Poverty, as Glenn Beck notes, is an issue that unites us all, at least on the surface.  It’s not a political condition, he says; it’s a human condition. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly a third of the residents in those cities [Detroit, Michigan and Buffalo, New York] are living beneath the poverty line, the highest rates among large cities in the entire country.

No matter what side of the political aisle you’re on, that is nothing short of appalling. Yet if you ask people what we should do about it, you’ll probably hear answers that inexplicably break down right along party lines.

Indeed.  Instead, we should see what works and do it.  Additionally, we should see what doesn’t work and stop doing it.  I mean, if providing the same solution for decades hasn’t helped, it’s time for a radically different answer. 

But as Glenn observes, there are some places that will stick with their solution through thick and thin (and failure).

Is there a perfect answer? Probably not. But what bothers me is that people stubbornly stick to their solution, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that it’s not working.

For example, Detroit, whose mayor has been indicted on felony charges, hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961. Buffalo has been even more stubborn. It started putting a Democrat in office back in 1954, and it hasn’t stopped since.

Unfortunately, those two cities may be alone at the top of the poverty rate list, but they’re not alone in their love for Democrats. Cincinnati, Ohio (third on the poverty rate list), hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1984. Cleveland, Ohio (fourth on the list), has been led by a Democrat since 1989. St. Louis, Missouri (sixth), hasn’t had a Republican since 1949, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (eighth), since 1908, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (ninth), since 1952 and Newark, New Jersey (10th), since 1907.

The only two cities in the top 10 that I didn’t mention (Miami, Florida, and El Paso, Texas) haven’t had Republicans in office either — just Democrats, independents or nonpartisans.

Over the past 50 years, the eight cities listed above have had Republican leadership for a combined 36 years. The rest of the time — a combined 364 years — they’ve been led by Democrats.

The same old welfare programs have basically failed these cities, but the residents keep re-electing the same party with the same tired ideas, where saying you care trumps actual results.

Glenn starts his commentary with a quote from a guy with another idea for combating poverty.

I think the best way of doing good to the poor is not making them easy in poverty but leading them or driving them out of it.

Radical, yes, but he’d never get elected mayor of any of these cities.  It’s too bad, too, because Benjamin Franklin was quite a guy.  I hear he had something to do with the founding of our country. 

Filed under: DemocratsEconomicsPolitics

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!