Wednesday, January 8, 2014

To End Poverty, End The War On Poverty

From MarketWatch, "The War on Poverty kept poor people poor: Opinion: Market forces were responsible for increased living standards" by By Steven Horwitz:
First, eliminate all minimum-wage and occupational-licensure laws.

These laws cut the bottom rungs of the economic ladder off from those who lack the skills or capital to justify the higher wage or pass the licensing requirements. Minimum-wage laws make it prohibitively expensive to hire lower-skilled workers, preventing them from getting the very basic job skills they need to move up that ladder. Licensure laws were created to shut the poor and nonwhite out of the marketplace, and they have, unfortunately, succeeded.

Second, open up the public schools to competition. Urban public schools are not just ineffective; they are destructive of human capital. Throwing more money at them hasn’t worked, and it’s time to give poor Americans, especially poor families of color, the opportunity to get the education they deserve by making schools actually compete for students.

Finally, end the War on Drugs. The culture of violence of the drug war, along with the way that it has driven out legitimate businesses from poor areas, have done a great deal to impoverish Americans, again especially Americans of color. In addition, it has destroyed families by arresting people, disproportionately poor and nonwhite, for something that is a victimless crime. Legalization would take the profit and violence out of the drug trade and make poor urban areas increasingly inhabitable for businesses and families, enhancing upward mobility.

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