Another panel, another group of rich guys talking about income inequality in America.
That seemed to be a running theme of the Milken Global Conference by the time Tuesday afternoon rolled around in Los Angeles – particularly when the well-known and notably tart Harvard historian Niall Ferguson took to the stage to decry single welfare moms as lazy drags on society.
Ferguson was responding to comments made by Jeff Greene, the billionaire real estate investor and Democrat who lost (badly) a 2010 bid to represent Florida in the Senate.
Greene recalled a single mother with five children he met on the campaign trail. She was fat (“over 300 lbs”) and depended on a welfare check of just over $600 to put food on the table for her kids, once numbering five. But one kid died in a gang fight, another was locked up and two others were involved in gangs and the drug trade, Greene recalled.
“She could barely take care of herself, much less her kids,” he said, resigned to the idea that this unnamed woman would never work or even attempt to work, much less wean herself off welfare.