Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Child Poverty and Single Parenthood

The child poverty rate for single-parent children is quadruple that of children living in a two parent home

While investigating poverty statistics awhile  back, I quickly found myself detoured into a thicket of indignant liberal apologists who blame child poverty on corporations, lack of government assistance, greedy rightwingers, anything and everything except irresponsible behavior.

Underlying much of the liberal argumentation was a barely-contained hostility and scorn for the very institution of marriage.

Has our society become so emotion-driven that we can no longer analyze the facts as they stand?

People on the left hate the single-parent/two-parent poverty rate statistic. There it stands. In black and white. They can’t blow it up, so they instead make the illogical leap of declaring that anyone who mouths this statistic is trashing single parents. This is a non-sequitur. The conclusion that all single parents are bad does not follow from the stated premise. It's a ridiculous strawman. But logic means nothing to the libertine left.  They simply want to blunt the argument and shut down the conversation.
“… a Republican state legislator from Colorado, [...] argued on Monday that families can stay out of poverty by avoiding having kids outside of marriage.

"Those children are almost guaranteed to be in poverty," Swalm remarked in an interview after speaking out against House Bill 10-1002, which would provide much-needed tax relief for Colorado's poor. "You don't want kids in poverty? Don't have kids out of wedlock." (Change.org)
Progressives hate such personal responsibility talk, so they use emotional appeal to demonize people who point out the obvious…
“House Speaker Terrance Carroll rightly identified Rep. Swalm's comments as "an insult to every single person who lives in poverty, who works their butt off every day just to keep their head above water."” (Change.org)
The child poverty rate for single-parent children is quadruple that of children living in a two parent home. That’s a fact, and not one outraged liberal could actually explain how this statistic insults “every single person who lives in poverty, who works their butt off every day just to keep their head above water."

Here’s the best liberal argument I could find:
“It's that he got his causation all mixed up. These statistics shed light on a real problem: single-parent households (and not just in Colorado) struggle with low incomes disproportionately more than families led by two parents.
But whether a child winds up living in poverty can't be boiled down to the number of parents he lives with. Countless factors, like unequal access to affordable health care and educational opportunities, play a huge role.” (Change.org)
Tis true that correlation is not causation, but as any exhausted single mom or dad can tell you, it’s hard work going it alone. This is not about demonizing people who have suffered misfortune, it’s about identifying what works and warning people off a very rocky path. MTV has a whole reality series based on the travails of those who give birth out of wedlock. Refusing to hold up the traditional two-parent family as the ideal is nuts.
“After all, what single-parent families need definitely isn't an extra dose of unfounded criticism. They need the resources to help their children succeed.” (Change.org)
This is what’s wrong with our dialog nowadays. We cannot have a rational discussion without people getting huffy and taking offense. Platitudinous twaddle clouds the issue. Go look at the cited article’s comment thread and shudder. One suggests HUD should do more. Another criticizes mean-spirited conservatives for suggesting that those on the public dole submit to drug testing. Anything to avoid stating the obvious and putting the burden for success or failure where it belongs: On the individual.
Sawhill and social researcher Ron Haskins authored a book, Creating an Opportunity Society (Brookings, 2009), in which they assess what are in reality the extremely low barriers to exploiting opportunity in the U.S.
They note that a youth who finishes high school, gets married before having children, and maintains a steady job is almost guaranteed middle-class status, no matter what his background. Those three conditions shouldn't prove insurmountable for anyone. (The American Spectator)
Put more simply, here are Dr. Walter E. WilliamsRules for Avoiding Poverty

* Graduate high school
* Get married before you have children
* If you get married, stay married
* Get a job, any job. A minimum wage job is a stepping stone
* Avoid engaging in criminal behavior

Further Reading:
Heritage – Marriage and Child Poverty
Cornell Study
Kaus Files - no More Brazils


Anonymous said...

I feel like we're missing a very easy piece of logic here: if you only have on earner in the house, OF COURSE you're going to be more likely to be poor. That has nothing to do with personal responsibility, it's simply the logic of the situation.

How about women whose husbands abandon them? Is that their fault? Is that woman's family poor because of her choices?

Certain actions, whether they are moral or immoral, have certain logical consequences based on the action itself, not on the perceived morality of said action. Just because an action is immoral does not necessarily mean that negative consequences are going to stem from it.

