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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Chaffetz's iPhone comment revives the "poverty is a choice" argument

Chaffetz's iPhone comment revives the "poverty is a choice" argument
- Coupled with guilt about the struggles of poor Americans, that instinct leads to an awkward place. There's a psychological reward to looking for reasons that the poor aren't really poor: It allows you to then more easily leave those less fortunate to their fate. For those disinclined to want the government to spend resources addressing poverty, the same reward is in effect. Drug-testing welfare recipients, stories about those on food stamps splurging on high-cost items, even reports from the Heritage Foundation pointing out that most poor people own televisions - all have the same net effect. To some extent, the poor are responsible for their own poverty, and therefore, it's less urgent or unnecessary for us to be.