Thursday, April 10, 2014

Debunking the Pew Family Claims


“Charity, to Howard Pew, implied a voluntary commitment;
Otherwise it was just organized thievery masquerading as good will.”
Mary Stennholz – Pew Biographer

The myth of the kind-hearted, philanthropic Pew family was created by the Sun Oil Co and carefully nurtured and managed by the Pew public relations machine. This fairytale has been repeated hundreds of times, but it has never been carefully scrutinized and dissected until now. This is, in part, because most sources of hard information were archived by the Pew heirs and their hired representatives. Nevertheless, a close examination of the published Pew family chronology (when put in the context of the turbulent times they lived in) reveals a much darker story.

This myth begins with the story of a poor farm boy who through hard work and good fortune manages to strike it rich in the late 1880’s. Then, out of the goodness of their heart, the Pew descendants create a charitable organization which benefits society and the less fortunate.

In fact, the only thing fortuitous about the Pew history is that the original patriarch, Joseph Newton Pew, was actually born into the middle of the early Pennsylvania giant oil fields at precisely the right time to take full advantage of the birth of the petroleum industry. At the time, this area of NW Pennsylvania was credited with the creation of more millionaires than anywhere else on earth and Newton Pew had no intention of being left out!

Joseph Newton Pew (1848-1912) founder of Sun Oil Co (now SUNOCO).

He was indeed the son of a farmer and happened to be the youngest of ten children. He did attend school in Mercer, in NW Pennsylvania, and graduated when he was 18 yrs old. Newton Pew, as he was called then, taught school for 2 years and then began work in the real estate business in Mercer. He moved to Titusville as a real estate broker and insurance salesman to be near where the oil was discovered and soon began selling and trading oil properties.

In 1874, J.N. Pew married Mary Catherine Anderson, the daughter of George K Anderson, a prominent Titusville banker who owned oil properties in the area.
George K Anderson, the father of the bride, served as a Republican State Senator in Pennsylvania from 1874 to 1876, a fact conveniently left out of the Pew mythology. At the time of his daughter’s marriage to J.N. Pew, George Anderson was already a prominent oil producer at Oil Creek near the site of the first US oil discovery made in 1859 in Titusville PA. However, by the end of 1875, Anderson was insolvent [NYT 10/30/1875]. He had invested all of his fortune in speculative oil properties and shaky bank deals. Given that his son-in law, J.N. Pew, was an oil broker in Titusville at that time, we can only imagine whose advice he was taking and why Anderson was unable to steer clear of these bad, high-risk investments. Yet, it is clear from his obituary and his financial circumstances, that he was swindled out of most of his money. (The Wellsboro Agitator- August 12, 1891.)
In 1876, when J. N. Pew, was 28, he too lost money on speculative investments in the Titusville oil exchange. He later partnered with another banker and successful oil producer from nearby Bradford, Edward Octavius Emerson, a cousin of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Their plan was to pipe and sell natural gas to Bradford which just happened to be the location for the first giant oil field in the U.S.
Ironically, in 1878, E. O Emerson bought the large home of George Anderson, J. N. Pews Father-in Law. He purchased the home in Titusville when it became available at a Sheriff’s bankruptcy auction and his family lived there for the rest of his life.
That same year, a gas well blew out and caught fire at Murraysville, Pennsylvania not far from Titusville. The flames from the so-called “Haymaker well” could be seen from nearly 10 miles away and the roar of the escaping gas was said to be deafening. It took years to bring it under control and during that time the well operations required capital, but there was no revenue generated from the well while it was on fire.
Two years later, Pew and E. O. Emerson, constructed a gas pipe line to Olean, N.Y. and formed the Keystone Gas Co. Now, all they needed was more gas. While the Haymaker well was burning, it had little value and was sold to Chicago investors for about $20,000. Once the well was finally extinguished in 1883, the Haymaker brothers sold the same well to Joseph N. Pew and E.O. Emerson and the brothers attempted to return the deposit made by the Chicago investment group.