Hypothetical situation: what if two rich people have children out of wedlock? Because of the immorality of their choice, will they suddenly become poor and destitute? Will God bring down his wrath upon them because they have bastard children? No. They will do just fine because they already had the means to support themselves.

Personal responsibility, in this case, is more about economics than it is morality. It's irresponsible to have children that you cannot financially support, whether your married or not.

jez said...

"Married" is shorthand for "together and stable", except that it carries a little frisson of religious authority that, broadly speaking, the conservatives love and the liberals resent.

In my opinion it's all true, though it could be expressed easily in a less divisive way. That's me though: always looking for consensus.

Silverfiddle said...

Jack: I did not mention morality one time in this article. You mention it six times.

This is about identifying what works and educating people. Researches have done studies and the results point to a clear recipe for success and a clear recipe for disaster.

Of course nothing is absolute. Some people do everything right but still get the short end of the stick, while others act like completely irresponsible morons end up smelling like a rose.

Divorce, abandonment and untimely death are misfortunes that happen, and nowhere in my article or in the links are anyone blaming single parents.

This is about telling people how to increase their chances of avoiding poverty. Unfortunately, out popular culture celebrates single motherhood (the MTV show is an encouraging counter-trend), among other irresponsible behaviors.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me for making such inferences based on the article you wrote a couple of days ago.

But the final part of this article suggests that somehow getting married is a key to financial success.

Yes, having two earners is better than one when you have children, but what does marriage have to do with that? If a man abandons his children, or if a couple who is not married decide to go their separate ways, how is the resulting financial situation any different than if they were married?

To me it says that they likely would have filed for divorce anyway, and instead of being able to cleanly part, they'd have to sink all the money into getting the divorce and what not. Dissolution would be cheaper, of course, but it's still $1300 out of their pockets. So economically speaking, if they screw up and have bastard kids, or just decide that marriage is not for them, then wouldn't it make more sense to not get married?

And again, this only applies to people who were poor and/or unskilled and unable to support themselves to begin with.

Your article seems particularly adversarial towards the untraditional family, and I think it should be pointed more towards morons instead.

Silverfiddle said...

Jack: I've presented studies showing a strong correlation between following Walter E. Williams' rules and having a successful life.

I leave it to you and others to produce studies that offer countervailing theories. So far I have seen none.

That child poverty statistic is stark.

Jersey McJones said...

I't all well and fine to talk about "personal responsibility," but in the real world, where real people live, and do real things, simplistic conservative ideology is useless. People do irresponsible things. It happens. As a society, we try to assist them and guide them in a better direction, but more importantly, we try to the children, the innocent victims of irresponsibility.

As a people we can not just throw up our hands, do nothing, and only yell "be responsible!" at people, lest all the social ills that stem from irresponsbility be expontentially increased!

It's families, churches, schools, friends, doctors, communities that can work to make people more reponsible. The government can't do much about that. It can only provide a stable and safe environment for the people as best it can.


Anonymous said...

"We cannot have a rational discussion without people getting huffy and taking offense."

Apparently so!

~ FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: It is telling that you label personal responsibility a conservative ideology.

It is in fact a cornerstone of human sovereignty over self, and it is telling that this simple fact escapes progressives.

Anonymous said...

The immediate causative factors in all this have been Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n Roll -- and Lyndon Johnson.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Pop culture has deliberately -- and very craftily -- undermined respect for Religion, Tradition, Authority, Self-Discipline, Parents, Learning, Goal-Oriented Behavior, Good Order, Common Sense and Basic Decency.

Listen to the savage sounds, the nose-thumbing, anger-driven lyrics, the outlandish modes of dress, the generally Vile Style that took over in the Sick-sties and you will understand why things are the way they are.

We've been subjected to Mass Hypnosis and a bizarre form of Mind Control by TV and the so-called Music Industry. We've been PROGRAMMED to self-destruct, and most of us haven't the vaguest notion of what has been done to us by the Moguls of Madness.

I'm old enough to have witnessed the Sea Change in our society. It appeared to be sudden, but the groundwork gad been laid for it decades before.

Study the goals of Gramsci, The Frankfurt School and the machinations of The Progressives. A pattern emerges and the picture becomes chillingly clear.

It all has to do with the increasing Centralization and Standardization made possible though technology being used by Social Engineers and Industrialists to slowly-but-surely to weaken and then enslave the nation to vice, sin, corruption, and cynicism.

