Welfare is often sold as a means to help people lift themselves out of poverty, but every piece of data ever accumulated on the topic reveals the opposite is true. With few exceptions, welfare becomes a generational problem as families who become dependents of government remain dependents of government.
There are ways to properly assist those in need without locking them into the welfare state. Jobs programs, education programs, and temporary relief funds can help people get a leg up from their circumstances, but Democrats know these types of programs do not accomplish the singular goal of the welfare state: Buying votes from those stuck in a perpetual poverty status.
To this end, universal basic income pilot programs have been launched in Chicago and Los Angeles. According to Fox32 in Chicago:
Los Angeles will pay $1000 to 3,200 families every month, while Chicago will send $500 to 5000 families. The programs will cost $40 million and $31.5 million, respectively, according to FOX Business reporter Grady Trimble.
Applicants for the Chicago program will be chosen at random but must earn less than $35,000 a year to qualify.
Mayors Eric Garcetti and Lori Lightfoot have hailed the programs as the necessary step to “lift” people out of poverty, but critics have targeted the programs as an example of policies that disincentivize work amid a labor shortage.
Of all the times in American history when a UBI program is ludicrous, this is the worst. There is no shortage of jobs that need people to work them. UBI incentivizes people to remain below the income threshold so as not to lose their “free” money. Meanwhile, taxpayers are forced to work harder to pay for the pet projects Democrats embrace in their quest to maintain footholds in cities where poverty is rampant.
Mass destitution always favors the left. Vulnerable and suffering people are more susceptible to the lofty promises that invariably prove to be hot air. But as long as it works on election day, Democrats will keep offering it.