Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

How much wealth do the poor in America have?

A recently published paper from the Heritage Foundation.

Excerpt:

Each year for the past two decades, the U.S. Census Bureau has reported that over 30 million Americans were living in “poverty.” In recent years, the Census has reported that one in seven Americans are poor. But what does it mean to be “poor” in America? How poor are America’s poor?

For most Americans, the word “poverty” suggests destitution: an inability to provide a family with nutritious food, clothing, and reasonable shelter. For example, the Poverty Pulse poll taken by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development asked the general public: “How would you describe being poor in the U.S.?” The overwhelming majority of responses focused on homelessness, hunger or not being able to eat properly, and not being able to meet basic needs.[1] That perception is bolstered by news stories about poverty that routinely feature homelessness and hunger.

Yet if poverty means lacking nutritious food, adequate warm housing, and clothing for a family, relatively few of the more than 30 million people identified as being “in poverty” by the Census Bureau could be characterized as poor.[2] While material hardship definitely exists in the United States, it is restricted in scope and severity. The average poor person, as defined by the government, has a living standard far higher than the public imagines.

As scholar James Q. Wilson has stated, “The poorest Americans today live a better life than all but the richest persons a hundred years ago.”[3] In 2005, the typical household defined as poor by the government had a car and air conditioning. For entertainment, the household had two color televisions, cable or satellite TV, a DVD player, and a VCR. If there were children, especially boys, in the home, the family had a game system, such as an Xbox or a PlayStation.[4] In the kitchen, the household had a refrigerator, an oven and stove, and a microwave. Other household conveniences included a clothes washer, clothes dryer, ceiling fans, a cordless phone, and a coffee maker.

The home of the typical poor family was not overcrowded and was in good repair. In fact, the typical poor American had more living space than the average European. The typical poor American family was also able to obtain medical care when needed. By its own report, the typical family was not hungry and had sufficient funds during the past year to meet all essential needs.

Poor families certainly struggle to make ends meet, but in most cases, they are struggling to pay for air conditioning and the cable TV bill as well as to put food on the table. Their living standards are far different from the images of dire deprivation promoted by activists and the mainstream media.

Regrettably, annual Census reports not only exaggerate current poverty, but also suggest that the number of poor persons[5] and their living conditions have remained virtually unchanged for four decades or more. In reality, the living conditions of poor Americans have shown significant improvement over time.

These are the people that the elites on the left are constantly making us feel guilty about. But keep in mind that it is very easy to avoid poverty in America (link no longer active). A person just has to make four decisions, as economist Walter Williams explains.

Excerpt:

Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school. Second, get married before you have children, and stay married. Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage. And, finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior.

If you graduate from high school today with a B or C average, in most places in our country there’s a low-cost or financially assisted post-high-school education program available to increase your skills.

Most jobs start with wages higher than the minimum wage, which is currently $5.15. A man and his wife, even earning the minimum wage, would earn $21,000 annually. According to the Bureau of Census, in 2003, the poverty threshold for one person was $9,393, for a two-person household it was $12,015, and for a family of four it was $18,810. Taking a minimum-wage job is no great shakes, but it produces an income higher than the Bureau of Census’ poverty threshold. Plus, having a job in the first place increases one’s prospects for a better job.

The Children’s Defense Fund and civil rights organizations frequently whine about the number of black children living in poverty. In 1999, the Bureau of the Census reported that 33.1 percent of black children lived in poverty compared with 13.5 percent of white children. It turns out that race per se has little to do with the difference. Instead, it’s welfare and single parenthood. When black children are compared to white children living in identical circumstances, mainly in a two-parent household, both children will have the same probability of being poor.

How much does racial discrimination explain? So far as black poverty is concerned, I’d say little or nothing, which is not to say that every vestige of racial discrimination has been eliminated. But let’s pose a few questions. Is it racial discrimination that stops black students from studying and completing high school? Is it racial discrimination that’s responsible for the 68 percent illegitimacy rate among blacks?

The 1999 Bureau of Census report might raise another racial discrimination question. Among black households that included a married couple, over 50 percent were middle class earning above $50,000, and 26 percent earned more than $75,000. How in the world did these black families manage not to be poor? Did America’s racists cut them some slack?

In America, poverty is self-inflicted. But that doesn’t mean that the Democrats don’t help the poor to stay poor.

