Here's free advice for Mitt Romney.
Before bringing up the poor again, read my book, "Uncle Sam's Plantation."
Romney has been taking a drubbing about his remarks in a CNN interview that he is "not worried about the very poor ... we have a safety net there ... If it needs a repair, I will fix it." And then going on to say it is "middle-income Americans ... that are really struggling" that are his concern.
What the Republican presidential front-runner missed in his off-the-cuff economic analysis of American class is that the cause driving the struggle among both low- and middle-income Americans is the same -- economic stagnation and social breakdown caused by welfare-state socialism.
As I explain in "Uncle Sam's Plantation," America's inner cities offer laboratory results that can be extrapolated to what is wrong today with the whole country.
If you want to know why America is failing, look at why our inner cities are failing.
Romney is incorrect to label as a safety net welfare-state programs such as temporary assistance for needy families, basic skills training, Section 8 housing and food stamps.
A safety net is what is provided when a free person, acting on his or her own initiative, falls and we offer assistance to help him or her get back up and start again.
The welfare state amounts to a wholesale takeover of individual lives. As opposed to government stepping in to soften the blow, the welfare state assumes from the start that individuals won't make it without government managing their lives.
It is not an accident that despite some $10 trillion spent on anti-poverty programs since the 1960s there is little discernable change in our poverty rate.
The problem was made worse because the broken families and broken spirits resulting from government-plantation dependence have institutionalized inner-city poverty.
If America is going to get back on track, we must appreciate that we are doing to our whole country what we did to America's poor.
Seventy percent of government spending today consists of transfer payments -- government redistributing funds from one set of individuals to another.
Even before the Obamacare government takeover, government already dominated our health-care market. In 1960, about half of health-care expenditures were made by individuals. Today, only about 10 percent of health-care expenditures are made by individuals.
Despite the central role that government-sponsored enterprises -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- played in the recent housing collapse, their role in today's housing market is even greater.
In 2011, 95 percent of all new mortgages were bought or guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the Federal Housing Administration.
And, of course, just about every working American is part of Social Security and Medicare, both of which are now fiscally untenable.
Now layer onto all this Obamacare $1 trillion in spending on stimulus programs and bailouts of banks and auto companies. Then add $5 trillion in new debt over the past four years as a down payment on it all.
The bigger role government plays in our lives, the more America resembles the U.S. Postal Service rather than FedEx.
And the bigger role government plays, the harder it is to fix the problem because individuals become used to these programs and fear fundamental change.
Romney touts his business experience as his qualification for the presidency.
That business experience amounted to turning companies around and improving their performance by making more efficient use of their assets.
This is exactly what our country needs today -- a reallocation of our assets from government to private-sector efficiency.
Getting off Uncle Sam's Plantation is no longer a problem limited to our poor. It is a problem and challenge for the whole country.
As Elbert Guillory points out in his ad, despite all the big government, the economic state of affairs of low-income blacks has changed little over the years. (comments)
Beyond the overriding economic control that the federal government now has over citizens, federal courts now dictate our social norms. (comments)
The black unemployment rate in North Carolina is more than double that of whites. (comments)
American families have been damaged and out-of-wedlock births have increased six-fold from 1960 to 42 percent today. Government has displaced family. (comments)
Republicans should resist temptation to pander and point Hispanics in the direction of freedom and opportunity, what got them here in the first place. (comments)
Diversity should be about about recognizing "diversity of people's gifts, talents, and skills." (comments)
Low-income black parents need options, choices, for educating their children outside the public school monopoly. (comments)
Since Johnson, the government has spent $15 trillion dollars fighting poverty without reducing poverty. (comments)
What do successful, wealthy black entrepreneurs know that they are not sharing with their own? (comments)
In our president's take on the world, if there is a winner who winds up better off there must be a loser who winds up equally worse off. (comments)
The Tea Party captures a groundswell of dissatisfaction with business-as-usual in how our country is being run. (comments)
What kind of discussion can take place with those who equate a procedure in which one life is destroyed and another put at risk with going to the dentist? (comments)
In 20 years there will be no funds to pay one third of the benefits of retirees. (comments)
The growing percentage of our voters is not white and they largely vote for Democrats. (comments)
Free choice and private initiative seems to violate the religious convictions of liberals. (comments)
Why does America convey neutrality between a nation that is indisputably free and a government that is not? (comments)
In a Pew Research survey of last October, 25 percent of blacks expressed favorability toward the Tea Party, just 6 points less than whites. (comments)
Everyone, except the teachers unions, seems to grasp that public education in America, particularly in low-income communities, suffers because of lack of competition. (comments)
Mainstream means shrugging your shoulders at $17 trillion in federal debt, $4 trillion in federal spending, and a tax code of over 73,000 pages. (comments)
Cochran's agenda is to serve up government pork and protect the interests of his friends in Washington. (comments)