Quotes on Welfare

O'Rourke on Poverty

In comparative terms, there's no poverty in America by a long shot. Heritage Foundation political scientist Robert Rector has worked up figures showing that when the official U.S. measure of poverty was developed in 1963, a poor American family had an income twenty-nine times greater than the average per capita income in the rest of the world. An individual American could make more money than 93 percent of the other people on the planet and still be considered poor.

-- P.J. O'Rourke, in Parliament of Whores

Jimmy Carter on the Great Society

I would say of the Great Society programs of the Johnson years, all of the federal programs that have concentrated on low-income areas, what I tried to do ... what has been done by other leaders coming after me, in general the failures have been abject and almost unanimous.

Former President Jimmy Carter, 1995.

The Welfare State

We ask that the government undertake the obligation above all of providing citizens with adequate opportunity for employment and earning a living. The activities of the individual must not be allowed to clash with the interests of the community, but must take place within its confines and be for the good of all. Therefore, we demand: ... an end to the power of the financial interests. We demand profit sharing in big business. We demand a broad extension of care for the aged. We demand ... the greatest possible consideration of small business in the purchases of national, state, and municipal governments. In order to make possible to every capable and industrious [citizen] the attainment of higher education and thus the achievement of a post of leadership, the government must provide an all-around enlargement of our entire system of public education ... We demand the education at government expense of gifted children of poor parents ... The government must undertake the improvement of public health - by protecting mother and child, by prohibiting child labor ... by the greatest possible support for all clubs concerned with the physical education of youth. We combat the ... materialistic spirit within and without us, and are convinced that a permanent recovery of our people can only proceed from within on the foundation of the common good before the individual good.

-- from the political program of the Nazi Party, adopted in Munich, on February 24, 1920, quoted in Die Nationalsozialistische Dokumente 1933-1945, edited by Walther Hofer, Frankfurt am Mein: Fischer Bucherei, 1957, pp. 29-31.