Brooks: The Poor: An Untapped Resource

Believe it or not, most conservatives believe that the government plays an important role in helping the needy. Indeed, they affirm along with Friedrich Hayek and President Ronald Reagan that the social safety net for the truly needy is a great achievement of modern civilization.

So why do conservatives so often complain about the safety net? Because as it is currently administered, it does not better equip citizens to build meaningful, dignified lives of their own making.

The conservative heart provides more help for to the poor than subsistence and dependence. Conservatives define success by how few people need help from government programs, not how many we can enroll for government help.

Conservatives don’t view the poor as a burden on society in need only of charity. Instead, they see the poor as an untapped resource of strength and growth. That’s why conservatives insist on work as a central solution to poverty.

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