Caleb Harris: When bad things happen to good people

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Brooklyn residents receive free food as part of a Bowery Mission outreach program on December 5, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Christan ministry says it have seen a spike in need since food stamps to low-income families were reduced in November with cuts to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
During the Great Depression, when the stock market crashed in 1929, unemployment remained high and many businesses failed. Many Americans wondered where their next paycheck would come from.

America dealt with the poor back then by making cutbacks. Government spending went from 41 percent in 1945 to 24 percent in 1946, then to under 15 percent by 1947. That’s one of the biggest cuts in government spending. Tax rates were cut, and wartime price controls were lifted.

Even though the government cut back on spending, personal consumption grew by 6.2 percent in 1945 and 12.4 percent in 1946, even as government spending crashed. Also, Private investment spending grew by 28.6 percent. The less the government spent, the more the people spent and invested.

aIn 1946, the unemployment rate averaged below 4 percent and stayed that low for the better part of a decade. This all happened during the biggest reduction in government spending in U.S. history, under President Harry Truman.

“If you can make in America, you can make it anywhere?”

Unfortunately, that is not true for everyone. For example, Jeanine Grant Lister states that in America, being poor is a criminal offense that costs you a number of rights that include the ability to determine what kind of food you can put on your dinner table. Lister lives in Missouri and has to update the local office any time her income changes, or if a family member moves in or out, and even when her college-aged children come home for the summer. She says, “it’s a thrill to pee in a cup after relinquishing my purse, wallet, keys and shoes, just so I can get a “Scheduled Drug” sleeping medication.” Lister came from a nice neighborhood but her disability led her to poverty.

Today we have welfare programs that decrease poverty in America When bad things happen to good people, there are government welfare programs available to help until times get better. The government spends $131,900,000,000 annually on welfare.

America has decided to solve  poverty within the country by establishing welfare programs and food stamps. Not everyone qualifies for them, but for people who do qualify, it helps them out.



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