"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

New York

The War on Poverty can only be won by hard work and perseverance.

'Ragin Cajun' general becomes icon
AP, CNN Original Article

Let Katrina revive the war on poverty
David R. Francis, CSM Original Article

These two articles taken together best describe how to win the war on poverty--hard work and perseverance.

CNN Article, LTG "Honore was born at home 57 years ago during a hurricane, his mother and an uncle always told him. He grew up poor in Lakeland, La., northwest of Baton Rouge, with 11 siblings, once winning a 4-H contest with the family's lone dairy cow, Weasel."

CSM Article, "...Despite a host of social welfare programs such as Head Start, Food Stamps, Basic Educational Opportunity Grants, Low Income Energy Assistance Program, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and so on"; the percent in poverty now (12.7%) is no different than in 1968 (12.8%) with the lowest rate seen in 1973 (11.1%).

How does a child born during a hurricane with 11 siblings in poverty rise up to become an extremely successful person (a three star general in the US Army) who can take charge during a crisis situation, like he was born into, through hard work and perseverance.

How do poor children and families stay poor and destitute, through a host of several social welfare programs that have spent more than $6.6 trillion (over $3 trillion in the last decade) only to see no reduction in the rate of poverty in almost 40 years.

Irish immigrants to this nation understood that in the USA any person, no matter the race, creed, color, religion, or sex can rise up through the social ranks and succeed. They proved this several 100,000 times over.

Hurrican Katrina is truly a great tragedy. However, the greater tragedy is making people believe government (whether federal, state, or local) is their safety net. It is a net, but not a safety net.

Government is a necessity to maintain law and order, but it is always a bureaucracy. At a certain level, it is effective, but at larger levels, it is seldom effective and largely inefficient. Governmental entities are always slow to react. Look at Katrina and analyze the news stories. They are marked with individual acts of heroism not governmental efficiency and effectiveness. Look at the WTC destruction in 2001. Governmental agencies (to include FEMA) were overwhelmed there also as they are now in the aftermath of Hurrican Katrina.

It is only through individual hard work and perseverance that destitute individuals rise to greatness, whether getting themselves out of poverty (like LTG Honore) or picking up the pieces in the aftermath of the WTC attacks and Hurricane Katrina. While government can and should provide law and order to a society, it is up to the individuals in that society to strive for excellence, pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and thrive.

$4 trillion of social welfare programs over the last 40 years has done nothing to bring the 12.8% of this nation out of poverty. $100 trillion over the next 40 years will have the same effect. $60 billion of emergency aid will also not lift the poor and destitute in New Orleans out of poverty. It will have the short-term effect of providing temporary relief of suffering and misery. Only through hard work and perseverance, can the poor and destitute of New Orleans pull themselves out of poverty.

It is how our Founding Fathers did it. It is how the Irish immigrants did it. It is how General Honore did it. It is how my grandfather did it. It is how my father did it. It is how every individual has to do it.


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