Democrats wants to raise minimum wage, which promotes higher unemployment among younger workers – and more dependence on government programs. They want to subsidize single motherhood and enact no-fault divorce laws, to destroy marriage. And they want to push gay history and green propaganda in the public schools, to diminish the economic value of a high school education. They don’t want the poor to lift themselves out of poverty so that they are independent of government. Redistribution of wealth makes Democrats feel good about themselves – so they need the poor to stay poor. Democrats take money from the wealthy, causing them not to hire workers, and then give that money to the poor, so that they don’t need to work for anything.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How much wealth do the poor in America have?

A new paper from the Heritage Foundation. (H/T Brett Kunkle)

Excerpt:

Each year for the past two decades, the U.S. Census Bureau has reported that over 30 million Americans were living in “poverty.” In recent years, the Census has reported that one in seven Americans are poor. But what does it mean to be “poor” in America? How poor are America’s poor?

For most Americans, the word “poverty” suggests destitution: an inability to provide a family with nutritious food, clothing, and reasonable shelter. For example, the Poverty Pulse poll taken by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development asked the general public: “How would you describe being poor in the U.S.?” The overwhelming majority of responses focused on homelessness, hunger or not being able to eat properly, and not being able to meet basic needs.[1] That perception is bolstered by news stories about poverty that routinely feature homelessness and hunger.

Yet if poverty means lacking nutritious food, adequate warm housing, and clothing for a family, relatively few of the more than 30 million people identified as being “in poverty” by the Census Bureau could be characterized as poor.[2] While material hardship definitely exists in the United States, it is restricted in scope and severity. The average poor person, as defined by the government, has a living standard far higher than the public imagines.

As scholar James Q. Wilson has stated, “The poorest Americans today live a better life than all but the richest persons a hundred years ago.”[3] In 2005, the typical household defined as poor by the government had a car and air conditioning. For entertainment, the household had two color televisions, cable or satellite TV, a DVD player, and a VCR. If there were children, especially boys, in the home, the family had a game system, such as an Xbox or a PlayStation.[4] In the kitchen, the household had a refrigerator, an oven and stove, and a microwave. Other household conveniences included a clothes washer, clothes dryer, ceiling fans, a cordless phone, and a coffee maker.

The home of the typical poor family was not overcrowded and was in good repair. In fact, the typical poor American had more living space than the average European. The typical poor American family was also able to obtain medical care when needed. By its own report, the typical family was not hungry and had sufficient funds during the past year to meet all essential needs.

Poor families certainly struggle to make ends meet, but in most cases, they are struggling to pay for air conditioning and the cable TV bill as well as to put food on the table. Their living standards are far different from the images of dire deprivation promoted by activists and the mainstream media.

Regrettably, annual Census reports not only exaggerate current poverty, but also suggest that the number of poor persons[5] and their living conditions have remained virtually unchanged for four decades or more. In reality, the living conditions of poor Americans have shown significant improvement over time.

These are the people that the elites on the left are constantly making us feel guilty about. But keep in mind that it is very easy to avoid poverty in America. A person just has to make four decisions, as economist Walter Williams explains.

Excerpt:

Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school. Second, get married before you have children, and stay married. Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage. And, finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior.

If you graduate from high school today with a B or C average, in most places in our country there’s a low-cost or financially assisted post-high-school education program available to increase your skills.

Most jobs start with wages higher than the minimum wage, which is currently $5.15. A man and his wife, even earning the minimum wage, would earn $21,000 annually. According to the Bureau of Census, in 2003, the poverty threshold for one person was $9,393, for a two-person household it was $12,015, and for a family of four it was $18,810. Taking a minimum-wage job is no great shakes, but it produces an income higher than the Bureau of Census’ poverty threshold. Plus, having a job in the first place increases one’s prospects for a better job.

The Children’s Defense Fund and civil rights organizations frequently whine about the number of black children living in poverty. In 1999, the Bureau of the Census reported that 33.1 percent of black children lived in poverty compared with 13.5 percent of white children. It turns out that race per se has little to do with the difference. Instead, it’s welfare and single parenthood. When black children are compared to white children living in identical circumstances, mainly in a two-parent household, both children will have the same probability of being poor.

