Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can Do About It

Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can Do About It

by Star Parker

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Uncle Sam’s Plantation is an incisive look at how government manipulates, controls, and ultimately devastates the lives of the poor—and what Americans must do to stop it. Once a hustler and welfare addict who was chewed up and spit out by the ruthless welfare system, Star Parker sheds much needed light on the bungled bureaucratic attempts to end poverty and reveals the insidious deceptions perpetrated by self-serving politicians.

“Star Parker rocks the world. She is an iconoclast that must be listened to and reckoned with.” ?Sean Hannity

“Star Parker’s important new book helps advance the understanding—critical for all Americans—that prosperity does not come from government and politics but results from men and women of character and high moral fiber living and working in freedom.” ?Larry Kudlow

“Star Parker’s new book brings us back to eternal truths—faith, family, love, and responsibility.” ?Dr. Laura Schlessinger

“Casts new light on the redemptive power of freedom.” ?Rush Limbaugh

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781418508517
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 08/16/2010
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 377,657
File size: 398 KB

About the Author

Star Parker is president and founder of the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), a nonprofit center that addresses the impact of social politics on America's inner cities and the poor. Prior to her social activism, Parker was a single welfare mother. After turning to Christ, she returned to college, earning her B.S. degree, and then launched an urban Christian magazine. Now, she is a frequent lecturer at colleges and churches, a social policy consultant and media commentator, and a regular guest on national television and radio programs across the country, including Larry King Live, 20/20, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Parker is also a syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service.


Read an Excerpt

Uncle Sam's Plantation

How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can Do About It

By Star Parker

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2010 Star Parker
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4185-0851-7


What Is Poverty?

It was a hot and sticky 1968 summer evening in South Carolina. The only breeze was the air coming through the car windows. But as we traveled down the narrow street that led to Grandma Warreno's house, it was not the heat or the humidity that had me in a tizzy. I hated visiting my grandma's house; hated the old porch with posts so rotten it looked as if it would fall over at any moment; hated the cardboard nailed up to cover the holes in the wall. Lord knows how much I hated using that outhouse toilet. The only running water was in the kitchen, so we bathed in the backyard with the chickens, the spiders, and the mosquitoes.

Saying times were tough does not begin to describe my dad's life growing up. My grandpa died at a young age, leaving six adolescent sons to grow up in the Jim Crow segregated South with their widowed mother. It must not have occurred to my grandma that she needed anyone to alleviate her condition as she struggled to raise her boys without a husband and without complaint. Grandma pressed on without a dime from welfare. She grew her own food, trained her own kids, and paid her own way. All six grew to become professional and accomplished men.

It was not until Grandma Warreno was seventy-five years old that she looked to the government for help. She had been contributing Social Security and Medicare taxes all her working life, believing the political promise that her retirement and medical needs would be met. That is when she discovered that the government did not do a very good job saving her money. The Social Security check she received was barely enough to retain the financial independence she struggled sixty-nine years to maintain. After her third stroke by age eighty-three, Medicaid put a lien on her four-thousand-dollar home to cover the housing expenses of the substandard nursing facility they had guaranteed.

What is poverty? It seems a simple question on the surface. People think they know it when they see it. Yet ask any politician, religious leader, or even one who considers himself poor to define poverty, and you will receive a variety of responses. Every time I visit the Union Rescue Mission in downtown Los Angeles, I wonder if the folks there are the picture that most people see when asked to define poverty. Homeless men covered with filth, their clothes soiled and bedraggled, the smell of any one of them enough to make your eyes water. Corporately the stench is not breathable.

Maybe the picture of poverty is the daily routine a few blocks away from the mission, where postal workers fear for their lives to deliver welfare checks, and two-year-olds roam the halls of rundown, hour-rate motels. Wearing diapers as dirty as the garbage in the alley where they play, they giggle as they chase rats while Mom is making a drug buy or meeting her next trick.

Are the political pundits, scholars, and think tanks of today talking about my grandmother or the street hustlers when they pontificate on how to alleviate poverty? Which poor are we discussing in the halls of Congress, Ivy League colleges, or multimillion-dollar churches? A paralytic? A drug addict? Or perhaps folks like my mom and dad?

Dad worked hard to provide for his wife and five children on a military paycheck. After twenty years of air force service, Dad retired, completed a master's degree in education, and taught elementary school until cancer disabled him ten years before his death at age sixty-nine. Mom spent her working life as a domestic, hairdresser, seamstress, correctional facility house parent, and now, at age seventy-two, a horticulturist for an exporter of seasonal flowers. Standing barely five feet tall, Mother, as she demanded us five children address her, is the most financially content person I know. She has never made more than ten bucks an hour. Yet when I talk with her about political debates over a government-mandated livable wage, she laughs and says that people ought not complain about whatever they get. I think her attitude reflects the fact that my mom really enjoys the creative freedom she finds working for small business owners, and she knows that they cannot pay a lot.

One of nine children, my mother learned as a "young'un" that, more than anything else, poverty is a state of mind. Her father showed her by example how to live free. "Buy property and a gun" was his edict. His faith and convictions told him free men have a right to own property and to protect it. Only one generation from slavery, my granddaddy bought enough land in 1905 that today all of his children and grandchildren can retire in Traveler's Rest, South Carolina, without a mortgage. My personal lot is two and a half acres.

My mom's upbringing conditioned her to believe people should be free to live as they choose without imposed restraints. When at age sixty-nine, she found out that in order to collect Social Security she would have to cut her work hours to part-time, she was furious. To recover the Social Security payroll taxes the government had been taking from every one of her paychecks for the last fifty years, they could dictate when and how much she would work? "Oh no they won't," she threatened once. "I'll vote Republican!"

Discovering that her retirement came with a heavy price tag in the form of government control was a real slap in the face. She would genuinely miss her work. I had seen how my mom's countenance would brighten during snowy new Jersey winters as she looked upon the thousands of poinsettia plants her tender loving care had nurtured. The plants were ready for the grand moment of shipping all across the state. They would arrive in time for the Christmas sales. I think my mom missed that feeling of accomplishment much more than the loss of pay she had to endure in order to receive seven hundred dollars a month from Social Security.

A year into receiving her government retirement checks, some of the changes in Social Security made by Congress helped my mom reinstate her work hours, but we shouldn't be fooled. These changes were simply returning what was hers from the beginning. Though the political class on Capitol Hill touted it as real solutions for the elderly, in reality it was just another shameful display of the kind of control politicians have over other people's money.


The Culture of Compassion, hand in hand with the mainstream media, offers varied descriptions of the poor today; so much so that guilt and pity have become mechanisms for wealth redistribution, and compassionate conservatism a political platform upon which to run for office. But do we even know who we are trying to save? Which poor is government to redeem? Are they all the same? The crying lack of a coherent answer to these questions is costing us dearly.

As Robert Rector points out in multiple studies for the Heritage Foundation, means-tested welfare spending in America exceeds $400 billion annually. That is a whopping 14 percent of the federal budget. That's more than a billion tax dollars per day being spent on various poverty programs, yet Rector's data shows that less than twenty cents of each dollar actually gets into the hands of the people society is trying to help. Eighty percent is bureaucracy.

Social concepts such as "permanent underclass" and "at-risk youth" have become pretexts for entire federal departments with multibillion-dollar budgets. Yet those classified into these categories are still in considerable social chaos. Out-of-wedlock birth rates have escalated to 30 percent nationally, 70 percent among African-Americans, according to the Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. numbers from the national Center for Juvenile Justice showed that seven out of ten youths in our criminal justice system come from single-parent households.

Since there is clear evidence that family breakdown contributes to low academic and employment achievement, propensity for crime, drug use, and sexual promiscuity, perhaps we should ask why the money spent to alleviate poverty has discouraged traditional family formation. Does the fact that taxpayer investments in poverty programs have hurt the poor justify congressional hearings to investigate at least gross mismanagement, if not outright government corruption or political fraud? There's never an independent counsel around when you need one.

