Democracy Now: Video: Amy Goodman Interviews Tavis Smiley & Cornell West: The Rich and the Rest of Us

This post was originally posted at FreeStatePlus on WordPress

Tavis Smiley who personally I like, but generally don’t agree with, but who’s someone who I respect, hosted a panel discussion that C-Span, thank God for C-Span, broadcasted on MLK Day on Monday. If you guessed Tavis Smiley was there, you would be correct, but it had Professor Cornel West, progressive activist Michael Moore, financial adviser Suzie Orman and a young women. Who’s name I can’t remember and I didn’t recognize it.

But I thought what won the panel discussion even though it wasn’t a debate, but hit the nail on the head if you want to use that expression, I would’ve gone farther in what she was saying, but she did a very good job of making points and a case in how to win the War on Poverty. By actually moving people out of poverty, that you generally don’t hear from today’s Progressives. Who generally use their time to bash capitalism, or call for more public assistance.

A lot of this discussion was basically about how we can move away from Capitalism and explaining how President Bush basically screwed the American economy. And that President Obama wasn’t progressive enough to fix it. Because he wasn’t in favor of their big government programs. And calling for more Welfare etc, when it comes to poverty. Progressive Socialists tend to be more about giving people in poverty more Welfare.

More Welfare insurance at taxpayers expense of course. And are more interested in sustaining people in poverty. But this young woman was talking about actually moving people out of poverty. Which is completely different, so they can be self-sufficient and get off of public assistance. And she’s the only person that made this discussion worth watching. the War on Poverty a war that President Johnson declared in 1965 47 years ago. If you were born that year, your Middle Age now.

And today you might not even remember LBJ as President. But the solutions to finally win this war, are pretty simple, but harder to put into practice. First of all you need a good economy that has strong job growth. We are finally starting to see that now. But to help adults who currently live in poverty whether they are working or on Welfare or Unemployment Insurance, is through education and job training. Get them back into school, so they can get themselves the skills they need to get a good job and get off of public assistance. That takes money, but would pay for itself in the long run, because we would be creating new taxpayers.

Long-term what we need to be doing to avoid kids living in poverty as adults. Or end up in the corrections system, is to make sure they stay in school. And get a good education, while their parents are going back to school. And to do this we need to reform our public education system. And that gets to better educators and competition inside the public education system, so low-income parents can send their kids to good schools as well.

Not be forced to send their kids to schools because of where they live. That’s called public school choice and we have to do something about our high dropout rate. Encourage kids to stay in school, not drop out and have kids and end up on public assistance. Or get involved in organized crime and in the corrections system. We proved in the 1990s with the Clinton Administration, with Welfare to Work.

That we can do this, move people out of poverty and into the middle class. By empowering them to get the skills that they need to get a good job and not live on public assistance. To the point that we got our poverty rate down to 13%. I believe a record low for the United States is an approach that we need to get back to.
Cornell West & Tavis Smiley

About Rik Schneider

Blogger/writer on a lot of different subjects.
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