Monday, March 26, 2007

Is the best way to reduce poverty always a government program?

Pretty self-explanatory. Send it to your favorite pro-tax liberal and watch him squirm!

Spending Us Into the Poorhouse?
by Paul Jacob
Is the best way to reduce poverty always a government program?
Take the case of Wal-Mart. Many self-proclaimed advocates for the poor attack Wal-Mart ad nauseam as some kind of devil. But last year a study showed that the huge company lowers prices on products that poor people happen to buy. So much so, in fact, that Wal-Mart’s financial benefit to the poor proved greater than the federal government's entire Food Stamp program. The facts haven't yet stopped the attacks on Wal-Mart, though.
Now comes a new study by Matthew Ladner of Arizona’s Goldwater Institute and Paul Gessing of New Mexico’s Rio Grande Foundation. It’s entitled "Hood or Robin Hood? State Governments and the Reduction of Poverty."
The study found, "Although there are doubtlessly some who benefit from high state government spending, the poor do not seem to be among them."
Those states with the lowest per capita direct spending on the poor substantially lowered their poverty rates. But top spenders "not only failed to reduce poverty rates, they actually suffered an increase in poverty rates of 7.6 percent."
Quite a difference.
Governments claim to help the poor. But when taxes injure the businesses providing the jobs that lead out of poverty, and poverty programs tempt people to act in ways that lead to more poverty, governments do more harm than good.

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