The Chicago investors never recognized the sale to Pew and according to one historian (McElwee 2007) in a scene reminiscent of the 2007 movie “There Will Be Blood”:

The Chicago group sent fifty men armed with rifles and bayonets to Murraysville to seize the Haymaker well. The Haymaker brothers and ten other local men [no doubt supported by Pew and Emerson] went out to the well. In a bloody confrontation on November 26, 1883, Obediah Haymaker was bayoneted four times and shot once. He died while being carried back to his home. Michael Haymaker escaped death when the gun pointed at him by the leader of the Chicago group misfired”

Pew seemed to have been destined for the oil business. Not only was he born less than 50 miles from America’s first oil well, but due to a faulty gun in the middle of a bloody battle, he now became part owner of what at that time was the world’s largest gas well.

Based on the genealogical notes of Alfred R. Justice, (dated 1930), J.N. Pew’s father died in 1884 leaving him with an inheritance of just $200. Nevertheless, that same year he bought more than 100 acres of the family farm from his only surviving brother (Samuel G. Pew) for over $5000. He, of course, acquired most of the oil rights at the time of purchase.
By 1885, J.N. Pew and his nephew, Robert C Pew of Pittsburgh, formed the People’s Natural Gas Company together with E.O. Emerson. They became so successful by selling gas piped to Pittsburgh that they began buying Ohio refineries and oil wells near the Lima Field. This giant oil field in NW Ohio eventually led to the establishment of many oil boomtowns which helped Ohio become the leading oil producing state until about 1903 It also led Pew and Emerson to incorporate the Sun Oil Co in Ohio in 1890. This was the same year that the Sherman Anti-Trust Act was passed which eventually led to the breakup of Standard Oil opening the way for more competition.
It was at this point that J.N. Pew and E.O. Emerson appeared to have a falling out. According to Pew Family Letters (Hagley Museum and Library Collection), Pew accused Emerson of investing in private oil interests without involving him. Anderson responded by selling or reducing his interests in several companies. Pew always wanted to personally control the majority of shares in any venture and those he could not have for himself he secured for his other family members. This was how his sons, grandsons and nephews came to be involved in the ownership and management of the company.
In 1895, one of J.N. Pew’s first and most exceptional Mercer students, Isaac Ketler, reorganized Grove City College as a non-profit institution. Pew became a supporter and was elected President of the Board of Trustees. He insisted that his son J. Howard and nephew John G. be named to the board of Grove City College as young men. This began a relationship between the Pews and the College which has lasted for more than a century and continues to the present day. As we shall see, the Pew family never allowed their educational support to penetrate the veil of secrecy which surrounded all of their finances and they went to extraordinary lengths to prevent government oversight of any kind.
In 1899, at age 60, Emerson supposedly retired and sold his oil and gas holdings to Pew. This end to the partnership just happened to coincide with Pew’s interest in Texas oil which coincidentally led to ownership in the largest oil discovery ever in the lower 48 states.
In January 1901, the Spindletop oil field was discovered in Beaumont Texas. Spindletop was America’s first gusher which spewed oil 150 ft into the air and pooled nearly 100,000 barrels per day (about 4 millions gallon a day) for eight days. There was so much oil that they had to swiftly build earthen dams around the oil pools to contain it all. J.N. Pew responded by sending his nephews (sons of his brother Thomas) to the gusher as soon as he heard the news. Robert C Pew returned within a month after witnessing the chaos as the population of Beaumont multiplied five time and land prices skyrocketed to nearly $1 million per acre nearest the well. Then Newton Pew sent his younger nephew, J. Edgar Pew, known in Texas as the “pistol-packing Pew from Pennsylvania.”
Somehow, he quickly acquired land around the well for storage tanks as well as oil leases for production. One method we know J. Edgar used was to bid on bankrupt companies using money he didn’t have.
According to the SUNOCO history page, he bid $100,000 for the assets of the Lone Star and Crescent Oil Company. For some reason he was supposedly the only bidder, but he needed 25% down to close the deal. To make matters worse, it was Decoration Day and all the banks were closed. As the story goes, he walked into a vacant store which was being converted to a new bank and came out with a check for $25,000 from people he didn’t know. He was obviously a very determined and persuasive oil man, but we will probably never know what methods he used to secure the money.
Also in 1901, J.N. Pew incorporated the Sun Company in New Jersey and he served as President for more than a decade. He bought a site in Pennsylvania along the Delaware River to build his Marcus Hook refinery which Sun still operates to this day. At that time, the site was the Lindenthorpe Park, a popular resort for Philadelphians which included a beach, dancing pavilion, picnic grounds and a half-mile race track where they also held county fairs and balloon races. Pew purchased the property from a Philadelphia attorney for about $550 per acre and immediately began construction of his oil refinery which was operating in just 5 months.
By 1902, he had purchased wharf space in Port Arthur, Texas and the first shipment of Texas oil arrived via a converted ore carrier to the Marcus Hook refinery. The Pew Family Letters contain ample evidence of a rift which occurred between Pew and Emerson by the end of the year, likely over how the proceeds were divided among the various companies for which the two had shared ownership.
Pew according to his biographers was never afraid of his competition, especially Standard Oil and Nelson Rockefeller. “The founder of Sun Oil, Joseph Newton Pew, was not at all intimidated by the "trustifiers" of our so-called Gilded Age.”
In 1912, J.N. Pew was working at his desk when he suffered a likely heart attack and died at the age of 64. Ironically, his former partner, E. O. Emerson, died the same year, J.N Pew and his wife had raised 5 children. The oldest son, Arthur Edmond Pew was sickly and died just 4 years after his father. His two younger sons, J Howard Pew and Joseph Newton Pew Jr. were both given ownership and control of the company. J Howard was made President of Sun Oil and eventually Sun Shipbuilding as well, while Joe Jr. was made Vice President. Unfortunately for this country, they each had much bigger plans in mind.

