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It’s NOT systemic racism.

by Allison Phillips about a year ago in opinion

It’s Government Oppression.

The way our government assistance programs are designed counter rather support a persons efforts to better themselves. These democratic programs are, I believe, intended to do just that. On the surface, the programs are altruistic and most decent human beings agree that we, as a society, should help those less fortunate than us — especially children and disabled individuals. But beneath the surface, a much more sinister plot exists.

These programs are designed to keep a person on them, to keep them dependent and to keep them voting for the politicians that promise to “protect” them. Here are a couple of examples of how these programs keep a person on them. When a person is on food stamps, the amount of assistance they get is inversely correlated to the amount of money they make.

However, the relationship is not one to one.

Under the current system, a person could earn $50 more in a month and instead of losing $50 in food assistance, they lose $500. If a family on food stamps can earn $50 more, but are not able to earn $500 more, they will lose purchasing power.

They will be able to buy less food because they earned more money. They are literally penalized for earning $50 rather than rewarded so instead of working a few extra hours or taking a job that pays 25 cents more an hour, the person chooses to earn less.The result of this is not only the loss of income, but also the loss of potential growth. Putting in a few extra hours at work, can lead to a promotion or taking a pay increase can lead to better pay in the future, but this person has to forgo these opportunities in order to keep their benefits — which leaves them trapped in the system.

It is the same story for Medicaid. A person earns too much and they lose Medicaid for their children. Many states have taken steps to help with this issue with a Medicaid share of cost program or with a Medicaid buy-in option but many times the premiums are still more — much more — than the amount earned that puts them over the Medicaid limit. So, again, a person is forced to choose between growth and healthcare benefits for their kids and/or themselves. It’s extremely suppressive and offers the person on government assistance no option to get out of the system.

This leads to another issue — Government assistance is a primary reason black women wont get married. If they are married, they lose access to child care programs and other programs designed for single mothers. Being married also makes it more difficult to get cash assistance and food stamps. Marriage, as anyone who has gone through divorce knows, is harder to just walk away from than a simple relationship. This has led to the major problem facing the black community — fatherlessness and single mother households. Households that have two parents in the home are far more likely to be financially independent. This is not opinion. This is fact.The programs need to be completely overhauled to incentivize earning more money. For example, What if they did the opposite- the MORE money you earn, the MORE you get in assistance up until you have a livable wage.

Also, getting things for free suppresses the natural drive and motivation to earn them. Thus eliminating a desire to work hard in school … because why? Why work hard when you know that when you get out of school everyone in your family knows how to get you free government assistance. It’s a generational cycle that must be broken.

NONE of it has to do with skin color. It is about class and culture. And government programs that are income based foster these cultures and keep people in a lower class. And the more democrats promise and give free things, the more they get elected. If the Democrats truly care about the black community then the cities that have been run by Democrats for decades and decades and decades would be thriving. And the people these programs serve would also be thriving… but they aren’t.

Why is that?

My father came from one of the poorest areas in southern Mississippi. He and his brothers and sister worked hard to get out. One a senior VP of a large organization, another a dentist, another a school administrator and another a teacher. They came from very little and worked hard to change things for themselves. They made their ketchup homemade cause store bought was too expensive. Overcoming poverty is possible. And can be done. Even with a subpar school system. At some point — personal responsibility has to take hold and take root. And the suppressive government welfare programs that have flourished since the 60s have impeded personal responsibility and the desire to “make it”. In the 20s, 30s, 40s… you worked or you died. No one was going to save you. Democratic policy that came with FDRs “New Deal” and the explosion of programs following this is 100% to blame for the plight of the black community not white privilege.

It is NOT systemic racism. Blacks have been targeted by welfare programs and other programs like affirmative action that are supposed to help but only end up harming. Before the implementation of these programs, blacks as a culture were making progress financially. Between the implementation of them and the civil rights movement black prosperity was actually growing.

But these programs inhibited them. There are numerous studies on this topic and the negative impacts of affirmative action particularly when it comes to college admissions. There is an inverse relationship between government spending, and programs, land black prosperity- homeownership, wealth, even marriage rates. All of those things had started to grow but were hamstringed by these programs. I will not deny that the majority has it easier but that is purely economics — not racism. Capitalism is about gaining market share and profit and the economic system is designed to meet the needs of the majority. This cannot be helped, or prevented, but also should not me demonized. Take this example. Left handed people make up about 10% of the population. (Blacks are 13% for reference.) The entire country is designed for right handed people. Left handed people have had to adapt to this. It’s just the way the world is. Same for beautiful people — study after study has shown that more attractive people make more money. Skinny vs fat — same story. Tall vs short. There are all sorts of advantages and disadvantages. Disabled people have it the hardest. The world is not designed for them — yet most adapt.

Life is not fair. But to demonize and accuse an entire race of being racist because they were born into a society where there are more of them and less of another is ridiculous. Everyone has a chance in this country and while some people may have it harder than others, it is not an excuse to cop out and shift blame. People need to take a look in the mirror and recognize that the person looking back at them is the only person that owes them anything.

Allison Phillips
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Allison Phillips
See all posts by Allison Phillips

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