Destroying The Poor To Save Them


Posted: September 29, 2013 at 2:04 a.m.

Many unintended ill effects of the Affordable Care Act are unknown, but we could learn from federal antipoverty efforts. Expect a practical and moral disaster.

This story is only available from our archives.

Opinion, Pages 11 on 09/29/2013

I don't know if it's worth the time and energy to answer this. Much of the same garbage first appeared in Thomas Sowell's column in the ADG about a week ago.
So now poor people are not allowed the luxury of having refrigerators.
Or a family with babies and small children in it can get along without a washing machine.
Seems to me that Sowell and Rogers are saying that people are not really poor unless they are homeless or living in a shack in the woods without any modern amenities.

Posted by: Coralie

September 29, 2013 at 3:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

"In 2011, 75,748,000 homes or 65.9 percent of all occupied homes in the United States had central air conditioning; another 22.7 percent had room units."
That's not what I would call "more than 80%"
Cost of a NEW AC window unit ranges from about $150 at Best Buy.
+ You can have an AC unit without using it. Having lived in Fargo ND, Minneapolis, MN, and Scranton, PA , I can testify that you wouldn't use your AC very much of the time in those towns.
I have lived many places without AC including Florida Gulf Coast, San Diego, and Fayetteville..

Posted by: Coralie

September 29, 2013 at 4:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

The biggest dishonesty in this column is saying that the War on Poverty in the 1960s didn't work because it has been shredded in the half century since.
Still "In the decade following the 1964 introduction of the war on poverty, poverty rates in the U.S. dropped to their lowest level since comprehensive records began in 1958: from 17.3% in the year the Economic Opportunity Act was implemented to 11.1% in 1973. They have remained between 11 and 15.2% ever since....
The most dramatic decrease in poverty was among Americans over 65, which fell from 28.5% in 1966 to 10.1% today."

Posted by: Coralie

September 29, 2013 at 4:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE Sowell
We've been through this before. See

Here is the article by Mr. Sowell, which Mr. Rogers appears to use without bothering to cite properly:

Sowell's figures come from this flawed Heritage Foundation "study", which Mr. Rogers also fails to cite:
This sack of Heritage Foundation fertilizer has been around for over two years. One would think Mr. Rogers could be a bit more au courant in his misrepresentations.

Posted by: AlphaCat

September 29, 2013 at 7:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE Heritage Foundation "study"

"Here are a few other flaws in the Heritage Foundation study:

"Using the term 'amenity' to refer to the consumer items considered shows an immediate bias. "Amenity" is sales hype.

"The study refers to some necessities as 'amenities'. Refrigerators, stove/ovens and microwaves are necessities if you eat at home, as one would expect the poor to do. In most areas, health codes require that these 'amenities' be present. In much of the country, air conditioning is a necessity. Separate freezer? Shouldn't the poor save money by buying in bulk or preserving stuff from a garden?

"Owning and having available aren't the same thing. The study doesn't ask whether the poor occupant actually USES the air conditioner. Nor do the bar graphs differentiate between central and window AC. Ceiling fans might be an amenity, but they make it possible to spend less on air conditioning and heating.

"The study doesn't differentiate between new and used or old 'amenities'. It is possible to get a refrigerator or other appliance for less than $100. (My first washing machine cost me $25, and paid for itself in 50 loads-- not counting the convenience. Of course, that was 1981 dollars.)

"The study doesn't account for the fact that most poor people rent their homes and have no control over what 'amenities' come with them. Air conditioning, washer and dryer, kitchen appliances, ceiling fans-- all are typical rental furnishings. The rent might include cable/satellite. The poor are caught up in the same housing market that everybody else is, and the market has standards.

"The study has to resort to a comparison to European homes to 'prove' that the American poor have large homes. Of course, it doesn't go into the size of American homes now considered to be middle- and upper-class. Most of our outmoded (known in the market as 'functionally obsolete'-- too small, too few bathrooms, can't be brought up to date) housing stock is occupied by poor people. As a result of centuries of relatively crowded conditions, reuse of small centuries-old buildings, and repeated subdivisions of larger old buildings, urban Europeans are accustomed to living in smaller spaces (and old European farm houses aren't very big, either). Americans, living in a country rich in land and resources, have lived in larger and larger homes as materials and technology have accommodated the trend. (Some American cities have real estate values that cause living spaces to resemble the European model.)

"The study doesn't indicate which "amenities" might actually be parts of other "amenities". For example, the first or second DVD player might be in the computer; the second TV might be a computer monitor.

"Posted by: AlphaCat
August 1, 2011 at 10:50 a.m."

Posted by: AlphaCat

September 29, 2013 at 7:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

You guys are grabbing at insignificant micro-details trying to rebut a macrocosm of conditions. Why don't you consider taking it from the horses mouth and read this book?

Written by a former welfare recipient it describes how government manipulates, controls, and ultimately devastates the lives of the poor, and it comes from a former welfare addict who has been there and done that. Star Parker is not only a brilliant woman, she speaks from experience.

What we need are more people like her, the founder of CURE, and a lot less of foolish ones like Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Attorney turned preacher Jessie Jackson, hacks like Al Sharpton, and other community organizers and misguided politicians.

Star Parker is an experienced and intelligent voice of reason formed in the real world, not in the hollow and empty philosophies of progressive liberals and pandering politicians that continue to oppress the poor by confining them to inescapable forces of government benevolence.

Look at something other than progressive liberal propaganda and you might find your eyes finally opening to the reality of the truth of things.

