Search  |  Login  |  Register

By David French1314304577000

I just watched Senator Rubio's excellent speech at the Reagan Library, and I completely agree with his core points.

The free-enterprise system has lifted more people out of poverty than any government program, and yes, our “social problems create our poverty.” But there’s a tension inherent in these two points. It’s not precisely true that the free-enterprise system itself has lifted people out of poverty; it’s more true that the free-enterprise system has created opportunities that allow hard-working (or even moderately hard-working) individuals to succeed. But if you destroy the people’s industry and virtue, then all the economic liberty in the world won’t save them.

It is simply a fact that our social problems are increasingly connected to the depravity of the poor. If an American works hard, completes their education, gets married, and stays married, then they will rarely — very rarely — be poor. At the same time, poverty is the handmaiden of illegitimacy, divorce, ignorance, and addiction. As we have poured money into welfare, we’ve done nothing to address the behaviors that lead to poverty while doing all we can to make that poverty more comfortable and sustainable.  

Earlier this week, Walter Russell Mead highlighted disturbing research showing that the poor — far more than the rich — are disconnected from church and religion. While church attendance is dropping among all social classes, it’s falling off a cliff for the poorest and least-educated Americans. In other words, the deeper a person slides into poverty, the more they’re disconnected from the very values that can save them and their families.  

The bottom line is that we need more free enterprise, and we need more virtue. Sadly, the Great Society and the sexual revolution have deprived us of both.

This article is crossposted at National Review Online.  You can read ACLJ Senior Counsel David French's follow-up to this article here.

Latest in
Constitution

Lawn Care, Candy, & Money in Politics

By Matthew Clark1415396694766

The Left, licking its wounds from its stunning defeat this week at the polls, has gone back to incessantly complaining about the amount of money in politics. It is estimated that $3.7 billion dollars was spent this election cycle. To the Left, this is a horrible, terrible, no good, dirty,

read more

Three Scandals GOP Senate Must Tackle

By Jay Sekulow1415376216380

As President Obama sits down on Friday with Republicans who will soon control the Senate and the House, there’s no shortage of issues lawmakers want to tackle when the new Congress convenes in January. The economy. Health care. ISIS. Energy. These are all critical issues that must be addressed.

read more

When Thugs and Liars Lose

By David French1415288420508

When faced with corruption and deception, it’s easy to lose hope. I confess that after seeing the lengths that some Democrats and leftists will go to to secure their hold on power, I’ve sometimes had a tendency to despair. But last night was a tonic to the soul, on at least two counts. First, what...

read more

A Wave Election: What Does it Mean?

By Matthew Clark1415206486204

Last night conservatives stunned the political world. Republicans picked up 7 (and possibly 9) seats in the Senate, they picked up at least 12 seats in the House, and won a number of Gubernatorial races that shocked the pundits. But what does it all mean? First the basics. Republicans will continue...

read more