J. Howard Pew (1882-1971) second son of J.N. Pew Sr.
J. Howard Pew received a degree from Grove City College [his father’s college] at age 18. A year later, in 1901[the year of the spindletop discovery] he dropped out of classes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and joined Sun Oil as an engineer at the Marcus Hook Refinery. He was soon made asst manager and manager of the company and ultimately President of the company in 1912 at the age of 30.
In 1915, a year after the beginning of WWI, he visited Germany, on undisclosed business, and was impressed by the number of airplanes and ships they had amassed. At the start of World War I, Germany already had 48 submarines in service or under construction.
In 1916, Sun began building ships for the war effort in anticipation of the U.S. entry into the war a year later. Throughout the First World War, they built ships for the Allies (including 6 oil tankers and 3 minesweepers) and provided much needed lubricating oils and fuels. Throughout the 1920’s, Sun Shipbuilding built oil tankers for Rockefeller and Standard Oil Co. Meanwhile their refining capacity expanded rapidly from 3200 barrels per day in 1920 to nearly 50,000 barrels per day by 1928.
Sun Oil Company, and the Pew family in particular, did not suffer much during the Great Depression. An article published in Time Magazine in October 1932 stated that “Last year's net income [Sun Oil Co.] was $3,107,000 against an average for the past five years of $5,375,000.” Apparently this was not enough for J. Howard Pew because that month Sun Oil unilaterally raised the price for Texas oil by up to 12 cents per barrel. Standard of Indiana released a statement which said in effect that “conditions did not warrant even the present prices” and continued price increases could “delay progress toward a permanent [economic] recovery.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to the Presidency in late 1932 and he was beginning to roll out his plans for a New Deal which included regulating the stock market and banking industry, pouring millions of dollars into work relief programs, Social Security, guaranteeing workers the right to unionize and collective bargaining. FDR also promised to cut oil production and fix or freeze prices as part of the National Recovery Act Petroleum Code. This was not popular in the Pew’s home state and Pennsylvania was one of only six states who voted for Herbert Hoover, the incumbent. This is in no small part due to the efforts of the Pew Family, especially J. Howard Pew and Joseph Newton Pew Jr.
J. Howard Pew once said “The hand of government on business is the cold, clammy hand of death and it must eventually destroy everything it touches.” Furthermore he said he “never had any fear that America might be enslaved by an industrial oligarchy of any type.” This set him and the Pew Family on a collision course with FDR as they put their economic theories into practice.
On February 15, 1933, there was an attempt to assassinate FDR in Miami, Florida. The gunman fired several shots wounding five people, but he missed hitting Roosevelt. Apparently a woman had pushed the assassins arm, but several bullets hit the Mayor of Chicago, Anton Cermak, who later died from the injuries. Two weeks later, the German Reichstag was burned to the ground, supposedly by a lone, unemployed bricklayer. Of course, Hitler used the fire to consolidate his power and that of the Nazi Party.
In Florida, the FBI immediately claimed that the assassin, Giuseppe Zingara, also a brick mason, was a lone anarchist from New Jersey. Within two months, he was tried, convicted and sent to the electric chair without any investigation into possible deeper political motives or financial connections.
Major General Smedley Darlington Butler
By June 1933, a new coup attempt had been put in motion. The so-called “Business Plot” involved the use of the 500,000 Bonus Army from WWI to encircle Washington and force the President to either repeal New Deal Legislation or abdicate. The plot was spoiled by retired Major General Smedley Butler of the U.S. Marine Corp from Pennsylvania who at the time was a vocal critic of military policy and the most decorated Marine in U.S. History. In 1934 Butler testified to a Congressional Committee that he had been contacted by a group of wealthy pro-Fascist industrialists to lead the overthrow of the government.
He claimed that he had been approached by representatives of the American Legion and an offshoot called the American Liberty League to organize the military for the coup. He was told they had a war chest of $15 million and they wanted him to give a speech at the Legion convention demanding re-institution of the gold standard. Butler turned down the bribe, but said he played along to see who was actually behind the coup and to gather evidence against the conspirators. He even brought in a reporter from the Philadelphia Record, Paul Comley French, to substantiate his story
In the early 1930’s, the National Commander of the American Legion, Ralph T. O'Neill, and the Executive Committee openly praised Mussolini as a "great leader" in a resolution. At the time the American Legion was accused of being anti-Semitic when it called for the end of "non-Aryan" pollution of "American stock" and an end to non-Anglo Saxon immigration as a way of controlling "anarchist" infiltration.
