(Post-Gazette) Mark Roth—Poverty: Who is talking about it?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Poverty has not been front and center in American political debate since the passage of the welfare reform act in 1996.

But a new book may have started to change that.

Conservative scholar Charles Murray, who created intense partisan conflict with "The Bell Curve," his 1994 book on inheritance and intelligence, has now touched a nerve with "Coming Apart: the State of White America, 1960-2010."

In it, he argues that there is a growing gap between highly educated, married, hardworking, affluent Americans and unmarried, less educated, chronically unemployed poorer Americans.

With one run of the printing presses, he has reignited the culture wars.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentPolitics in General

Posted March 9, 2012 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. David Keller wrote:

There are some real misunderstandings in this article, unboubedly written by an “expert”.  When I was in law school my trial advocacy teacher told us an expert is a man who knows 1000 differennt ways to make love, but doesn’t actually know any women. While there are poor in America, who we need to be concerned about, there is also a permanent lower class created by the civil rights industry to insure a permanent voting bloc. That’s what the writer is talking about that no one wants to touch or even name, althoug me cynical guess is, he doesn’t actually know any.  In SC lawyers get court appointed, pro-bono, to represent people who are having their parental rights terminated.  Without out exception everyone I have represented over the last 30 years falls into the permanet lower class. My current Department of Social Services client is 30 years old with seven children.  All the children on on the new “block granted” AFDC.  Mom is on social security disability for “bipolar disorder”.  Dad receives “disability”. They are all on food stamps.  They get housing assistance and Medicaid.  She gets Medicare because of her SSD. I am sure all of you think I am not compassionate, but I’m not really mad at my clients. These people have been duped by the government.  They could work and have some hope of getting into the middle class if they had only 2 or 3 children instead of 7. But it will NEVER happen for them. And this family is NOT untypical. The best I can say is in January, there was a computer problem that caused the EBTcards in the SC Upstate to be re-loaded late.  One of our local news channels interviewed a victim of this tragedy.  She was a 30-ish, attractive young woman who said (if I’m lying I’m dying) this was a huge hardship on her because “I’m having to use my own money to buy groceries.” I rest my case.

March 9, 12:32 pm | [comment link]
2. Yebonoma wrote:

My true story is helping buy and deliver groceries to a family being aided by my church, only to find out that they have a bigger and newer TV than me, better home stereo than me, multiple gaming consoles, a decent car, and were living in a modest but entirely habitable, air conditioned house.  Yes, I live in a “better” area of town, and in a larger house, but that’s about it.  Also, I would never spend $200 on athletic shoes, or stand in line to buy any kind of shoe.  I’m having fun seeing my health insurance premiums now cost more per month than my mortgage.  They have gone up over 30%, just since Obamacare came in to insure that health care costs will be contained.

What I see is not a cultural divide, but a cultural chasm, and much of it is being fed by the governmental class and people like Jesse Jackson who make their money off of and derive their power base from people dependent on so called “Obama dollars” dispensed by their Uncle Sugar.

March 9, 3:43 pm | [comment link]
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