America needs poverty. Poverty eradication proposals are head fakes. America, especially the America that was created right after the Civil War, would not be where it is today without poor people.
Since the industrial revolution, and definitely as America entered the information age in the 1960s, the products designed and built by highly educated, highly paid labor had to be consumed by a large mass of “dependents.” These people are typically wage earners who do not have the capability to be self-sufficient and hold little to no capital. The greater the mass of consumers, the larger the network used to deliver goods. The larger the network to deliver goods means the higher educated, higher paid laborer and entrepreneur faced lower costs for delivering goods.
Emancipation, reconstruction, and the Jim Crow era coincided with the growth of consumerism. The American political economy, not knowing what to do with freed slaves was willing, in lieu of distributing productive capital to them, to turn them into a mass of consumers, with a willing cadre of banks and bond holders willing to launder money through “social welfare” programs.
The food stamp program? An opportunity for bond holders to launder money by financing a program whose clearinghouses are administered by banks.
Affordable housing programs? An opportunity for bond holders to finance the construction of low cost homes with principal and interest guaranteed by taxpayers, many of whom are not in the upper ten percent.
Medicaid and Medicare? Again, bond holders are offered a guarantee that taxpayers will provide a backstop for premium payments while insurance companies collect fees for administering them i.e. WellStar and Medicaid in Georgia.
There is a reason why the poor are referred to as the Great Unwashed. It is because dirty money is laundered through their misery.