In 1934, several other pro-fascist organizations became active to combat the New Deal and the policies of FDR but the most prominent was the recently formed American Liberty League. It was founded and supported by the Morgans, the du Ponts, and the Pews, the Harrimans, the Mellons, the Rockefellers and other wealthy industrialists. J. Howard Pew made a donation of $20,000 and served on the Advisory Council and its Executive Committee. The American Liberty League propaganda said social security would "mark the end of democracy."
The Pew family also funded the Sentinels of the Republic and the Crusaders, which labeled the New Deal "Jewish Communism." The President of the Sentinels of the Republic was quoted as saying “the Jewish Threat is a “real one” and “I believe our real opportunity lies in accomplishing the defeat of Roosevelt.” The Sentinels not only worked against the New Deal and expansion of the Federal Government in general They fought directly against Child Labor legislation and argued that the laws could be used to deny teenagers the right to help widowed mothers support their siblings.
The Sentinels specifically targeted the Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infancy Protection Act, which helped states establish prenatal and child health care centers. This health plan was enacted in 1921 just a year after women won the right to vote under the 19th Amendment. It was based on a report that 80% of pregnant women in the United States did not receive adequate pre-natal care.
The Army supported it because during WWI thousands of potential recruits were rejected due to complications from childhood diseases. The Sentinels, which also received financial support from J. Howard Pew, were largely responsible for failure to receive adequate funding for the program and its ultimate demise.
Also in 1934, General Butler’s claims were substantiated by the McCormack-Dickstein Committee, which was a precursor to the House Un-American Activities, Its final report stated,
"In the last few weeks of the committee's official life it received evidence showing that certain persons had made an attempt to establish a fascist organization in this country...There is no question that these attempts were discussed, were planned, and might have been placed in execution when and if the financial backers deemed it expedient."
Roosevelt read the final report in detail, but never released the full contents to the public. However, .in 1947, Joseph McCarthy who led the Committee on Un-American Activities claimed "Sworn testimony showed that the (coup) plotters represented notable families -- Rockefeller, Mellon, Pew, Pitcairn, Hutton and great enterprises -- Morgan, DuPont, Remington, Anaconda, Bethlehem, Goodyear, GMC, Swift, and Sun."
Back in Pennsylvania in 1934, the Democrats took control of nearly every political office. As a result of the Great Depression, the state Republican Party had basically fallen apart. Democrats won control of both the General Assembly and the Governorship, and even captured the mayor's office in Pittsburgh. George H Earle III became the first Democrat in more than forty years to become Pennsylvania governor.
This was too much for the Pew brothers who after their mother died in 1935, took an even greater interest in politics.
In 1936, The American Liberty League launched vicious attacks against FDR with their leader, Al Smith, comparing Roosevelt to Hitler and Russian communists and blaming the New Deal for prolonging the depression.
On Oct 31, 1936, FDR finally responded to the industrialist’s attacks on him and the New Deal. Just before the election, he gave his famous speech in Madison Square Garden in New York City which was carried on radio across the country.
FDR stated angrily:
"Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hatred for me—and I welcome their hatred."
Joseph Newton Pew, Jr. 1886-1963. Youngest son of J.N Pew Sr.
"One of the men who hated FDR the most was Joseph Newton Pew Jr. (known as Joe Pew, or alternatively as “Boss Pew” or simply referred to as “Republican Pew” by Time magazine). Joe Pew was a track and field star at Cornell. He graduated in 1908 and immediately joined Sun in the purchasing department. In 1933-34 he went to Wash D.C. to fight the NRA and the Petroleum Code"
In 1935, according to Time (May 6, 1940)
Mr. [Joe] Pew put his convictions and dollars to work. He became Pennsylvania's G. O. P. boss by the simple but tremendous expedient of putting up the money.”
In Philadelphia, Boss Pew simply picked the Mayor, put up $200,000, and then blithely went on holiday. To his surprise when he returned he found his candidate had been scared out of the race with threats like, "Before I get through I'll take all the oil out of Pew—Pew . .!"
Pew used his personal wealth as vice president of the Sun Oil Company to take control of the Republican Party both in Pennsylvania and to help fund a national public relations campaign against Roosevelt before the 1936 presidential election. He hand-picked the GOP Party Chairman and hired a propagandist on a 3 yr contract at $20,000 per year. He then bought the “Farm Journal” with a circulation of about a million and later merged it with “The Farmer’s Wife”as a vehicle for the Republican message.
Boss Pew with the help of State Attorney General Charles Margiotti began an investigation of corruption within the Democratic Party leaders, who were accused of using federal relief funds for patronage.
Backed by Joe Pew, Republican candidate for Governor, Arthur Horace James ran a campaign, vowing to undo the "Little New Deal," (Pennsylvania’s version of FDR Policies) by cutting taxes, and improving the climate for business.

