“Today, 85 percent of the $400 billion that the government spends to encourage things like home ownership, college attendance, investment and small business ends up in the pockets of the top 20 percent of earners (and half goes to the top 5 percent). Very little ends up helping the working poor. On the other hand, many social benefits cut off when a family’s income rises roughly 30 percent above the poverty line — which is still a far cry from being out of poverty.” (From an NYTimes article titled Out of Poverty, Family-Style)
Think about that. The government spends money to incentivize the better-off to do what they would be able to do without the subsidy, while they penalize the poor when their income increases. That is an eye-opening fact, one that puts into stark contrast the policies affected rich and poor in the wealthiest country in the world, and one that should force us to re-think traditional notions of why people are poor. The truth is that the deck is stacked in favor of those with power.