Last week Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) gave a speech at the Sutherland Institute’s Center for Utah’s Economy dinner. In his remarks he explained how the poor and middle class can best be helped by applying conservative principles and policies.
On Facebook, Senator Lee wrote a short supplement to his speech.
In 1861, Abraham Lincoln told Congress that the “leading object” of American government was:
“to elevate the condition of men – to lift artificial weights from all shoulders, to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all, to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance, in the race of life.”
In a single sentence, Lincoln explains precisely what poverty is, and what government ought to do about it.
As Lincoln knew first hand, true poverty was, for most people, not an absence of money, but an absence of opportunity – a lack of access to those social and economic networks where human opportunities are created.