Inside-the-Beltway types have argued about government welfare programs since the Great Society began in the 1960s. Conservative think tanks have contended that liberal social engineers created an entitlement culture for illegitimacy and poverty to skyrocket. A burgeoning lower class of people dependent on the government will likely vote for the party that keeps the handouts coming, and the fundamental motivation of many politicians are to remain in power. Despite growing evidence that government dependency entrenches generational poverty, liberal and democratic organizations continue to claim that racism, sexism, and capitalism are responsible for the problems of the poor. Yet if true solutions were ever explored and expanded, left-wing groups that control all policy discussions surrounding poverty would be obsolete. Actually, if conservative principles of traditional values and free markets ever took root in our poor communities, ninety percent of the liberal campaign platform would evaporate.

After 40 years of a "war on poverty," a national debate ensued in 1994 when the Republican-controlled Congress aggressively sought to radically change welfare for the first time in its history and in 1996 former President William Jefferson Clinton to sign their reforms into law. Within two years, welfare rolls dropped in half. This encouraged several state governors to look for new ways to address generational poverty and incorporate the private sector into their programs. When President George W. Bush came to office in 2001, he desired to offer more opportunities for local communities to get funding to help the poor; therefore he proposed a new federal government welfare program called the "faith-based initiative."

But can solutions to poverty really come out of Washington D.C.? Many conservatives of perhaps good intentions are finding out now that Ronald Reagan was right in believing the "the answer to poverty is freedom and personal responsibility, not the welfare state," and thus the "faith-based initiative" was a bad idea. What kind of answers did they think could ever come from encouraging religious institutions to receive tax-funded government checks for charity work?

Most liberal religious organizations believe federal government should assist the poor through centralization, with no judgment that the poor person is at all to blame for his condition. These groups readily support government coercion over taxpayers to subsidize and run poverty programs. On the flip side, most conservative religious organizations insist on rugged individualism and believe it is the responsibility of the poor person to change his condition. As such, these groups typically oppose government subsidies and entitlements. How does the federal government control which poor people these faith-based groups are to help, or not help for that matter? How does the religious institution control its mandate to set up parameters for assisting people in need? This path is fraught with hazards once separation of Church and State is considered.

For hundreds of years, religious people have prayed every day that the needy not be forgotten nor the hope of the poor be taken away. This prayer request is in the denominational liturgy of Catholics, Episcopalians, Methodists, and Lutherans. For the followers of Mosaic Law, practicing acts of charity is mandatory, so Jews throughout history have established and supported a plethora of private assistance networks in their communities. There are many signs throughout our society that there is no shortage of desire to help people in need. Even some unconventional religious, faith-based, and secular organizations have programs to serve the underprivileged and downtrodden.

Questions still linger, however, regarding what qualifies as need, what type of assistance would really help, and who should pay for it. Our corporate response to poverty has been less than commendable. We cannot even agree on a standard definition of poverty. now, with forty-five years of participating in a "War on Poverty," declared by President Lyndon Johnson in his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964, would someone please tell me again what exactly it is we are fighting? And with such an astronomical capital investment, why aren't we winning?

I do not ask this question of politicians because the term poverty has become so subjective and self-serving in most of their minds that it is faceless. Poverty in political terms simply means manipulating tax dollars to keep a variety of federal, state, county, and local bureaucracies functioning and government workers employed. Neither have I asked this question of religious leaders, for their answers must follow the form of their specific programs, at the expense of certain objective criteria. Most private charities are struggling financially for existence or begging for mobilized volunteers, each trying to hold its own beachhead in the war on poverty.

So who will define poverty today?

In order to get a clear picture of what poverty looks like, so we can decide if we should continue this social experiment and expand it into the mainstream, I want to separate today's poor into three general groups:

1. The economically challenged

2. The lazy poor

3. The poor in spirit

To be fair, many wealthy people might fit some of the characteristics I will use to describe these three groups; however, to establish some ground rules for this book, I will be focusing on the people in these groups who have little or no money. Once you understand the circumstances, behavioral patterns, and choices of today's poor, you will agree that the battle we face is complex; therefore it cannot be solved with one-size-fits-all government handouts to individuals or to organizations.

If the illustrations herein seem crass, please keep in mind that the examples describe real people in real situations—people who have been assured by sociologists, psychologists, pathologists, and academics that someone else will solve their problems; people convinced that there are political remedies for their dilemma whatever that dilemma might be, and that society is going to help them.

