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Are the Poor and Minorities Really Better off under Progressive Policy?

Are the Poor and Minorities Really Better off under Progressive Policy?


Many of the evangelicals who have drifted left in recent years seem to have done so with the belief that the left better deals with issues such as poverty and racism, and they judge conservatives to be heartless as if they do not care about these issues. I have even heard some well known preachers declare that conservatives care about abortion but liberals care about the poor. This, I believe, is to create a false binary. Theological conservatives who lean to the right do not vote the way they do because they dream of ways to be heartless, but because, among other things, they believe that leftist policies, however well intended, are the primary cause of poverty and systemic racism to begin with.

We all agree that Christians have a special obligation beyond what ordinary humanity has to take care of the poor and marginalized. We just disagree over the solution. But we ought not judge public policy merely by its good intentions.

California (where I grew up) is a good example of the good intentions fallacy. Consider these 5 facts about the Golden State:

1. California has one of the greatest disparities in education for minorities kids, among other reasons, due to its political captivity to its teachers unions. Many are unwilling to take a job in schools they see as an undesirable location. In addition, widespread school choice is necessary to deal with persistent education gaps that often leave poor, minority students in failing public schools while their wealthy peers have the money to send their children to private schools or move to a desirable school district. But the people being put in office in these cities are opposed to school choice because of political interests.

2. California spends about $98.5 billion annually on welfare — the most in the US — but has the highest poverty rate in America.

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