How Conservatives Can Fix the Welfare State

Republicans are finally in a position to mend the wounds created by the progressive welfare state. Unfortunately, too many conservatives are divided over how to actually go about doing it. However, one author is putting out a serious proposal the GOP should consider.

J.D. Vance, author of the Hillbilly Elegy, claims that liberals created a welfare state that doesn’t promote upward mobility for the Americans who are stuck in the cycle of poverty. According to Vance, it is up to the conservatives to take charge and forge a new path when it comes to welfare and government policy.

Hillbilly Elegy is an autobiography that focuses on Vance’s incredible story of success and prosperity despite the odds. Vance, who is from Appalachia, grew up in a poor and unstable household for most of his childhood.

Vance’s father left the family when he was a young child. His mother married five times and became addicted to hard drugs. Vance recalls seeing one of the boyfriends of his mother attack her when he was a 4-year-old. Vance, his mother, and his sibling were constantly moving from home to home.

However, things turned around for Vance when his grandmother welcomed him into her home with open arms. Despite suffering from many chronic illnesses, his grandmother gave him the love and support he needed to turn his life around for the better.

During his senior year, Vance applied to Ohio State University and was accepted. However, instead of attending college right away, Vance opted to join the Marines to build up the discipline he needed to succeed. After a successful stint in military public relations, Vance attended OSU and worked part-time jobs to pay his way through college. Vance successfully applied to Yale Law School and earned top grades. As a result, Vance received excellent job offers in conservative law and politics.

According to Vance, family and community is key to escaping the cycle of poverty. Vance’s grandmother, “Mamaw,” serves as the heroine of Hillbilly Elegy. Vance attributes most of his success to the supportive and nurturing environment his grandmother provided him throughout high school.

Vance believes that the welfare state is one of the main areas in which the policy ideas of the left have failed America’s poor. He notes that he had Democrat family members who stopped supporting welfare programs after seeing how these programs destroyed the traditional bonds of community, family, and church. Vance believes that the liberals who supported these programs have to admit, at some point, that their policies were well-intentioned but ultimately unsuccessful when it comes to helping America’s poor.

However, Vance doesn’t believe that Americans should scrap the welfare state entirely. Rather, conservatives have to make changes based on identified successes and failures when it comes to public policy. When asked about the fate of young people in Appalachia who lack a “Mamaw” figure in their life, Vance stated, “I don’t know what the answer is, precisely, but I know it starts when we stop blaming and ask ourselves what we can do to make things better.”

According to Vance, many people born with more advantages are apt to place all the blame on the addicted, the poor, and the unemployed. However, he states that it is important to recognize that culture disadvantage can have a significant impact on the ability of some children to escape the cycle of poverty and enjoy upward mobility in the future.

“Questions of individual responsibility are different than questions of culture. Questions of what I choose to do with my own life are different from where I grew up, from whether I came from a broken home or a broken neighborhood, or from whether my parents or my grandparents used or abused drugs,” Vance said.

While Vance didn’t vote for Donald Trump in the 2017 Presidential Election, Vance is viewed as a “conservative sage” for the working class.

Vance believes that it is up to the conservatives who have a better understanding of “broken homes and broken neighborhoods” to come up with a solution that will lead to concrete results for disadvantaged Americans. “We know that we have a crisis of opportunity in the country,” writes Vance.

~ Conservative Zone


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17 thoughts on “How Conservatives Can Fix the Welfare State”

  1. Absolutely correct, the system is broken and only we the people can influence the politicians through our voice in dialogue and our votes. I was raised in Kentucky and although I came up in a christian and loving family with strong values and conviction, we had limited resources, but made the best of what we had. I worked my way through college and developed into a fairly successful leader throughout my career. With few resources as a young man, with the right values and determination, managed to have a fruitful and rewarding life. Having had the opportunity to travel the world, I have seen abject poverty at home, Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, Central and South America. It is a pity in this great nation, that we are unable to solve this seemingly never ending cycle of poverty, crime, and despair.

    Regardless of anyone’s political beliefs, we all have (or should have), a common goal and conviction to fix this problem in America to serve as the benchmark for changing the welfare state, as said this existing system is severely broken and ineffective.

  2. I grew up poor also. While I never made it to upper class, there are careers you can get with only a few weeks training. Although I was on welfare on and off it was for emergency reasons–lost a job a couple times, fired babysitters for abusing my children–I found different babysitters and went back to work. There is no reason for anybody to be career welfare recipients. They need determination to get out not sit at home and do nothing. And most of all, stop blaming others for your problems. Blame yourself for being where you’re at and do something about it.

  3. I grew up poor also. While I never made it to upper class, there are careers you can get with only a few weeks training. Although I was on welfare on and off it was for emergency reasons–lost a job a couple times, fired babysitters for abusing my children–I found different babysitters and went back to work. There is no reason for anybody to be career welfare recipients. They need determination to get out not sit at home and do nothing.

  4. A great story about someone succeeding against all odds. Problem with this article is the fact that the conservative block fails to see that this president is willing to go the extra mile and take all the crap from both parties, yes even the conservative right, to try and change many wrongs that have been done in the past to hurt our country. I believe that it would serve our country better if the ultra right conservative block would get their collective heads out of their arse once and for all and support their president!!!

  5. Well said AmericaWakeUpNow. There is nothing I can add and it appears the president is closing on this agenda whether the left and the rinos like it or NOT!

