The recent opinion page contained a series of columns and letters that present a very good picture of the top issues in today’s tumultuous politically and emotionally charged society.

Thomas Sowell clearly identified how government subsidies, begun with the 1960 Great Society initiative, play a major role in creating the issues present in black neighborhoods. He says, the vision of “us against them” attempts to automatically depict whatever social problems exist in ghetto communities are caused by the sins or negligence of whites, whether racism in general or a ‘legacy of slavery’ in particular. He cites statistics pointing out violet crime in black ghettos, murder rates and the one-parent families were lower prior to the 1960s when this new social direction began.

Sowell contends nonjudgmental government subsides of counterproductive lifestyles treat people like livestock to be fed and tended by others, yet expecting them to develop as human beings. I ask, why have liberal political leaders as well as the president ignored these facts and do little to rectify them?

Michael Barone discusses the wealth redistribution issue, another favorite of liberals and the president. Barone goes on to say these folks forget the federal income tax is really an example of redistribution. The top 24 percent of earners pay 84 percent of taxes; the top 1 percent, with 17 percent of income, pay 46 percent. Then, let’s not forget the fact that about 50 percent pay no taxes. How does wealth redistribution strengthen independence and productivity? How does it make society stronger?

A letter to the editor credits the success of charter schools to parental and community involvement. When parents accept the responsibility to be a part of their children’s education and there is great community support, schools flourish. Sadly, predominately black public schools have minimal parental involvement with high failure rates.

The one-parent family dominates black family structure and has been growing since 1960. These families are mostly supported by government subsidies (wealth redistribution), and also make up the major block of noninvolved parents in the education of their children. Trillions have been spent in the name of rectifying poverty yet not much has changed since the Great Society began dumping money. Failure to improve is the only constant with this effort.

We now have an attitude of entitlement without expectations to improve. Such activities are not a hand-up but rather a handout. Reward without effort is never appreciated and eventually becomes an expectation, the precise political physiology of liberals and their leader, our president.

Billy Arcement

professional speaker/ leadership consultant

Prairieville