It's so easy to enslave people who have lost their way and are starving, crying in the wilderness.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

But child poverty has nothing to do with your marital status. It has everything to do with someone's ability to support a family.

Like I said, if a woman who makes really good money was suddenly abandoned by her husband, then she'd still be okay to support her children. She might have to curtail their lifestyle a bit, but they wouldn't be impoverished.

So single parenthood or a non-traditional family is only a bad idea if you're too poor to support it to begin with? Probably, but it has more to do with the logistics of one's economic situation than it has to do with whether or not you're legally recognized as married.

Movie stars have children out of wedlock all the time. They also split and are single parents. How many of them are destitute because they are single parents?

Silverfiddle said...

@ Jack: But child poverty has nothing to do with your marital status.

You are wrong and you are ignoring the data. If you want to be willfully ignorant and instead point to every conceivable exception (which there always are), have at it.

Here's a 100% correlations for you, since you love dealing in absolutes: The more money someone has the less poverty they will experience.

Lisa said...

Does that include single women who's' 5 children have 5 different last names?

Anonymous said...

I'm not ignoring data, I'm simply dismissing the correlation.

You've ignored both examples that I have given. If not all single parents are living in destitution, then we can't simply assert that marital status equates to level of poverty.

If you have a lot of money, or have a really good job, you clearly don't need a spouse to support your family financially. Single moms support themselves, free of government assistance all the time.

Yes, having one less earner in the house will make it incredibly more difficult to support a comfortable life-style, but only if you were economically inviable before.

(I may have made up "inviable")

Anonymous said...


Well, it's real enough and certainly not ENVIABLE, is it?


~ FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

I did not ignore you examples. I acknowledged them as exceptions. The correlation is not 100%, so of course there will be counter-examples.

You must not have read the links. They admit as much as you say about how one more wage earner brings a family out of poverty, and that is the point.

I also agree with you that if someone has Hollywood money they can afford a Hollywood lifestyle, but very few of us fit in that category.

Unknown said...

One word sums the whole piece (and argument) "responsibility"
Being raise in a two parent household taught me two things, nurturing your children and working hard to be the best you can be at what you love to do.
I was taught that from both parents. And I have instilled those lessons to my children.
No matter how hard it is to raise children, walking away is not an option. To some it is, but then that’s not working hard enough to be the best you can be.
My wife raised her child (from another marriage) and did both jobs of nurturing and instilling responsibility. It's not easy to do it alone. But she did it, with great success!

Silverfiddle said...

For Jack and Jersey:

Here is further information from the Brookings studies and articles authored by Sawhill and Haskins:


This first link goes into education and other factors besides marriage.

Here is an excellent article by Haskins:


He again stresses the importance of an intact family.

BTW, he is no righwinger, probably more of a Clinton centrist.

If we want to reduce poverty we've got to be able to have open, fact-based discussions.

Anonymous said...

My mother raised me and my two brothers on her own for quite some time. The only help she had was child support, and that was only enough to pay for our tuition (she sent all three of us to Catholic school).

She had a good job, she worked hard, and she was very economically viable. Sure, times were tough and stressful, but she managed to get us through it all despite us having to live off of her income alone. We lived fairly comfortably.

Silverfiddle said...

Jack: Your mom and the many others like her who struggle to overcome life's circumstances for their children are heroes. No one denies that.

Would your mom, those other single parents, (you?) wish single parenthood on others? Would you recommend it over marriage?

Life is not perfect and stuff happens, leaving us in a less than ideal position, that's just life.

But we want to point young people in the right direction. Starting adult life single and pregnant puts one at a decided disadvantage, and many never overcome it.

Jersey McJones said...

My grandmother raised five kids alone after my grandfather died young. It was terribly difficult, but all the kids, my aunts and uncles, grew up to be well-adjusted and successful - a couple of them became pretty big shots.

They were not a particularly religous family. They were in way over the heads with the bills and big home. There were no extended family in the area. Grandma had little professional skills. But they all pulled together and survived and thrived.

There were a couple of very important factors that helped them along.

America, at that time, had a vibrant and growing middle class, with plenty of opportunity for upward mobility. New schools were popping up everywhere. Higher education and heathcare were relatively inexpensive and easily accessable. And there were plenty of jobs for everyone.

Now, thanks to free trade, regressive taxation, monopolistic profiteering in countless sectors, and little to no new infrastruture and institutional investment, Wall Street and the primacy of profit-taking, we have stagnant wages, lousy jobs, less upward mobility than friggin' "socialist" Europe, and a shrinking middle class.

