Welfare has a bad image. But wait a minute! We give welfare for farmers; we give welfare for social security and many of the pensioners who work for the state and collect far more than they put in. We give $70 billion for research in health, energy, agriculture, and space. Trillions of dollars have been poured down the rat hole of the Pentatgon as the Cold War ran down, and the military is still absorbing $265 billion. The Pentagon's new criterion for budgetary decisions is based on whether it will help maintain jobs in industry. That's a welfare program! Why not call it that? If you talk about welfare, get real! There are 68 separate tax-and-spending programs for corporations that equal $40 billion a year with no particular benefit to the economy. We give money to the Chinese to buy wheat sold by American farmers; we bail out the loggers, the dairy farmers, and the sugar growers. We pay the oil companies to drill hard-to-reach wells; we subsidize the private electric utilities that serve rural areas long after those areas have electrification. The money still flows into the agricultural subsidies, into McDonald's hamburgers and Gallo to advertise their products abroad, into the pharmaceutical companies, and into the pockets of the powerful through clever and secretive tax credits and depreciation schedules. And now the Republicans are planning to give a tax credit to people who make a quarter of a million dollars a year!The Founding Fathers believed in promoting the general welfare. They didn't see it as the solution for everything, or necessary for everyone.
The conventional viewpoint says we need a jobs program and we need to cut welfare. Just the opposite! We need more welfare and fewer jobs. Jobs for every American is doomed to failure because of modern automation and production. We ought to recognize it and create an income-maintenance system so every single American has the dignity and the wherewithal for shelter, basic food, and medical care. I'm talking about welfare for all. Without it, you're going to have warfare for all.
Monday, October 01, 2012
Blogging In The Years: 1995
And Jerry Brown wonders why he never became President: