The “Poor” Narrative You Won’t Hear Discussed

From a weekend Associated Press news dump via USA Today:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.


Nationwide, the count of America’s poor remains stuck at a record number: 46.2 million, or 15% of the population, due in part to lingering high unemployment following the recession. While poverty rates for blacks and Hispanics are nearly three times higher, by absolute numbers the predominant face of the poor is white.

More than 19 million whites fall below the poverty line of $23,021 for a family of four, accounting for more than 41% of the nation’s destitute, nearly double the number of poor blacks.


Note the bold and italics in that statement above, “While poverty rates for blacks and Hispanics are nearly three times higher, by absolute numbers the predominant face of the poor is white.”

That is the truth that nobody will talk about in this country.  Whenever there has to be a face attached to the “poor”, it is usually a minority one.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s Blacks, Hispanics, or whomever is the target, you will very seldom hear people address the largest group of poor people in America, which is White Americans.  When the topic is welfare, there are far more White Americans on welfare than any other group.  However, those who refuse to discuss the reality of the issue will deflect the truth by diverting the discussion to the percentages of groups on welfare in an attempt to make it a “Black” or “minority” thing.  The problem with that type of thinking is that welfare dollars are not paid out on a percentage-to-population formula.  Welfare dollars are paid out by the person.

You have those who like to play the “blame game” as to who’s at fault.  Over at, there is a consensus of who’s at fault.  I imagine a liberal version of Free Republic would have someone different to blame.  Either way, the blame game is about as productive as pissing into a Category 5 hurricane while trying to stay dry, or in other words, a complete and wholesale exercise in futility.  If you must lay blame, then lay blame at America itself.

What we are witnessing before our very eyes is the WalMartization of our country.  We want cheap stuff and we want lots of it.  We don’t care how we get it or where it comes from, but by golly, we want our cheap stuff.  We’ve watched as job after job, factory after factory, and company after company has departed the United States for other countries in pursuit of cheap labor.  Labor is the largest cost for most companies, so they have to cut labor as much as possible to make their products cheap.

One by-product of the massive shifting of production is there are far fewer jobs/careers for average Americans to engage in to support themselves and their families.  Add an economic collapse, such as 2008, and you have a perfect storm for creating new poverty.

Those people who make the laws to govern this country don’t have a clue as to how hard this economy is for people.  You can see it by the legislation being enacted all over the country.  Instead of enacting legislation that would put people to work immediately and give them a means to help themselves, legislators would rather cut unemployment and welfare benefits to those who are struggling.  Instead of making it easier for a person to start up a business or bring jobs/careers back to America, we have politicians who would rather enact more “Free Trade” agreements to expand the pool of cheap labor abroad.  Instead of making it easier for students here to get better educated to take on technical jobs, we have a Congress that wants to import H1B labor to further stomp down American wages.

The choice is yours, America.  If you don’t talk about the truth about what’s causing the rise in the poor here, you may end up joining them yourself.  As long as we have the current politicians in office, no job/career is safe from being WalMarted.  I’d bet my house on that!!

*Interactive map showing poverty by race in select cities from 1980 to 2010 using census data




2 thoughts on “The “Poor” Narrative You Won’t Hear Discussed

  1. BRO

    Most people want to point to the proportional discrepancy relative to population. Whatever eh?

    I think it is more complicated and includes family fabric issues, our transition from a manufacturing to service economy (and the lack of recognition thereof), whatever flavor, kids born into homes without structure, father figure, or a celebration of education will continue to drive poverty. IMO the economic issues are superficially tossed out…for example, the idea that we can bring jobs back to US is flawed. It won’t happen until and if we become the best market for cheap labor. Finally, IMO and over time and in more instances than we want to admit, the very programs that have been levied to help this set of folks, have done the opposite. Killing hopes and dreams of improving lot due to always expecting more from Gov’t as time goes by..


  2. I disagree with you to an extent. People try to blame the family fabric, but family fabric didn’t kill the career path for the low and middle classes. It doesn’t matter how many parents you have at home when you can’t find a career path beyond flipping burgers or punching a cash register. That has nothing to do with family dynamics or government programs.

    If the government were responsible for creating careers, I’d agree with you. That is a function of the private sector, and the private sector hasn’t given a crap about America for 40 years. I understand the need to drive profits, but in case you haven’t noticed, companies have figured out how to do that WITHOUT the US economy. Where does that lead us in the future?

    Without corporations who focus on growing and maintaining a customer base here, this country is F-U-B-A-R!!! Look at how many 1st World countries exist solely on a “service-based” economy. If you don’t build it, the people who do own you.


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