The LIBRE Initiative: Hope for Economic Prosperity?!

The publishing last month by the Urban Institute of its latest report, Less Than Equal: Racial Disparities in Wealth Distributionand an email sent out by Daniel Garza, Jr. of the LIBRE Initiative welcoming the report and its conclusions. This prompted me to go and look on the Being Latino! website to see what it had to say about what economic opportunity and freedom should mean to Latinos. As anyone who reads the website faithfully can tell you, it told a sad tale that can be summarized as ‘blame big business and white fat-cat businessmen for continuing to marginalize Latinos and other minority groups.

Going back to an articlepublished last year, an unnamed contributor took Mr. Garza to task for being naive enough to trust in the mechanics of what he or she saw as an unfair system that merely promises equal opportunity but not necessarily equal result. The writer also chided Mr. Garza for being against government regulation to make sure that a fair field of play exists for everyone. The writer, whomever he or she is, should either (A)read and reviewed the LIBRE Initiative’s website and/or (B)presented those positions honestly.

We should all read the newly released report from a non-partisan think tank originally envisioned by President Lyndon Johnson of the Great Society fame and the intellectual cream of the golden age of JFK’s Camel ot and look hard at its conclusion: “…it raises the question of whether social welfare policies paytoo little attention to wealth building and mobility relative to consumption and income.

Because Hispanics and blacks are disproportionately low income, their wealth building is strongly affected by policies aimed at low-income families. Right now, safety net policies emphasize consumption: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, for example, try to ensure that families haveenough food to eat and other basic necessities.
Many safety net programs even discouragesaving: families can become ineligible if they have a few thousand dollars in savings. Wealth-building policies, on the other hand, are delivered as tax subsidies for homeownership and retirement. Since families of color are less likely to be able to use these subsidies, they benefit little or not at all.”

That is right, gentle reader! Your eyes are not deceiving you. The reforms that Mr. Garza and the LIBRE Initiative are calling for regarding federal spending policy and federal regulations are exactly those suggested by the Urban Institute, a child of the liberal Great Society movement. Those so-called liberals and progressives who even today are calling for more federal regulation of business and the creation of a larger federal nanny state are actually the ones who are leading the charge to continue to trap millions and millions of poor Americans, many of them Latinos, in a never-ending cycle of poverty and increased gap in wealth accumulation.

By Being Latino Contributor, Jeffery Cassity Jeffery Cassity is a mostly socially-liberal, fiscally-conservative Anglo male who is involved in his local Hispanic community as the widower of a 1st generation Mexican-American woman and his active, some would say hyperactive, membership in the local Council of the League of Latin American Citizens(LULAC).

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