Dependency Problem

My sister or bil sent me this article by Walter Williams, one of my favorite economists. I love to listen to him on the rare occasions when he subs for Rush Limbaugh. He writes that we don’t have a poverty problem. We have a dependency problem. I agree.

There is no material poverty in the U.S. Here are a few facts about people whom the Census Bureau labels as poor. Dr. Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield, in their study “Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America’s Poor” (http://tinyurl.com/448flj8), report that 80 percent of poor households have air conditioning; nearly three-quarters have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more. Two-thirds have cable or satellite TV. Half have one or more computers. Forty-two percent own their homes. Poor Americans have more living space than the typical non-poor person in Sweden, France or the U.K. What we have in our nation are dependency and poverty of the spirit, with people making unwise choices and leading pathological lives aided and abetted by the welfare state.

Our “poor” live better than many middle class people in Europe and they don’t even have to work to do that. Like I say over and over again, the social safety net has turned into a hammock. We have not eliminated poverty. We have simply made it more palatable. See my previous post, Why Work.

The Census Bureau pegs the poverty rate among blacks at 35 percent and among whites at 13 percent. The illegitimacy rate among blacks is 72 percent, and among whites it’s 30 percent. A statistic that one doesn’t hear much about is that the poverty rate among black married families has been in the single digits for more than two decades, currently at 8 percent. For married white families, it’s 5 percent. Now the politically incorrect questions: Whose fault is it to have children without the benefit of marriage and risk a life of dependency? Do people have free will, or are they governed by instincts?

This brings to mind one of my rules to avoid poverty. Do not have children you cannot afford. I’ve said many times that I could solve most of our “poverty” in two generations. How? If you go on welfare you get sterilized. The biggest cause of poverty in this country is poor people having children they cannot afford to raise. And they don’t stop. We had a woman in Macon, when there was a food stamp glitch, asking how she was gonna feed her fourteen children. Ironically she stated, “Someone needs to take responsibility for this.” There was another welfare queen with fifteen children at another locale, after her boyfriend was sent to prison, demanding that people take care of her and her children.

There may be some pinhead sociologists who blame the weak black family structure on racial discrimination. But why was the black illegitimacy rate only 14 percent in 1940, and why, as Dr. Thomas Sowell reports, do we find that census data “going back a hundred years, when blacks were just one generation out of slavery … showed that a slightly higher percentage of black adults had married than white adults. This fact remained true in every census from 1890 to 1940”? Is anyone willing to advance the argument that the reason the illegitimacy rate among blacks was lower and marriage rates higher in earlier periods was there was less racial discrimination and greater opportunity?

Hmmmm! Exactly what was it that broke the strong black family apart? When did the illegitimacy rate start rising? If you guessed the late 60’s and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Fucking Society give yourself a gold star. What racial discrimination couldn’t do, the Dimocrat Party did by paying young black girls to have children and get their own apartments. Just think, if the KKK had come up with a plan to do this, they couldn’t have done a better job than the Dimocrat Party. The KKK was made up of Dimocrats, after all. It was the terrorist wing of the Dimocrat Party. Of course, the Dimocrats couldn’t have accomplished this without the useful idiots of the Congressional Black Caucus who support these policies. They should be ashamed of what they have done to their own people.

No one can blame a person if he starts out in life poor, because how one starts out is not his fault.

My sister and I both started out poor. Our father was an alcoholic who got fired from jobs because of his drinking problem. My mom had to work after my sister and I started school to help support the family. But, both of us are now rich.

If he stays poor, he is to blame because it is his fault. Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school.

One of my three rules to avoid poverty. Get an education. My sister won a scholarship. I joined the Navy and learned electronics. I went to college on the GI Bill. I didn’t finish, but my Navy experience got me hired by IBM. 31.5 years later I finished up as a systems programmer. I would have worked longer if not for my CDSM©. I loved my work, but I hated my job.

Second, get married before you have children, and stay married.

My rule is don’t have children you cannot afford. I once asked my mom why she and my father didn’t have any more children. She said it was because they couldn’t afford more children. D’oh! What a concept! My mother stayed married until my sister was on her own and I was in the Navy. She was just getting ready to file for divorce when my father died in an auto accident.

Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage.

Yet another of my rules. It’s called developing a work ethic, sumpin’ today’s Dimocrat Party, in supporting the unemployment due to Obummercare, no longer values.

And finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior.

Not one of my rules, since that should go without saying.

It turns out that a married couple, each earning the minimum wage, would earn an annual combined income of $30,000. The Census Bureau poverty line for a family of two is $15,500, and for a family of four, it’s $23,000. By the way, no adult who starts out earning the minimum wage does so for very long.

True. Unlike what the Dimocrat Party sez, the minimum wage is not supposed to be a livable wage. It’s entry level. It’s for unskilled labor. I worked below minimum wage when I started delivering flowers part time in college. Very shortly, I got a raise to minimum wage. Within a year, I was making more than that because I became his best delivery driver. It wasn’t rocket science. Read a freaking map and plot the best routes for delivering the merchandise. (This was before GPS) All of the other drivers could only do one route. I don’t know why. I did them all and I did them faster than anybody. I worked full time delivering flowers after I dropped out of school until I got hired on by IBM. The guy who owned the flower shop wanted to match what I would get at IBM until I told him how much I would make and what the benefits were.

Since President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty, the nation has spent about $18 trillion at the federal, state and local levels of government on programs justified by the “need” to deal with some aspect of poverty. In a column of mine in 1995, I pointed out that at that time, the nation had spent $5.4 trillion on the War on Poverty, and with that princely sum, “you could purchase every U.S. factory, all manufacturing equipment, and every office building. With what’s left over, one could buy every airline, trucking company and our commercial maritime fleet. If you’re still in the shopping mood, you could also buy every television, radio and power company, plus every retail and wholesale store in the entire nation” (http://tinyurl.com/kmhy6es). Today’s total of $18 trillion spent on poverty means you could purchase everything produced in our country each year and then some.

Amazing! What do we have to show for that? Our poverty rate is about the same. But at the same time, our “poor” live better than most people in the world. But, they are totally dependent upon gummint for almost everything. What happens when that falls apart? Nawlins after Hurricane Katrina. The dependent class didn’t have a clue. Of course, they did know how to loot.

There’s very little guts in the political arena to address the basic causes of poverty. To do so risks being labeled as racist, sexist, uncaring and insensitive. That means today’s dependency is likely to become permanent.

Exactly. We have a permanent underclass of leeches, looters, and parasites dependent upon gummint who reliably vote Dimocrat.

We’re doomed!