  6. I grew up in a middle class family but because of my parents I knew how blessed I was. Over decades I have worked with many good men and women who grew up poor and made something of themselves and raised great children who are successful. To the person, all stated that the welfare system was promoting poverty, the lack of desire to succeed or get out of the system. Also the fact they had no father whom they knew was results of the system set up to encourage women to have babies without a husband. Needless to say they all voted for Trump, even though most are black, because they thought he could change this cycle of poverty. It cannot be changed by one man, but only when non-socialist minded Americans take the current program down and design a system that encourages work, family and personal achievement. Today the welfare system does just the opposite, but that was the reason it was designed by the Johnson Administration and a Democratic Congress. Yes, conservatives must start thinking for themselves, take a look at history, talk to people who grew up poor, think about how to break the cycle of poverty and elect leaders who want to change things, not just throw money at a very broken wasteful system. Realize our welfare system is designed to encourage dependency on the government and thus ensure votes, it is not going to change until the swamp is drained.

  7. I believe that this article is right on. It isn’t guns or knifes or bats. It is the culture and lack of responsibility that has to change. A loving and caring family, real knowledgeable education and the will to make a good life for oneself are the keys. Our existing culture has generated to many uneducated, fatherless and drug addicted members of our community. With loving and responsible parents and others it can be turned around. Unfortunately it will take time to do so. But it has to start someplace.

  8. I never read in this article anything about cleaning out all the illegal immigrants and all the refugees, that are getting food stamps, welfare and free medical. It needs to start there first and then worry about the legal citizens.

  9. I grew up on ADC when the American Dream was upward mobility mostly signified by home ownership. The American Dream now appears to be nannied from cradle to grave and do as little as possible to improve yourself. In large part, we have Lyndon Bowels Johnson to thank for that.

  10. The welfare state has grown over decades.It is engrained in the country now and tens of millions of govt dependents.The only rational way to reverse would be to do it gradually,over decades.Not many Americans have the patience to wait that long,so Democrats win and the welfare state will continue to grow,until the system bankrupts.

  11. I grew up poor. We were taught to work and do good in school and you’ll succeed. JESUS and a strong family base is the most important thing to a prosperous person. You don’t have to have a lot of money and a lot of “things” to be successful.
    I’m thankful I had a Mama that loved us and did the best she could for us. She did it without a welfare check. We did receive “commodities”. So we had food to eat and we had home made clothes and hand me downs but Praise be to JESUS we didn’t know we were poor because everyone else was just like us only some had a little more but none were wealthy. But we all had love and respect. America needs to get back to the basics. America needs to turn back to JESUS! God bless America.

  12. every body deserves a helping hand from time to time, but there is a difference from a helping hand and a free hand out! I absolutely believe that the handicap need some breaks, but amazingly I see more handicapped do better then the big and strong individuals whom I feel are lazy and just blame society for their struggles. I do recall at past years where people on welfare were rewarded with more income because they continued to have babies, and the cycle continued from generation to generation, because kids learn from traits of the parents. A good example can be found right in my own family, and I am at loss because I know she was raised in same family life I was, but today she relies on food stamps, and assistance thru welfare, and it was because she choose to never look any farther then tomorrow. She was not lazy, she never relied on welfare earlier years, but struggle pay check to paycheck. I did manage to help a lot when she was raising 2 boys on her own. She worked hard, very hard till she hit an age where health became her problem. Now she does not care to work, refuses to look for work, and perhaps her time alone is not healthy. I had given her advise about many thing over the last 20 years, along with support and help from her mother, yet she never once listened. She is perhaps like maybe many will be like in the near future, expecting SS to save and support them just as before when they worked for it. But SS is and was not meant to be life line to live as we do when we work, and no one can live off it alone. This is where welfare starts after you become unemployable. It is unrealistic to expect an employer to hire some one when health and age issues because it cost more for employment. I know you can not claim age discrimination very easily, as how can some one in their late 60’s or 70’s compete against some one in their 20’s or 30’s, you can not compete because if an employer puts in many hours and cost to get good workers to satisfactory production levels does not want to lose that person because of health or age. welfare is needed, but something has to be said that those on welfare have to get some tough teaching like a child and begin to understand self worth and pride. Failure starts at early age, but so much can be done when kids are taught to be responsible and not given things free. The Generation I see coming of age expects things without earning them, but not all these young adults fit that one description, and that maybe the real hope for the future. WELFARE IS A SICKNESS, AND DEMOCRATS RELY ON IT FOR SUPPORT, IT CREATES NEVER ENDING CYCLE OF VOTERS! HAVE YOU EVER SEEN WELFARE TAKEN AWAY ? NO!!!! AND FACT IS THAT IT IS INCREASED AND SO IS THE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT IS NEEDED TO SUPPORT IT!

    KEEP VOTING DEMOCRATS IF YOU WANT TO BECOME 3RD WORLD, THAT IS YOUR RIGHT!

  13. I grew up poor, even had an outside toilet till i was 13. Had a mamaw and a papaw. Mama worked 2 jobs. None of us ever had any welfare. I was taught to be proud, go to Church and work hard.I started working when I was 13 (loved it), joined the Army right out of High School. I wouldn’t take a handout period. TOO Damn Proud. And that is what’s wrong with America. We’velost our pride and love of Independence

  14. If everyone who works, had backbone, & quit paying taxes, that our stupid Politicians throw away, the problem would be solved. They sure couldn’t put everyone in jail, & since there would be no money coming in, the corrupt Politicians would have to change their ways. First of all the Old timers would resign or retire, then leave it up to a new batch of people in congress to fix the problem. Our country is broke now, so what would be wrong in not paying taxes for them to steal & give away. Of course, that will never happen, because there are too many spineless people.

  15. The first step to end the cycle of poverty is to provide free implanted birth control. I have personally met women that have several children by several “baby daddies”. Of course, these deadbeats do not support their children and go on to make even more babies. These “baby daddies” must be held responsible for their actions, either by paying support, jail time or sterilization. If you want to end poverty, stop making more.

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