A Dem/Socialist Smackdown Two-Fer

On June 6th The Signal published a column by Josh Heath entitled “The progressive case for ending welfare” (Link), in which he advocated what is essentially a “working welfare” government program modeled after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs of the Great Depression. As Heath wrote: “These jobs would be modeled after what President Franklin Roosevelt had Americans doing during the Great Depression: Building roads, schools and post offices; beautifying communities; teaching students; making art.”

Unfortunately, I think he overlooked a major flaw in his proposal.

You can’t really “create” those jobs because they already exist in our government work force. If there’s something that needs to be done — such as his examples of building roads, schools, teaching, whatever — there’s already someone doing it, as those things already exist as government programs or through bureaucracies.

So you can’t create “new” jobs; all you end up really doing is replacing the current workers, many of whom are private-sector contractors, with “working welfare” employees.

The country’s economic model pre-FDR was fundamentally different from today. The government had a much smaller role, so FDR was able to create jobs out of pretty much thin air – though the long-term economic benefit to the country has been doubtful at best – and ultimately the slack was really taken up by the manpower demands of engaging in World War II.

Since that time, the government has grown into a gargantuan entity with its tentacles woven throughout our economy, the natural result of FDR’s expansionist policies. So the economic reality of Heath’s proposal would result in major disruption of a significant portion of the work force as current employees – both direct and indirect (such as vendors and contractors) – were replaced by the “working welfare” employees. In fact, all you would really do is create an entirely new group of people without jobs, merely shifting the burden from one group of people to another.

Just as the Obamacare promise of solving the problem of the chronically uninsured actually only shifted the demographic from millions of the “poor” to millions of the middle class, Heath’s proposal also will only trade one set of the unemployed for another. It doesn’t actually “solve” anything.

In regard to Gary Horton’s column “America: just another nation?”, published on 7 June (Link), I have to say, it really is a lot of fun watching lefties wail and moan. I want to examine a couple of his complaints.

Okay, NATO. Trump hasn’t withdrawn us from NATO. What he HAS done is tell our “partners” that they’re finally going to have to pay their actual commitments to their share of the funding, something virtually ALL of them have been shirking for God knows how long. What a drag, right? So instead of coasting on our dime, and wasting their own money on their social welfare programs, now they’re gonna have to pony up. Bummer, I’m sure.

The Paris Accord. That scam that’s SO bad that it was never even submitted to the Senate for ratification, because it was a sure-fire epic fail there. Yep, Obama had his “phone and pen”, but now, so does Trump. Same phone, same pen. So now we’re out.

That’s a GREAT deal for America. Instead of keeping our cheap and abundant energy resources uselessly in the ground, while China and India charge ahead with their massive coal-fired energy projects, all while we chase after expensive “green energy” fantasies, we can use those resources to improve our economy and standard of living. Instead of losing millions of jobs and throwing hundreds of billions of dollars to Third World corruptocracies in a massive international wealth redistribution scheme in which we’re the victims, we can keep those jobs and those monies for our own benefit.

Sounds like a “YUGE” win… for us.

Gary: “So much leadership and potential trashed, all in 138 days.”

Well, yeah, I know it looks like that… to him. But to me it looks like we’re finally veering away from the socialist highway the lefties had us on. I can sure understand why that upsets so many of them, while a whole lot of US are cheering.

To me it looks like in that same 138 days Trump has actually made a great effort to live up to and fulfill his campaign promises, something I had little confidence he was actually going to do. I’m very impressed!


©Brian Baker 2017


(Also published today in The Signal)


16 comments on “A Dem/Socialist Smackdown Two-Fer

  1. captbogus2 says:

    There are jobs that could be handed out to welfare recipients. You see lots of jail inmates out picking up trash along the highway, for one. There are not enough jail inmates to do all the roads so as long as we are going to hand out welfare checks, why not let them do something to actually earn it. And maybe at the same time get the ambition to look for a better paying job.

    • BrianR says:

      Jail inmates do it for free. The kid wants to pay the welfare people a “living wage”. See the problem there?

      • captbogus2 says:

        Yeah jail inmates don’t get paid. But as long as we are forking out welfare money any way a requirement to do something in return would be motivational enough to cause a lot of recipients to look for a job.

      • BrianR says:

        In some cases maybe. But a LOT of those people are simply addicted to the “job-free lifestyle” of money for nothing. In fact, look at some of the “welfare queens” who keep batting out endless kids because their welfare check increases with each new kid. You think they’re gonna change, and line up for an actual job? I don’t.

