2009 November 02 Monday
Lots Of American Children Living On The Dole

The future of the American family will get even worse than this.

Nearly half of American children – including 90 percent of black children and 90 percent of children who spend their childhoods in single-parent households – will eat meals paid for by food stamps at some point during childhood, reports a Cornell researcher.

When poor people have babies you pay. When people with children get divorced you pay. When single girls let themselves get knocked up and decide to keep the baby you pay.

Nearly one-quarter of U.S. children will live in homes that receive food stamps for five or more years. Food stamps are important indicators of poverty and risk of food insecurity, "two of the most detrimental economic conditions affecting a child's health," says Thomas A. Hirschl, Cornell professor of development sociology and co-author of a study published in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (163:11).

The study is based on an analysis of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a 32-year study of about 4,800 U.S. households; it builds on the authors' 2004 research that reported that half of all Americans will use food stamps during adulthood.

The welfare state supports this. Guess who has more babies?

Putting those risk factors together, the researchers found that 97 percent of black children living in non-married households where the household head has less than 12 years of education will have received food stamps, compared with 21 percent of white children living in married households whose head of household has 12 or more years of education.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 November 02 10:02 PM  Democracy Failure


Comments
averros said at November 3, 2009 2:22 AM:

When you subsidise something you get more of it. Pauper babies are no exception.

mrm said at November 3, 2009 7:32 AM:

so what do we do? require IUDs for people who don't graduate high school or get on food stamps? that's taking away reproductive rights sir. this will probably be self corrected when america goes through the federal financing crisis due to hit the fed government and many programs must be scaled back.

food stamps enable the govt's efforts to hide the severity of the economic crisis. it has taken the soup lines and just moved them directly into people's homes. a lot of the unemployment extensions, food stamps and social welfare safety nets have hidden the problems, and when the public financing music stops, it's going to be a mess.

Mirco said at November 3, 2009 10:55 AM:

Take away the food stamps or take away the right to vote from people receiving government money.
Without food stamps or other subsides people would be forced to find a job (any jobs).

sg said at November 3, 2009 12:59 PM:

No way should non taxpayers vote. If these people didn't get gov't freebies they would have to work. Instead of us paying taxes and getting nothing for it, these "desperate" folks could be doing our laundry and scrubbing our toilets like illegals do.

patrikios said at November 3, 2009 1:45 PM:

1 out every 5 children in married, white, college-educated households is on food stamps at some point- shows you what this economy is doing to the core of our middle class.
Agree with mrm- when these benefits run out or can't be paid for, we are in deep s**t- no more ability to paper over our economic problems.
I would try and encourage long-term welfare recipients, people with criminal records, no HS diploma or skills, etc. to use birth control (IUDs, Norplant, etc.) Government can't do that though, and religious charities won't do it, so who will?

averros said at November 3, 2009 10:59 PM:

> Without food stamps or other subsides people would be forced to find a job (any jobs).

And so won't have much time for fucking. Problem solved.

Mthson said at November 4, 2009 7:15 AM:

Religious conservatives don't seem to be helping. Discouraging or restricting condoms, birth control, and abortions probably wouldn't have the end result they imagine it would.

mrm said at November 4, 2009 7:45 AM:

Maybe the founding fathers were onto something by restricting the right to vote to land owning yeomen. When the Bush tax cuts expire, the poor are going to get slammed with a giant tax increase. Wonder how the MSM will spin that.

Trent Telenko said at November 4, 2009 12:48 PM:

>1 out every 5 children in married, white, college-educated
>households is on food stamps at some point- shows you what
>this economy is doing to the core of our middle class.

Divorce is a bigger generator of food stamp use for the middle or working class children than the current or previous recessions.

Trent Telenko said at November 4, 2009 12:59 PM:

>Putting those risk factors together, the researchers found
>that 97 percent of black children living in non-married
>households where the household head has less than 12 years
>of education will have received food stamps, compared with
>21 percent of white children living in married households
>whose head of household has 12 or more years of education.

This is a data artifact of a loser culture in the American underclass.

If you want children to escape this, you remove them from the culture and place them in a better culture.

The issue found with Federal Section 8 rental housing is that often culture comes looking for those who try and escape it.

See:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/memphis-crime


A well-known Gautreaux study, released in 1991, showed spectacular results. The sociologist James Rosenbaum at Northwestern University had followed 114 families who had moved to the suburbs, although only 68 were still cooperating by the time he released the study. Compared to former public-housing residents who’d stayed within the city, the suburban dwellers were four times as likely to finish high school, twice as likely to attend college, and more likely to be employed. Newsweek called the program “stunning” and said the project renewed “one’s faith in the struggle.” In a glowing segment, a 60 Minutes reporter asked one Gautreaux boy what he wanted to be when he grew up. “I haven’t really made up my mind,” the boy said. “Construction worker, architect, anesthesiologist.” Another child’s mother declared it “the end of poverty” for her family.


and


Clark’s grandson is named Unique, although everyone calls him Neek. Outside school that day, Neek had been a victim of one of the many strange dynamics of the new urban suburbia. Neek is tall and quiet and doesn’t rush to change out of his white polo shirt and blue khakis after school. He spends most of his afternoons in the house, watching TV or doing his homework.

Neek’s middle-class habits have made him, unwittingly, a perfect target for homegrown gangs. Gang leaders, cut loose from the housing projects, have adapted their recruiting efforts and operations to their new setting. Lately, they’ve been going after “smart, intelligent, go-to-college-looking kid[s], without gold teeth and medallions,” said Sergeant Lambert Ross, an investigator with the Memphis Police. Clean-cut kids serve the same function as American recruits for al-Qaeda: they become the respectable front men. If a gang member gets pulled over with guns or drugs, he can hand them to the college boy, who has no prior record. The college boy, raised outside the projects, might be dreaming of being the next 50 Cent, or might be too intimidated not to join. Ross told me that his latest batch of arrests involved several kids from two-car-garage families.

Neek generally stayed away from gang types, so some older kids beat him with bats. No one is sure whether a gun was fired. As these things go, he got off easy. He was treated at the emergency room and went back to school after a few days.

In the most literal sense, the national effort to diffuse poverty has succeeded. Since 1990, the number of Americans living in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty—meaning that at least 40 percent of households are below the federal poverty level—has declined by 24percent. But this doesn’t tell the whole story. Recently, the housing expert George Galster, of Wayne State University, analyzed the shifts in urban poverty and published his results in a paper called “A Cautionary Tale.” While fewer Americans live in high-poverty neighborhoods, increasing numbers now live in places with “moderate” poverty rates, meaning rates of 20 to 40 percent. This pattern is not necessarily better, either for poor people trying to break away from bad neighborhoods or for cities, Galster explains. His paper compares two scenarios: a city split into high-poverty and low-poverty areas, and a city dominated by median-poverty ones. The latter arrangement is likely to produce more bad neighborhoods and more total crime, he concludes, based on a computer model of how social dysfunction spreads.

Studies show that recipients of Section8 vouchers have tended to choose moderately poor neighborhoods that were already on the decline, not low-poverty neighborhoods. One recent study publicized by HUD warned that policy makers should lower their expectations, because voucher recipients seemed not to be spreading out, as they had hoped, but clustering together. Galster theorizes that every neighborhood has its tipping point—a threshold well below a 40 percent poverty rate—beyond which crime explodes and other severe social problems set in. Pushing a greater number of neighborhoods past that tipping point is likely to produce more total crime. In 2003, the Brookings Institution published a list of the 15 cities where the number of high-poverty neighborhoods had declined the most. In recent years, most of those cities have also shown up as among the most violent in the U.S., according to FBI data.

M Stein said at November 4, 2009 2:04 PM:

"When poor people have babies you pay. When people with children get divorced you pay. When single girls let themselves get knocked up and decide to keep the baby you pay."

Indeed, and it is utterly immoral that people should be forced to pay for others who fail to use contraception when they can't afford children.

off topic but amusing blog entry:

Richard Dawkins is a Hypocrite, a Fool, and a Disgrace
http://liberalbiorealism.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/richard-dawkins-is-a-hypocrite-a-fool-and-a-disgrace/

patrikios said at November 4, 2009 3:01 PM:

It may be that divorce is a factor. But the recession and the asset-bubble economy are not good for the middle class, and fall especially hard on younger people who have recently started families.

Engineer-Poet said at November 4, 2009 4:50 PM:

Non-support of children is something you can be jailed for.  The problem is that it is only done to men who have incomes.  If you jailed women for having babies they can't support, they would line up for free IUDs.  No coercion, just responsibility.

lindenen said at November 4, 2009 5:13 PM:

They jail men with no incomes as well for child support. Happened to a relative who'd been laid off this past weekend. It should be illegal to jail someone for this.

