Will cites a stunning number,
The senator [Barak Obama of Illinois], 44, is just 30 months older than the "war on poverty" that President Johnson declared in January 1964. Since then the indifference that is as bad as active malice has been expressed in more than $6.6 trillion of anti-poverty spending, strictly defined. (emphasis in original).
Now I don't know what "strictly defined" means but I am sure that no one thinks that helping people out of poverty is a bad thing. In fact, even the most hardened conservative would say that as an affluent nation we have duty to help our citizens who are less fortunate than others. But it seems to me that, given the "rampant poverty" that exists, according to some Democrats, (and I am not denying that it doesn't exist) it would seem that 40 years of activity in a war on poverty that has not altered the poverty rate would seem to be a failure.
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result, our governmental leaders from say Nixon on, of both parties and in all branches of government belong not in the Capitol but in St. Elizabeth's mental hospital. The insanity is rampant.
Will notes that Obama and others would do better preaching to everyone three basic rules for avoiding poverty:
The senator [Obama] is called a "new kind of Democrat," which often means one with new ways of ignoring evidence discordant with old liberal orthodoxies about using cash -- much of it spent through liberalism's "caring professions" -- to cope with cultural collapse. He might, however, care to note three not-at-all recondite rules for avoiding poverty: Graduate from high school, don't have a baby until you are married, don't marry while you are a teenager. Among people who obey those rules, poverty is minimal. (empahsis added)
Assuming Will's "rules" are just that, it does not take a genius sociologist to understand that the "rampant" poverty among minorities is not because of systemic pressures keeping them down--if anything the system spends trillions trying to help them up. Rather the issue is a cultural one.
Lest anyone think me a racist, Will's rules apply equally to whites, hispanics or any other minority. Thinking that all we need to do is spend more money on anti-poverty programs will work is the true poverty of thought--a poverty of imagination and effort.