Friday, January 31, 2014

The President is just wrong about the poor

Americans are not poor due to an income gap or rising  income inequality—that rate has been fairly stable over the years (also the poverty stats don’t count all the 79 means tested programs).

Here's the research, Mr. President. It's behavior and choice. People aren't poor because others are rich.

"If you do these [four] things, it’s almost impossible to remain poor:
1. Finish high school,
2. Get a job,
3. Don’t have children until you get married.

Those who do these things have only a 2 percent probability of remaining in poverty and a 75 percent probability of joining the middle class." John Goodman

The only new idea the left seems to have is universal preschool. (They don’t know how to reform any existing programs, so why not throw money after one more?) But the more common tactic (e.g., Paul Krugman) is to use inequality as an excuse for enacting the traditional liberal agenda — deficit spending, minimum wage increase, more unemployment compensation. If you think any of that is going to solve the fundamental problem, I know a bridge in Brooklyn that is for sale.

Remember welfare reform of the mid-90s? Even a job, any job, reduces the poverty rate. Wealth transfer doesn’t solve poverty.

"The poverty rate among full time workers is 2.9 percent as compared with a poverty rate of 16.6 percent among those working less than full time and about 24 percent for those who don’t work. Unfortunately, the percentage of adult males working has been declining for decades. The work rate among young black males is below 50 percent. By contrast, when single mothers substantially increased their work rates in the mid-1990s, the poverty rate among mother-headed families reached its lowest level ever.. .

We already spend more than enough money on means-tested programs for poor and low-income people to bring them all out of poverty. There were about 46.5 million people in poverty in 2012, a year in which spending on means-tested programs was around $1 trillion. If that money were divided up among the poor, we could spend about $22,000 per person. For a single mother and two children, that would be over $65,000. The poverty level in 2013 for a mother and two children is less than $20,000. So this strategy would work, but giving so much money to young, able-bodied adults would not be tolerated by the public. Besides, if government gave this much cash to non-workers, many low-wage workers would quit work so they too could collect welfare.”

Ron Haskins,


Anonymous said...

how in the heck would you know anything about the poor

Norma said...

That's what research is for.

Anonymous said...

I wish everything was as white washed as you want it to be. The reality is that The history of racial inequality and economic injustice in the United States has created continuing challenges for minorities, it has nothing to do with the three things you listed. There are plenty of "poor" Americans that have an education, single and look for work every day, but because of circumstances beyond their control that are denied the privilege of the American dream. So before you become so judgmental go out there and walk in their shoes for a while talk to the people you have labelled go out and talked to them instead of going on your own opinions, which I think is very biased and racist. If you want to help the poor get some people in congress that will pass bills to create jobs so they can work and take care of themselves and their families. Stop criticizing President Obama and do something constructive like getting our economy growing and getting a dysfunctional Congress to do its job.

Norma said...

If you don't like the research
1. Finish high school,
2. Get a job,
3. Don’t have children until you get married, then do your own. This was reported by the Clinton administration (William Galston, a Democratic strategist and former domestic affairs adviser). Look it up--this is not my opinion--it's government funded research. If a person works full time at minimum s/he is above the poverty line. If 2 people, husband and wife, work full time at minimum, they would lose most government benefits. 1.1% of the workforce work for minimum wage, but blacks will be hurt most when Obama gets his $10.10.

We can't undo slavery, we can't change the circumstances into which people were born, but you can stop being so judgmental about ideas you don't like that interfere with your love for statism. You can vote for change--Democrats are brain dead when it comes to solving poverty. They only know how to take from you and give it to me. We have 50 years of a failed "war on poverty," we have over a hundred transfer programs, and poverty percentage has increased under Obama. If that money were divided up among the poor, we could spend about $22,000 per person, or about $65,000 for a single mom with kids. Would that solve poverty? Most people in poverty are white--is my research still racist?

About 380 proposed laws have come from the House (not all on the economy) and Reid and his Democrats have sat on them all. He's the dysfunctional one.

Obama hasn't budged on the Keystone Pipeline which would bring thousands of jobs because he has to scrounge for votes from people like you who need to get off the pity wagon. You are holding people back with your guilt, pity, and scorn.

My quote came from Brookings, hardly a right wing Tea Party group. Where is your evidence that I'm giving my own opinion?