Poverty By Design – It’s No Accident

Poverty_By_Design_Headerby Benjamin T. Moore, Jr.

Poverty By Design – It’s Not An Accident

The poor define the middle class. The middle class define the wealthy. When social class becomes more important than the recognition of our common humanity, the upper classes will embrace policies that increase class differences.  ~Benjamin T. Moore, Jr.

The stratification of society inevitably leads to the stagnation of progress. Human genius and innovation are random blessings bestowed without regard to race, creed, gender or social standing. Thus, when the poor are excluded from educational opportunity, or the quality of the education made available to them is substandard, society has effectively cut itself off from access to the most powerful resource on this planet, the human mind.

When you examine history, the Renaissance, Industrial Revolutions and rapid technological advancement have always been marked by a collapse in stratification of the societies in which they occurred. If you look at the most modern and advanced societies in existence today, they are the ones in which the most freedom and social mobility exists.

Poverty By Design - Walled Enclaves

The wealthy will live in enclaves, the poor in squalor.

Repression of the people may protect the wealth and power of the aristocracy. However, it also leads to a dystopian society where the wealthy live in walled enclaves and the majority of the people live in squalor. The energy which would be directed toward communal advancement is turned to maintaining the status quo. This continues until a critical mass is reached and and total societal collapse occurs.

We are well down the path to a dystopian future unless we change course immediately. While the masses have slept, lulled by the illusion of equal opportunity, the wealthy have worked to enact laws to maintain their power and control. Our tax laws have been written to nearly exempt them from taxation. Loopholes allowing offshore accounts and tax havens have allowed them to profit from the labor of the working class without reinvestment of that wealth back into our society.

Opportunity is gradually being reduced like an ever tightening noose. To be considered for gainful employment, you need a college degree. The cost of college tuition is rising faster than the economy is growing. In order to pay for college, those who were not born wealthy must incur the debt of student loans, with no guarantee of employment upon graduation.

Poverty By Design - Overcrowded PrisonInner city schools are being de-funded and closed. Most children successfully completing our public education system, find themselves unprepared to pass college entrance exams. While they’re de-funding inner city schools they are funding prisons. In fact, prisons are a growth industry. More and more goods and services are now being produced with prison labor. Prisons have become the new plantations.

Connecting The Dots

Most of the wealth of the middle class was in their pension funds, 401k and in their homes. Remember Enron? Remember WorldCom? Those were the big ones. These companies were looted by their executives. However, what many people – those who’s 401k’s were not heavily invested in these companies – missed, was the 100’s of thousands of people who saw their retirement savings vanish virtually overnight.

The next big hit was the collapse of the real estate market. The family home was the bank account for the middle class. If all else failed, they could look to their equity in their homes to see them through hard times. The family home was the vehicle for the transfer of wealth from one generation to the next. When the real estate bubble burst and the housing market collapsed, people who had built up equity saw that equity evaporate leaving many of them upside down. Many lost their homes.

Poverty By Design - Reverse Mortgage

Fred Thompson for AAG. Separating people from their wealth.

You cannot watch television for any length of time without seeing a commercial for “Reverse Mortgages.” If you survived the collapse of the real estate market, a reverse mortgage might seem attractive. However, what they’re not telling you is, a reverse mortgage prevents you from transferring the wealth you’ve built up in your home to the next generation. When you leave your home – read die – the bank acquires your home… unless your children want to apply for a mortgage and pay the bank back at interest rates that more than compensate them for whatever they paid you.

These are not coincidences. This is a well planned strategy for the stratification of our society. The only question is, how many of these things have to fall into place before we wake up? This is poverty by design, and it’s no accident!


ROUND #2 Post Debate Wrap Up

Round 2 Headerby Benjamin T. Moore, Jr.

