Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Billions Spent Maintaining Poverty

Tim Wortsall, in his Blog today, catches onto a powerful story of state-financed failure from Tim Luckhurst, ex-editor of The Scotsman, in today’s Times (London).

It’s about state-financed policies as they operate on the ground in Glasgow, Scotland, and their real affect on children of state-financed dependents. Nowhere is it more evident that spending vast sums of taxpayer’s money in pursuit of ‘social equality’ (also known as ‘palliative’ care for the poorest members of society), can ever be enough to eradicate the real cause of poverty – i.e., the absence of employment in wealth-creating activities, not the absence of money. I risk Tim’s wrath in reprinting his piece in full because not a single word is surplus to the horror of what is reported:

Government Doesn’t Work.

A quite wonderful little Thunderer here from
Tim Luckhurst:What this sordid incident really challenges is the Chancellor’s assertion that “only the State can guarantee fairness”.
In the grim Glasgow housing estate where the 11-year-old hails from, and estates like it in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dundee, the State is ubiquitous. It houses, feeds, clothes and educates. In many households it is the sole breadwinner. The minority of adults who do work are likely to be employed by it;the State employs a higher proportion of Scots than in any other democracy. It recruited 9,000 new employees last year alone, bringing the total number of Scottish state employees to 577,300. And what do vast swaths of them do? They pursue social inclusion, often as drug outreach workers, on these grim housing estates.
If Mr Brown were right, Scotland would be nirvana and its peripheral housing estates idyllic. Here state provision of services to eradicate squalor is lavish. Spending on the NHS, schools, benefits and social care exceeds any elsewhere in Britain. Yet, after three decades of Labour dominance and seven years of the Labour-dominated Scottish Parliament the welfare state is failing utterly.

What has Labour ever done for Scotland? Apart from low life expectancy and economic stagnation, an honest answer must include 11-year-old heroin addicts, the highest rate of adolescent alcoholism in Europe and a level of teenage pregnancy to match.
Brings to mind PJ O’Rouke’s astonishing point. You can’t cure poverty by giving people money.”

Read Tim Luckhurst’s original piece via: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3284-2017098,00.html and read Tim Worsthall – everyday! –
at: http:// timworsthall.typepad.com/timworsthall


For those of us who live in Scotland, the grimy stories that occasionally emerge from the sink public housing estates of its main cities, including beautiful Edinburgh, are constant reminders of the prices paid by the so-called beneficiaries of state spending, combined with the inevitable state neglect. The cycle of squalid poverty, unrelieved by spending vast budgets according to the preferences of the middle-class educated elites, continues unabated generation after generation. If poverty could be eliminated by money, it would have been eradicated years ago. Participation in wealth creation abolishes poverty and wealth is created in societies that expand opportunities for all, a point noted by Adam Smith in his strictures against stagnating and declining economies.
As long as politicians retain power from dominating deprived constituencies of voters trapped in the hopelessness of their poverty and unemployment, lousy schools, poor heath and squalid housing, they will not do anything serious about ‘making poverty history’. They spend billions on these afflictions each year with little to show for it.

Tim Worsthall and Tim Lunchurst talk more sense than all the politicians who tout their ‘social consciences’ and impose their losing prejudices on their hapless victims together. It need not be like this in the country of the Enlightenment.


Post a Comment

<< Home