Have We Tried This Before?

Monday, July 06, 2015

Columnist Jack Kelly's column on "If Liberals Really Cared About Black Lives" contains a fair amount of thought-provoking data, and Kelly's heart is in the right place, but...

He arguably makes the same error the "liberals" make:

The keys to fighting crime -- and thus poverty -- are to give kids access to a quality education, encourage mom and dad to get hitched and, especially, to protect the law abiding from criminals.
I say "arguably", because Kelly doesn't explicitly call for the government to do these things -- and it shouldn't directly do any of these things, save the last.

I'll guess that Kelly would agree with me that the police are a proper function of the government, and he is on the money about how current government policies are undercutting that function. But education? Many things inherent to a government school system hinder education, which is no surprise since "protecting people from the initiation of force" and "preparing young minds for independent adulthood" have nothing in common -- except that the second requires the first as a necessary condition.

I hope that Kelly isn't naive enough to imagine that "rehabilitation" of government schools is even possible -- or that the government creating either a new entitlement or a new individual mandate will solve the problem of dysfunctional families among poor blacks: It could well be that he also sees that bad policies -- like the government creating an educational monopoly or incentivizing irresponsible parenting practices -- are themselves the problem. If so, he ought to speak up for capitalism. Otherwise, he should ask himself why he imagines that the government taking money from the productive and passing that loot along to different individuals would result in better results. As a bonus, he could consider why the government ordering people around, as it is doing in ObamaCare, is any better than people thinking for themselves, and bearing their own consequences.

I do not especially want to pick on Jack Kelly, but I see too many conservatives making exactly the kinds of mistakes his wording permits to be taken seriously.

-- CAV

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