by Julie Tisdale
City & County Policy Analyst
Allen West has a great article in The Washington Times this week entitled “The failing legacy of the ‘Great Society’: The nanny state has taken a toll on black America.”
But the demand that the “more” must be done by government through a stronger safety net, wealth redistribution and mandated equality measures overshadows the years of evidence that indicate more often than not, government programs fail. They disincentivize wise choices, diminish individual will, limit educational opportunities, and create burdensome regulations that hinder entrepreneurship and increase the cost of living for families embracing the notion that advancement is their responsibility.
He writes about “smart growth” policies (also see JLF’s City and County Issue Guide), restrictions on school choice (see JLF research here and here), higher minimum wages (see recent newsletters from Roy Cordato), occupational licensing (again, see JLF research), and social security, all of which he argues have harmed the very people they were intended to help.
As he says, “It has been 50 years since the advent of the Great Society anti-poverty programs. Clearly, they don’t work.” The JLF research above offers some solutions that might.