Cunningham on the poor: "They're poor because they lack values, ethics, and morals"

Video ››› ››› LAURYN BRUCK

Echoing his previous attacks on the poor, radio host Bill Cunningham claimed that "poor people were not and are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values, ethics, and morals."

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On the January 4 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Cincinnati-based radio host Bill Cunningham continued his attacks on the poor, stating: "[P]oor people were not and are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values, ethics, and morals." Cunningham added: "All that the mid-'60s and '70s did to the black community was to pay black fathers money on condition that they not be involved in the lives of their children and that black mothers were told that if you married, it would have a painful consequence. If, on the other hand, you acted irresponsibly by producing children out of wedlock, you would have a positive consequence, because government would fund bad behavior."

As Media Matters for America has documented, Cunningham made similar remarks on his October 23 broadcast, asserting, "The reason people are poor in America is not because they lack money, it's because poor people in America lack values, character, and the ability to work hard." Additionally, Cunningham stated on his October 27 broadcast: "Among the so-called noble poor in America ... [b]irth control is not used so illegitimate children can be brought into the world, so the mom can get more checks in the mail from the government. And then once the child is born, that is the key to financial riches in the poor communities -- white and black -- in America."

Talkers Magazine lists Cunningham on its "Heavy Hundred" list of the "100 most important radio talk show hosts in America." Cunningham's weekend show, Live on Sunday Night, it's Bill Cunningham, is syndicated nationally by Premiere Radio Networks.

From the January 4 broadcast of Clear Channel's The Big Show with Bill Cunningham:

CUNNINGHAM: I cannot say it too often or too many times. Nothing FDR did in the 1930s stopped or alleviated the Great Depression. Almost everything FDR did in the 1930s exacerbated the Great Depression. There's nothing LBJ did in '64, '65, and '66 that helped the plight of African-Americans; in fact, it hurt them. Almost all their actions brought about the law of unintended consequences. The goal of model cities, Section 8 housing, and food stamps was to give the poor people money, not understanding that poor people were not and are not poor because they lack money. They're poor because they lack values, ethics, and morals.

All that the mid-'60s and '70s did to the black community was to pay black fathers money on condition that they not be involved in the lives of their children and that black mothers were told that if you married, it would have a painful consequence. If, on the other hand, you acted irresponsibly by producing children out of wedlock, you would have a positive consequence, because government would fund bad behavior.

So LBJ and the Democrats and Republicans had the best of intentions to solve poverty by giving to poor people money, acting as if that was the resolution of their problem, when just the opposite occurred. By giving poor people money by acting irresponsibly, they incentivized more irresponsible behavior.

Posted In
Economy, Poverty
Network/Outlet
Clear Channel
Person
Bill Cunningham
Show/Publication
The Big Show with Bill Cunningham
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