Republican Pew’s political investments began to pay off in 1938 as the Republican Party in Pennsylvania was thrust back in control by regaining control of the Governor's office, both houses of the state legislature, a majority of the state congressional seats, and both seats in the United States Senate.
Still on the National Front, the Republicans were never able to break FDR’s hold on the people and they regularly went down to defeat with favorite son candidates like Alfred M. Landon (1936), In the election of 1936, the American Liberty League spent twice as much money as the entire Republican Party in trying to defeat Roosevelt
Wendell Willkie ran in 1940 as a popular lawyer opposed to the Tennessee Valley Authority, but he failed to win the support of the Party Bosses, This was partly Pew’s fault, because in 1940, Republican Pew, as predicted, held out for James and never released his 72 votes to vote to cast a ballot for Wendell Willkie until he was soundly defeated. “Pew was heard to say that he’d rather see a Democrat in the White House than a liberal Republican. He and fellow conservatives withheld their endorsements, and more importantly, their money.”
In 1940, Sun Oil Company was worth nearly $150 million. According to Time, Joseph Pew is estimated to have spent “$2,000,000-plus which he has given his party in the last six years.” Boss Pew called the New Deal "a gigantic scheme to raze U.S businesses to a dead level and debase the citizenry into a mass of ballot-casting serfs."
The article reported that he is held up in the U. S. Senate as the personification of corrupt politics.” Boss pew was quoted as saying "You can't get votes by advertising for them." And finally "If I'm busted in November, and the Republicans have won, I'll be satisfied."
Meanwhile, J. Howard Pew at that time was running ads on the radio against the use of ethanol as a mixture in gasoline which was cutting into Sun profit. He told the radio stations to pretend make the ads look like news items. When the New York Times said it would expose the fraud, he threatened to pull all of his advertising revenue from the paper and he forced them to support Republicans.
As War loomed, the Pews seemed to mainly lose interest in politics. But, FDR never forgot about the Pews.
In 1939, a competition was held to build the next bomber for the U.S. Army Air Corps. A Texan design engineer, Vincent J. Bernelli, easily won with his radical lifting body design which could carry 2000 pounds more bombs, used 60% less fuel and could utilize a 50% shorter runway. The UB-14B aircraft design was also cheaper to build. The Army Air Corps General stated “it is essential, in the interest of national defense, that this Burnelli procurement be authorized."
Bernelli was invited to the White House for the final signing of the contract. During the course of the conversation FDR casually asked Burnelli, “We understand you have the best aeroplane of the lot, and we're going to build a lot of them. So I guess you're going to need some money.” Burnelli courteously replied that this wouldn't be necessary: “Mr. Arthur Pew of the Sun Oil Company is prepared to put up whatever we need.” Roosevelt went into a rage and threw the pen across the room and had Bernelli and his team ejected. No contract was ever signed and the Army Air Corps report was changed to recommend any airplane but Bernelli’s. According to a Canadian aviator’s report:
“Arthur Pew told him [Bernelli] there was no hope as long as Roosevelt was in power and put Burnelli on the payroll of a Pew-controlled shipping company as a consultant to await FDR's fall. War broke out, however, and the accent was placed on aircraft production--any aircraft, as long as it was not a Burnelli! As a result, this great genius of American Aircraft design was forced to vegetate during the years when his designs could have saved thousands of lives and billions of dollars!!!
