Gregory on the very poor and a government safety net

Now, there is plenty the government can do to help the very poor, and it all involves getting out of the way. Government at all levels can and should: (1) stop taxing the poor-they are hit especially by sales taxes, payroll taxes, and sin taxes-and recognize that all taxes destroy wealth and that the poor ultimately suffer from them all, (2) stop regulating the poor out of work with business codes and fees that almost invariably protect established interests by erecting anti-competitve barriers to entry, (3) repeal minimum wage laws that prohibit those at the bottom of the economic ladder from being able to take that first important step, (4) repeal licensing laws on occupations like taxi-driving, construction, hair-dressing, and indeed every other industry that poor Americans are often quite qualified to be entrepreneurial in, but are only prevented from entering by the state’s absurd impositions that often amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars, (5) pursue fundamental criminal justice reform to bring safety and liberty back to the city streets, eliminating gang violence by ending the drug war, repealing all gun laws that disadvantage the poor, vastly reining in the police who are so often a threat to normal poor Americans, and completely revamping a correctional system that robs hundreds of thousands of peaceful poor Americans of their freedom and economic opportunities, (6) deregulate all industry-health care, especially; the poor have better access all the time to the very products whose producers are least regulated (computers, electronics, clothing) and are the most alienated from those with the most government involvement (medicine), (6) eliminate welfare programs that inculcate complacency and dependence rather than encourage independence and responsibility.

Anthony Gregory

Henry C Alphin Jr
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