Saturday, October 30, 2010

How liberal do-gooders criminalize the poor

Here is an old forum post of mine that was written in 1995, in response to someone who asserted: "The GOP is criminalizing all poor while helping BIG BUSINESS get richer." At the time, I was working in the Food Stamp, Medicaid, and TANF (then AFDC) programs, and HUD subsidies were less than they are now.


Let me tell you how Liberal regulators are "criminalizing" the poor. First off HUD housing subsidies for welfare recipients raise the rent on the honest working poor. In Houston, HUD pays $500 a month to subsidize a two bedroom Apartment -- usually for a dump that most people wouldn't live in if they were paid $500 dollars a month to do so. Now if you are an Apartment owner, and the Government offers you $500 dollars a month Guaranteed -- would you rent the same apartment to a poor working
man who could only afford $350 dollars a month?

Secondly, even in Houston, the public transportation system is not good enough for someone to depend on it to get to and from work, unless they are willing to spend several hours a day doing so. As a result people generally must depend on their own transportation -- and in rural areas, there is no choice but to do so. Liberal regulators have made owning a car and running it legally prohibitively expensive for
many borderline working poor. For one thing, they must have insurance, they must have a current inspection sticker, and they must have a current vehicle registration. And had the Democrats won the Governor's race last year, the cost of an inspection in Houston would have climbed from about 15 dollars to possibly $400 dollars. Most working poor folks, with families to take care of, cannot afford all this. As a consequence they simply drive uninsured vehicles.

In Texas, you can just count on getting a traffic ticket every so often. But if you don't have insurance, or an inspection sticker, or a valid registration sticker -- you get a ticket for each. Now this poor stiff has several hundred dollars in fines to pay, but if he could have paid the fines, he could have paid the insurance and all that other stuff. So consequently he doesn't pay the fine. Next time he gets stopped he has warrants out for his arrest -- of course he could pay the bail, but
if he could have paid the bail, he could have paid the tickets. Instead, he sits in jail for a couple of weeks. But now he is unemployed, because he missed two weeks worth of work without a good excuse.

You know where this guy goes from here? He comes to my office to apply for food stamps, Medicaid, and AFDC (if he can get it). I've seen this happen to a number of honest hard working citizens that found themselves in my office for the very reasons outlined.

Furthermore, government regulations also cost Jobs. Whereas once upon a time, poor people could start there own businesses and make their own jobs -- now due to all the red tape, this is impossible. The only free-enterprise available for poor people, is illegal.

That's how Liberal's criminalize the poor. They have made it extremely difficult to be poor and honest in this country. Your parents and mine may have been poor, but they were at least allowed to be honest and make a living.