Keep in mind that although I run a think tank today, I am not one of the learned elite who have only studied the poor: I am one who lived the welfare life, overcame it, and still has friends, family, and associates in each group.

No one is served by sugarcoating the issue, especially as average hard-working Americans today are faced with job layoffs, upside-down mortgages, economic uncertainties, and new government promises that Uncle Sam can and will rescue them.

These situations are real, often desperate, and we must open our eyes to the reality of what poverty has become since government got involved in creating solutions. The painful truths of these situations show clearly that as long as we allow mere economics and materialism to define poverty, the poor will never be equipped to battle the unseen enemies in their midst, and the rest of America will continue to be subjects of political demagogues.


Excerpted from Uncle Sam's Plantation by Star Parker. Copyright © 2010 Star Parker. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


1. What Is Poverty?, 1,
2. Learning the Hard Way: My Story, 35,
3. Liberals Hijack History, 59,
4. The Welfare State, 79,
5. Undermining Family, 107,
6. Uncle Sam's Education, 139,
7. OPM (Other People's Money), 169,
8. Uncle Sam Wants More of You, 205,
9. Protecting Freedom, 221,
Index, 242,

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Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can Do about It 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book years ago and then donated to my favorite library. In August 2009, it's time to buy it and read it again. Very insightful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my top favorite books. It is unique because the author is an African American repulican female who is fearless in her effort to thrwart big government from taking over this country. I am very proud of this book as a fellow American and highly recommend it.
PhilNaessens More than 1 year ago
Star Parker lived the life that many in the United States have come to enjoy. Having babies out of wedlock and bouncing from apartment to apartment not to mention being chronically unemployed became who Star Parker was.She lived irresponsibly and allowed the United States Government to become her redeemer by giving her a monthly handout. Then she had enough and decided to do something about it! Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can Do About It is Ms. Parker's manifesto of not only how she escaped a life of welfare but takes a systematic approach in how the reader can break free of the chains poverty holds on the poor in America. Parker is a tough lady which is demonstrated in her rhetoric towards the government policies (and politicians) she disagrees with. She lets people "have it" which is a good thing because people actually listen to her including those of whom she criticizes. Hopefully this book will bring about change. Is this a Christian book? While she talks about the bible, church and God, what she is advocating is morality and not Christianity. There is a difference but that shouldn't scare anyone away from buying this book. It's a winner! I received this book for free as part of the BookSneeze Blogger Review program and was in no way asked to give a favorable review.
kvbwrites More than 1 year ago
Despite our country's dedication to the War on Poverty, we're losing: why? Star Parker keys in on two very important reasons: because we no longer hold people accountable for their actions and because we've eliminated our nation's moral compass (God). She goes further and shows how government programs specifically target different races, keeping certain people in slavery to the system while others are free to improve themselves and prosper. Parker doesn't write based on opinion or ideology - she presents facts (often ignored by the media and government) that show a direct link between the decline of the two-parent heterosexual home and the rise in welfare. She also writes from experience - an African-American woman who not only lived on welfare, but got out. It's hard to read this book and wonder why this information isn't taught in schools, churches, and at goverment funded rallies. If we really want to end poverty, then this is the information we need. Anyone who is serious about helping the poor (or getting out of poverty) needs to stop making excuses and read this book. *I received this book for free in exchange for a review, but was not required to give a favorable review. The opinions are my own.
neemo More than 1 year ago
Uncle Sam's Plantation is an eye-opening book that explains how the government programs that are designed to help the poor actually hurt them. Star Parker fleshes out Ronald Reagan's statement that government is the problem by showing how our government has destroyed the African American community it is trying to help. This book was so insightful to me, because it put everything I was feeling about big government and it's effects into an understandable format. I liked how Star used her experiences with the welfare system and pieced together how the left has hurt the African American community. The most important point of this book is that the family is the key to the American Dream being realized. If the family is strong, we are strong, but if the family is weak, we are weak. I would recommend this book to anyone who longs to make sense of the mess our politicians have put us in. I am glad that I read this moving book and I am sure that you will too.
danblackonleadership More than 1 year ago
