On January 1, 2012, Maine became the first state to ban smoking in all low-income public housing. Twelve thousand poor people faced their New Year’s Day hangover without the solace of a Marlboro to accompany their aspirin and coffee.
This, of course, was good. Just ask the high-minded, right-thinking progressive elites who, it’s safe to say, run Maine’s public housing authority. Progressive elites like to run things. They’d run the government, the media, and the entire U.S. economy if they could. Failing that, public housing authorities will do. The Detroit, San Antonio, and Portland, Oregon, housing authorities already ban smoking. Boston’s housing authority will do so in September. Los Angeles is expected to follow. And it’s no mystery what that highest-minded, most right-thinking, way-progressive elitist Mayor Bloomberg has in mind for New Yorkers.
The elites who denounce poverty despise the poor. Their every high-minded, right-thinking “poverty program” proves this detestation—from the bulldozing of vibrant tenement communities to the drug law policing policies that send poor kids to prison and rich kids to rehab to the humiliation of food stamps and free school lunches to the loathsome inner-city public schools where those free lunches are slopped onto cafeteria trays.
The federal government has some 50 different “poverty programs.” Nearly half a trillion dollars is spent on them each year. That’s about $11,000 per man, woman, and child under the poverty line, enough to lift each and every one of them out of poverty. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2011 poverty guideline for a family of three: $18,530.) We call them “poverty programs” for a reason. If ordinary people with down-to-earth common sense were spending that half trillion, we’d call them “modest prosperity programs.”
Have progressive elites always hated the poor?
P.J. nails it as usual.