Market innovation has helped the poor the most, while government-funded wars on poverty have largely turned out to be wars on the poor’s upward mobility.
Of course, real poverty remains, especially in urban America. The solution to that poverty is not more government. Rather, there are three ways we could tap into the very forces of market innovation that have produced the long-run gains in human well-being.
First, eliminate all minimum-wage and occupational-licensure laws ..
Second, open up the public schools to competition ..
Finally, end the War on Drugs ..
We cannot afford a a new War on Poverty any more than the real wars we have been fighting. We need to recognize that the real increases in the standard of living of poor Americans of the last few generations were the result of the competition and innovation inherent in market economies, and encourage more of the same, instead of allowing government programs to continue to make matters worse for the poor in America.