2013 December 09 Monday
Shelter Life For Children In New York City

The Gray Lady is clueless on what is to be done. What is most notably wrong with this picture?

She shares a crowded, mouse-infested room with her parents and seven siblings, who sleep doubled up on torn mattresses.


By the time Mr. Bloomberg was elected, children made up 40 percent of shelter residents.

Does it ever occur to NY Times reporters and editors that really really poor people shouldn't have 7 kids? [edit: 8 kids] That's the most glaringly obvious fact that ought to merit comment. I mean, just what happens in the minds of the reporters and editors who work on a story like that one? The "War On Poverty" commenced in the 1960s. How's that working out kids?

If you read the article pay attention to how many government employees pop up in the story. Shelter operators, teachers, shelter inspectors, shelter janitors, teachers, and others. These poor folks are living in deep government of a very affluent and very liberal city which strongly supports the welfare state. How is that working out?

The Left will make no headway against poverty by limiting their use of reason.

Update: There is a pointlessness to most of mainstream political debate because it rarely gets anywhere near the evidence about underlying assumptions. What causes some people to do terribly in life? This has been researched. But the Left doesn't want to know the answers.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2013 December 09 11:16 PM 

Sgt. Joe Friday said at December 10, 2013 7:22 AM:

The purpose of anti-poverty programs is not necessarily to reduce poverty, it's to create unionized public sector jobs. The dues then flow back to the Democratic party in the form of union contributions to campaigns. If poverty is reduced at all, that's seen as a bonus I suppose, but eradication of poverty would pose its own set of problems, i.e. there would no longer be a need for a "war on poverty" and the jobs and political influence that accompany same.

This same dynamic can be seen with organizations like MADD. Having accomplished its original purpose of stigmatizing drunk driving*, it has morphed into a neo-prohibitionist outfit, demonstrating that once an infrastructure is established and is generating cash flow and jobs, it almost never goes away.

* It succeeded BTW. Nowadays DUI is considered a low rent crime that is basically the province of illegal aliens and other assorted losers.

Abelard Lindsey said at December 10, 2013 8:32 AM:

Put birth control in the water supply.

Vektor said at December 10, 2013 9:06 AM:

"When you subsidize something you get more of it."

Bob Arctor said at December 10, 2013 9:14 AM:

"She shares a crowded, mouse-infested room with her parents and seven siblings"

It's actually worse than seven kids; that's eight kids.

Black Death said at December 10, 2013 11:55 AM:

Did you ever get the idea that the purpose of all these "poverty programs" isn't to end poverty but to perpetuate it? More spending, more jobs for social workers, bureaucrats, inspectors, teachers, welfare officials, etc. - but nothing seems to change. The official poverty rate today is about 15%, just where it was when the "War on Poverty" started in 1965. Yet the graph in the linked NYT article shows that the number of children in shelters has roughly quadrupled in the last thirty years. Truly heart rending stories such as this one are used to stoke the idea that "we're not doing enough" to fight poverty and improve the lives of these unfortunate children. Witout a doubt it's the Republicans' fault.

Jim said at December 10, 2013 12:04 PM:

How much would one have to earn to support 8 kids in a comfortable lifstyle? How much would a house with 9 bedrooms cost? I have enough trouble supporting four cats.

unsung said at December 10, 2013 2:31 PM:

More and more I am starting to become convinced the world is basically evil, in the sense that those with power (incl. the MM) are insane in ways that benefit themselves. In this case I define insanity as righteous hypocrisy.

destructure said at December 10, 2013 7:24 PM:

How much would one have to earn to support 8 kids in a comfortable lifestyle?

When you boil it down to essentials and shop frugally it wouldn't cost much more to raise 8 kids than 2. The biggest costs are rent and utilities which would be the same regardless. The extra beans, rice and used clothes are negligible. Even the clothes could be handed down. So you're really just looking at a little extra food. Two people making minimum wage could easily do it. The problem is that taxpayers are supporting their damn kids. And, since it's free money, they're not frugal. The article also says they haven't worked in years. They're methadone addicts which means they used to be on heroine.

How much would a house with 9 bedrooms cost?

They don't need 9 bedrooms. Three is more than sufficient. One for the older boys, one for the older girls and one for the parents and smallest children. Though apparently one bedroom is enough for this family. Even with children the parents found enough privacy to keep having more. I'll bet they were f'cking with their kids in the room. That's sex education right there. It won't be long before their kids are making more little Democrats for us to support.

Randall Parker said at December 10, 2013 9:06 PM:

Black Death, unsung,

I think some on the political left who write for the media don't want to admit that they are not smart enough to earn really big bucks. So they rationalize that all lower class people are just victims on an even bigger scale in order to rationalize away the idea in their mind that they are inadequate or inferior.


Cats are like welfare recipients: ungrateful, demanding.


What about medical care? What about child care while the 2 parents work?

Black Death said at December 12, 2013 8:31 AM:

RP -

I think you're right. Those who write for the MSM are, with a few notable exceptions, very liberal. They have attended prominent universities with very liberal campuses and been indoctrinated by leftist faculty. To them, the world is a giant morality play, populated by oppressed "victims," angels (the lefties) and demons (conservatives of various stripes). Most of what they write is designed to perpetuate this fantastic vision. If poverty exists, it's just because we don't spend enough on the poor. Plus racism, of course. What other conclusion is possible?

What private business could operate this way? Consider the "War on Poverty." We've spent trillions of dollars on this fiasco in the fifty years or so that it's been around. Yet the poverty rate hasn't budged. Logic permits only one conclusion - this stuff doesn't work. Yet it just rolls on and on like a river, occasionally flooding its banks. Or Head Start - billions spent with virtually nothing to show for it. Or the Department of Education, which was carved out of the old HEW by Jimmy Carter in a cynical payoff to the teachers unions and bureaucrats. Over a trillion dollars have been spent on the care and feeding of the DOE in the approximately 35 years it's been around, yet test scores haven't improved. Only in government do failed programs just keep on getting bigger.

There are a lot of potential fixes here - a balanced budget amendment, sunset provisions for all legislation, term limits for congress-critters, etc. But none of this is going to happen, at least not until the wheels start to come off.

CamelCaseRob said at December 12, 2013 12:11 PM:

Leftists have things backward. Poverty doesn't create broken people. Broken people create poverty. And by broken people I mean people who have "issues" such that they really can't thrive in a modern society. They could hack it as hunter-gatherers or subsistence farmers and that is about it. The obvious answer is to create less of such people by not allowing them to have children.

destructure said at December 13, 2013 1:43 AM:

Randall -- What about medical care? What about child care while the 2 parents work?

You're right about healthcare. I hate to say it but the state would pick up healthcare on the kids. I hate the idea of other people footing the bills but no one thinks twice about others picking up the bill for education. As for childcare, I know parents who work different shifts so there is always someone with the kids. Alternately, a retired relative could look after them.

Randall Parker said at December 14, 2013 1:13 PM:


The cost of health care in America is over $12 per hour worked. The number is rising. The lower classes are a very large net cost on the middle and upper classes.


The leftists are Blank Slate faithful. They gave up supernatural religion and replaced it with a religion about a glorious humanity.

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