The opportunity to rise from poverty is smaller than ever.

And with money problems being one of the main causes of divorce... well, you can certainly see how all the above factors are significant causes of the single-parent family in the first place!

If you just leave out these factors and point only to the two-parent family argument, you're not taking a serious look at the whole picture.


Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: You obviously ignored my earlier comment where I provided additional links. No one is saying marriage is the only factor, but it is an important one.

Starting out adult life as a single parent is like starting a footrace by shooting yourself in the foot. Yeah, you could make it, but instead of a 90% chance of success, you've now got just a 66%.

BTW, please provide a link to your source stating we have less upward mobility than Europe. And I mean an authoritative one, not the Daily Kook or HuffPo. A no-kidding scholarly study.

Trekkie4Ever said...

Education is the key. And teaching kids about abstaining from being promiscuous, difficult but it can be done.

I come from a single family unit and my mom worked hard her entire life doing her best to support her three little girls and never received a dime from the government, my dad, or anyone else.

It angers me to hear people bash honest-hardworking single parents who do everything in their power from receiving aid from the government. My mom taught us to be independent.

I have seen some single mother's take advantage of the government help and they lie and cheat to get more money. They are the despicable lot that should be criticized.

Anonymous said...

I'll just add my prospective.

I grew up in a single parent home. It was not easy. Those who pursue socialist policies that promote irresponsible behavior, are pieces of human waste that will one day stand countable to God for evils they have wrought in the lives of children who grow up in their welfare system.

Anonymous said...

I would recommend single parenthood over a shitty marriage (pardon my French).

In the best of all possible worlds everyone would have children with the person with whom they end up spending the rest of their lives.

I agree that starting off your adult life pregnant or with a kid makes things difficult, but as Laticia has noted it's all about education and drive to succeed.

I'm divorced, and I made it out of college and will start to get my teaching license here soon.

Anonymous said...

For some reason I'm reminded of a joke I heard years ago about an old-fashioned country preacher.

One Sunday morning, as he was railing from the pulpit in his usual fashion about Man's inherently hopeless, evil nature, the preacher paused for a moment, looked at the congregation, and said in an uncharacteristically low calm voice, "Now, I'd like every woman in his here congregation to lift one of her knees, and then cross her legs."

The congregation stirred, looked around with a puzzled expression on their faces, but finally after a moment or two of feeling befuddled, the good women of the church complied with his odd request.

The minister drew in a deep breath, and prepared to go on with his sermon.

These were the next words the congregation heard thundering from the pulpit:


So, if we taught our girls to keep their legs crossed and their minds open, most of these problems could neatly be avoided.

My great-grandmother instilled a firm belief in two of my great-aunts that they would get pregnant if they let a boy so much as kiss them. [This was literally a hundred years ago before we got "sophisticated."]

Great-grandmother may not have been as ignorant and foolish as she probably sounds to our modern ears.

The life of a perpetually pre-orgasmic Old Maid school teacher may not have been a picnic, but surely it had more merit than the life of one of today's perpetually promiscuous Welfare Queens with six or eight illegitimate children to her credit all feeding at the public trough.

Couldn't we at least hope to find a happy medium somewhere before all is lost once and for all?

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

"America, at that time, had a vibrant and growing middle class, with plenty of opportunity for upward mobility. New schools were popping up everywhere. Higher education and heathcare were relatively inexpensive and easily accessable. And there were plenty of jobs for everyone."


That's one of the truest, best things you've said since I met you not long ago. I agree completely.

Where we disagree is in the reasons for our pitiful decline. I believe collectivism and the labor movement have pushed so hard and made such unreasonable demands since they acquired clout that they have vritually priced American Labor out of existence.

The things you deplore have been an inevitable reaction to the union-backed government overreach that made it all-but-impossible for American Industry to continue making profits without branching out overseas to climates less hostile to Business.

The U.S.S.R. and Red China proved conclusively that Communism does not work, yet the American Labor Movement -- now just another another self-serving established Power Bloc in Washington -- does not want us to profit by these horrible examples.

They continue to pursue goals set by Karl Marx with a zeal that shows no awareness of the colossal failure of the Red Initiatives.

When all is said and done we usually get what our leaders deserve.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Interesting that most of the remarks posted today were by people who had single parent households in their background.