How much does racial discrimination explain? So far as black poverty is concerned, I’d say little or nothing, which is not to say that every vestige of racial discrimination has been eliminated. But let’s pose a few questions. Is it racial discrimination that stops black students from studying and completing high school? Is it racial discrimination that’s responsible for the 68 percent illegitimacy rate among blacks?

The 1999 Bureau of Census report might raise another racial discrimination question. Among black households that included a married couple, over 50 percent were middle class earning above $50,000, and 26 percent earned more than $75,000. How in the world did these black families manage not to be poor? Did America’s racists cut them some slack?

In America, poverty is self-inflicted. But that doesn’t mean that the Democrats don’t help the poor to stay poor.

Democrats wants to raise minimum wage, which promotes higher unemployment among younger workers – and more dependence on government programs. They want to subsidize single motherhood and enact no-fault divorce laws, to destroy marriage. And they want to push gay history and green propaganda in the public schools, to diminish the economic value of a high school education. They don’t want the poor to lift themselves out of poverty so that they are independent of government. Redistribution of wealth makes Democrats feel good about themselves – so they need the poor to stay poor. Democrats take money from the wealthy, causing them not to hire workers, and then give that money to the poor, so that they don’t need to work for anything.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How domestic violence against men is ignored by the feminist state

Article is from MSN Lifestyle. (H/T Andrew)

If your wife attacks you and the police are called, it is often the law that they must arrest the man:

Four Sacramento County Sheriff’s cars pulled up in front of David Woods’s house. He tried to explain to them what happened. But the lead deputy cut him off: “Yeah, that’s fine. Put your hands behind your back.”

David said, “No, wait, she stabbed me … there’s the knife. See the knife? See my neck wound? See?”

“Put your hands behind your back. Turn around,” the deputy replied.

“No,” David protested. “She stabbed…”

The deputies drew their weapons.

Women use the element of surprise and weapons when they assault men:

She had a serrated vegetable knife with a blade about seven inches long. She turned around and she stabbed at me.

“I tried to block it, but I was surprised. I was off balance…the knife went right through my collar and gave me a little nick on my neck.

“She reared back to stab me again. I tried to block it again…I hit her in the mouth. She dropped the knife, ran to the telephone, called 911, and told them, ‘My husband is hitting me! I think he’s gonna kill me.’

State employees, including police, social workers and judges, have been brainwashed to believe that women can never be violent:

After 15 minutes, the female deputy returned from the bedroom after talking to David’s children. She told the other deputies, “It’s true. Both of the daughters saw it. She tried to stab him with the knife.”

They took the cuffs off David. “Your wife obviously needs help,” the lead deputy said. “She works for Kaiser, you’ve got health insurance that covers mental health, you need to call the emergency number and get her an appointment.”

David says there’s a double standard when it comes to charging men. “Now, isn’t that strange? When she had a fat lip, it was a felony and I was going to jail. But when they finally realized that she tried to stab me in the neck, it stopped being a crime, and instead it was a mental health issue.”

Taxpayer money is spent used to fund feminist research and a bevy of social programs exclusively for women:

“The violence really began in our family about 10 days after Ruth realized that she had all the power [financially]. I knew I had to get my kids out. I called the largest domestic violence shelter agency in Sacramento County several times. They told me, ‘Men are perpetrators of domestic violence; women are victims of domestic violence,’ and hung up.

“I had no way out. I had no money. Whenever we bought a car, Ruth insisted that the car be in her name only, so that if I took it and went to the movies without her approval she would call the police, and report, ‘I’m estranged from my husband, and he stole my car.’ She did that several times.”

Worst of all is what David’s children endured. One daughter says, “No one would help. Teachers, parents of friends, anyone I tried to talk to about what was going on at home told me I didn’t understand, that my mother couldn’t possibly be the violent party. When the police came to our home, they would always be ready to arrest my father, sometimes putting handcuffs on him. It was up to me to scream as loud as possible that it was my mom and not my dad, so they wouldn’t take him away and leave me alone with her.”

That was all just an example. The article goes on to explain the real domestic violence statistics and laws. In this country we have a massive budget to pay for a collection of social programs just for protecting women from violence committed by men. There is nothing remotely comparable for male victims of female violence.

All of these discriminatory programs are authorized by bills like the “Violence Against Women Act”. There is no “Violence Against Men Act”, and virtually no social programs for violence against men.

