Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed
a book by Jason L. Riley
(our site's book review)
The Amazon blurb says that Why is it that so many efforts by liberals to lift the black underclass not only fail, but often harm the intended beneficiaries?
In Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed, Jason L. Riley examines how well-intentioned welfare programs are in fact holding black Americans back. Minimum-wage laws may lift earnings for people who are already employed, but they price a disproportionate number of blacks out of the labor force. Affirmative action in higher education is intended to address past discrimination, but the result is fewer black college graduates than would otherwise exist. And so it goes with everything from soft-on-crime laws, which make black neighborhoods more dangerous, to policies that limit school choice out of a mistaken belief that charter schools and voucher programs harm the traditional public schools that most low-income students attend.
In theory these efforts are intended to help the poor—and poor minorities in particular. In practice they become massive barriers to moving forward.
Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed lays bare these counterproductive results. People of goodwill want to see more black socioeconomic advancement, but in too many instances the current methods and approaches aren’t working. Acknowledging this is an important first step.
Clarence Thomas was against affirmative action as a demotivator—and he was right
Riley says "This book examines the track record of the political left’s serial altruism over the past half century. Have popular government policies and programs that are aimed at helping blacks worked as intended? And where black advancement has occurred, do these government efforts deserve the credit that they so often receive? The intentions behind welfare programs, for example, may be noble. But in practice they have slowed the self-development that proved so necessary for other groups to advance. Minimum-wage laws might lift earnings for people who are already employed, but they also have a long history of pricing blacks out of the labor force. Affirmative action in higher education was intended to address past discrimination, but the result is fewer black college graduates—particularly in the fields of math and science—than we'd have in the absence of racial preferences."
Riley says "Upward mobility depends on work and family. Social programs that undermine the work ethic and displace fathers keep poor people poor, and perverse incentives put in place by people trying to help are manifested in black attitudes, habits, and skills. Why study hard in school if you will be held to lower academic standards? Why change antisocial behavior when people are willing to reward it, make excuses for it, or even change the law to accommodate it? Yes, the Obama presidency is evidence that blacks have progressed politically. But if the rise of other groups is any indication, black social and economic problems are less about politics than they are about culture. The persistently high black jobless rate is more a consequence of unemployability than of discrimination in hiring."
Were the social programs for blacks mere handouts, rather than a hand up, full of perverse incentives and mixed messages like that implicit in affirmative action, such as 'you people are too dumb to succeed in college without us whites putting our thumbs on the scale'
The question is "have blacks gotten themselves ready for the opportunities that the 'benevolent' social engineers sent their way?" Or were these mere handouts, rather than a hand up, full of perverse incentives and mixed messages like that implicit in affirmative action, such as "you people are too dumb to succeed in college without us whites putting our thumbs on the scale." Perverse incentives prevail as women who have no way to take care of kids get paid more for each illegitimate child that will burden society with high crime rates, and a guiding male is chased away from the home with bureaucratic rules—his presense in the home will eliminate the free handouts. Nathan Glazer, in The Limits of Social Policy, showed that the social engineering policies that were helping the poor were doing as much harm as good, so we need to stop throwing money at problems and use our brains, not our checkbooks. See Perverse Incentives: The Neglect of Social Technology in the Public Sector.
Why have sociology departments in universities if the social engineers refuse to consult the knowledge evolved from said universities, therefore rendering this knowledge null and void?
As Theodore Caplow, of the book Perverse Incentives, says, “The large body of knowledge accumulated by social research about motivation, learning, behavior control, family structure, bureaucratic processes and many other relevant matters is seldom consulted by the careless designers. . . . [there] was a massive escalation of costs without corresponding benefits. Between 1960 and 1994, health care costs outpaced inflation by 5 to 1, education costs by 3 to 1, welfare costs by 2 to 1, criminal justice costs by 3 to 1, and liability costs by 6 to 1. The public got very little for its money.” These rising costs are still continuing as of 2021. This suggests the question "Why have sociology departments in universities if the social engineers refuse to consult the knowledge evolved from said universities, therefore rendering this knowledge null and void?" Of course, liberals have trotted out a bizarrely ludicrous excuse for decades of failure of good-intentioned social programs: systemic racism!
It’s pretty much a Frankenstein scenario, where liberal losers that know nothing and care less, once they get into power, will always get out of control and runs amok
Caplow tells us that “All things considered, the principles of social technology are not complex or difficult to apply, but ever since it became the custom of the country to neglect them in favor of good intentions and symbolic enactments, the effects of legislative and judicial initiatives have been more harmful than beneficial.”
Caplow looks at how most of the money dumped into the various systems end up lining the pockets of system personnel, not the people the system is designed to aid. And now we have 21st century liberal geniuses who believe that feelings = truth, intentions = success, and people should get equality of outcomes—forget equality of opportunities. This was and is socialism's greatest error, and now 21st century liberal geniuses are all set to repeat said errors, without embarrassment, and without a lick of knowledge of history, sociology, or psychology, and just enough political knowledge to know how to game the system so they get wealthy and powerful while the rest of us get screwed. If you are thinking this does not bode well for the rest of us who are not liberal elites, go to the head of the class!
21st century liberal geniuses are all set to repeat socialism's errors, without embarrassment, and without a lick of knowledge of history, sociology, or psychology, and just enough political knowledge to know how to game the system so they get wealthy and powerful while the rest of us get screwed
This book describes one man's burgeoning insight into the eternal truth that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the social-engineering-addicted liberals' willful blindness about the unintended but all-too-real consequences of their well-meaning programs
LBJ's Great Society programs were a case in point. They took money from middle- and upper-class folks and stuck it into the pockets of the poor. His hope was that we could socially engineer problems out of existence by throwing money at them. Unfortunately, throwing money at problems, for the most part, just made them worse. Welfare was seen as a reason to not even bother to work, and to lay around watching TV and squirting out babies to enhance the amounts on the welfare checks.