This book shares insights on how the government controls and manipulates the poor society. This book not only tells you what the government is doing but it shares with you what you can do about it. Which is why this book is so valuable to read. The author shares her story about coming from being on welfare to being a successful business lady and author. I really enjoyed reading this book because it taught me what the government is doing to the poor and shared with me what I can do about it. There are two groups of people in the lower class. The first group are people who are using the government to gain without working. the other group are people who are using the government help but are working to get out of the system. When you are using the government systems it is hard to climb out of it but can be done. It is important for people to understand where society is at when it comes to the poor. This book will expand your knowledge about the poor and the negative effects the government has on it.
Steelsmitty More than 1 year ago
Star Parker's Uncle Sam's Plantation from Thomas Nelson is the exact book we need as we face these troubled times in this country. Hard hitting, no punches pulled honesty from someone who lived exactly what she now warns against. Star Parker must be heard and deserves to be heard. Since she broke free from liberal welfare plantation ownership her clarion call is refreshing and right on target. Star Parker for president I say. After reading this book I am more convinced than ever that a welfare state causes infinite harm to the individual, the family, the community as well as the country and is the source of our economic troubles, certainly not the cure. This experienced voice needs to be heard and trusted. Star's ability to write of her experiences applied to our modern troubles in American politics is most helpful. You will really like her definitions of poverty breaking it down into three levels. From the very beginning to the last page she paints an unflattering picture of what happens to humans that are constantly feeding from a free food trough. I really appreciate her insights into the problem with plenty of answers from common sense and the Bible. Add this to the increasing pile of proof that the government is not at all the answer. Put this one down on your Christmas giving list for all your politicians and even your liberal friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was simply a great read. The main point of the book is how people believe that the Gov't will take care of them but in reality the Gov't takes advantage of people and ends up hurting people and not helping them. Another main point of the book is how religion actually helps people and if we all followed religion we would be happier. The world is in chaos right now because people are not following the standards of the bible. The book talks about how their are so many abortions every year because people belive it is ok to kill a kid when the bible clearly states how abortion is wrong and how a fetus is a living breathing creature from moment of conception. And how marriage is failing in the world because people don't stay with the traditional values of marriage set forth in the bible. The bible clearly states that marriage is between a man and woman and not between man and man and women and women and that when you try to have gay marriage it causes problems in the world and messes up marriages. The author basically makes a point that if people simply followed the bible messages we would all be much happier. And I agree. The bible is a great tool to have to leave a simply and happier life. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although Star Parker may be criticized for her missionary work to the indigenous in the jungles of Peru, a recent nonfiction tropical journey book I read stated that the churches save the indigenous from becoming extinct as jungle terrain exploiters (miners and similar) often turn the indigenous into drunkards and worse if there are no churches nearby to help the indigenous. The African Slave Trade brought indigenous Africans to a land of exploitation and often also denied the slaves churches. One nonfiction book I read of Peruvian indigenous said that some indigenous tribes have 182 grains and vegetables in their daily diet. She writes that they have homes that float when the rivers rise. None of this sounds like poverty to me just a different lifestyle. Few liberators many oppressors. I found that education, sports and reading helped me keep out of troubles. I believe in the USA as when one door closes another opens... However, I felt Star Parker understimates the oppression of the poor and middle class, but does raise many, many areas of concern. It is an interesting read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Star Parker give a most compelling and articulate argument against the government Nanny state and brings a perspective first hand account of life as a dependent on Uncle Sam's Plantation! A must read for anyone working with today's minority youths and young women!
hpz62 More than 1 year ago
Every century tends to start with the judging of society over the rules  that affect individuals development, and as consequence gives birth to a  revolution; one of the sharp thinking.  It is justly the reason why the book Uncle Sam’s Plantation  is becoming  a good example of it.  The author Star Parker, presents both an intuitive analysis of government policies on welfare and a enviable example of an individual overcoming,  in the context of the systems failures and the  obstacles it brings its recipients. Regarding of what  your standing point in law and its variables could be, I am sure you will be able to extract the essence of the message inserted by Mrs. Parker, which is one of a remarkable promissory ideas and ways  to face adversity in the context of personal growth and big government influence. Nevertheless the personal touch of a natural writer, will entice you in the adventure of discover every single chapter’s statement. As the lector will know a writer does not really needs to be famous or well known in high circles for its work to be as good as a Best Seller Novel. What it needs is  just to have the consistency and logic approach of the theme, expressed in its own particular way, such elements will give the book a good nature, an inviting one for the hunter of ideas and the  collector of memorable reading manifests, that might be the case for Uncle Sam’s Plantation. If you want to inquire about striking points in welfare, its incidence in a sociological way and analyze various possibilities to end an non healthy dependency on government, this is a good book to read. 
