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Samizdata quote of the day

Ever since Johnson declared this war on Poverty, I’ve often wondered – who won? Have they killed all the poor people yet?

– Samizdata commenter Nick (nice-guy) Gray

9 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Schrodinger's Dog

    Don’t you know your history? In the War on Poverty, poverty won.

    It’s not an original quote – unfortunately – but one I feel deserves a wider audience.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Long ago I saw this:

    “A war on poverty? Splendid idea. Why, just last week I shot a beggar!”

  • Michael Staab

    The United States, since the times of the “Great Society”, has spent approximately 24 trillion dollars on anti-poverty programs, while the percentage of those considered to be in poverty has remained the same. With a 50 year track record as evidence of the utter failure of the welfare state, it amazes me that the public continues to buy into this form of wealth re-distribution.
    It ought not be necessary to say this, but the closer a nation practices laissez faire capitalism, and I would add, NOT crony capitalism, more people find themselves in a position to bring themselves out of that realm of poverty. Welfare only makes poverty comfortable, and engenders the mentality that others exist only to provide for them.
    End the welfare state. Otherwise there are no barriers to the continuation of theft, and the immorality it fosters.

  • Ljh

    It’s not so much a war as a farming operation, taking the poor from subsistence or sink in the past to intensive agribusiness with lots of expert farmhands now.

  • Andy Hatton

    what exactly is the definition of ‘poverty’ these days anyway?

    I’ve lived in places where people lived in shacks cobbled together from packing crates and wooden shipping pallets with no running water yet had a 30ft satellite TV dish parked outside…

    I’m confused and confused.com does not apparently have the answer to ANY of my questions…

  • Paul Marks

    This is the approach of the Venezuelan government – chaos leading to 25 thousand murders a year (relative to population one of the highest murder rates in the world) and mostly of the poor.

    And yet the poor (who have got poorer and poorer since the socialists came to power – and have seen many of their friends and relatives murdered) mostly remain fanatically loyal to the socialist regime.

    Experience only helps the prepared mind.

    For minds filled with the ideas of “Social Justice – Liberation Theology” experience is unlikely to have any good effects.

    The more that Social Justice fails the MORE Social Justice they will demand.

    And people in United Kingdom and the United States should not sneer – wide populations (of rich as well as poor) believe in Social Justice here to.

    As Hayek (the real Fritz Hayek – not the nonsense presented by Matt Z.) put it – Social Justice is the “morality” of the savage hunter-gatherer pack.

    A kill has been made (say of some fat “capitalist”) so all of the savages in the pack must get their “fair share” of the human flesh to eat. As the “Occupy” pack dance in the ruins of the factory they have burned.

    Hence the slogan “eat the rich”.

    I suspect that there is as little hope for California as there is for Argentina.

    The ideas (the beliefs) of most people in these places are just no good. And not just of the poor people – many of the rich people also.

    Someone like Matt Damon may be a joke (from a distance) – but people like him are becoming the mainstream.

  • Rob

    The War on (Relative) Poverty – like the war in 1984, one which can never be won, by design.

  • Nick (nice-guy) Gray

    I heard this a few years back- in Africa, if no-one in your village has a mobile phone, then your village is poor! Is that the new definition of poverty?
    And I am chuffed that some words of mine have been selected as a ‘quote of the day’. I would like to thank my teachers and parents and the wonderful people at Samizdata! Thank you, thank you, thank you!