful. Sadly he has failed at that.

Rabbit...I think that you have absorbed all the conservative talking points, but ignored their underlying efforts. The black, back in the late 1800s all joined the 'Party of Lincoln', aka the GOP. The GOP has become the Party of Corporatists. Seems to me that the rich and their corporations funnel megabucks into conservative think tanks like the Cato Institute or the Council on Foreign Relations-there are many more that you should check out. But, if you really want to learn how the conservative movement got going, read Lewis Powell Memo.

Au contraire--LBJ's "War on Poverty" was NOT a failure. And "the stats are there, and ignored" by rightists and the uninformed to show that it did work. From 1965 to 1970, the number of poor Americans was reduced from 33 million to 25 million--in spite of the recession in 1969–1970. Incomes and high school graduation rates for the poor both rose significantly, and infant mortality rates dropped. LBJ's War on Poverty was hobbled by consistent underfunding--by a factor of at least 10x, thanks to conservative opposition to its basic premises, and the escalating costs of the Indochina War. Nixon maintained WoP programs during his first term, but after 1972 cut 'discretionary' social spending dramatically. As a result, lots of good programs never had a chance to fulfill their promise. And within 3 years, poverty rates stalled and began to increase. Claims that the War on Poverty was a failure are not supported by the facts.

The poverty and crime rates were falling way before the war on poverty, look at the stats. We have 130 poverty programs. yet we cannot cure poverty. A program that was designed to get folks out of poverty has done the opposite. A temporary program is now a lifestyle for generations. A great program needs to be enforced, it needs to have regulations, and the need for those on it needs to be monitored as far as what they are doing to get out of poverty like job training etc. When you give folks a handout instead of a handup, they will often not improve their situation. Those of us that have kids know what happens when you give them things instead of requiring them to earn them.

1) We are not parents of those less well off than ourselves. Lessons that are appropriately given to our youth are overbearing and patronizing when addressed to adult strangers. 2) In typical RW fashion, Rabbit takes an all or nothing approach: "...we cannot cure poverty." That fact should not for one second weaken our collective resolve to ameliorate it. 3) This comes straight from TV drama. On the most recent episode of Major Crimes, the squad is on an early morning stakeout in a Spanish speaking L.A. neighborhood as schoolchildren walk past. Someone notes that it's before 7:00, too early to be going to school. The Mexican-American detective replies, "They aren't going to class; they're going for breakfast." When all the pontificating is done, much of the war on poverty is nothing more than feeding hungry kids. Get it?

Right. What we have here is a failure to communicate, as well as the usual reading comprehension issues. Everyone is entitled to her/his opinion, but not her/his own facts. Just saying something is so, doesn't make it accurate--or true.

Look at what "stats"? I presented 'the stats'--you simply made a contrary assertion strung together with cliches and pious platitudes. Poverty in the "Affluent Society" was largely invisible to most Americans in 1960- and so the pockets of poverty--rural Appalachia, among blacks in the deep South, and in the inner cities, was a shocking revelation to many Americans. And thus was launched the "War on Poverty". LBJ's WoP cut the poverty rate in half--it certainly wasn't "already falling" in 1960 for those demographic groups. Our poverty rate continues to be higher than that of Canada, and most of the European countries--all of whom have better social safety nets, AND, I hasten to add, higher rates of social mobility than does the U.S.

Seems to me that this entire country, on a large scale, has bowed to and lived by the Republican methods of managing education and jobs for what, a dozen years or more now? Repeated huge tax cuts given to big business and corporate America, with the promises of millions of new jobs, investments in new technologies, and all the other lies they told. All this free markets stuff and how they could manage it all much better than the regulated system we used to have. I doubt I have to remind too many readers what the results really are instead. The policies Spec diatribes about are almost all coming from conservative think tanks. So it boggles the mind to listen to where he places the blame for these failures. Now the strategy is to point fingers elsewhere, put policy in to place that encourages Americans to remain divided and turn against eachother. It really is time for the masses to awaken.

gdn1...I quite agree with what you have said. Spec, and his Republican bosses, go to great extent to keep blaming liberals for all the problems that the conservatives created. For the last three or four decades, the National Republican Party has done NOTHING for the middle class, while sucking up to the rich. Over the past three years the Republicans in the House have tried more than 35 times to derail the Affordable Care Act. They throw roadblocks in the way of progress, and say it protects Americans, when the only protection it gives is to rich CEO of healthcare organizations who make millions. Case in point: in 2010, couple months BEFORE ACA passed, Wellpoint, a California healthcare raised their price by 39%. Then a month later, on the back page of the newspaper, it was announced that the CEO for Wellpoint was getting a small raise-from $8million to $13million.

Former state rep Bowers has a highly selective reading of the history of the past 3 decades. Until Obama's election in 2008, Republicans had occupied the White House for 20 of the previous 28 years. The deregulatory, pro-business, anti-union, anti-tax efforts of the last 3 decades all have their origins in right-wing Republican orthodoxy and Libertarian wing-nuttery. Stagnant incomes, a shrinking middle class, a growing 'underclass', and a huge accumulation of wealth and power at the very top tier of America's class structure, are all a direct result of these efforts. Then-Rep. Bowers, as part of the Tea Party Legislature of 2010, and under the guise of "Libertarianism", did his best to promote and perpetuate those same policies at the local level in NH.

Spec...You are obviously a spokesman for the Grand Old Party. Problem is that you haven't felt that big knife that the GOP keeps turning in your back. However, you could, since you have internet access, do a bit of research. For instance, you could google the Lewis Powell Memo. He sent it to the US Chamber of Commerce (part owner of the GOP) back in 1971. You could read how he suggested that the National Republican Party could take steps to be sure that capitalism was always foremost among Republicans. How the middle class could be kept under control by destroying unions. Did you know that at one time there were many consultants for big corporations who advised on how to keep employees from unionizing. Imagine that, a whole consulting field anti-union. And, who employed them? Yep, SPec, you need to do alot of research before you go throwing dirt-you might actually find it sticking to you !!

Well, we all know what Romney thought of the bottom 47% and he was their standard bearer.

I wonder what the letter writer thinks of the recent "fix" that the House of Reprehensibles applied to the farm bill: reinstating all the giveaways to giant agribusiness and eliminating food stamps. It's the Reagan / G.W. Bush / Paul Ryan / John Roberts doctrine of favoring rich over less well off and privilege of the few over opportunity for the many.

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