By writer Kevin Ryan

This is the second part of a series which attempts to find explanations for the economic disparities between whites and blacks in America today. Last time various measures were introduced which make a clear case that the two populations are not benefitting equally from the American dream. We also looked at the role wage laws played in hindering African-American advancement at a time when the Civil Rights Movement should have finally provided them opportunities to do so.

As the government continued to increase the minimum wage, it was effectively destroying the market for low skill jobs, cutting off an avenue of progress that had once made America the most upwardly mobile society in the world. Blacks, who had been held back by racism, found themselves at the bottom of an economic ladder whose lowest rungs were now cut off.

Democrats then introduced the first modern welfare programs. Means tested benefits include cash, child insurance aid, Medicaid, food stamps, energy assistance, and child care assistance, just to name a few.

With these programs the government rescued the victims of the problem they’d created in the first place. The poor, the uneducated, the unskilled, those hurt by discrimination, all flocked to the Democratic Party. What was their alternative? The government had supplanted the free market as the provider for the huddled masses.

But this new system is not upwardly mobile. In fact, welfare financially punishes those who attempt to leave it. As job wages increase, eligibility for welfare programs is abruptly cut off. Even a raise of a few dollars can terminate access to tens of thousands of dollars in benefits. The implications of this are profound, and very troubling.

Consider a single mother in Philadelphia making $29,000. She is eligible for nearly $30,000 in benefits, resulting in a total of about $57,000 to pay her bills.

Now what if we offer her a 10% raise at work? Now she’s making $31,900 in wages… but she is no longer eligible for $7,000 in housing assistance, and her food stamp benefits are cut by $3,000. Thus as a result of a 10% raise, she ends up with $49,900 in wages and welfare to pay her bills. A 10% raise REDUCED her proceeds by more than $7,000!

Okay, what if the same woman is a natural leader at work…READ MORE

Part One Here