In Jim Cook's Archive


A job that was paying $10 an hour ten years ago should probably be paying $20 an hour today just to keep up with inflation. That’s not happening. Workers at the lower end of the wage scale are getting punished by cost of living increases. Not the phony inflation numbers that the government put out, but the real world of rising prices. It’s getting harder and harder to make ends meet on today’s low wages.

Workers at the bottom of the wage scale have come to rely on government housing, food stamps and health care assistance to get by. Government sponsored inflation ruins the purchasing power of the dollars that low income people earn, and the government then subsidizes them. This causes greater budget deficits that call for even more inflating. To house everyone, the government rents, builds or finances apartment complexes. They provide low income housing as never before.

I know of one such complex (section 8 housing) financed by a myriad of government agencies. The maintenance man claims the residents are gradually ruining the apartments. A week ago a fight in one of the apartments broke the sprinkler system, which caused water damage. Last week in an unseasonable hot spell three tenants left windows open with their air conditioning on. This caused water damage that ruined the ceilings below. None of this is surprising. The destruction of subsidized housing by tenants is a well-known fact. In many of the worst cases these properties are torn down and the government builds new ones in their place.

Subsidized housing has also become notorious as a behavioral sinkhole. Drug dealing and crime often originate in public housing units. After a few generations in subsidized housing, families become totally dysfunctional. Alcoholism, abuse and addiction are epidemic.

In the suburb where I live, the government took over several large apartment complexes to provide housing for thousands of Somali immigrants. The park where I sometimes go to see my grandson play baseball is now known as Somali park. It’s a relatively new thing for immigrants to be subsidized from the start of their new life in America. These unskilled African Muslims are given a financial boost by government. It puts them at grave risk. Will they be able to become self sufficient or will they prefer the ease of the subsidized life. Will they follow the pattern of all heavily subsidized groups before them and begin to misbehave.

In St. Paul, an Asian woman housed in a government subsidized housing project murdered her seven children. She was unmarried and began having these children while still a teenager. Numerous other large families headed by single women are found in this subsidized complex. The men don’t marry the women because they would get less money. The size of the families are large because the government pays more for each child. Often, the least responsible people with the worst parenting skills are encouraged by government incentives to have large families.

Boredom is a word we take lightly. When we consider its opposite – stimulation – we can see that we are talking about a much more important behavioral factor. One of mankind’s primary needs is to replace boredom with stimulation. Income supports and subsidies promote boredom like nothing else. The underclass frequently resorts to anti-social and bizarre behavior to relieve boredom. Often drugs and alcohol are the only stimulation available to those without occupations.

Native Americans were once the most self sufficient people on earth. After a century on the dole, the rate of alcoholism on some reservations approaches ninety percent. Liberals who promote social welfare should have to visit remote reservations like Rosebud in South Dakota and view the helplessness, addiction and squalor. The bushmen in Australia suffer from exactly the same government paternalism and their behavior is no different. A small island of self-sufficient fishermen in the Pacific went on the dole in 1945 because our government thought they were too close to an atomic bomb testing sight. These natives don’t fish much anymore. They are more interested in contributing to the huge piles of beer cans littering the island.

The inner city has become the world’s largest laboratory of behavioral sins and social decay. Subsidized people of every race are sinking into behavioral quicksand. Their character worsens and their conduct deteriorates while on the dole. The more money they get, the worse they become. The most corrosive behavioral force on earth originates with giving people money they didn’t earn. It’s time for the advocates of social welfare to wise up. Ruining the currency through inflation is bad enough, but ruining the people is unforgivable.

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