Mostly Hysterical Hooey

Pajamas Media » Five Societal Trends That Signal Our Nation’s Decline

In the 51 years since poverty records have been kept we now have the largest number of residents living in poverty. Even worse, since poverty begets poverty, expect these numbers to increase over the coming decades.

With government resources and private organizations stretched to the max, their combined ability to deal with persistent and growing poverty will pale in comparison to the needs of 14.3% of the population living below the poverty line, which is defined as $21,954 for a family of four.

When you consider the negative long-term effects of one out of every five children in America being raised in poverty, it is almost incomprehensible.

Incomprehensible, probably because the ginned-up hysteria is mostly bullshit.

First off, “poverty” is relative. 22 grand – $392 a week after SS taxes (because you aren’t paying any income taxes at this level) is peanuts in San Francisco, but perfectly adequate if you live in, oh, Muncie, Indiana, where the median price for a 3 bedroom home is $52,000, which would yield up a monthly mortgage payment of about $275/mo, with a 30 year fixed at 4.5%.

The real problem is kids being raised in an urban welfare culture which imprisons multiple generations in the handout/entitlement system, where dropping out of high school is not just considered normal, it is often encouraged by peer pressure – and the same peer pressure encourages unmarried teen motherhood in girl children as young as 13 or 14.

California is known as a bellwether state, where trends begin, take root, and then move east. If that holds true our nation’s decline will be further accelerated, for California has the highest percentage of high school drop-outs in its labor force at 16%.

According to this same 2008 data the percentage of high school drop-outs working in the national labor force is 10.2%.

Again, faulty basic assumptions. California is no longer a “bellweather” state. It has progressed so far down the progressive nanny statist road that it no longer looks like anything except California, a failed state with a permanent 20 billion dollar deficit, uncontrolled illegal immigration, a gigantic number of illegals living in – and on – collapsing welfare systems – and working at menial jobs in agriculture and urban throwaway labor markets, and a structural segment of the population trapped for generations in an out of control welfare system that encourages entitlement, school dropouts, unwed teen pregnancies, dependency, drug use, gang formation, and the worst poverty imaginable. Trying to project the future of America from this self-made malignant mess is not just a mug’s game (it won’t work), it is downright dishonest. (via Instapundit).


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About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Mostly Hysterical Hooey — 3 Comments

  1. Math wizs over at PJM. If the population increases, unless the poverty rate drops at the same rate, the number of people living in poverty will ALWAYS go up. 14% of 350 million is a bigger number than 14% of 300 million.

    There are two major reasons for poverty. There is a core poverty of around 20% of the black population that has never been addressed, nearly all of which consists of single parent households headed by women.

    In addition, based on the Census numbers, about 12% of those listed as living in poverty are non-citizens.

    Poverty in America 2009

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