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‘The Good Intentions of the Welfare State’

Does the welfare system work for minorities in America? Over the long run, has it done more harm than good?

When watching mainstream American political discourse, one gets the impression that all black leaders are in agreement and are of one mind when it comes to all aspects of President Lyndon B Johnson’s Great Society and support for the welfare state. Upon closer examination, this is not necessarily the case. It’s not that there is any shortage of contrarian African-American voices on this issue. Rather, the political left have long-relied on welfare and entitlement programs as their central issue for garnering African American political support, which is why editorial gatekeepers may be reticent to allow any credible dissenting voices on this issue onto a mainstream media platform. The result of this has been a monolithic conversation centered around “race,” and worst of all – no overall improvement on raising the socioeconomic bar.

There is no doubt that the current socio-economic situation is still dire for millions of African-Americans, but for that situation to improve, there also needs to be honest conversation about the efficacy and long-term outcomes of sweeping federal social programs. This short compendium combines statements on the issue from eminent African-American scholar Thomas Sowell, award-winning journalist Jason Riley, academic and economist Walter E. Williams, as well as leading advocates Bob Woodson, Larry Elder, and Star Parker. Watch:

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