Ray Dunaway talks to Chris Powell, Managing Editor of The Journal Inquirer, who’s latest column accuses Connecticut of being the “arsenal of hypocrisy” in reference to the Colt subsidy.
“We hate gun manufacturers in this state,” says Dunaway, “especially those that make the AR-15 knock offs…correct?
Powell agrees, “yes…all the scary looking assault style weapons – I thought we hated them.”
“Well, apparently not enough,” says Dunaway.
Governor Malloy announced last week that the state is going to give Colt Manufacturing around $13 million to buy its factory facilities as it comes out of re-organizational bankruptcy.
“Colt is making assault weapons,” points out Powell. “It’s advertising them on their website and they’re making magazines that contain 30 cartridges. I thought we (Connecticut) outlawed magazines that make only ten rounds. Connecticut is essentially becoming a manufacturer of assault weapons…I was hoping someone had asked the Governor about it,” he quips.
The only explanation, as Powell sees it, is that Colt’s workers are represented by the United Auto Workers, who are a big constituency of the Democratic Party. Powell believes this connection is the reason Governor Malloy has an equity interest in a manufacturer of assault weapons.
“Colt has 600 employees,” says Dunaway, “so there you go.”
“Yes,” says Powell, making the important point, “they have 600 employees making assault weapons.”
“I thought the administration was against this,” says Powell. “We outlawed them in private hands, and the sale of them to new people. And we’ve outlawed high capacity magazines. I think this makes us look like the arsenal of hypocrisy.”
Powell points to a federal report that shows Connecticut as having the highest gap between experienced teachers for white students, and those for minority students.
“This is really no surprise,” says Powell. “Teachers get burnt out like everybody else – and poverty in our state is disproportionately racial. Teachers get very tired very fast of teaching kids who come to school not prepared to learn.”
Powell explains that kids from poverty come to school, “two grades behind in Kindergarten because of their disadvantages…it’s no surprise teachers would prefer to teach kids prepared to learn… moving to jobs in the suburbs where kids are better prepared in school.”
He’d like to see more studies that explain how poverty policy isn’t working, believing that such policy “just generates more poverty,” adding, “unfortunately we really don’t look into things like that.”
What if we paid more money,” Dunaway asks, “would that make a difference?”
“It might,” says Powell, “but I don’t think any of the things we address in policy are relevant anymore. The overwhelming problem in Connecticut, and the nation, is child poverty. Where is child poverty coming from? Social science says its largely coming from child bearing outside of marriage, which is a huge handicap for children. And where does child bearing outside of marriage come from? I think it’s largely coming from welfare policy. We have this mistake of an idea that the best thing to do is to give subsidies to women who have children outside marriage, because we think that’s the best way to take care of their children. But unfortunately it just dooms many of them to a life of poverty, illness and problems with the criminal justice system.”
Powell concludes, “I wish we could audit welfare and poverty policy. It has been audited by social scientist, but it hasn’t been audited politically because it’s a prohibited subject.”