It is good to see Tommy Thompson on stage again, as he was Monday with Gov. Walker to roll out a new welfare reform. The two governors propose that food stamp recipients must work at least 80 hours a month. Works for me.
Government welfare payments to able-bodied adults has corroded generations, turning independent citizens into government dependents. It’s the bitter fruit of the Cult of Victimhood, wherein our liberal-progressive-socialist acquaintances convince various populations that they cannot survive without the beneficent ministrations of Big Gummint. Now you owe us your votes, dammit.
You will hear the squealing from the likes of Mark Pocan, State Rep. Lisa Subeck, Comrade John Nichols, Progressive editor Ruth Conniff, One Scot Ross, and Well Off White Man Paul Fanlund.
Walker/Thompson are “mean-spirited” they will bleat. The Young Squire said the same thing about my Old Man (the First Squire) when he pulled me out of that sand box and put me on a Farmall tractor. Some parents promulgated the Golden Rule; his rule was more blunt: No work, no eat.
Your Squire got on the ground floor with Tommy T’s welfare reforms in the 1990s, starting with Learnfare and progressing through W-2, aka Wisconsin Works. On field trips to Milwaukee, we saw firsthand a new sense of pride that comes with real accomplishment that comes with a paying job.
Jim Doyle did his best to roll back those reforms. It is not happenstance that Milwaukee’s homicide rate now exceeds that of Chicago.
When you strip away a person’s dignity you get gangsterism, drug abuse, feral youth boasting of how many ho’s and bitches they have impregnated. More workers, even at entry level wages, reinforces the economy. Government transfer payments do not. That first job, by the way, leads to a better job.
What’s more, Wisconsin employers are begging for workers. There is no excuse for not working unless you are physically or mentally disabled, retired, or damn lucky.
“Wisconsin Works for Everyone, like Governor Thompson’s original W-2 initiative, is based on the fundamental principle that work is dignifying and connects individuals to society and to its values” Gov. Scott Walker.
A footnote: Tommy T. has also been advising President Trump. (First time we’ve written that. Still sounds strange.) The former governor was on board with Trump before most of Wisconsin’s Republican establishment.
‘Please stop helping us’
Speaking of the Old Man (the First Squire, not Tommy T.), he once introduced Gaylord Nelson to a farm audience. The good senator rattled off a laundry list of government programs aimed at helping the farmer — beginning farmer loans, crop subsidies, price supports, conservation payments, etc. The Old Squire thanked the senator for his efforts, then added “Now please stop helping us, we can’t afford any more help.”
Indeed, dairy price supports led to ruinous over-production. Remember all that “government cheese” stored in underground caves? What started as a floor holding up prices became a ceiling holding down prices.
Economist Thomas Sowell, in a National Review column published three years ago, quoted a long-ago Briton pleading: “Please do not do any more good in my country. We have suffered too much already from all the good that you have done.”
That is essentially the message of an outstanding new book by Jason Riley about blacks in America. Its title is Please Stop Helping Us. Its theme is that many policies designed to help blacks are in fact harmful, sometimes devastatingly so. These counterproductive policies range from minimum-wage laws to “affirmative action” quotas.
His brief comments pack a lot of punch. For example, “Having a black man in the Oval Office is less important than having one in the home.”
Blaska’s Bottom Line — We’ve given the Great Society welfare state 50+ years. Isn’t it time to try something else?
“What the poor really need is to be reintegrated into our communities. But Washington is walling them up in a massive quarantine.” — Speaker Paul Ryan, “A new direction in the war on poverty.”