        In fact, the few times “working welfare” legislation has been proposed, people act out like someone’s proposing they be flogged in public. They’re not going to accept the idea at all, generally speaking.

      • captbogus2 says:

        Yes jail inmates do it for free but so long as we are forking over mega bucks to welfare recipients we might as well be getting something in return. Besides which such a requirement might motivate the welfare recipient to look for a better job.

      • BrianR says:

        But it won’t work that way, Buck. First of all, remember that those people aren’t going to do any actual work for the same amount of money they get now. They’re going to demand an hourly wage, and it’s going to total a LOT more than their monthly welfare check of the present. So you’re adding a fiscal requirement that a LOT more money be budgeted. Where’s that going to some from?

        Look, to boil it to its essence, you can’t simply turn to a bunch of people who are right now getting, say, $1500 a month and tell them that “Hey, now you have to show up to a job to get that same $1500”. That will NEVER, EVER happen.

  2. The Crawfish says:

    Somehow, I don’t think the public sector unions would cotton to the FDR-style programs unless the pay was at least $25/hr and had mandatory union membership.

  3. Grey Neely says:

    Excellent analysis, Brian The WPA and CCC under FDR occurred over 75 years ago. The USA is an entirely different country now. The only reasonable thing to do with welfare and entitlements is to turn them off. Either “cold turkey” or over a period of time, the welfare state must be shut down. The USA can no longer afford to fund “give-aways”.
    But having said this, I fully realize that there will be rioting in the streets if the welfare state is shut down. But it must be done.

    • BrianR says:

      Thanks, Grey.

      I agree. If we’re going to save this country, all of these endless “entitlements” will ultimately have to go, and rioting will definitely result. Of course, that’s a part of all the rioting we’re seeing right now, IMO. The leftists see all their “programs” and policies endangered, and are lashing out. So we’re already part way there.

      I’ve said for literally years — at least a couple of decades — that we’re engaged in a civil war as fundamental as the one that took place in the 1860s, just not as bloody……. yet. I agree that it’s probably unavoidable. It’s not a question of “if”, it’s a question of how much, I think.

  4. garnet92 says:

    It seems to me that the only way to get a “return on our investment” in welfare funding is to have the recipients do work that “other Americans won’t do,” e.g., the work that illegal aliens are doing. We have scores of Fruit Acquisition Specialists and Landscape Technicians who need to be returned to wherever they came from thus freeing up undesirable jobs for those who currently occupy our welfare rolls.

    The only problem is one of location, location, location. Not so much a problem in your state (California) since Governor (Einstein) Brown could simply issue rail passes to allow the new workers to get from home to fields or toney neighborhoods by using his new high-speed bullet train to whisk them about.

    This concept doesn’t work so well in New York City where Fruit Acquisition Specialist jobs aren’t plentiful, but I never said this proposal was without problem. Maybe some of them can become math tutors or foreign language interpreters?

    As of May 2016, CNN said there were 5.8 million job openings and over 100 million on welfare so the numbers don’t jibe – we’ll need to create entirely new jobs to absorb even a sizeable percent of those on the dole.

    Wow, this is giving me a headache. But wait! I know the answer: take a page from our leftist friends and merely suggest a totally unworkable solution and pronounce the problem “solved.” That’s the way they “solve” problems.

    Good, now I feel all better.

    • BrianR says:


      Excellent commentary, my friend!

      Yes, those “Fruit Acquisition Specialists” (FAS) may be an answer. But even with rail travel available, the FAS candidates in, say, South Central LA are a VERY long way from the actual fruit in the San Joaquin Valley, for example.

      The other flaw in the original dude’s premise is, again, that it requires the actual cooperation of those FASs in the form of their willingness to actually show up for work. Remember Maynard G. Krebs, as played by Bob Denver, and his squeaky enunciation of the word “work” on the old Dobie Gillis show? Well, that’s them.

  5. CW says:

    Hmmm, working in return for pay. What a novel idea! Why didn’t anyone ever think of this before???

    Oy vey. It never ceases to amaze me when Democrats stand in the middle of the forest and wonder where the trees are.

    Mr. Heath never explains why these “able-bodied” people need to have jobs especially created or set aside for them by the government. If they’re “able-bodied,” why can’t they go find a job either in the private sector or in government the same way everyone else has to? Our “4.3%” unemployment rate may be understated but these are not the days of 25% unemployment like they saw during the Great Depression. We shouldn’t have to create busy work to get people off the government dole. Stop paying them to do nothing and suddenly they’ll be motivated to do something. It’s not rocket science.

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