Post Debate Wrap Up

Rope A Dope

The Author of the Rope-A-Dope

There is more than one way to “Rope-A-Dope.” Sometimes you do it by giving him enough rope to hang himself. Tonight We saw Mitt Romney, tie his own noose, place it over his own head, tighten it and take a flying leap into oblivion. Mitt, we hardly knew ya… No really! How can you know a man, who can reverse himself 3 times in the course of one sentence? In tonight’s debate, it finally caught up to Mr. Romney and just between you, me and the doorpost? I don’t think Mitt was very happy. It was a long night on Long Island at Hofstra University for Mitt Romney.

First Debate Revisited

One of the conversations I had repeatedly following the first debate was to reassure concerned Democrats regarding President Obama’s apparent lack luster performance. First I have always maintained that President Obama has been playing Chess while the Republicans were playing Checkers.

If you want to catch an Eel, you first have to put sand on your hands. Mitt Romney has been one slippery Eel. The genius of Mitt Romney’s campaign has been their ability to get so far without ever having to commit to anything!  President Obama had to first make get Mitt to take an actual position. Heretofore, Romney has in essence been blowing smoke on all the issues. In a conversation following the previous debate, I asked the person with whom I was talking, “you just listened to Mitt Romney for an hour and a half, can you tell me even one position Mitt has?” After a moment of thought, he admitted that he could not. That has been the problem.

Revolving Door

Getting a straight answer on Mitt’s policies is like trying to enter a rapidly spinning revolving door.

Getting to Mitt is like trying to enter a rapidly spinning revolving door. Attack his tax plan, the plan he’s been running on for the past year and a half, Mitt says, “that’s not my plan!” He smugly points out, “he has only suggested what he might do.” The real plan will be put together with a congress that is as yet unelected. Look at it this way, If you went to see your doctor about a problem and the doctor told you that you needed an operation, wouldn’t you want to know the details? If the doctor told you he was going to cut you open and figure things out once he took a look, I suspect you’d get up and go looking for a second and third opinions.

Mitt has actually gotten a lot of mileage by not taking an actual position on any of the issues. It makes it extremely easy for him to tailor his message dependent upon which group he’s talking to. Before you can knock him down, you’ve got to get the real Mitt to actually stand up!

Style Points

Candy Crowley

Debate Moderator Candy Crowley

It would be fair to say that the debate moderators have grown weary of Mitt Romney’s tactic of taking control of the debates. He got away with it during the Republican Primaries and had a great measure of success in his first outing against the lamentable Jim Lehrer. He comes off as a whiner. He complains about the order, who’s turn it is to speak… except when he wants to rebut a point that went against him. Then of course, “he must be allowed to respond.” Actually? No Mitt, you don’t get to explain it all away when you get caught in a lie. In my opinion, debate moderator Candy Crowley did an excellent job of containing Mitt’s antics.

Lying is not patriotic

Mitt, lying is not patriotic

President Obama had to walk the proverbial tight rope. Let us call a spade a spade. We live in a racist country. White people fear “the angry Black man.” His delivery had to be pitch perfect. He had to push back and cut Mitt’s throat with a smile firmly fixed on his face. He did just that. The difference between this debate and the last debate? President Obama called Mitt on each and every lie. Mitt simply didn’t know what to do. He began speaking condescendingly to Candy Crowley, he even went so far as to heckle the President in the middle of one of his answers. The American people saw Mitt unravel right before their eyes.

On The Substance

There were many topics covered I’ll give you a few of the highlights. Mitt Romney attempted to make points on oil production. His complaint was that the President’s administration has taken away oil drilling rights on public lands. Personally? I’m not real enthusiastic about oil derricks popping up in our National Parks, Nevertheless, this was yet another lie Mitt got caught in. In fact, it came back to bite him in the ass.

Oil Derrick

Coming to a National Park Near You?

Yes, the Obama administration has removed drilling rights. These rights were bought up and being sat on for years and not being used. Oil companies were in essence just squatting on our public lands. What the Obama administration did was take those drilling rights and re-let them out to companies who were willing to actually use them now. That of course is fundamentally different than the impression Mitt Romney was trying to portray.

