Government not the answer to poverty: Former AIG chairman

Former AIG Chairman Harvey Golub tells FOX Business that government policies and not capitalism bear responsibility for the wealth disparity in the United States.

“A lot of people who are poor are kept in poverty in part by government policies and in part by how we measure it,” he said on Thursday.

Some prominent Democrats such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders argue that raising taxes on the rich Americans will forcibly bridge the wealth gap closer to historic means.

“The [wealth] gap is not the issue. The issue is, are poor people living in a way that is not consistent with what we believe in,” Golub said. “Government is not the answer.

The retired American Express CEO said the federal government has spent $1.5 trillion since former President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty in 1964.

“Government is not the answer to fix [poverty], it will make it worse,” Golub said.


Golub said capitalism is the vehicle that allows the economy to function as a reasonable robust welfare state.

“The reason why people are in poverty in large measure is due to choices they make, not the capitalist system,” he said. “The capitalist system allows them to get out, to advance [and] to grow.”