SusanStearns More than 1 year ago
I came to the close of Star Parker's book, UNCLE SAM'S PLANTATION, with some mixed feelings. I heartily endorse the "How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can Do About It" statement, underneath the Title, but I do not wholeheartedly agree with some of her generalizations. She has definitely done her homework, including living in the situations she describes, and providing the reader with an impressive amount of research on her topics, which include, to name a few, What Is Poverty?, Liberals Hijack History, The Welfare State, and OPM (Other People's Money). She does a great job of showing how "Uncle Sam" has undermined the family, hijacked the dream of personal wealth for marginalized people, and contributed to the breakdown of societal mores. As a late 50'ish female who came from the "left" in my college years, to become a "liberal" in my middle years, and now a self proclaimed Libertarian, I found her analysis of the state of welfare and how our current social, economic, and political conditions have evolved, refreshing. I particularly liked Chapter 9, where she summarizes the Freedoms that we are losing and need to start protecting (Freedom in the Womb, Freedom in Education, Freedom in Health Care, Freedom in Retirement, to name a few). I think she does a disservice though, to the many honest, hard working, caring, moral people whom she excludes when she discusses the definition of Family. I have lived long enough, and seen enough different family "configurations" to know many such people who are positive contributors to society but that do not fit into her discussion of the Traditional Family; and I have seen more than enough "Traditional" Families that have not made a healthy imprint on society. To pull a few quotes from the author's last few pages......"Whoa! Wasn't this country supposed to be about freedom?", and "There's no substitute for the fruits of personal responsibility." Star Parker's book does a startling job of discussing those freedoms that we are in danger of losing, or have already lost, and the resulting consequences if we do not strive to protect them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Uncle Sam's Plantation written by Star Parker describes how government keeps strong hold on those in the welfare system. In this book Star Parker described first hand, what her life was like as she lived on the streets relying on welfare and how she overcame the big government to be a productive member of society. She continues with how programs that have been put into place to help those on welfare are doing little to improve the lives of those they are trying to reach and how to" protect our freedom". Star Parker's point of view is a refreshing look into today's welfare system. Her first hand, accounts made the reader relate or understand where she was coming from. This book opened my eyes to what is going on in the welfare system, how the government is enabling others to use the system and stay in the system. Being a women I enjoy reading books that have a story, I enjoyed the way Star Parker described how her life was in poverty and how she overcame the obstacles of big government. Her research and opinion was clear and well backed. I would recommend this book to other interested in a different prescriptive on poverty in America. These opinions are solely my own, I was given a copy of this book by Book Sneeze for review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JoyLee61 More than 1 year ago
I recently read Uncle Sam's Plantation by Star Parker. Parker is an African American woman who is conservative politically. The subtitle "How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can Do About It" grabbed my attention immediately. Parker defines poverty and shares her experiences while dependent on welfare. The author cites historical events that made it possible for the impoverished of this country to become dependent on the government for employment, health, education and more. Parker takes the view that while the welfare system may have been started with the best of intentions to take care of the impoverished of this nation, the system does in fact legally enslave these individuals. Parker discusses the moral decline in the country and the impact this decline has had on individuals becoming dependent on government. Parker sheds light on the change in family responsibilities as affected by the definition of marriage, abortion, and planned parenthood. Leaving no stone unturned, Parker also addresses the education system in the United States and how it has changed from a system which involved in character building to one that is now based on decision making. Parker does not make light of any of the situations in which people find themselves dependent on welfare or another government agency. She is not heartless or uncaring. She simply believes that the solutions to the problems faced by the individuals do not lie within a government agency. She eloquently writes that more government is not the answer.
NikoleHahn More than 1 year ago