While this was happening in the late 1960s, the USSR was having unacknowledged problems with their semi-Marxist communism. Both Russians and LBJ—as well as Karl Marx—were wholly lacking in the psychological knowledge of human motivation. Everyone seemed satisfied to work out their theories on paper and hope that they worked as well empirically. But—they didn't. In Russia, there soon emerged a saying: we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us. Their theory was that humans would work hard for the party, the commune, the country, and you just had to pay everyone enough to live on, barely, and everyone's hard work would reflect their patriotism and willingness to work for the common good. But the stickler here was communism's incredible naivite in deciding that comrades would get the same pay whether they worked hard or hardly worked! This destroyed motivation and, along with party corruption and greed, and trying too hard to keep pace with American weapons development, eventually brought down the USSR, a socialist dictatorship.
Both Russians and LBJ—as well as Karl Marx—were wholly lacking in the psychological knowledge of human motivation. Everyone seemed satisfied to work out their theories on paper and hope that they worked as well empirically. But—they didn't
On the other side of the world, the USA had long ago learned that people who worked harder and smarter would and should do better economically than those who lollygagged. This fact led to them having the psychological motivation to work harder or smarter and achieve more as well as getting paid more. This wasn't even based on theory but common sense and common knowledge. No psychology needed. It's amazing that Marx figured that he only needed to know history and sociology but not psychology in working out his communistic theories. He was the ivory tower thinker prototype. Like naive liberals in the United States, he focused on intentions and theories and social engineering, not common sense and common knowledge and empirical knowledge gained from real-world experience. The end results for both communism and bleeding-heart liberalism was failure. The conservatives, like our Founders, believed in hard work, loyalty, patriotism, good work ethics and high morals.
Like naive liberals in the United States, Marx focused on intentions and theories and social engineering, not common sense and common knowledge and empirical knowledge gained from real-world experience. The end results for both communism and bleeding-heart liberalism was failure
The 21st century liberals are degenerating into something even worse than intention-worshipping, bleeding-heart, Great Society liberals: bleeding-heart socialists who believe in equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity. This is a circling back to Marxism's incredible naivite in deciding that comrades would get the same pay whether they worked hard or hardly worked! Then and only then would equality of outcome be assured. This destroyed motivation and the liberals have decided that learning from history or science is unnecessary. All they need to do is use feelings = truth as their guide and to have good intentions just like the LBJ's Great Society program creator liberals. They never looked at the results of their programs, they merely focused on their good intentions. This wrecked millions of poor families—especially black families—as Jason L. Riley says in Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed.
President Johnson's hope was that we could socially engineer problems out of existence by throwing money at them. Unfortunaely, throwing money at problems, for the most part, just made them worse
Riley satirizes the very idea that it is within the government's capabilities to stop poverty and racial injustice. Liberals have had many decades to learn that throwing money at problems worsens them, and that giving poor people money so they won't be poor doesn't change these people's desires to gamble, smoke, drink, indulge in illicit substances, and otherwise fritter away the money so that they end up in the same poverty they started with. The quota systems and affirmative action system merely lead to fewer black college graduates than would otherwise exist. And the soft-on-crime laws make black neighborhoods more dangerous rather than helping black neighborhoods.
Obama says he is not a crook, but like with Nixon, we know better; Riley sees that we are shackled to the Democrat Plantation and wants these leftist liars to free their slaves once and for all; Obozo made all this even worse, dividing rather than uniting
Rather than relying on the lies and misinformation from Obozo and the Race Grievance Industry (Jesse Jackson, Al "Shakedown" Sharpton, etc.), Riley avoids leftist propaganda and relies on being realistic and smart about the whole "leftists pretending to be good heroes while the right are bad, greedy, evil villians" thing. He calls a spade a spade, and if it's misinformation or propaganda, even if cleverly stated, Riley wants no part of it. He has had enough of plantation politics. See Death of a Nation: Plantation Politics and the Making of the Democratic Party. He is tired of being shackled to the Democrat Plantation and wants these leftist liars to free their slaves once and for all. See Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation.
The Left is Antifa supporting, conservative speaker attacking, speech stifling, First Amendment violating, and behind the erasure of our Founders' true greatness, calling them and all whites oppressors, racists, victimizers, etc. The Left's anti-white racism is extreme
Riley wants us to cease and desist calling blacks victims and whites victimizers. It is a lie, all conservatives and many liberals know it's a lie, yet the latter keep spreading it for the sickest of reasons: to avoid being cancelled. Over 80% of the USA is sick and tired of PC, wokeness, and blacks = victims. They resent that liberal activists are inserting racist, socialist, anti-American lies into our kids' educations (like the 1619 Project—see 1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project) and forcing the media and academia and Hollywood to keep this sick racist lie going, with the failure to do so penalized by cancellation. This is the worst type of authoritarianism: fascism. Harris and her sock-puppet Biden have some interesting plans for us. They'll call it Equality Utopia. We'll know it as They Win, We Lose. A few liberal elites get wealthy and powerful while we get poor and oppressed, just like socialism has always delivered. Check out How socialism turned Venezuela from the wealthiest country in South America into an economic basket case.
Harris and her sock-puppet Biden have some interesting plans for us. They'll call it Equality Utopia. We'll know it as They Win, We Lose. A few liberal elites get wealthy and powerful while we get poor and oppressed, just like socialism has always delivered