A celebrity Twitter debate erupted between entrepreneur Mark Cuban and singer John Legend over whether big government or private charity is better at solving hunger and poverty in America.
This brief but epic debate revealed the differing philosophical views on the role of government in policymaking that play out on so many issues.
Here’s the tweet that started it all:
Now, it’s understandable that conservative voters may desire to see their side retain control of the Senate to stop a far-left policy agenda or that leftist voters may want to take control of the Senate to remove all roadblocks to their favored agenda. Donating is speech and it is their right.
However, Cuban was pointing to the importance of charitable giving in a time of great need.
John Legend caught the tweet and had a response of his own:
Cuban had a savage response:
Legend later added:
Legend’s clean-up tweet that he will still be charitable was too little too late. The horse was out of the barn.
Legend, left-leaning celebrities, and leftists believe that government is the solution to our problems, not private charity and not the private sector.
They reason that poverty, violence, a lack of education, environmental harm, and every other societal ill is because there is not enough government in our communities.
Conservatives and many independent-thinking Americans see that many societal ills are precisely because of government. For example, government dependency programs which claim to help single-parent households penalize the formation of two-parent households. Yet, despite how much we spend on anti-poverty programs, far more children in single parent households are in poverty compared to those living with two adults.
In the black community today, a child is less likely to live with both parents (43 percent) and more likely to be raised by one parent–likely his or her mother– (57 percent), but that was not so in 1970 when 64 percent of black children lived with both parents. Not surprisingly, that is about the time that Great Society programs were in full swing.
To think that government is the best solution because the government can spend any amount necessary is false, foolish, and naive.
What does help is a robust economy that delivers jobs for people and raises their wages as the dazzling Census poverty figures from last year indicated. We had that before the pandemic and we can get back to that with the right pro-growth policies such as deregulation and tax cuts. And for those who cannot find work, charities can deliver both immediate assistance and fund targeted programs for their long-term independence and success.
John Legend would rather us throw our money into the black whole of government and hope for the best, but government’s woeful track record at poverty alleviation says otherwise.