> From: Gordon Fitch <gcf at panix.com>
> I wonder if there is not some kind of shadow-boxing going on
> in regard to the Republican position on Welfare. A straight
> abolition of Welfare systems would actually decrease the
> power of the rich over the poor, as follows:
> 1. The rich own and operate the State.
> 2. The State operates Welfare.
> 3. Welfare regulates the poor by offering them subsistence
> funds dependent on their conforming to its discipline.
Remember, the rich don't own and operate the State. They 'merely' have a whole load of influence on the State. 'Welfare reform', notice, attacks the budget, power and legitimacy of that part of the State that the rich least control and which directly benefits them the least.
In addition, the right wants to move much of the remaining money for welfare into private, 'faith-based' organizations. My guesses are that this means right-wing christian groups (with some right-wing jewish groups, and some occasional other groups to serve as tokens). Also, I'd guess that these groups will not be audited too strictly as to how they spend that money.
> The practical outcome of Welfare diminution was observed in
> the suburban county where I live as an offensive rise in the
> number and obtrusiveness of the very poor, homeless persons
> who lived in public spaces by means of begging and
> scavenging. That is, while many suffer more and some die if
> Welfare is cut off, in general the poor become more restless
> and aggressive and less easy to control.
It's my personal opinion that high apparent crime rates favor the right. It justifies their position that the iron hand of the State is needed. More homeless people in middle-class areas serves the interests of the right. And 'easy to control' depends on what sort of control is desired. Beating people back into designated areas, conducting 'search and destroy' missions into those areas, but otherwise letting the poor prey on each other, is certainly easy.
> I expect, then, that Bush and the Republican half of the
> capitalist party cannot intend an actual dissolution of the
> Welfare State but rather its transformation into a different
> and more authoritarian form -- quite possibly a more costly
> form. But their competitors (the other head of the two-
> headed monster) won't exploit this disadvantage among the
> taxpayers because they go along with the con.
It amazes me just how much the Democratic politicians and propagandists let the right frame the terms of the debate.
> That is, they speak of Welfare as involving compassion
> whereas it mostly involves control, sadism and expediency.
Agreed. I have come across mention of some sincere Christian Right charity groups who are starting to realize that they aren't going to be given the reesponsibility and the money, but the responsibility and as little money as the power-brokers of the GOP can manage.