As a matter of fact, SilverFiddle and I may be the only exceptions so far. Not sure about Jez.

~ FreeThinke

Always On Watch said...

Has our society become so emotion-driven that we can no longer analyze the facts as they stand?

We're heading that way as fast as we can go.

For example, in so many college courses now, the operative question posed by the instructor is "How do you feel about that? What emotion does that invoke in you?"

Now, there isn't anything wrong with asking such questions. But to the exclusion of any real analysis? That's what is transpiring in classrooms all over our nation.

My point: the very process of logical thinking and logical discussion is flying out the window.

No wonder America is so polarized!

Bd said...

Whow, so many posters so out to lunch, lol.

Anonymous said...

"Whow [sic}, so many posters so out to lunch, lol."

Only what that I can think of, BD.

I'll give you three guesses as to who it might be.

~ FreeThinke

Jersey McJones said...

I come from an original two-parent household. They're still happily together today. And I'm in my early 40's.


Back then a third of the workforce was unionized, there was no "free trade," we had a top marginal rate well beyond todays and the middle class could afford a far higher share of the revenue, we were building highways and bridges and power grids and schools and hospitals and parks and libraries and all sorts of stuff. Back then we were a far more progressive society - and far more successful.


You make a good point, but like Silver, you're just preaching to choir. The government can't do much about the culture. If anything government is a reflection of the culture, and most certainly not the other way around.

Changing the culture requires grass-roots cultural - not political - movement. We don't want the government telling us how to live. The government's role is to make life more opportune, more balanced and fair. It is the citizens responsibility to make the character of the nation better.

Think of the government as the guys who make a race track. It's their job to make the track safe, properly proportioned, and to provide necessary and prudently placed pit-stops. It is not their job to just make a track however they arbitrarily, subjectively, ideologically want to see it.

We do have serious social problems - some of them can be traced to our general heritage as poor immigrants, some of them can be traced to slavery and racism, some of them can be traced to Western religious stupidity, some of them can be traced to our easy expansion and opportunity in the New World, etc.

We can't really trace these deep, interconnected, multi-generational dispostions to "welfare" and the "New Deal" and the "Great Society" and such. Nor can we put it all on the "Shining city on the Hill" or "American exceptionalism." We have cultural issues far predate all those modern politics.

But we can see certain connections and causalities - and it seems obviously clear to me that the military empire, free trade, and regressive taxation have produced NOTHING but negative results. Period.


Finntann said...

Jack, if I told you not to stick your finger in a lamp socket, would you proceed to list for me those who had and lived? It's all about odds, sure the wealthy can buck them and pay the costs, the poor can gamble on a long shot and win. The question is should they? It is not a question of morality, should I get or stay married or not, it's a question of responsibility...what are the repercussions if I do this?

Jersey said " People do irresponsible things. It happens. As a society, we try to assist them and guide them in a better direction, but more importantly, we try to the children, the innocent victims of irresponsibility"

Yes, people do irresponsible things...and it's our responsibility to pay for their irresponsibility?

And you are right, it is not the childrens fault their parents are idiots.

The problem isn't the single or married parents that have a kid and require assistance... the problem is the single or married parents already on assistance that continue to have more.

We as a society can probably afford helping out now and then, but not continually. As SF said it all comes down to consequences for your actions, shield people from consequences and there is no reason for them to act responsibly.

If you show up for work late once, your boss is going to let it slide, show up late 3 or 4 times a week and you're gonna get fired (consequences).

Today, have a kid when your income is below a predetermined threshold and the government gives you money...have another kid, get more money. See the problem? There are minimal consequences.

I too was raised by my mother when my father passed away when I was eight. She was a single parent and was in no way, shape, or form, irresponsible. She always made the house payment and the utilities, of course I can remember drinking Carnation Instant Milk growing up instead of whole, which I realize now was probably too expensive for her budget. I can also remember being p.o'd because I wanted Jordache jeans and got Wranglers instead. I thought it was mean, I now see it as responsible, why buy one pair when you can get two. I also know know she went without a lot for me, and no matter how tight things were, she was always putting money in the basket at church on Sundays for those more needy than herself.

I grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood and there were many like us, two doors down was an old grandmother raising her daughter's son. There were one or two other kids who had lost a parent. I can't recall any single parents in the neighborhood who were single parents by choice.

What a difference a few decades make, eh?

Hugh Farnham said...


