1. Single moms are the problem. Only 9 percent of low-income, urban moms have been single throughout their child's first five years.
Thirty-five percent were married to, or in a relationship with, the child's father for that entire time.*
Only 9% have been single throughout their child's first five years ... why are we only measuring the first five years? Is it because that percentage
gets much larger as the children get older? Remember, Gwynneth Paltrow just became a single mother, and her children are both over five. Now, she's
not anywhere near poverty, but I think you see the point. About 10% of marriages end in those early years, but many more end after that. Maybe that's
why they cut off their count at five years?
35% were married to or in a relationship with, or in a relationship with, the child's father ... if you are only in a "relationship" with the
child's father, you can still claim full benefits as the sole provider, even if the father is making full-time pay. Also, people who cohabitate are
less likely to ever be married and less likely to have marriages that last.
Also, children raised in homes without successful marriages, will be less likely to ever have successful marriages themselves.
By the way, between 35% and 9% there is a whole lot of that 100% pie that is left out of the picture. What about them?
2. Absent dads are the problem. Sixty percent of low-income dads see at least one of their children daily. Another 16 percent see their
Simply seeing one's child, or children (how many with how many different baby mommas, btw), isn't being a father. This really shouldn't be implying
that it is.
3. Black dads are the problem. Among men who don't live with their children, black fathers are more likely than white or Hispanic dads
to have a daily presence in their kids' lives.
Where does race get pulled into this? Either you are married to your child's mother and actually a father or you are not. Simply being that guy who
drops in from time to time isn't the same thing. Ask any man who has gone through a divorce and been more or less forced out his kids' lives and now
gets to watch them change in ways he never anticipated or wanted because he can't be in their lives the way he should be, how effective being a
"daily (or weekly) presence" is.
4. Poor people are lazy. In 2004, there was at least one adult with a job in 60 percent of families on food stamps that had both kids
and a nondisabled, working-age adult.
Often when we talk about poor people being lazy, we aren't talking them being unwilling to hold down a job. What we talk about is how they are
unwilling to recognize that they will never get ahead if they remain at their current skill set. Many of the poor did not get the necessary education
to get a decent job when they were in school and it would have been easiest. They made poor choices about how to handle things then and put themselves
in an unenviable position, but the answer to their problems isn't to just languish on handouts. It's to take a grip on their life and go out of
their way to get those skills they missed. Take initiative and responsibility.
5. If you're not officially poor, you're doing okay. The federal poverty line for a family of two parents and two children in 2012 was
$23,283. Basic needs cost at least twice that in 615 of America's cities and regions.
That's when you go away from those 615 cities and regions. Again, this is taking initiative and responsibility instead of relying on everyone else to
carry because you live where you can't afford to. If you can't move, then see above. There are plenty of programs designed to help people, but I see
precious few people taking advantage of them. Handouts are so much easier.
6. Go to college, get out of poverty. In 2012, about 1.1 million people who made less than $25,000 a year, worked full time, and were
heads of household had a bachelor's degree.**
This is part of the problem with kids going to college. Who in their right mind gets a degree in Women's Studies and expects to walk away with a high
paying job? There are lots of "trash" degrees you can get at University where the professional fields you can expect to go into are very
restrictive, so your odds of getting work in them are very poor (see OWS). Additionally, thanks to the unending hikes in college tuition, there are
also very few college degrees that do offer immediate work in your degree field where you can expect to immediately make a good return on your
In fact, most of the only really solid degree investments left are in the STEM fields these days, so if your son or daughter isn't going for one of
those ... maybe you should explore other options for post high school training.
7. We're winning the war on poverty. The number of households with children living on less than $2 a day per person has grown 160
percent since 1996, to 1.65 million families in 2011.
So, can we declare the War on Poverty lost? All we seem to do is keep throwing money at it, and it never solves the problem. Maybe someday government
will learn that if you want more of something, you subsidize which is effectively what we are doing with endless handouts. We need a different
approach if we are going to make headway.
8. The days of old ladies eating cat food are over. The share of elderly single women living in extreme poverty jumped 31 percent from
2011 to 2012.
Thank the inflation of basics like food and fuel which they refuse to measure. Have you shopped the store lately? Paid your energy bill? And yet, we
keep on regulating the energy industry so the prices go up and we keep on printing more money to deflate our dollar. I sincerely hope most of those
ladies have relatives who can help them because I don't see any of this getting any better anytime soon.
9. The homeless are drunk street people. One in 45 kids in the United States experiences homelessness each year. In New York City alone,
22,000 children are homeless.
It's sad, but what kinds of choices are their parents making? There was a series of articles that ran about a girl who was going to a charter in New
York. Her family was homeless, and they made an endless series of bad choices. As soon they got money, they blew through it.
10. Handouts are bankrupting us. In 2012, total welfare funding was 0.47 percent of the federal budget.
We are spent $3.7 trillion over the last 5 years.
*Source: Analysis by Dr. Laura Tach at Cornell University.