With the entry of the U.S. into WW II, and particularly after Roosevelt’s death in 1944 Sun Shipbuilding did booming business. However, an internal Sun Oil review found in 1943 that Sun's lack of goodwill with the military retarded the wartime use of its catalytic cracking process which was the only one available in the late 1930s and very early 1940’s” The cracking process made for higher quality fuel at a lower cost.
Still, Sun Ship building did eventually build about 40% of America’s oil tankers and some of its cargo ships were converted for military use. After WWII, Sun Ships repaired Navy destroyers and scrapped aircraft carriers becoming one of the largest shipbuilders in the world.
In 1944, Boss Pew led the “Stop Willkie” campaign and he successfully denied him the nomination. This was particularly ironic because Arthur E. Pew, his nephew, was one of Willkie’s biggest supporters.
In 1947, J.H. Pew resigned as president, but stayed on as a director, while his brother, took over control of the company. Joseph N. Pew, Jr. (Republican, Boss Pew) soon retired from politics to become Chairman of the Board of Sun Oil until his death in 1963.
In 1948, he and his brother and sisters began the Pew Memorial Foundation. In 1956 in response to growing government oversight of foundations, they created the Pew Memorial Trust which would be administered by the Glenmeade Trust Company.
In 1957 J. Howard Pew created the Freedom Trust. Its charge, he wrote, was to "acquaint the American people" with "the evils of bureaucracy," "the values of the free market," and "the paralyzing effects of government controls on lives and activities of people," to "inform our people of the struggle, persecution, hardship, sacrifice and death by which freedom of the individual was won." The family also created a trust for their mother, Mary Anderson.
Also in 1957, Sun Oil made its first major foreign oil strike in Venezuela. Sun Oil produced about one billion barrels of that oil until 1975 when Venezuela nationalized the industry. Authors Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett’s claim in their book, “Thy Will be Done, The Conquest of the Amazon”, that from early 1900’s until the 1980’s the Pew family, Sun Oil Co., Standard Oil, Placid Oil and others worked with the CIA and Wycliffe/SIL (the largest U.S. missionary organization) to acquire Amazonian resources. This “plundering, largely for oil, resulted in near-genocidal massacres of indigenous peoples.”
This was the year that Fortune ranked the top 50 wealthiest people in America and each Pew brother was listed as being worth 75 -100 million dollars equivalent to over 500 million dollars today.
In the Mid 1960’s J. Howard Pew was very critical of President Lyndon Johnson's “War on Poverty.” he argued that federal welfare programs could only breed more poverty by undermining the work ethic and making more people dependent on the state for their existence.
David Lincoln
Oct 3, 2009


  1. Turns out Pew was right-- Federal welfare programs do "only breed more poverty by undermining the work ethic and making more people dependent on the state for their existence." I live in the Appalachian region were the war was declared. Kids live with the lofty ambition of being old enough to get on the draw.
    Try giving some footnotes.

    1. This is not an either - or situation and many people maneuvered into the system have fought their way out at great cost. The welfare system as it presently exists is detrimental to people and teaches dependence. Eliminating assistance is not the answer, providing local empowerment is. Pew's wealth was created by a different brand of welfare, one far more costly than the present system.

  2. Pew was right federal programs do breed more poverty and a dependence on the government through our taxpayers.Most people can work but would rather collect.Thanks Mr.Pew