Hear, Hear! If there is anyone God listens to, it is children. Those that have created this corrosive culture will face a reckoning someday.

Even as I write there are organizations (like discoverthenetworks.com) putting together the links between those apologists for liberal society, the NGOs, the endowment funds, and those that run them.

I have hope in our nation's future. We have rough times ahead. Old mores will be re-discovered for the true worth they have.

Those that sought to tear down America will be known and not forgotten.

Z said...

Of course there are exceptions to the statistics SF shares.
But I don't think it's so much education as integrity, "responsible behavior", which lifts up two-parent families and separates them from the typical difficulties that single-parenthood usually creates.
Can anybody argue that coming into the world with the cards stacked against one is more difficult than coming into the world of a two-parent family? Some single parents are probably more conscientious than two-parent families, but the optimum of a mother who can stay at home and give her children the values children absorb from good modeling can't be denied. And, when children see a good example that's worked, they marry and tend to follow that good example.

Will we have again a country of mostly two-parent families? Or do we now? Does anybody see improvements in kids from even 25 years ago? I sure don't.

Jersey said "It is the citizens responsibility to make the character of the nation better."

It's the citizen's responsibility to make the character of his children better by showing hard work and integrity and encouraging education and self-reliance...then the nation will be better.

I don't think we have a chance, personally...those days are over. But they did exist. We need to look at what changed.

Jersey McJones said...

Finntann, yes. We are our brothers keeper. That's what being a stand-up guy is all about.


Anonymous said...

"The problem isn't the single or married parents that have a kid and require assistance... the problem is the single or married parents already on assistance that continue to have more."

I have always believed that anyone who chronically lives at public expense should undergo mandatory sterilization. Once you let someone else take care of you, you ought to be expected to live your life THEIR way. Being dependent should mean that you no longer have the luxury of making choices for yourself. PERIOD.

If we instituted a Draconian policy like that, I'll bet you'd see hundreds of thousands disappear right quick from the welfare rolls.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...


It's all right -- even noble -- to act as our brother's keeper -- if he truly needs our assistance -- but that doesn't mean we should become our brother's slave.

We need to protect the weak, but we should do everything possible to encourage them to become as strong and independent as they possibly can.

Just because someone needs our assistance doesn't mean they should assume the right to dictate to us.

Have you ever taken care of a severely handicapped person?

I have -- and believe me I know how quickly they can assume the role of a despot, if you allow it.

Remember the character Eleanor in The Haunting of Hill House? She let her invalid mother steal and destroy her life to the point where she felt she had no right to live at all after her mother finally died, and was driven to commit suicide.

That kind of self-sacrifice is no good. It becomes a mental illness.

~ FreeThinke

Divine Theatre said...

I was behind a woman at the cash register at WalMart last night. She paid her $460 bill with a Link card. Her cart was FILLED! I paid for my $160 worth of groceries and went into the parking lot. There was the woman, who just spent MY money on groceries, loading her HumVee! Her filthy kids were in the car crying for she had left them there while she shopped. The oldest was probably four years of age.
Being your "brothers keeper" is one thing, Jersey.
We've been had!
The message to these entitlist wretches is "You keep making irresponsible decisions while I make sacrifices to feed your unwanted, undisciplined spawn!" They'll keep making more...
When I was in my 20"s I was behind an obese, pregnant teenager who used a public aid card to pay for her food. She turned to her equally obese mother who just purchased two cartons of cigarettes and traded the food for the cigarettes...in front of God and everyone!
The elderly gentleman behind me was buying a bag of generic beans. He was so old his hands were shaking and he dropped the change he held. I bent down to pick up the fallen change and placed it back in his trembling hand. I was utterly sickened by what I had just seen.
That undisciplined, obese pig was creating even more tax parasites while this gentelman could barely get by...and I will bet my WalMart hotdogs he worked hard his whole life!

Anonymous said...

I can certainly understand your feelings, Ms. Theatre, but these unsavory souls who grossly take advantage of the system as you describe are as much its victim as you and I.

It's the system, itself, that is at fault. It is not beingabused; it is, in and of itself an abuse -- an abuse of the public trust -- an abuse of the spirit of Charity -- an abuse of public funds.

Politicians created this monstrosity in order to buy themselves permanent incumbency, but Marxists dreamed it all up as a deliberate method of undermining the Christian Church and our democratic Republican form of government.

