Alexander's Column

Poverty Pimps

By Mark Alexander · Oct. 7, 2010
“The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would … assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.” –Adam Smith
The Pimp-in-Chief

As a measure of community service, I round up my Boy Scout Troop periodically to meet with my friend, and Patriot Chaplain, Lurone Jennings, an inner-city community pastor.

We gather early on Saturday mornings to serve families who are struggling to make ends meet, most of them elderly and living in squalor. After cleaning around their shacks, providing meals and praying over those families, we always reconvene with Pastor Jennings for a time of fellowship.

Recently, I asked Lurone to explain what factors he thinks have contributed most to poverty in our city and nation. Without missing a beat, he said, “Poverty Pimps,” referring to those who are elected to public office on the promise of a handout rather than a hand up – this from a man who has devoted his life to serving those most irreconcilably ensnared by those pimps.

Handouts, of course, are a much easier sell than hand-ups, but the consequences in terms of human dignity and society are devastating.

Promising to give a man a fish rather than encouraging him to take up fishing to provide for himself is one of the clearest philosophical delineations between the worldviews of contemporary liberals and conservatives.

Lurone explained that, while New Deal and Great Society liberals may have had good intentions, the net result of their socialist endeavors has been the institutionalization of poverty, and the victimization and enslavement of what has become the Left’s most reliable constituency of any stripe or association: black folks.

These days, a candidate for office can count on receiving 90-plus percent of the black vote in any election, so long as he has that all-important “D” next to his or her name.

Generations of Americans have become accustomed to being given, or at least promised, fish caught by someone else. Today, Barack Hussein Obama and his socialist bourgeoisie have banked their entire political fortunes on classist rhetoric, promoting disparity in order to foster dependence.

Once was the time that the Democrat Party was the embodiment of individual responsibility and states' rights. But the party was led astray by “useful idiots” on the Left, and by the end of Franklin Roosevelt’s reign, the Party had been turned on end.

Indeed, the most famous of former Democrats, when asked why he left that once-proud party, replied, “I did not leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me.” That, of course, was Ronald Reagan.

Now, the Democrat Party, with Obama and his Leftists cadres leading the charge, is determined to break the back of free enterprise and thereby ensure an impoverished voting majority. And they’re well on the way to doing so.

Obama’s objective of “fundamentally transforming the United States of America,” is predicated on replacing free enterprise with a “social democracy,” which Merriam-Webster aptly defines as “1: a political movement advocating a gradual and peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism by democratic means; 2: a democratic welfare state that incorporates both capitalist and socialist practices.”

Unfortunately, whether it’s Marxist, Nationalist or Democratic Socialism, the terminus of statism is tyranny, for as Historian Lord John Acton noted, “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Eighteenth-century philosopher and political economist Adam Smith once wrote, “It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people.” In his 1776 masterpiece on man and economy, “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,” Smith set forth that Liberty and free enterprise go hand in hand, and that should any potentate of state attempt to centralize the economy, that would most certainly be the end of Liberty.

Today, we Americans, in this last “Shining City on a Hill,” stand at the precipice separating Liberty from tyranny.

In a few short weeks, we’ll learn whether our nation is going to plant its feet firmly, shout “Enough!” and fight for the restoration of Essential Liberty, or be pushed yet another step closer to the abyss of totalitarianism.

With less than a month until the midterm referendum on the most menacing socialist agenda in U.S. history, I’m reminded of a pamphlet published in 1916 by an outspoken advocate for Liberty, William J. H. Boetcker. He entitled his tract “The Ten Cannots,” and it fittingly contrasts the competing political and economic agendas of the right and left in this era: “You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.”


In the meantime, let us stand firm against the Poverty Pimps, and, noli nothis permittere te terere (Don’t let the bastards get you down)!


View all comments


Lonnie said:

Wow! Every new commentary you write, I think is your best. Thank you!

Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 11:22 AM

joesixpack31 said:

Mark...Many thanks for your outstanding essay on "poverty pimps". Keep up the good work....Joe

Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Larry said:

You are quite correct as usual. I am afraid however that the 'pimps' will try an October surprise. This time it may be they will 'adjust' the coming unemployment figures to just below 9% so that they can say "See what we're doing is working". They will then come out with the true figure of around 10% after the election.

Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Patriot Mom said:

EXCELLENT article.

Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Mike McGinn said:

Mark,EXCELLENT essay this week!We are indeed on the edge of the abyss, and I can only hope that the lemmings in our great nation will have awoken by November 2nd.I've had Boetcker's "10 Cannots" posted on the wall of my office for about a year. They all still ring true 94 years later.Keep up the fight! It's one we must win.

Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Linda Malone said:

You have said it well. i especially appreciated the Ten Cannots. It's not Republicans against Democrats but Americans against wrong. Our country is moving away from principles set forth in the Constitution. We are losing our precious freedom to people we elect, who lie and interpret the constitution as they want and when called to listen to the will of the people they laugh and call us fanatics. The judges do not judge and the people, those who make up America, from the bottom will no longer be silent. America is a country founded on God and the people will not stand for the direction America is moving.

Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Joseph Randolph said:

The dems will stop literally at nothing in order to win. Ethics, which they tout from the rooftops, are negated by what they plot in the basement. To read more, consult my book, Debilitating Democracy: Power From the People, 2010, on sale on line everywhere.J. Randolph

Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Eva DeHart said:

I loved the explanation. I think with this I better understand how I grew up in a home of Democrats and never understood the concept. That has changed. Thank you.

Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 11:56 AM

greg smith said:

RE: Poverty PimpsThis so clearly lays out the cancer in the Black community. In their desire to be free and to build a free society they have unwittingly, I sadly believe, lost that freedom. They have again found themselves slaves to debt, to the masters handouts, and to the company store. They have caved to the seductions of the Poverty Pimps for sure. Their sense of personal dignity and power to elevate themselves has been severely diminished. It is hard to believe that anyone would want that and would vote for the Democratic claptrap. Thanks for your clarion calls for freedom!

Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Lane Lavender said:

One only need look to the American Indian to see what is to become of all of us if we do not take a stand for liberty. A once proud and self sufficient people, in a little over 200 years were regulated to reservations where most remain in poverty waiting on their govt checks. I wonder what party gets the majority of their votes?

Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Merry in Cave Creek, AZ said:

Mr. Alexander,You hit the proverbial nail on the head with, "promoting disparity in order to foster dependence." Obama and company have used the PC term of "promoting diversity" which is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to actually promote disparity and incite class warfare. So far he seems to be winning with the ignorant masses in the country and in Congress. I pray that November will bring a change; if not, I fear an uprising of the People who have said, "Enough is enough!" They just may all "shrug". Of course, those in power will continue to exploit the ignorant using those who have as examples of greedy, thoughtless, and uncaring people which is as far from the truth as it can get.

Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Shawn in NC said:

Very true article. I am ashamed to say, but a relative recently finish training for a specific career and quickly found an entry level job. Being a high school dropout who found enough sense to get a GED and some training, entry level was expected and embraced. However, he soon quit his job because the government handouts were going to cease. He decided that short term benefits outweighed the long term because he was 'taught' to depend on the handout and if he let it go it would not be there for him later. He gave up the fishing pole for the fish! His short-sighted 'training' has failed him and now he is likely to find that the 'fish' will run out because those who had fishing poles were taxed too much to keep them in working condition! The entry-level position at the fishing hole has now been taken by another more willing fisherman.

Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Mike McGinn said:

For Jim H.- Corporations don't pay taxes. Their customers, employees, and stockholders do.- Corporations have outsourced jobs because of excessive and burdensom goverment regulation and taxatioin.- Public education in America is a crock. I wouldn't put my child in a public school if you held a gun to my head (and I still pay my taxes to support public schools!). As per pupil spending goes through the roof, educational performance goes through the floor. All federal government activities in education should be scrapped immediately. Give education back to the states and the local communities.- You cannot create a healthy, tolerant society by kowtowing to one, special interest group and then crushing all others. EQUAL treatment, NOT special treatment is the key.- Inflation adjusted expenditures for defense have essentially been level since the Korean War. Per capita expenditures for defense have consistently trended down. The percentage of GDP we expend for defense has consistently trended down. When looking at Social Security, Medicare, and the multitude of other social programs implemented by the New Deal and the Great Society, all of them just keep getting more expensive. Oh, by the way, the Constitution specifically mandates that the government maintain an Army and a Navy. It says absolutely nothing about social programs that are crippling our nation.- Million/Billionaires are already taxed. Millionairs/Billionaires are the ones who create and grow businesses, which create jobs. Government workers and politicians do not create jobs. Recipients of the "benefits" from social programs do not create jobs.- Republicans don't say no to everything. They just say no to the ridiculous ideas foisted upon them by a majority in the House and Senate which will send this nation into the toilet. If I told you that your choices for a career for your daughter were 1) Prostitute, 2) Drug Dealer, or 3) Crook I'm quite sure that you'd say no to all three. There are NO GOOD choices to say yes to. That's why you hear the Republicans say no.

Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 12:30 PM

The Editor replied:

Mike, thanks for responding to this one... "Jim H." is clearly part of the problem, not the solution. Semper Fi!

Shawn in NC said:

To 'Jim H' and his 'cannot omissions':'You cannot create a strong America by giving corporate handouts, tax breaks and tax loopholes to the richest Americans and biggest corporations - courtesy of Congressional Republicans, the Pimps of Plutocracy. A society that taxes hedge fund billionaires at a much lower rate than factory workers, teachers, firemen, and policemen is sick.'Reponse:**The corporations are already taxed at 38% or more and the richest in the country already pay 80-90% of the tax burden.**You cannot create American jobs by encouraging American corporations to "outsource" jobs to India and Southeast Asia.Response:**Fair Tax. If those nasty corporations had the tax playing field leveled fairly, they wouldn't have to outsource.**You cannot create an educated work force by cutting funding to public education.Response:**Education funding is bloated and the system is top-heavy. N.C. has a new 'education' lottery that, once implemented the schools, having the original tax money plus the new lottery money, immediately proclaimed they had less funding and began cutting the lowest-paying jobs, which happen to be the actual teachers! The higher-paying political jobs have not been cut. Ah, the effcient and effective government you want so much!**You cannot create a healthy, tolerant society by inciting hatred of Muslims, gays, the disabled and people who cannot find jobs.Response:**There is no incitement of hatred in this article. You must be smoking some bad crack to have seen that! The only incitement is of disapproval toward a failing experiment with socialism, which has shown itself to create only apathy.**You cannot create a healthy work force by perpetuating a system that leaves 46 million Americans without health insurance.Response:**If most of the nonsensical government regulation were removed from health insurance laws, the costs would go down. The responsibility should be on us, the patients, at that point to let our dollars do the walking. However, people are taught that insurance should cover 'everything' is actually a risk pool...or in more pedestrian terms, a GAMBLE.**You cannot have a balanced budget if you spend a trillion dollars a year funding a bloated military-industrial complex devoted to perpetual war.Response:**The military is the biggest component PERMITTED by our Constitution. Stimulus packages, charities, and bureaucracy were never a part of our Constituion, nor the intent of our Founding Fathers. You'd be amazed at the low tax burden if the handouts were stopped...people get MOTIVATED when they begin to feel hunger/need. Charities would cover those who cannot provide...people have a heart without the government requiring them to.**You cannot have a healthy environment if you de-regulate the corporations that poison our air, our water table and our oceans in unrestrained pursuit of the almighty - well, once-mighty - dollar.Response:**I agree 100%! Greed has a way of laying waste to our resources. This is one area we need some regulation. But only minimal regulation as far as protections go, not controlling profits and productivity.**You cannot balance the budget if you refuse to tax the estates of multi-millionaires and billionaires.Response:**They already taxed beyond what you would EVER pay yourself. If they don't have the $ to invest in new business, who will? Government? Government has proven itself unworthy of such trust and ingenuity. Profits would all go toward reelection campaigns and retirement/benefit funds for politicians (already proven).**You cannot expect a government to work if one party - the Republican Party - opposes every effort to clean up the mess their policies created and tries to label the President who got more votes than any candidate in history a socialist, Muslim, non-citizen who wants to impose Sharia law on America.Response:**Um, try putting on the thinking cap rather than watching MSM, bud. It was DEMOCRAT-promoted policy that got us into this mess. Fanny, Freddie, etcetera...people allowed to borrow money who had not the slightest ability to pay it back. The last part about Muslims and socialists...I think you were taking another 'toke' on that sentence. It didn't make any sense whatsoever.**

Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Jack Biel said:

Great article but too dang long. Would be more effective using the Readers Digest approach. Cut out the flower and get to the fragrance.Regards,Jack Biel

Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 12:53 PM