President John Kennedy, who passed one of the largest tax cuts in the 20th century, stated that "a rising tide lifts all boats." In a free society, every able-bodied person will work to create something or improve something, directly or indirectly. We create wealth and improve our lives unless we are inhibited by theft, taxation or disincentives (welfare). Of course, we can't all make wealth equally, because we're not all equally good at it. However when allowed, we can always make more than we had. Comedian Bill Maher once pointed out that America is the only country whose poor people are fat. Most of our so-called poor have a better standard of living than much of the middle class in Western Europe, and better than anyone in the third world. Socialists and dictators don't allow the poor to rise out of poverty, only freedom does, freedom and the competition that naturally accompanies it. Free societies are competitive and competition drives achievement.The slowest runner in the Olympics will still run circles around you. That is why a rising tide lifts all boats. It's also why Affirmative Action hurts African Americans. Suppose you have two children, and you want one to succeed and the other to fail. You simply demand excellence from one and mediocrity from the other. African Americans have risen to the top of every field in which they've been forced to compete: t.v., music, sports, movies and now politics. They have lagged behind in areas where they have been protected from competition by Affirmative Action. Economist Thomas Sowell has documented this relation. Black rise from poverty was fastest from 1940-1960, slowed dramatically with passage of various "civil rights" laws in the 60's and stopped altogether in the 1970's, when Affirmative Action and welfare were in full effect. He suggests that competition is not absent in Affirmative Action; instead it's mismatched. Recipients of Affirmative Action, he says, end up in schools that are too hard for them, surrounded by students that are smarter than them. As a results, their rate of drop-out and failure is higher.