Randall Parker said at November 4, 2009 5:43 PM:

Trent,

And we pay taxes to get the Section 8 plague.

If poor people are such bad influences on each other that they need to be moved away from each other then the obvious conclusion is that the parents are bad influences. If parents are bad influences then they shouldn't have become parents in the first place.

E-P,

I say offer money to poor women to get sterilized. Anyone should get free sterilization and the cash reward should be higher the lower your average earned income was the last 5 years.

Welfare Princess said at November 6, 2009 4:35 PM:

“Guess who has more babies?”

So that’s what the panic is all about, that “they” will have more children and swamp out
all the hard-working folks here, who somehow still find plenty of time to post disparaging
comments on blogs.


“When poor people have babies you pay.”

"Poor people" are not the only ones who receive food stamps; some middle-income families
with many children also do. So perhaps this post should be classified under capitalism
failure.


“When single girls let themselves get knocked up and decide to keep the baby you pay.”

Last I checked, this process required men. So why do you insist on singling out the
women, excuse me, girls to scapegoat?

Welfare Princess said at November 6, 2009 4:50 PM:

Mirco and sg,

Most adults who receive food stamps either already have jobs or are searching for work.

Randall Parker said at November 7, 2009 8:39 AM:

Welfare Princess,

I do not want to pay to support you.

Singling out women: They are the ones who decide whether to have a baby.

Middle class receiving food stamps: You can't make a lot of money and receive food stamps.

Anonymous said at November 7, 2009 11:58 AM:

Wow...alot of self righteous assholes making comments...and no, I'm not receiving foodstamps. So far, my husband and I have managed to keep our heads above the water, but with the cost of everything going up and our wages being stagnant, it may just be a matter of time before we have to swallow our pride and apply for assistance. I hope not. Btw...I have a college degree, so please don't tell me to get my education. I have one.

Welfare Princess said at November 7, 2009 3:17 PM:

Middle-income is not necessarily middle class.
You are trying to have your cake and eat it too; bemoaning the fact that so many people
are on food stamps, yet trying to marginalize them.


“And we pay taxes to get the Section 8 plague.”

Section 8 applicants undergo criminal background checks. Maybe the screening needs to
be more rigorous; but it’s not a reason to throw out the baby with the bathwater.


“If poor people are such bad influences on each other that they need to be moved away
from each other then the obvious conclusion is that the parents are bad influences.”

I don’t see how the conclusion follows. Besides, the “bad influences” process is not
necessarily mutual. Usually it’s a one-way process. Perhaps if you didn’t view poor people
as a tax-gobbling monolithic block, you would realize that.


“Ross told me that his latest batch of arrests involved several kids from two-car-garage
families.”

Let me guess, when you read that, you automatically assumed that they were section 8
residents, or that at the very least they were “corrupted” by them. It would behoove you to realize that the affluent are not all law-abiding citizens.

rob said at November 7, 2009 3:50 PM:

“When single girls let themselves get knocked up and decide to keep the baby you pay.”

Last I checked, this process required men. So why do you insist on singling out the
women, excuse me, girls to scapegoat?

You have not checked recently, or you are lying. Which one? There is exactly one person who decides to have a baby: the pregnant woman. Roe v. Wade decided this. Maybe you think it was awful, that doesn't matter. It is the law.

The scale of the problem is the difficulty. The greater the fraction of people who can't or won't support support themselves, the less the productive can give each one of them. The country can have unlimited welfare for a while, maybe even a couple more generations, before it collapses under too many nonproductive consumer. Or, we could have sustainable welfare, where welfare recepients are managed to ensure that they don't kill the system that supports them. In the short-term, management looks cruel. In the long term, it keeps welfare recipients from starving to death. Call me crazy, but I don't hate anyone so much that I want to see their grandchildren live and die like Zimbabweans.

We can't rely on welfare mothers to police themselves: they have demonstrated their inability to think ahead. Or, if you prefer, they have shown they don't care what they impose on other people. Either way, they are not capable of making of further important decisions.

Engineer-Poet is exactly right. Dead-beat parents, regardless of gender, which is a mere social construct anyway, should be held accountable for their behaviors. Prison, and pay the state back for the welfare their irresponsibility consumed.


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