The Road To Hell


by Brigitte McMinn

Often regulations, like the road to hell, are paved with good intentions.

I recently watched a documentary on FOX about “Mountain Pride” and how the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was able to break that pride successfully, but once you have the full story you determine how successful it really was for America as a whole.

A quick synopsis:

According to the documentary, in the forties the USDA came up with a great plan. Many were starving due to their inability to find work and at the same time farmers were unable to sell their crops, thus came about the first food stamps. The USDA approached farmers and asked them to sell their crops at half-price and they would issue stamps to the needy and the poor. A win-win situation — farmers were paid something for the crops that they had been unable to sell and were rotting and the USDA was able to direct starving people to where they could get food.

After the depression, the welfare program remained with the USDA and they continued to oversee its execution, despite the fact that the surplus crops were gone and people were now finding jobs. Today’s welfare program is no longer based on helping our farmers and our needy at the same time, but the program still remains with the USDA.

The war on poverty movement began and the USDA became more aggressive about making sure that no one went hungry. The intent was good. Interestingly, according to this documentary the war on poverty was making a difference, but not the one they had anticipated. Prior to the war on poverty, they found that poverty was a temporary condition, yet now most people who were receiving government assistance remained in poverty. Poverty was not resolving as it had in the past. Some reasons seemed to be because those on government assistance could not afford to give up the benefits they received (because they would make less working) and for others it was because they chose this as a lifestyle and saw no need to work.

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