Mitt Romney attempted to get some mileage by comparing the cost of gas today to the price it was when President Obama first took office. There were a couple of lies contained within this poison pill. First, if you buy into the supply and demand model of pricing, you would have to agree that the greater the supply, the less the demand, the lower the price. As it turns out, our oil production is at an all time high. Our demand is actually down. Yet, the price at the pump is high. The dirty little secret is, oil is considered a global commodity. The oil we produce here in the United States, goes directly onto the global market where it is mixed into the global supply. Since we only have 20% of the known global oil reserves, we simply cannot pump enough oil to have much of an effect on oil and gas prices.

President Obama turned the tables on Romney by pointing out that when gas prices were at $1.86 per gallon, our economy was in full meltdown. He then pointed out, that we could in fact get back to those prices simply by following Mitt Romney’s policies back to an economic collapse. The audience nearly cheered!

One of the other topics which I thought extremely important concerned “Women’s Issues.” President Obama pointed to his record on “Women’s Issue.” The first bill he signed after being elected to office was the “Lilly Ledbetter Act.” He pointed out how his”Affordable Care Act” covers women’s health care issues. He addressed the Republican plan to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

Binder full of women

Really Mitt? You asked for a binder full of women?

Mitt Romney’s response was to tell some story from his days as Governor of Massachusetts. According to Mitt, he noticed the dearth of women represented in his cabinet and asked them to bring him a binder full of qualified prospective females to add to his cabinet. This rang hollow to me. Mitt is asking us to believe that he made it all the way to the Governor’s office before it occurred to him he ought to have female representation on his cabinet? A person who deals from whom they really are, has no need to worry about optics. Be who you are and the optics will take care of themselves.

The Libyan Incident

This issue may have been the end of Mitt Romney’s hopes at winning this election. Before the facts were in Mitt leapt out front to criticize the President’s administration. Before the bodies had been recovered. Mitt Romney was using this tragedy for political gain. On this night, he ran head long into a “hay maker” from the President.

Mitt Romney Punching Bag

The President’s Personal Punching Bag

Mitt Romney thought he was about to deliver a political kill shot. His criticism has been that the Administration was – for reasons unknown – trying to cover-up an act of terror against an American embassy which cost the life of an Ambassador and 3 military service personnel. Unfortunately for Mitt, he got “fact checked” right in the middle of the debate by not only the President but by the debate moderator. As it turns out there is video tape of the President of the United States, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton beside him, in the “Rose Garden” calling what happened… “An Act of Terror.” Caught in a lie and embarrassed on national television with 65 million people watching. Poor Mitt. The President turned Mitt into his personal punching bag.

Things were already going down hill, but it was like the brake lines were suddenly cut. Mitt never recovered from this blunder. It was a telling moment. We got to see not only his character but the risk of having someone in charge who does not take the time to research an issue and know what he’s talking about before taking a position.


This was yet another issue that hit Mitt right between the eyes. During the Republican Primaries, vowing not to sign the “Dream Act” may have garnered some points, but this is the General Election. Mitt tried to lie away his “Self-Deportation” comments, but the President held his feet to the fire. Mitt tried to distance himself from his statement that “Arizona’s Papers Please Law” should become the model for the nation. Mitt tried to explain that he only supported the “E-Verify” portion for employers. President Obama pointed out that Mitt’s advisor on immigration issues is the same person who wrote the “entire” Arizona bill. Mitt had nothing to say. Latinos are neither stupid nor naive. They do vote.


In the last debate, I gave President Obama the win on substance and Mitt Romney the win on style. The problem is, you really can’t lie your way to a win. That’s not debating. This debate was like night and day. President Obama called Mitt on each and every lie and pushed back hard. He tied Mitt to his positions and then used him like a punching bag. You could tell Mitt was getting frustrated because he kept appealing to the Moderator. I really expected him to say at any minute, “Candy save me!!!” No help was forthcoming.

You could tell who won at the end of the debate, by observing the dynamics of the crowd, the pundits in the spin room and how long they hung around. Mitt was up and out as soon as possible. President Obama stayed around to take pictures with fans, sign autographs and greet the public. Mitt gathered what was left of his dignity and limped off the field of combat.

In case you missed it? Here’s the complete debate for your viewing pleasure.