A Quarter Acre and a Mortgage

Proposal:  Make direct cash payments to Section 8 recipients to allow them, in conjunction with a church or non-profit, to purchase a house and build personal equity instead of renting an apartment.

Background:  Ultimately, the goal of any safety net program is economic agency, to give the recipients of the aid the ability to take control of their economic lives.  Government programs can have the opposite effect, building a dependency on the government instead of self-reliance.  The current Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 8 program is an example.  The program does allow recipients to take control of where they live, however it also leaves most of the responsibility with the government.  The government decides if a housing unit is adequately maintained, not the recipient.  The government pays the landlord directly, instead of trusting the recipient to make the payment.  And there is no incentive for the recipient to find comparable, lower priced housing – the recipient doesn’t financially benefit from being frugal.

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Churches must not become purveyors of pandemic misinformation

I heard it again: The coronavirus wasn’t as serious as it was made out to be. It was a campaign tool to get Joe Biden elected. What was concerning was that I heard this from one of the leaders of the church my wife and I attend.

Our church is moderate by most standards but still firmly non-denominational evangelical. The church leaders are studiously non-political, even while deeply engaging in the world. Personally I wasn’t a supporter of former President Donald Trump. However, I have lots of religious friends who did vote for him.

Continue reading the the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

https://www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/blake-ashby-churches-must-not-become-purveyors-of-pandemic-misinformation/article_9cea2cf0-2bb9-5626-95e3-8643ed17c313.html

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Keyon Harrold of the N. County Harrolds

They are sometimes referred to, tongue in cheek, as “The Harrolds of North County”. There are a lot of them, and many are very successful in their chosen fields. In parts of North County, if you mention knowing one of the Harrolds the person you are talking with is almost guaranteed to say “Oh yeah, I know..” and then name a cousin or uncle or aunt.

Continue reading reading on The Ferguson Observer..



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I Pray Every Day

https://blake-ashby.medium.com/i-pray-every-day-746f98efb56f

https://blakeashby.podbean.com/e/i-pray-every-day/

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Make Them Prove It

A friend believes the presidential election was stolen from President Donald Trump. Me? I doubt it. But according to polls, most Republicans believe President-elect Joe Biden only won the presidency because of significant voter fraud.

They believe this, of course, because Trump, the leader of our country and head of our democracy, insists that the 2020 election was “the greatest election fraud in U.S. history.”

Continue reading https://www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/blake-ashby-make-them-prove-it/article_a2861869-b64b-5d26-8630-e1a2ea4366ea.html

Published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch 12.16.20

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Bring Back Democratic Capitalism

Sometimes it seems as if “compromise” has become a dirty word. It’s worth remembering that it was a compromise, Democratic Capitalism, that made the United States the country it is. 

Democratic Capitalism is capitalism moderated by the power of democracy to ensure we all have a chance to participate in our economy, share in its benefits and that everyone plays by the same set of financial and legal rules. 

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An opportunity missed for Democrats to redeem capitalism

As a longtime Republican who voted against Donald Trump twice, I’m relieved that this chapter of our history is almost over. But it’s hard not to be disappointed by the campaign that Democrat Joe Biden ran. Our divided country needed a debate on the proper role for government in our society. We didn’t get it.

Continue Reading https://www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/blake-ashby-an-opportunity-missed-for-democrats-to-redeem-capitalism/article_df288fc1-4040-5ab7-b13f-5776aff6e935.html

Published in St. Louis Post-Pispatch 12/01/20

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It’s Been A Great Month for Democracy

It’s been a great month for democracy.

Not because Joe Biden won, although I am happy about that. It’s been a great month for democracy because the citizens of the United States of America proved yet again that we recognize, and cherish, this beautiful system of government we have built. We cherish the right of every American – every American – to participate in the process of choosing our leaders.

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Speaking out against protest vandalism doesn’t warrant physical attack

Early Sunday evening, I watched a 77-year-old grandmother get punched by a Ferguson protester. She told him to stop spray-painting graffiti. She turned to talk to another protester; he took two steps toward her and cold-cocked her in the jaw, knocking her off her feet.

Continue reading https://www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/blake-ashby-speaking-out-against-protest-vandalism-doesn-t-warrant-physical-attack/article_49f6bad2-8f00-5680-a55c-3ce1f5f2ce56.html

Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch 06/04/20

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The missing data: What you don’t measure, you can’t manage

Information about our federal coronavirus preparedness and response is slowly starting to come out. However there’s one critical piece of data that we will likely never learn: How many people were turned down for tests because of lack of testing capacity?

Continue reading https://www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/blake-ashby-the-missing-data-what-you-dont-measure-you-cant-manage/article_0ab2d969-d32d-56fa-99b4-4a366907ad40.html

Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch 04/11/20

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