What Was So Great About LBJ’s ‘Great Society’ Again?


“The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery could not have done, the harshest Jim Crow laws and racism could not have done; namely, break up the black family. That is, today, just slightly over 30 percent of black kids live in two-parent families.

Historically, from the 1870s to the 1940s – depending on the city – 75 to 90 percent of black kids lived in two-parent families. The illegitimacy rate [today] is 70 percent among blacks, and that is unprecedented in our history.” –Dr. Walter E. Williams; John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University.

Liberals and conservatives have debated the impact of LBJ’s Great Society since its inception in the mid 1960s. While liberals hail the social programs of presidents Kennedy and Johnson as landmark legislation, conservatives claim that many of their programs have not only consumed billions of dollars, but have also failed the very people they were designed to help. Welfare for unwed mothers – the amount of which was determined by the number of babies they bore – was not only a key component in the destruction of the urban nuclear family; it was also an early factor in the development of the present-day nanny state mentality of  America’s left.

While programs like Medicare and Medicaid looked good on paper, they are badly flawed – as are most programs run by the federal government. However, they have served the Democrats quite well; liberalism is mostly about intent vs. results, and along with Social Security, they fit nicely into the Scare Tactics Playbook.

LBJ’s “war on poverty” was historic in the fact that it declared once and for all that the problems of the poor –  housing, income, employment, and health -were ultimately a responsibility of the federal government. The toothpaste was out of the tube. In the minds of the disadvantaged, (and those who exploit them), the list of “rights” to be provided by the government has grown exponentially ever since.

In the 235 years since the Declaration of Independence, we have evolved from a country founded on the rights of assembly, free speech, and religion, to a nanny state – where some on the left tell us computer ownership and internet access are fundamental American rights. Obviously, the Founding Fathers could not have foreseen the development of such things, but I’m fairly certain this isn’t what they had in mind.

While America is a land that offers its citizens the freedom of choice to pursue their goals and dreams – it also offers them the freedom to choose otherwise; it offers them the opportunity to choose not to succeed. Its intent is to assign the responsibility for these respective choices to the people who make them – except in the mind of the liberal. Liberal doctrine confuses equality of opportunity with equality of results. As a consequence, those who make choices that fail to provide their wants and desires are to be given those wants and desires at the expense of people who have worked hard to achieve them for themselves. Class envy. Socialism. Wealth redistribution.

German sociologist Franz Oppenheimer wrote that there are two fundamentally opposed means whereby man, requiring sustenance, is impelled to obtain the necessary means for satisfying his desires. These are work, or robbery; one’s own labor, or the forcible appropriation of the labor of others. Oppenheimer termed the first method “economic means” and the second, “political means.”

Appropriately, we may call the first option “earning wealth ” and the second option “redistributing of wealth.” The creation of a welfare, or nanny state necessitates the redistribution of wealth, as it cannot exist by any other means. Since revenue (taxes) and expenditures are a zero-sum exercise in any particular year – the act of giving someone what they did not earn can only occur if an equivalent value is taken away from someone else – who earned that value. This is the essence of socialism – and liberal politics in America.

Despite incessant whining by liberals that “the rich” don’t pay their “fair share,” reality tells us otherwise: Last year, the top 5% of wage earners paid nearly 60% of total taxes, while the bottom 50% paid less than 3%. Clearly, we have become a nation overpopulated with takers – with a disproportionate minority of Americans playing the role of giver. To quote our brilliant vice president, this system is “unsustainable.” Hence, the cruel hypocrisy of Democrats who pander to their various voting blocks in an effort to frighten them.

The logic is simple: The more you give people, the more they want – or expect. (the “give ’em an inch, and they’ll take a mile” thing) The more you take from someone – the more they object – and the more they resent the recipients of their hard-earned dollars. Mix in the fact that many of the takers do so because they lack the desire or determination to work to become givers – and you have the perfect storm; a storm which is polarizing America as the givers and takers dig in their respective heals.

Seizing revenue by means of coercive taxation, and disbursing that revenue through wealth redistribution necessarily creates a class system comprised of taxpayers and tax-consumers, whereby the latter lives off the largess of the former. Even worse, tax-consumers comprise the core constituency of the Democratic Party, who exploits and panders to them – solely for political gain. Such is the case with America’s blacks – who must be led to believe that “the man” (white males, corporations,  big business, and “right-wing” Christians) is the enemy – an enemy that only the Democratic Party can keep in check. (Barack Obama, on an Hispanic radio station earlier this year, referred to “your enemies,” (Republicans) as he addressed the audience.)

Despite the left’s claim that it is the Republicans who promulgate a caste system in America, it is the Democratic Party who does so – and they’re fully aware of it; for without the perception of class warfare by the takers, modern liberalism would not be needed; nor would be the disingenuous politicians who fan its flames.

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Categories: Nonsense, The Decline of America, You Can't Beat Socialism!

9 replies

  1. why any black folks support liberals is beyond me. How many black children have been aborted? Where does Planned Parenthood set up most of their “clinics”?

    • I’ve always found it interesting that today’s Planned Parenthood apologists distance themselves quite nicely from Margaret Sanger and her obsession with eugenics.

      As for your first question, you must not forget a basic tenet of American liberalism: There should be no consequences to those (liberals) who live lives of excess – or make wrong decisions. The “black folks” of whom you speak are concerned with themselves – not the lives of their murdered unborn children.

