I try to read news from both sides. But sometimes I get a little explosion of frustration over the unexamined assumptions that pass for conventional wisdom. Today's discontent comes from reading the National Review, particularly this piece of drivel from Thomas Sowell.
I've covered at some length the fact that there is no evidence that government assistance creates dependency. If anything, the evidence is that state supports, by increasing the rewards from work, increase employment and activity in the market sector (not surprising, since people respond more strongly to losing what they have than loss of potential gains, providing a floor, and thus something to lose, then increasing upside gains is more likely to be successful given people's psychological responses than trying to beat them until morale improves since people at rock bottom tend to just grow resigned and stay there, despite popular movie stories to the contrary).
But, there is a linked idea that receiving government handouts increase voting for the Democrats. However, a quick search for ungated papers on the subject reveals that receipt of means tested benefits (if an explanation is necessary, aid targeted at the poor rather than middle class) decreases civic participation and voting. Since assistance targeted at the poor has a stigmatizing effect, it would be a rather boneheaded move to target programs towards the poor if the goal was electoral success. While one is free to take this as another problem with the welfare state, it does contradict the idea that hand outs to the poor are meant to secure electoral success.
Sorry, but there must be another explanation.