Sometimes you have to hand it to your enemies. Regressives are masterful at portraying themselves as the administrators of “economic fairness.” No Regressive oration would be complete without a splash of class envy. Be it “tax cuts for the greedy rich” or “the rich getting wealthy on the backs of the poor,” the message is the same. Conservatives benefit from keeping poor Americans impoverished. But the Left’s advantage is nullified when conservatives meet their charge head-on.

Conservatism finds no joy in anyone’s economic suffering. Rather, conservatism promotes attitudes that loose people from poverty’s chain. Optimism, resilience, self-reliance and ethics are the qualities that build successful and enduring futures. While setbacks are common they aren’t cause for surrender. The individual remains superior to politicians, bureaucrats and busybody activists who display their so-called generosity in the redistribution of their neighbor’s earnings. These qualities are fundamental to conservative thought.

The notion that honor resides in effort and ingenuity is neither foolish nor outdated. And poverty isn’t a cause for shame but for resolve. Conservatives embrace this concept because the benefits are demonstrable, having lifted some of America’s highest achievers to unimagined accomplishments. That’s why conservatives resist expanding the so-called social safety net. There’s no enmity toward the poor, just toward the entitlements that encourage their economic stagnation.

The old fishing adage fit’s the conservative outlook perfectly. Give a man a fish and you’ve fed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you’ve fed him for a lifetime. Conservatives enjoy teaching people to fish.

Regressive policies ensure that the poor remain poor. According to the Cato Institute, 32-percent of America’s population was impoverished in 1947. The poverty level fell to 13.9-percent by 1965. That’s when Regressives launched Lyndon Johnson’s infamous War on Poverty. Since 1965 the poverty rate has remained relatively constant, hovering between 10 and 15-percent.

If discussing poverty with a few quick statistics sounds cold and impersonal, it shouldn’t. Each number represents millions of Americans whose faith has been diminished and whose futures have been damaged by Regressive policies.

The grandiose promises of the left’s anti-poverty crusade remain predictably unfulfilled, a vapid collection of shell games, pipe dreams and collectivist utopianism. Instead of eradicating poverty, as advertised, Regressives have stifled initiative, fostered dependency and encouraged stagnation. The role of father has been swallowed in statist bureaucracy, the family unit is fractured and inner cities–ostensibly the target of the War on Poverty–are economic disasters.

Regressives toss fish to the poor, much like a marine biologist feeds a seal, thereby ensuring that destitute people, like seals, look to Regressives each time they have a need. There’s nothing compassionate about it. In fact, it’s a heinous immorality.