If you're not already familiar with her, you'd be interested to read articles by Star Parker -- a remarkably astute black woman who was born on what-she-calls The Liberal Plantation, was raised in degradation, but saw her situation for what it was, and by her own volition rescued herself from the peonage into which she was born. Now she writes articles and books and lectures all over the country on the evils of Welfare Statism and related topics.

Star Parker is living proof that miracles DO happen.

~ FreeThinke

Finntann said...

FT, Sterilization is unnecessary, all you need to do is cut off the money.

I always figured the best way to go was to provide assistance for one child, if they had three, well that's their stupidity.

Jersey, if my real blood brother screws up... sure I'd help him out. If he screwed up over and over at the same thing and in the same way... well, honestly? He'd be on his own. In order for people to learn from their mistakes they must suffer the consequences, otherwise you are what is called an enabler.

Enabler: one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (such as substance abuse) by providing excuses or making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior.

And our government has become one hell of an enabler.

DT: I was shopping at an A&P in Sandwich, Massachusetts back in 1991... my pregnant wife was craving artichoke, so I went to the store about 9 pm. As I checked out, a fiftyish year old gentlemen in front of me paid for his purchase with foodstamps. I was checked out quickly and caught up to him in the parking lot. Coincidentally, we were parked next to each other. I climbed into my 1981 AMC Spirit as he climbed into his relatively new Mercedes 560 SEL. New in 1990 that car was in the neighborhood of 70 grand, even if his was a first model year (1986) it had to be worth close to 40-50K.

While it's true he could have bought and paid for the car before falling on hard times, but were our situations reversed, I'd sell the damn car long before I wound up on food stamps.


Anonymous said...

In a free society you are surprised and upset at people who live differently, than you think they should. Who's the idiot?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous...who's surprised?
Disgusted at people who show little integrity..? Yes.
People who don't feel disgusted are the idiots, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

This is 2011, join reality.
Lots of things disgust me, but they have the right to make their own decisions about their own behavior.

Magpie said...

My grandfather was one of 14 children who survived infancy growing up in a smoke and brick hellhole on the London docks circa 1910, where his father was a cop. At age 14 he entered the Royal Navy and did not see his mother again for years.

I’m pretty glad his mum did have so many kids though - in spite of grinding poverty - or I wouldn’t be here today, enjoying my internet connection.

It has NEVER at any time in history been common practice to not have kids if you are poor. People all over the world who live in sewers still do it.
You can howl at the moon against the human tide and it will avail you naught. Imperatives more powerful than any ideology are at work.

I realise you are talking about marriage here however…
It’s true, we’ve let that go as a bulwark against failing to provide for children, but marriages were surely no happier then than now.

What was different was that people had more static communities. Generation upon generations of your ancestors never went far out of sight of their home village. In a space equivalent to a modern home, my grandfather probably lived with his and maybe half a dozen other families. A boy had a veritable army of older brothers and uncles and cousins to keep them out of trouble, teach them to be men, and define their life’s path.

These days there are vastly more options, whether you are poor or not, and vastly greater mobility.
The elastic of community has snapped under that. Yes we have other modes of connectivity but they do not function in that same way.

And it all happened so quick. In just over a lifetime, suddenly there was this ‘middle class’ of a post-industrial society

Progressives (I am one) do not “hate such personal responsibility talk”.
You’re right, it comes down to responsibility.
But not just for ourselves. If my sister dies I have to see her children are taken care of. If a neighbour beats his kids I have to call the authorities (the law forbids me from threatening him personally). If a kid turns up homeless in my street I have to be satisfied that someone somewhere is on the case.

Silverfiddle said...

You make good points Jez.

Government has replaced family and alleviated us of our responsibility to our kinfolk.

@ Anon: This is 2011, join reality.
Lots of things disgust me, but they have the right to make their own decisions about their own behavior.

Not on my dime they don't.

Anonymous said...


As Magpie says, not having children has never been considered an option by the poor. That does seem self-evident. If they thought differently, perhaps they wouldn't be so poor.

Lord love the children! They are the crux of the matter. As I've already said, innocent children should not have to suffer for the foolishness and immorality of their biological parents, but then you and I should not be expected to raise them at our expense -- especially when we have children of our own to take care of and their future to secure.

I'm afraid the only sure way to prevent the spread of poverty and injustice to innocent children is to prevent delinquent parents from having children in the first place.

That's just common sense.

