Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Post-Katrina Anti-Poverty Program: Pleeeeze

I caught the first half of On Point this morning, which was a discussion on how to address the widespread poverty in this country. As predicted, the Heritage Foundation research fellow, Robert Rector, denounced the trillions of dollars already spent on poverty. The money spent to alleviate poverty, in his view, has been wholly unsuccessful. Wow, what a surprise! I have never heard this "talking point" before. It is so broad, general and rhetorically charged that it cannot fail to outrage the mindless ones listening. And yet, where's the evidence? Where is the nuance? Every single program to alleviate poverty is a failure and a waste of tax dollars?

The next point Rector makes really irritates me. He congratulates Bush's call for bold new programs to end poverty, especially if it is a result of past racism. What is this bold new program, according to Rector? Encouraging marriages. Don't let people get pregnant unless they are married.


That response is so simplistic and downright stupid that I want to vomit. But, I will save my elaboration of what is wrong about that policy for another blog. What I want to highlight here is the sort of portrait of marriage these neo-cons are selling: arranged marriages that serve as contracts. This is old style marriage. Love doesn't much enter into it I imagine. And, why are so many of these single mothers not married? Does anyone ask that question?