Sunday’s Durham Herald Sun ran my column examining the wrong-headed policies being discussed by North Carolina’s Poverty Reduction and Economic Recovery Commission. Here’s a sample:
Poverty, in reality, is the absence of wealth creation.
The focus of the commission’s attention, then, should not be what causes poverty, but what causes wealth and prosperity. After all, there is a reason Adam Smith titled his epic treatise “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” rather than “An Inquiry into the Causes of Poverty.”
North Carolina’s “Poverty Reduction Commission,” however, seems completely disinterested in learning how wealth creation can relieve poverty. The commission’s focus, rather, is centered on how to subsidize poverty through expanded government programs.
In order to truly lift people out of poverty, the commission should be focused not on expanding the welfare state, but on encouraging productive activities that will generate opportunities for our state’s poor.
After all, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the best social welfare program is a job.