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Political Editors / April 7, 2017

Government-Controlled Economy: The Poor Lose

Recent report highlights government economic policies which hurt the poor.

The Heritage Foundation recently released a report entitled, “Big Government Polices That Hurt the Poor and How to Address Them.” The report focuses primarily on several of the government’s economic polices and programs rather than on its various welfare programs. Three general problems are identified that combine to hurt rather than help the poor, which is counter to the original expressed intent during the development and establishment of these economic policies and programs.

The three problems identified by the report are cronyism, the disproportionate impact of high prices, and obstacles to prosperity. In a sense, the government’s attempt to pick winners and losers has proven to more often than not create more losers. Heritage highlights 23 specific government policies or programs, explaining how they are proving to harm the poor, as well as offering suggestions for how to correct or even eliminate said policies or programs.

Bigger government doesn’t equal greater help for the poor. The reality is that expanding government controls, especially economically, actually tends to inflict greater harm on the poor and lower class. Too often government economic policies are designed around protecting established businesses and industries. Burdensome regulations as well as various protective licensing laws all work toward creating greater obstacles rather than accessibility for those who are poor, proving to make it that much harder to climb the economic ladder.

While fair regulations are necessary, unfortunately the attitude of many bureaucrats tends toward the belief that citizens need to be protected from themselves rather than protected from abusive and overly intrusive bureaucrats. A free society is a society which guarantees neither individual success nor happiness, but of the equitable Rule of Law with limited government intrusion.

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