Star Parker begins this political and moral call to arms with a story about her grandmother. It shows real poor compared to the poor nowadays. Star Parker has received death threats from her own race and hateful comments while trying to persuade African-Americans of the destruction welfare is causing to their heritage. She reminds us of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s original civil rights roots: "Relationships between Jews and blacks thrived at the beginning of their common cause. When Dr. King promoted a message that "you cannot legislate morality but you can regulate behavior," it was easy for both blacks and Jews to lock arms with him and face the potential for jail or death altogether. When the focus of black activists became increasingly political, however, Jews felt compelled to distance themselves from the movement. As a community of people, Jews on the whole did not look to the government to solve their social and economic problems. Their overarching desire was simply to be left alone. They would take care of their own problems and build their own businesses as long as the government maintained civil order to protect their interests. After the death of Dr. King, the civil rights movement changed the focus of its efforts from removing the barriers of segregation to forcing integration. The traditional civil rights groups apparently forgot that Dr. King had said while government "can keep a man from lynching, it cannot make a man love."" It's no wonder that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Larry Kudlow and Dr. Laura Schlessinger wrote wonderful reviews of this book. The book captivated me and opened my eyes to the struggles of the black community. They do have a wonderful heritage, but they are in trouble now. According to Star, they are still slaves on Uncle Sam's plantation bound to welfare. The connection to the black communities downfall and the downfall of our country is the lack of traditional family and God. "The more liberal educational philosophy of 'decision making' prefers the word 'value' when referring to anything that might have the sound of morality. Values and virtues are different-the latter, as we've just noted, involves objective standards. Values on the other hand are subjective, coming from the individual, not an external source. This is why when public schools must speak of morality at all, they choose the language of 'values'-at least then it's not binding. A subjective 'value' poses no real threat; it stands for nothing. Because it's meaning depends on the individual, it can be anything to anyone at any given time-while still sounding good and moral to the general public. According to Webster's Dictionary, value can mean many things, but each meaning given focuses around the word 'relative:' 'relative worth, utility, or importance: degree of excellence': Be it money or morals, the value of anything is based upon one's own perception. Just like money, morality in this context is based on the market value, or what worth society will assign to it." As I went through the chapters, many of her paragraphs reminded me of The Truth Project by Focus on the Family. The obvious connection of immorality and welfare are cleanly drawn to the downfall of our country. Anyone who reads this and does not come away questioning his liberal ideology is a fool. She talks about life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and life in the womb. A few times I moved my eyes away from the words because I can imagine the b
Gladys35 More than 1 year ago
First let me say that I am usually funnier than this but there are some things going on today that just aren't very funny. I mean they are funny but they aren't ha ha funny. You may or may not agree with my politics or dogma but I think we all agree that this country is broken and we need to do something different. I was recently sent "Uncle Sam's Plantation" written by Star Parker and published by Thomas Nelson. I received this book and read what I already felt was true. She, Ms. Parker, drills down to the core the reality of the Welfare system and the prisoners it keeps. Ms. Parker tells her story of being brought up in the strife of the civil rights movement. She relates how she was raised by hard working upstanding citizens but believed the lies that she was told. She believed she was owed something. She believed she could not succeed because she had been told she would not be allowed to succeed. She believed the blathering and blithering of uninformed politicians and social reformers who told her that she did not need to work, Uncle Sam would provide. She believed the lies and lived their life on Uncle Sam's Plantation. She had an epiphany while sitting in church one day when she felt the pastor spoke directly to her and asked "why are you living on welfare?" It was as if the sky opened up and she finally saw the light. Why was she living on welfare? Why was she not providing for her and her child? She could only answer "because I was told I would be taken care of." She saw what the welfare system had done to her and how it had kept her from achieving her highest potential. She broke free of the shackles and began preaching it from the rooftops. She became president and founder of the Coalition of Urban Renewal and Education (CURE) and self-proclaimed "former welfare queen." Ms. Parker explains how the moral downfall of our modern society has taken its toll on the advances minorities had made through the years. It looks as if its one step forward and ten steps back. She admonishes us for not parenting our children, not sticking to promises and most of all trying to raise our children without two parents. I wish I could disagree with her, but I can't. You see I have said for many years now that the downfall in our society happened when women burned their bras and men stopped wearing hats. We forgot what a family was supposed to be and became egocentric and selfish. Ms. Star did a great job keeping not only my attention