Curious that there were way fewer people complaining about “government handouts” when the government was busy handing out 160 acres of free land like it was popcorn or G.I. starter houses like they grew on trees.

Of course, I guess those handouts were “ok” because they mostly only went to the “right” people — and now they’ve got theirs. Everyone else can just deal.

But in reality, no one who is complaining about “handouts” should be. As imperfect (and usually exclusionary against non-whites) as our nation’s past massive giveaway programs have been, they were one of the few moderately successful tools we’ve ever used to jump start widespread economic growth by de-concentrating wealth generation and accumulation.

The policies were also a good socioeconomic pressure valve to avoid everyone going full Reign of Terror on the 1%, as happened in so many other countries. (Of course, it should be noted that our violent land reform came in the form of taking it by force from indigenous Americans rather than from kulaks or nobility, which is not good either.)

Moreover, the rich still managed to make money hand over fist at the same time, if you realize the Robber Barons were making their initial rise at the same time as the homestead land rushes. If anything, the solution to long-term, broad-based, and sustainable economic growth is probably more handouts, not fewer.

Bill Humphrey

About Bill Humphrey

Bill Humphrey is the primary host of WVUD's Arsenal For Democracy talk radio show and a local elected official.
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