As you said, Finn, the first illegitimate child should be helped by society, because everyone should be forgiven for making one tragic error. After that, however, tubal ligation is very much in order. Much cheaper to fund public sterilization of wayward mothers than to raise an infinite number of bastard children at public expense.


~ FreeThinke

Rob said...

Maybe this is off-topic a bit, but perhaps if taxation were proportional, that might serve as a deterrent of sorts. That is, if my neighbor (single parent or otherwise) had to pay a proportionally far greater share of the local taxes that go to education because s/he has 5 children as opposed to me having one, s/he might (just maybe) actually put some thought into whether child #6 was a viable, sensible option. The next kiddo could, after all, seriously cut into the Bud Light budget...

I've always had a big issue with the fact that for 20+ years I've been paying through the nose - more than 51% of my property taxes go to the school district - and didn't even have a child! Sure there needs to be a baseline that we all share, but those who have multiple kids in school should shoulder a heavier taxation burden.

On a wholly different tangent, access to affordable health care would be much less critical if parents would simply pay a little attention to the garbage that they're feeding their children. Food targeted at kids is absolute junk. How dare we be shocked at the rising tide of ADHD and bullying when we feed our children Cinnabons and Red Bulls for breakfast. For Christ's sake, if you can't be bothered to - at a minimum - prepare your child a solid meal to start the day, then why the hell did you have kids to begin with?!!

jez said...

"Sure there needs to be a baseline that we all share, but those who have multiple kids in school should shoulder a heavier taxation burden."

Couldn't disagree more, the benefit of a generally educated population is felt by all. You can view each pupil as paying for his own education during his future working life if that helps, ideologically. Also, consider the impact of the quality of local schools on the resale value of your property.

Rob said...

Jez, I don’t mind helping to educate the populace in general, but my portion of the tax burden should not be the same as my neighbor who has a whole gaggle of kids!

If those who opt to procreate far, far beyond their means are never subject to any real consequences of their irresponsible actions, what will prompt that to change? Hit these people in the pocketbook and maybe they'll learn a lesson!

Anonymous said...

Jez is right, Rob. No man is an island. Like it or not we are interdependent creatures. The better educated our children become, the better our society is apt to be -- for everyone. Do you want moronic, untutored savages looking after you when you get to the wheelchair stage? I doubt it.

However, the quality of public education is so poor these days I am not sure it's worth funding, so in that sense you are right. but, I would prefer to see a reformation in educational policies, which would mean a return to promoting literacy, knowledge of history unblemished by PC thinking, good skills in arithmetic, courses in thrift, budgeting, balancing a checkbook, saving and investment, sound moral principles based on Christianity, and appreciation for Art, Music Architecture, Literature worldwide.

~ FreeThinke

Trekkie4Ever said...

I'm just going to say one more thing. Those who truly need help should get it, period. And I believe there should be stricter guidelines for freeloaders and abusers of the service.

I know how Divine felt, I have seen it too many times. These women with manicured nails, designer clothes, and driving expensive cars, and lest we forget, tattoos using a Link card.

It disgusts me. I can't afford any of that and both I and my husband work.

Finntann said...

Jez, you've invented the self-licking ice cream cone.

It benefits me to pay for their education, because if I don't, you're going to make me pay for their sustainment further down the road.

You assume it is everyone's burden to pay for your choices, but seriously, what if the tax you paid for your neighbors seven kids over twelve years is what kept you from sending your own kid to college, would that be fair?

Take for example West Chester County NY, where the average property tax is $8404, if half of that goes to schools, that is $4202, over 12 years that is $50,000. Would $50,000 not go along way towards sending one of your kids to college?

jez said...

"It benefits me to pay for their education, because if I don't, you're going to make me pay for their sustainment further down the road."

Wherever you got that from, it wasn't from anything I said.

Quite aside from unemployment costs, the benefit of mass education is greater than it's financial cost. The externalities are just so enormous. Imagine how much more everything would cost if you couldn't rely on the general population's literacy. Every sign, package label, announcement etc. would have to be made with little pictures or through audio.
That's worth it, even if that means my own kid has to work or get a loan through college.

As an ideological footnote, I would add that education is kind of the whole point of society, and as such it should be publicly funded with pride and relish, not begrudged like some of you seem to.
Also ideologically: college should also be publicly funded, but also a good deal rarer than it is. It should be reserved, pardon my bad language, for the academic elite, not be reduced to a 3 year creche for teenagers.

Anonymous said...

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