Poverty; Where’s Dad?

Some people seem trapped in poverty, some go in and out and far less escape entirely.

Poverty rates in the US have risen and fallen with the economy. The current poverty rates is estimated at 13.7%. Higher than 1973.

Social safety nets (SNAP, Medicaid) and tax credits are said to reduce poverty, but that is not accurate. They make life for the poor more tolerable, but they don’t address the basic problems that cause and perpetuate poverty. If you remove the value of safety nets, the actual poverty is much higher.

🥺 Single-mother families as a share of all families with children grew substantially during the past 50 years. Single-mother family poverty rates, however, have decreased by 10 percentage points since 1964. In 2014, 39.8 percent of single-mother families were poor, more than double the rate for all families with children.

🥺 For decades, Black and Hispanic Americans have had official poverty rates about two to three times higher than those for non-Hispanic Whites. Trends over time show progress in shrinking the race-ethnic poverty gap. Yet, poverty rates in 2014 for both Blacks and Hispanics were double the rate for non-Hispanic Whites. [In part from discrimination, but also because single mother family rates and graduations are aligned with race]

🥺 Educational attainment has increased substantially among the full population since the 1960s. But official poverty among those without a high school degree remains about 15 percentage points higher than for those who completed high school. Of particular concern, Black men with a high school degree or less education have experienced acutely steep decreases in employment levels since the late 1960s.

🥺 Poverty continues to be concentrated more heavily in some neighborhoods than others, and in certain regions and areas of the country. Over the course of the past 50 years, both the concentration of poverty and overall poverty rates have remained high in the South and have increased in the West. When areas experience very high levels of family poverty, the entire community can face great challenges.

Source: https://aspe.hhs.gov/system/files/pdf/154286/50YearTrends.pdf

All this begs the question. How do we address the fundamental problems?


  1. How do we address the fundamental problems? By determining exactly what the problem is and I am not claiming that I know. I am not sure anybody knows. Once someone is able to clarify a cause, they throw money at it to see what happens. Of course, if it doesn’t work, it was because they didn’t throw enough money at the problem.

    One solution to lift the poor out of poverty has always been education. Some minority groups have very poor graduation rates. The current solution is to throw money and mandates at the schools. Throwing money at the problem has yet to work. Education might get someone a better paying job but you have to get them to finish high school before offering up free college. College is also not for everyone. We need better vocational schools other than beauty schools too.

    One cause that has been studied, is the lack of two parent homes. I believe there are many causes that factor into the reasons behind that. These are just some of my opinions without hard data but here I go.

    The government (as in the politicians) like to keep the minorities as victims so that they can give them freebies and get their votes. There were some great candidates running this last election cycle in Baltimore, LA, and Chicago, that pointed out voting the same way have produced the same results in those cities and if they want to improve their lives that they need to break that cycle. They all lost so I guess the people like abandoned houses and trash in the streets.

    I believe that the welfare system is rigged to keep you on welfare. Also, the system is rigged to penalize two parent households. There is more an expectation, more so if you are a male, that you are not responsible for your kids. The mother may get more money if you are not in the picture.

    In LA, a federal judge has issued an order that LA must provide housing for their homeless population. When has free housing become a right? Why would I work, go to school, or do anything to be a part of society when society is required take care of me?

    The war on drugs was a failure. In NJ, some headway was made when they created drug courts. The drug courts were able to force people into treatment instead of jails. Now that New Jersey is decriminalizing drugs, I believe the problem will get worse because people will miss out on good jobs and treatments because they are still using and they will start using harder illegal drugs. Time will tell.

    Now for some facts. My city is fairly average in its demographics. If you ask a poor minority second grader what they want to be when they grow up, they don’t have an answer. They don’t want to be in school. They will out right tell you that they expect to be in jail when they grow up. This shows a total lack of moral guidance in the home. Throwing money at the schools cannot solve the roots causes at home. It used to be churches guided moral and family expectations. But God has been removed and TV and now social media is in His place. I don’t know how this can be addressed but second graders should still have hope for a better life.

    Another fact is that welfare should be used to help people, not used to keep them in poverty. The current government pandemic handout is proving that point. Last month I travel through 12 states and there were help wanted signs everywhere from minimum wage jobs to factory workers. Some news reports say people are getting up to $700 /wk to stay home. If true, that is $17.50 / hr. to stay home. What happen to $15.00 / hr.? Many retail places had signing bonuses and were offering close to $15.00 hr. Hotels and restaurants cannot find people to hire. Who wants to get a waitress job if the government will order your business closed the next time someone sneezes?

    Some excuses are that since the schools are not open, women cannot go back to work because of child care issues. Maybe that is where the money should be spent and offer free 24/7 child care instead of free college. Maybe we need to help the single parent with child care and tutoring services outside of normal school hours.

    Maybe as a society it is time, we demand people start caring for themselves and that we stop enabling people to stay stuck on welfare. But even I have a moral problem with that statement because there are people who do need help that would be hurt. I don’t know what the answer is. But there are so many that choose not to help themselves and I guess that is what makes me mad and they take resources away from people who need it the most.


    1. “How do we address the fundamental problems? By determining exactly what the problem is”
      The problem is a broken culture.


  2. “All this begs the question”. How do we address the fundamental problems?
    Point of information. The phrase “begs the question” is commonly used incorrectly to mean “raises the question.”
    It actually describes the logical fallacy of circular reasoning.

    The fallacy of begging the question occurs when an argument’s premises assume the truth of the conclusion, instead of supporting it. In other words, you assume without proof the stand/position, or a significant part of the stand, that is in question. Begging the question is also called arguing in a circle.

    Google it for reference.


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