      Regarding your second question, you’re absolutely right – it’s simply about “supply and demand.”

  2. Hey Rat, a blogging buddy of mine just posted this on my site. I had posted this post at my place. He is pretty much somewhere to the right, except when it comes to social isssues. Here is what he wrote:
    Aug 25, 2011 @ 13:47:32 [Edit]

    Slavery is an abomination, families were split up and sold individually so I don’t see how this claim can be made. As far as public safety nets they do more good than harm. The only flaw I see in the systems is that they should have included education through trade schools. In our current times there are not enough jobs to be gotten in the real world. If a person had learned a trade they could have created their own work during the lean times.


  3. This will be the fourth time I have written this comment and for some reason it is not showing up on the conservative Hillbilly’s site: In response to your last comment. This is not my thinking. I do not believe reparations are going to solve anything. Let’s not fool ourselves, reparations are going to happen. I don’t think the reparations should be checks going out to individual descendents of Black American slaves, I believe the money should go towards fixing the infrastructure, new housing and fixing old housing, rebuilding the communities and money dedicated toward education of the youth and also rehab centers. The monies should be going towards the communities; that way all are able to enjoy the benefit of reparations.

    As for the disintegration of the black families, I would like to see a comparison with White, Black and Brown families. I would bet my last dollar that they are all up around 70%

  4. Good to hear that you don’t support the classic definition of reparations, Wayne. As to the option you foresee, we can only hope you’re wrong; but with all that’s happened in the last 3-5 years, only a fool would bet against you on this one. Don’t misunderstand me: I believe in government assistance as it relates to helping the disadvantaged get a leg up; I always have. What I reject, is an ongoing “let’s continue to give them fish” vs. teaching them to fish.

    I also believe that generally speaking, a sense of entitlement exists in the black psyche for multiple reasons, most of which we’ve discussed. I’ve also wondered why blacks in other countries (which also have histories that include black slavery) assimilate into society so well, including speaking the normal dialect of their respective countries, vs. what we see in America. It will take smarter folks than us to sort out the whole mess – if it is ever to be sorted out.

    Regarding babies born out of wedlock by race, here are current numbers from the Heritage Foundation:

  5. Thanks for that chart, now one has to figure is it the welfare safety nets that are the problem or is it the environment of gangs, drugs and less education being the combination of it all.

    Entitlements would seem to be part of this but what would have happened if they had no entitlements? Do you think they would have turned their lives around? Is it possible the entitlements which is based upon income levels keep those on aid from working so that they can continue to receive aid? I am not sure how the entitlements work as to the time period or how long they can receive aid before they are cut off.

    • It’s my belief that it is “all of the above.” While gangs, drugs, black-on-black crime are certainly elements, I see them more as an “effect,” vs. a root cause. One need only look to the recent goings-on in London to understand the long-term consequences of a nanny-state mentality. We saw it in France and Greece as well.

      While Welfare has been dramatically improved since the days of effectively paying unwed mothers to have babies, we still have a long way to go.

      An element that we haven’t discussed is also a large part of the problem: blacks who choose to study in school and get good grades, or choose to drop Ebonics in favor of proper English are very often charged with “acting white” by their peers. This problem not only exists in urban areas; it’s prevalent in suburbia as well.

      The same phenomenon occurs as it relates to the “leaders” many blacks choose to follow. The Al Sharptons, Jesse Jacksons and Malik Zulu Shabazzes of the world do far more harm to their race than good. The continual drumbeat of victimization and discrimination only serves to enlarge the collective chip on the shoulder of the black community. True leaders like Clarence Thomas, Allen West and Herman Cain are to be discredited as “selling out to the white man.”

      Several years ago, when Michael Steele ran for a senate seat in Pennsylvania, Oreo cookies were thrown on the stage on several occasions while he was speaking at campaign rallies. Contrary to popular belief, racism in the black community against whites is much more prevalent than most of us realize.

  6. Of course you’re speaking of the larger cities and not rural America. The larger cities have a greater population of Black Americans and this is where that type of rhetoric is talked about. Look at Oakland CA. and you will see the Black Nation and hear it on the radio, this only fuels that type of thinking.

    On the flip side you can go into the Southern States and hear rhetoric talking about Black and Mexicans on welfare ruining this nation. Mainly on the online Websites. I have witnessed discrimination on both sides of this issue in real life.

    I think there is racism on both sides and the hate which comes from that type of rhetoric.

    You’ve made a lot of good points in this discussion. The 70% chart of black disintegration of the family is new to me. They can’t blame this all on racism it sounds more like failure on the part of the black politicians and faith based organizations, also the drugs and gangs.

    • You are correct Wayne, my experiences come from living in several larger cities in the Midwest. My wife lived in the south for awhile – and she tells me the same things you are saying about racism. A friend from Texas told me that as little as 15 years ago, the school history books referred to the Civil War as “the War of Northern Aggression.”

      To your point; not only does racism exist on both sides; it exists on all sides – throughout the world. Always has, most likely always will. One of man’s flaws is the insecurity of needing someone to whom he feels superior. From the Jews in bondage, to the horrors the Japanese inflicted on the Chinese in WWll, to present day America; the band plays on…

      Thanks for your comment on the points I’ve made. It’s a pleasure to discuss issues with someone who isn’t determined to call me names as soon as possible. ;-)

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