User talk:EvanHarper

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Welcome to RationalWiki!! Insert goat joke here. SJ Debaser 11:02, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Demotion commotion notion of promotion with lotion while in motion to the locomotion[edit]

Since you seem to be alright, and meet our mostly low standards for sysoppery, I have taken the liberty of making you one. Here's your mop and bucket. Cheers! Lord Goonie Hooray! I'm helping! 04:56, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Nice job with the Desiree Jennings‎ article :-) Lord Goonie Hooray! I'm helping! 05:33, 23 December 2009 (UTC)


Some dare call it
Icon conspiracy.svg
What THEY don't want
you to know!
Sheeple wakers

The Cloward-Piven strategy strategy is a newly popular gambit used by Glenn Beck and various other right wing bastards. The basic idea is simple: discredit all liberal economic policies by asserting them to be part of an overarching plan of deliberate sabotage hatched by a couple of Marxist Jewish professors in the pages of The Nation magazine in 1966.

Historical background[edit]

Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were two leftie sociologists from the 1960s, who were dissatisfied with the contemporary United States welfare system. In their view, it was run by budget-conscious state and local bureaucracies, who expended proportionally huge sums in administration, harassed and intimidated recipients, and used questionable tactics to keep potential claimants off the rolls. Cloward and Piven would have preferred a national guaranteed minimum income, but recognized that this demand was politically unfeasible at the time; they also observed that under the then-current system, "a vast discrepancy exists between the benefits to which people are entitled under public welfare programs and the sums which they actually receive." This led them to their (in)famous proposal: left-wing activists should organize poor people to sign up en masse for the largest possible welfare benefits, and press their claims through a barrage of filings, appeals, and even lawsuits. The resulting strain on the system would "impel action on a new federal program to distribute income, eliminating the present public welfare system and alleviating the abject poverty which it perpetrates."[1]

The strategy was at best a very partial success. Many of Cloward and Piven's colleagues felt that as long as the poor lacked political power, "create a crisis and then pray" was strategically unsound; there was no reason to expect that a crisis would be resolved in their favor.[2] In at least one modern case, a Cloward-Pivenesque welfare crisis was resolved by cutting the program.[3]

Bizarro historical background[edit]

Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were two commnist agitators from the 1960s, who hated prosperity, free enterprise, and apple pie. Thus, they hatched a diabolical scheme of "forcing political change through orchestrated crisis," seeking to "hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse."[4]

Their plot of "using society's poor and disadvantaged people as sacrificial 'shock troops'" quietly matured over 40 years, culminating in the 2008 financial crisis, which was caused by "ACORN guerrillas" who "chant[ed] inside bank lobbies," thereby forcing the powerless, terrified bankers into making bad loans which blew up, wrecking the economy.[5]


Cloward and Piven were basically obscure figures until 2008, when


In supposing that the strategy could be carried out successfully, Cloward and Piven made a number of somewhat dubious assertions:

  • That enough people who were eligible for welfare, but not receiving it, could be persuaded to sign up (as if the only reason people refused welfare was that they did not know they were eligible).
  • That this signing up could be done quickly enough to disrupt the budgets of entire states of the Union.
  • That a fiscal crisis would "set brother against brother" in that manner.
  • That the Democratic Party would respond to that sort of crisis by implementing a welfare policy suggested by Marxists. Indeed, Cloward and Piven themselves later argued that during periods of civil disorder, governments would increase welfare payments by way of a bribe, but then promptly decrease them again when order was restored.[6]
  • That poverty could be wiped out by the method of a guaranteed income. Indiscriminately raising people's incomes has led in the past to wage-price spirals.[7][8]

Whether the plan actually did work is doubtful. Retired political strategist Robert Chandler attributes a 1975 budget crisis in New York to an organized welfare enrollment campaign right along the lines of the strategy,[9] but that claim is not widely made and borders on a conspiracy theory.

Conspiracy theories[edit]

Conspiracy theorists love the concept of Marxists gaming the welfare bureaucracy to force implementation of their political program; from this seed they can divine a thousand different Secret Commie Plots currently in operation. Hence it is that another, similar, conspiracy theory is presently making the rounds in U.S. right-wing circles.

This theory posits that the current recession and financial crisis was deliberately manufactured by Democrats, by getting left-wing activists such as ACORN to force banks and lenders to make bad loans to people who would otherwise have been considered too great a risk. This was purportedly done via a combination of protest tactics and lobbying (for such legislation as the Community Reinvestment Act), thus resulting in a financial crisis which the Democrats could then exploit by instituting a "socialist" government.

The fact that most of the bad loans causing the crisis were not in any way mandated by the Community Reinvestment Act is conveniently ignored; so is the fact that the only way the Democrats would institute a socialist government is if socialist revolutionaries stormed Congress and made them do it at gunpoint.