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Old 02-12-2018, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,786 posts, read 15,204,735 times
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https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-...ns-of-dollars/


My local paper ran a big article on L.A. homelessness yesterday. In spite of hundreds of millions of dollars spent, the problem grows worse by the month. It's the same or worse in Seattle.


It wasn't always like this. In the early 1800's, there was a steady stream of visitors to the U.S. from Europe. People like novelists Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, and historian Alexis de Tocqueville
wanted to see the new experiment for themselves. According to Brit historian Paul Johnson:


Quote:
Originally Posted by A History of the American People
What all observers recorded was the absence of begging...As one of them put it in 1839: 'During two years spent in traveling through every part of the Union, I have only once been asked for alms.' To Europeans, that seemed incredible.(p. 388)

At the time there was virtually zero welfare state in the U.S. No food stamps, no Section 8, etc. But according to Brown U. historian Gordan Wood, there were over 1400 privately funded 'benevolent' orgs in the U.S. by 1817, including some devoted to housing the indigent.


Homelessness before leviathan gov't was virtually absent. After 100 years of big government programs, it's far out of control.
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:48 AM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
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There wasn't Social Security or Food Stamps but it wasn't like the government wasn't involved in the welfare of the poor and homeless at all.

In the U.K, there were the Workhouses and Poor Houses- and until Social Security was introduced in the U.S in the 1930s, America had Poor Farms.

They were government run (in the U.S, usually at a county level) and essentially the safety net of the day for those who had no other option. Some were privatized, but not all.

I would be inclined to call a Poor Farm/Poorhouse a form of welfare, wouldn't you? Hardly a zero welfare state, as you put it.
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,786 posts, read 15,204,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glamatomic View Post
There wasn't Social Security or Food Stamps but it wasn't like the government wasn't involved in the welfare of the poor and homeless at all.

In the U.K, there were the Workhouses and Poor Houses- and until Social Security was introduced in the U.S in the 1930s, America had Poor Farms.

They were government run (in the U.S, usually at a county level) and essentially the safety net of the day for those who had no other option. Some were privatized, but not all.

I would be inclined to call a Poor Farm/Poorhouse a form of welfare, wouldn't you? Hardly a zero welfare state, as you put it.


Do you have any source about the extent of these 'poor farms' in the U.S? According to Gordon Wood's book Empire of Liberty, which covers US history up to 1815, many of the 'benevolent' orgs were formed by political leaders, but they were funded by charity, not tax dollars. If I'm wrong about the existence of tax-funded poor farms, thanks for the correction.


Regardless, the overall point remains: there was very low homelessness/vagrancy in America in the early 19th century. Now after about a century of gazillions spent on welfare, homelessness is crazy out of control.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:04 PM
 
12,176 posts, read 14,648,877 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
Do you have any source about the extent of these 'poor farms' in the U.S? According to Gordon Wood's book Empire of Liberty, which covers US history up to 1815, many of the 'benevolent' orgs were formed by political leaders, but they were funded by charity, not tax dollars. If I'm wrong about the existence of tax-funded poor farms, thanks for the correction.


Regardless, the overall point remains: there was very low homelessness/vagrancy in America in the early 19th century. Now after about a century of gazillions spent on welfare, homelessness is crazy out of control.
Wasn't the country much more rural at that time? Seems like comparing apples to oranges. You probably had a lot more poor subsistence farmers.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
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https://www.heritage.org/marriage-an...-years-failure


Here's an interesting and related link. LBJ declared 'war on poverty' in Jan. 1964. Since then, the US spent $22 trillion fighting this war, which according to the link is three times the cost of all US wars fought since the American Revolution. The U.S. poverty rate in 1967, shortly after the declaration of war, was 14.5%. The poverty rate today is...14.5%. And homelessness is more pervasive than ever.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:08 PM
 
21,059 posts, read 10,571,544 times
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Don’t feed the bears
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Proxima Centauri
5,765 posts, read 2,470,210 times
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This is an excellent thread. We currently prohibit fathers of families live with their families. Non violent men should live with their wives and kids so that children have a man in the house. We should have a good team of investigators who go after welfare cheats with immunity to political influence. If you want to see who are the real burden on the welfare system, google "lakewood nj welfare". They have cash business on the side and their families are on welfare.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dman72 View Post
Wasn't the country much more rural at that time? Seems like comparing apples to oranges. You probably had a lot more poor subsistence farmers.

That is a fair point. However, consider a comparison America of that era to France and Britain of that era.


In the late 18th century, John Adams was sent by Congress to France and then Britain to perform various diplomatic tasks. One of the first things he said upon arriving in France was "Every place swarms w/ beggars."


Later when he went to Britain he found not dissimilar conditions. Adams also found incredible opulence in both countries that he had never seen in America. Both also had leviathan states (albeit not welfare states) but Adams did find "armies" of courtiers, clergy, and soldiers.


Leviathan government, incredible opulence among the few, and grinding poverty among the many. Kind of reminds me of what we have in America today....
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:25 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
4,009 posts, read 5,910,824 times
Reputation: 4581
Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
Do you have any source about the extent of these 'poor farms' in the U.S? According to Gordon Wood's book Empire of Liberty, which covers US history up to 1815, many of the 'benevolent' orgs were formed by political leaders, but they were funded by charity, not tax dollars. If I'm wrong about the existence of tax-funded poor farms, thanks for the correction.


Regardless, the overall point remains: there was very low homelessness/vagrancy in America in the early 19th century. Now after about a century of gazillions spent on welfare, homelessness is crazy out of control.
From this article about Poor Farms in the United States....

"Poor Farms” were county or town-run residences where paupers (mainly elderly and disabled people) were supported at public expense. They were common in the United States beginning in the middle of the 1800s, and declined in use after the Social Security Act took effect in 1935.

Most counties had them in some form.


--------

And from this article on The Heritage Foundation website (a very interesting article if you get a chance to peruse it)

From the earliest colonial days, local governments took responsibility for their poor. However, able-bodied men and women generally were not supported by the taxpayers unless they worked. They would sometimes be placed in group homes that provided them with food and shelter in exchange for labor. Only those who were too young, old, weak, or sick and who had no friends or family to help them were taken care of in idleness.

--------

And later in the same article...

Private philanthropy complemented public aid; both were part of the American response to poverty.


So, your original assertion that private aid existed is correct - but it was not in place of public aid, it was in addition to it.
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:37 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
4,009 posts, read 5,910,824 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dman72 View Post
Wasn't the country much more rural at that time? Seems like comparing apples to oranges. You probably had a lot more poor subsistence farmers.
True. In 1820, more than 70% of Americans lived on farms and thought of themselves as farmers. Our cities weren't nearly as populated- in fact, in 1815, the population of the entire United States was less than the population of New York City alone today.

The poor were out there then, just as they are today. But instead of living in overcrowded slums in over crowded countries as they did in Europe, many were likely either in the Poor Farms or subsistence farming as Dman suggested.
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