The Cloward-Piven Strategy

The Cloward-Piven Strategy

The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven that called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a national system of a guaranteed annual income and thus “an end to poverty.”

[Cloward, Richard; Piven, Frances (May 2, 1966). “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty”. (Originally published in The Nation)]

You heard that right. The idea is to drastically increase the ranks of people on government welfare, crash the welfare system and force it to be replaced by — another government welfare system for everyone.

As Cloward and Piven put it, the ultimate objective of this strategy is to wipe out poverty by establishing a guaranteed annual income. In order to precipitate this crisis, the poor must obtain more and more welfare benefits until the system is overloaded.

This is just another suppressive way of redistributing income through the federal government.

Another part of the strategy is that welfare advocacy “must be supplemented by organized demonstrations to create a climate of militancy that will overcome the invidious and immobilizing attitudes which many potential recipients hold toward being ‘on welfare.'”

In other words, let’s create a dangerous environment so that people lose their natural inclination to be self-sufficient and hook them on government welfare.

“To generate an expressly political movement, cadres of aggressive organizers would have to come from the civil rights movement and the churches, …” Are you starting to see a pattern here with recent riots and demonstrations, largely fomented by people sent in from outside the affected community?

They go on to say, “By crisis, we mean a publicly visible disruption in some institutional sphere. Crisis can occur spontaneously (e.g., riots) or as the intended result of tactics of demonstration and protest which either generate institutional disruption or bring unrecognized disruption to public attention.”

Are you getting it yet? Do we really need to name Ferguson? Roughly a quarter of those rioters arrested were not residents of Missouri. One report has it that, “The real story out of Ferguson is that a national network of agitators is ready, on a moment’s notice, to arrive on the scene to cause violence and mayhem.”

Do you know how much “mental health care” and psychiatric drugs are a part of this plot, given that these drugs incite violence and aggression as a “side effect?” Hint — the Missouri Department of Mental Health’s budget is over $1.8 billion per year. Medicaid claims for psychotropic drugs are well over 60 million per year, over 2 million claims per year in Missouri; Medicaid payments for psychotropic drugs are over $6 billion per year, and over $174 million per year in Missouri.

Missouri Medicaid (called MO HealthNet) covers 1 out of every 7 Missourians and 38% of Missouri’s children. Roughly 30% of Missouri’s total annual budget goes to Medicaid; but this only covers 50% of Medicaid spending — the other 50% comes from the federal government. 15% of the Medicaid budget goes to pharmacy services; 15% goes to mental health services. And of course the Affordable Care Act allows for the expansion of eligibility for Medicaid — a key part of Cloward-Piven, expanding access to welfare; although at this time Missouri has not yet expanded MO HealthNet eligibility.

Psychotropic drugs represent roughly 30% of all pharmaceutical spending, and the cost appears to increase roughly 20% per year.

The implementation of the Affordable Care Act is expected to add 2.7 percent, or $7.3 billion, to the level of Mental Health and Substance Abuse spending in 2020, as an expected 25 million people who were previously uninsured gain health insurance coverage.

Well, as we looked back on these statistics, we nearly fell off of our soapbox in shock. What to do? Contact your local, state and federal officials and express your alarm. Write a Letter to the Editor. Contact your employer, your school, your church, your family, friends, and associates. Show them a CCHR DVD documentary (we’ll mail you one if you promise to show it around.) Forward this newsletter and suggest they subscribe. Vote!

Find Out! Fight Back!