The take-home lesson for men is this: women have been trained by feminists for decades to view themselves as the victims of male discrimination. This state-sponsored resentment makes every woman prone to rationalize anti-male behavior up to and including domestic violence. Every woman is a potential batterer.

Additionally, women have been trained to view unborn babies and their own children as parasites who restrict their careers. This state-sponsored resentment makes every woman prone to rationalize anti-child behavior up to and including abortion and child abuse. Every woman is a potential murderer and child abuser.

Men: stay away from women until these anti-male laws and social programs are repealed. They have to learn somehow that hating men is not OK. Vote with your feet.

My previous posts on domestic violence are here.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Christina Hoff Sommers explains feminist myth-making

Christina Hoff Sommers

Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers

This story was sent to me by ECM, but I also saw posted at Dinocrat.com, Jennifer Roback Morse and Muddling Towards Maturity.

How reliable are the stories you read in women’s studies textbooks? Does violence against women really increase on Superbowl Sunday? Or is it just a ploy to create a made-up crisis to justify transferring wealth from taxpayers to feminists for research, social programs, etc.?

Excerpt:

One reason that feminist scholarship contains hard-to-kill falsehoods is that reasonable, evidence-backed criticism is regarded as a personal attack.

Lemon’s Domestic Violence Law is organized as a conventional law-school casebook — a collection of judicial opinions, statutes, and articles selected, edited, and commented upon by the author.

…in a selection by Joan Zorza, a domestic-violence expert, students read, “The March of Dimes found that women battered during pregnancy have more than twice the rate of miscarriages and give birth to more babies with more defects than women who may suffer from any immunizable illness or disease.” Not true. When I recently read Zorza’s assertion to Richard P. Leavitt, director of science information at the March of Dimes, he replied, “That is a total error on the part of the author. There was no such study.” The myth started in the early 1990s, he explained, and resurfaces every few years.

Zorza also informs readers that “between 20 and 35 percent of women seeking medical care in emergency rooms in America are there because of domestic violence.” Studies by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, indicate that the figure is closer to 1 percent.

Sommers is a Christian equality-feminist who writes against activist “gender” feminism. I have her first two books. She is a professional philosopher who understands men and tells the truth.

You can read more about what constitutes feminist research in this article by Rod Dreher.

Further study

My previous story on domestic violence showed that female-instigated DV is rising in Australia, and that rates of DV are similar in Canada and the UK.

Previously, I blogged about a new study that shows the importance of fathers to the development of children.

I also blogged about how government intrudes into the family and about the myth of “dead-beat Dads”. And about how the feminist state’s discrimination against male teachers is negatively impacting young men. And there is my series on how Democrat policies discourage marriage: Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here and Part 3 is here.

Dr. Linda Kelly Hill

Dr. Linda Kelly Hill

Here is a related research paper by Dr. Linda Kelly, a professor of Law at Indiana University School of Law.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Women are becoming more violent towards their partners

I noticed this story in Australia’s Daily Telegraph.

Excerpt:

Shocking figures have revealed that the number of women who have been charged with domestic violence-related assault has soared by 159 per cent over the past eight years.

The figures, from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics, show 2336 women faced court on charges of domestic violence in 2007, mainly for bashing their husbands, compared with just 818 in 1999.

….The figures show that although the number of women prosecuted for general assault remained stable between 1999 and 2007, there was an increase of 11 per cent a year in the number of women prosecuted for domestic violence.

During the same period, domestic violence charges against men rose by 2.3 per cent a year.

I am at a loss to understand why this is. Does anyone have a theory about why this is happening? Leave a comment if you do.

I wrote before about the problem of domestic violence against males, on the first day I started my blog. It turns out that these Australian numbers are echoing the numbers in Canada and the UK that I cited in that post:

UK numbers:

In the event, the CASI method found relatively high levels of male victimisation, to the extent that men appear to be at equal risk to women of domestic assault (4.2% of both sexes reported an assault in the last year).

Canada numbers:

An estimated 7% of women and 6% of men in a current or previous spousal relationship encountered spousal violence during the five years up to and including 2004, according to a comprehensive new report on family violence.

Here is a related research paper on the problem of domestic violence against men, writen by Dr. Linda Kelly, a professor of Law at Indiana University School of Law.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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