We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As we have pointed out here, there is far more white poverty than black poverty in the US. It's not about skin tone.
Truth is, poverty is not a unitary phenomenon, and it's not all a problem. There are hundreds of sorts of poverty: poverty by life-style choice, poverty by location choice, poverty by bad luck, poverty by illness, mental illness, and addiction, poverty by personality traits or weak character, poverty from long-term unemployment, temporary poverty, poverty from being in grad school, poverty from being improvident, new immigrant poverty, poverty from having been in jail, poverty from being embedded in a poverty culture, poverty from trying to live on Social Security, poverty from being a single parent (a life-style choice, I suppose), fraudulent poverty from cash businesses and illegal activities, and so forth. It's not all a collective "societal problem."
Why don't the pundits talk about that? They never do. Even Charles Murray doesn't. I'd like to see a statistical break-down, but it doesn't exist. Worse yet, poverty stats fail to include government or charitable benefits so I am skeptical about all of it.
America offers great freebies even for those for whom poverty is a life-style choice because we do not let people starve in the streets, without shelter. Need a cell phone? We even have Obamaphones. America is a great country in which to be poor.
But, that doesn't fit the narrative-cudgel to beat the country about the head for 'not doing anything to make poverty better' meme.
well over 5 TRILLION dollars (since 1965) have been spent on the (so called) War on Poverty(tm), with little\nothing to show for it, except an expanded bureaucracy, platitudes, and the sound bites saying 'we need to do ___.' plan, which is little more than soundbites and camera face-time instead of solutions, and about the same number of souls feeling this pain. Appalachia is still poor, along with many inner cities (Detroit\St. Louis anybody?), along with the other types listed, and little dawn of sunlight-relief on the horizon.
Problem is, solutions diminish power and the purse devoted to WoP(tm), and the politicians can never have that. Per Blazing Saddles "we gotta protect our phoney-baloney jobs!!!"
Our political class - we're in the very best of hands...
I would argue that we have given race-baiters like Jesse Jackson and Al Shaprton more ammunition and the Democrats in general a platform to scream "Conservative Republicans are holding you down!". The bigger picture is that Democrats have turned this victimization mentality into a rock-solid voting bloc of minority voters who they can count on in every election.
As the Barrister pointed out, there are LOTS of paths to poverty. I try to teach my kids that any government scheme to reduce poverty (or drug use, or lack of health care) will only make things worse in the long run if it doesn't take human nature into account. If we give people an incentive to be lazy, we shouldn't be shocked when people become more lazy thanks to our policy. After trillions spent on the "war on poverty" we are no closer to ending it. And I would argue that the recipients of the money are not at all grateful to have gotten it. In fact, they seem to me to be angry and hostile when viewed as a group.
The elephant in the room here, though, is that no matter how much we disagree with funding the "War on Poverty" we won't be able to fund it much longer at this rate. Since we are 17 Trillion in the hole and getting deeper every day with no turn-around in sight, there will soon be a day when we can't pay for welfare or any of the other programs.
What else is left, when you've stolen\redirected everything from its rightful owners? We deserve this, for letting it happen, giving away our freedom\liberty\power, and and our self imposed ignorance\blind faith in our leaders who did this to us.
You also left out poverty by being blacklisted by a former employer! You know the one who said "you are not free to leave until you make her look good!" Her being unqualified, unethical, self centered, lazy and a con artist. But, not to worry this white man got punished for refusing to stay and make her look like this little princess was something she was not! Being stalked everywhere you go, having your mother interrogated at the old folks home--that is intentional poverty inflicted because there was not one attorney able or willing to stand and defend against THE TRIBE.
Well there you have it -- let's not forget about that kind of poverty. Blowing the whistle on federal school loan fraud when there was nobody who cared . . .
Interestingly the poor who have the best excuse (crazy guys) are often the most entrepreneurial and the least on the lookout for government help. A little can and bottle collecting and sleeping on the subway grate is their ideal. Of course pushing people off subway platforms is a risk too. But our deinstitutionalizing our mentally ill has made them into the homeless poor!