but making me re-think my opinions on many of our social and political programs. This is not a book to take lightly but read between the lines. It is not just about one race or the other; or one political party or the other, it is a book about our society and where we have gone wrong and what we can do to fix it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I initially saw this book, I thought I'd step outside of my usual genre and attempt to learn something new. I read chapter one and my excitement ended there. I expected Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor And What We Can Do About It to be an explanation of the problem and well thought out points of attack for a resolution. I was completely blind sided by the aggression that was shoved in my face by the author. It became evident early that "America's Poor" would generally refer to black people. And "What We Can Do About It" would be to blame "the left" for enabling this group of people to remain poverty stricken while accusing "the left" of blaming rich white people for poverty in this country. Parker has clearly done her research. This book is loaded with information and personal experiences since she speaks from a familiar place. But I think with every stroke of her pen, fuel was being added to the fire as she so passionately wanted to shed light on this topic. So I guess maybe this book was just too hot for me to handle. ____________________________________________________________ I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
tantrUm More than 1 year ago
Star Parker paints a picture of America for her readers. One in which government aid fuels the lazy and uneducated. She shakes her head at social programs and laughs at common "misconceptions" the poor have about how financial government aid assists them and asserts they're really being suppressed. Personally, I couldn't wait to finish reading this book. Once I finished, I couldn't come to write a review about it. Her arguments could barely be distinguished from long-winded rampages about issues she felt passionate about but has obviously not invested research into. I needed the time from when I finished the book to when I wrote the review (over a year) for the resentment I held towards this author to dissipate after reading this book. I strongly discourage anyone to pick this book up who is looking to be enlightened or learn something. I suggest this book to anyone looking to understand more about alternate arguments to social programs such as welfare and keep a sense of humor when approaching this book.
Grandpas_Heart More than 1 year ago
I just finished Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can Do About It by Star Parker. I was hoping for some real insight from someone who had been 'in the system' and who got out. But - it lacked credibility in some vital ways. It seemed more of a personal soapbox for the author than a book of expository information. For me, it travelled in circles. If you've ever used Microsoft Excel, no doubt you have seen the error that comes up occasionally called "circular reference." What this means is that excel cannot compute the calculation you have asked it to complete. It just doesn't work. This is what I saw in Star Parker's book. She spends much of her time telling people to stop being a victim - by telling them that they are victims. What? In a nutshell, the government has laid in wait for them: offering food stamps, Section VII housing, welfare checks for their children, offering freedom of choice for women - in order to control their reproduction - among other things. All of these things that appear to be in place to help those in unfortunate circumstances were really calculated by a government that is intent upon holding them down. So, the message of the book is to stop being a victim - by explaining to them that they are victims. Terrible - just terrible. Add to this that the author goes off on a wild tangent throughout the book about gays and homosexuals. I am disappointed that the editorial process did not catch this. And shame on the publisher for allowing a book that is supposed to be about welfare and entitlement issues to go on and on about an issue that is not the theme of the book. There were some interesting insights about the beginnings of some assistance programs. But for an author that found fault with these programs to then endorse something as crippling as payday loans as a good thing shows a complete lack of understanding. How anyone can find payday loans as a positive way for people in dire straits to get help is ludicrous. Payday loans are a scourge on the poor. Offering money at high interest rates that makes it extremely difficult to pay back the principle because of the manner in which repayment is managed should be against the law. Her position that they should be encouraged is a disservice to those who are the working poor trying to make ends meet on a daily basis. I will give this book away to a commenter on November 26, 2010. There is a lot of information about the beginnings of government programs that I found useful and interesting, but the overall message of the book was less than satisfactory - in my opinion. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my candid review.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book has a great beginning, is an interesting read, but has a questionable ending. The five steps are very good in theory, but close to impossible to execute with the results she expects. Yes, some people with a good educational foundation will be able to make the changes she says are necessary. However, it is not that easy for a person with little to no education to as an adult 'pull' themselves up by the boot straps through simply deciding to 'change.' The elimination of poverty is a little deeper than these five steps.