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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Government Solutions On Poverty

Walter Williams is disgusted by George Bush's speech after Katrina where he claimed that poverty's roots was "in a history of racial discrimination". Williams asks how one group of blacks are about 40% in poverty while another is at 10%. There is a trait common to one group and not the other. That same differential trait is found among whites where one group is 26% in poverty and the other 6%. The differential trait is marriage.

Williams advises that in 1960 28% of black females did not marry and illegitimacy was 22%. Now, never-married black women is at 56% and illegitimacy is at 70%. Kay Hymowitz has written that one cultural phenomenon is that marriage and child-rearing are considered separate matters. Black women want children early and care less about the father as husband material. They prefer to take a longer look for the "right man" and are willing to marry much later, if at all. So despite government programs to teach safe sex and provide birth control (including abortions), the message has been missed. Unintended consequences or untenable assumptions?

Hymowitz writes:

But the truth was that underclass girls often wanted to have babies; they didn’t see it as a problem that they were young and unmarried. They did not follow the middle-class life script that read: protracted adolescence, college, first job, marriage—and only then children. They did not share the belief that children needed mature, educated mothers who would make their youngsters’ development the center of their lives. Access to birth control couldn’t change any of that.

At any rate, failing to define the problem accurately, advocates were in no position to find the solution. Teen pregnancy not only failed to go down, despite all the public attention, the tens of millions of dollars, and the birth control pills that were thrown its way. It went up—peaking in 1990 at 117 pregnancies per 1,000 teenage girls, up from 105 per 1,000 in 1978, when the Guttmacher report was published. About 80 percent of those young girls who became mothers were single, and the vast majority would be poor.


A similar conclusion is found in Charles Murray's article "Rediscovering the Underclass". He contends the under-class is created by self-destructive behavior. Returning to the Bush quote, Murray makes an important point:

Hurricane Katrina temporarily blew away the screens that we have erected to keep the underclass out of sight and out of mind. We are now to be treated to a flurry of government efforts from politicians who are shocked, shocked, by what they saw. What comes next is depressingly predictable.

Murray asks who is more contemptible?:

-Democrats who are rediscovering poverty and blaming it on George W. Bush, or Republicans who are rediscovering poverty and claiming that the government can fix it.

While who wins the contemptibility contest can be argued is a tie, I think the latter wins by a step. The latter's approach, while arguably a means for political survival in the PC world dictated by the former's cronies in the press and academia (and France), means they sell out their convictions for the sake of some votes. It shows a lack of courage. The American voter, even if it means a victory by the slimmest of margins, wants candor and courage to face problems head-on. Here is where I want my leaders to show me where they stand. That is why Bush won my vote on the terror front. And still does. That is why I am so disappointed.

Though, look at the alternative. It is a close call and we may need Joe Buck and Tim McCarver to analyze the replays.

3 Comments:

At 9:19 AM, Blogger rokkgod said...

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At 11:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 6:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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