Who knows? Maybe it hasn't been banned by your local library and you can read it for free?

Posted by: jeffieboy

September 30, 2013 at 11 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Because poverty is often tied to African Americans and inner cities it is important to remember that the black community has evolved since the civil rights movement. In the 40 plus years since. The reasons for black poverty has less to do with any perceived discrimination and more to do with government.

When discrimination eased African Americans split into various factions. They were no longer unified by a common mantra or cause.

Some joined a new elite with enormous wealth, power, and influence including various sports stars, actors, and celebrities like Oprah.

Others especially people of mixed-race heritage and communities of recent immigrants were left out on their own with no clear common path or options. This included not only blacks from around the world but also Asians and Hispanics to some degree.

Many entered the mainstream middle-class majority and seized ownership of a stake in American society. This group of people includes well known people like Powell, Rice, and millions of other less famous every day farmers, business owners, scientists, engineers, educators, and other hard working people with a good sense of personal responsibility and desire to improve and achieve something. This group includes many other races and ethnic groups. They have strong families, and they have prospered and fostered successful children.

That leaves the others that were somehow left behind. Something they have in common is that they live in politically liberal strongholds like Detroit and Southeast Arkansas with similar political tendancies like many failed inner city enclaves in Chicago, LA, and just about every major American city. They cannot afford to move anywhere because they are trapped by their dependence on government support.

Their suffering has not eased and today those abandoned souls live in wastelands of vacant lots, boarded up buildings, with pervasive crime in a society dominated by single mothers, fatherless families, drug dealers, substandard and failing schools, teenage pregnancies, gangs, and every kind of crazy dysfunctional situation imaginable.

That is what happens when people regardless of race lose pride in themselves, lose their sense personal responsibility, self improvement, and accomplishment that make personal growth and improvement important. Put your life in the government's hands and accept their benevolence and you will become completely dependent on it regardless of race and you will be forced to give up any hope of ever crawling out of the hole they put you in. It is what happens when you give your soul to government control.

Posted by: jeffieboy

September 30, 2013 at 3:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "You guys are grabbing at insignificant micro-details trying to rebut a macrocosm of conditions."
Such as....?

RE "horses mouth"
Very impressive. A former welfare recipient has written a book. One whole author; one whole book full of anecdotes that you agree with. But what does this have to do with Obamacare? Obamacare is not welfare.

Have you written a book? Are you saying that one of those welfare queens has more gumption than you do? There goes that conservative argument about "takers" and their inevitable lifetime of being on the dole.

RE "Maybe it hasn't been banned by your local library"
Of course it hasn't. Why would it be? It is not available at the FPL, but it can be requested. One can get books by Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly there while waiting for the book to arrive.

Posted by: AlphaCat

September 30, 2013 at 3:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Your liberal meddling is the very reason for poverty and a lot of suffering in America. Your destructive "benevolence" is the reason so many are marginalized and trapped. That is what you have done. Progressive liberals are responsible for the mess and have no idea how to clean it up. It has gotten so bad I don't think anyone can.

Posted by: jeffieboy

September 30, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "Your liberal meddling is the very reason for poverty and a lot of suffering in America."
And your proof of this is....?

"Liberal meddling" like freeing the slaves and giving them citizenship and the right to vote, and giving women the right to vote? Conservatives didn't do those things. What about conservative opposition (meddling) to the Equal Rights Amendment and an amendment insuring that women get equal pay for equal work?

Conservative meddling has always erred on the side of poverty and suffering.

Posted by: AlphaCat

September 30, 2013 at 5:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

"Because poverty is often tied to African Americans and inner citie..."
Yes you want to tie it to African Americans but the fact is that the majority of poor people and the majority of welfare recipients have been white.
The RATES of poverty and people on welfare may have been higher for minorities, but the NUMBERS were majority white.
Back in the day (1980s) I knew several young women receiving AFDC. All were white, single mothers (two were divorced but received no child support because their exes weren't reliably employed--one reason the marriages ended).
I knew what kind of benefits they were receiving and how they were living (substandard housing). In the state of Arkansas it would be very hard to become a "welfare queen." We only have Ronald Reagan's anecdote as evidence that there ever was such a thing, anywhere.

Posted by: Coralie

September 30, 2013 at 6:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

AFDC was reformed 17 years ago and these bozos are still talking about "welfare" in the same stereotypes.
It doesn't make any difference what the reality is, since half the country just goes by mythologies.

Posted by: Coralie

September 30, 2013 at 6:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

J: "Why don't you... read this book?">

I can see it's rightwing crap from the reviews. I did especially enjoy this one:

"I find this little or no improvement over Star Parker's earlier book, Pimps, Whores and Welfare Brats and therefore combine my thoughts on the two. She's smoothed over a few events, such as the time she enticed an Air Force captain into hitting on her, then claimed she didn't know (We honkies do have our shortcomings!) if they actually had sex, but later (and then only gradually) realized that " . . . what he did was wrong." In her new book she morphs that episode into a rape by the captain.
Bitching about government takes no courage, especially when the bitching echoes opinions of the country's wealthy, and it need not (and often does not) involve rational thought. On the other hand, it can provide a good living if done with a little pizzazz. Star Parker's books mirror her lectures, and tell how bad the rest of us are. If only we'd get off our asses and go to work, everything would be all right. In these hare-brained rants, Star Parker relates her wild years growing up, such as when she and a few cohorts played the old Murphy game on unsuspecting rubes, and other times when she posed as a hooker on street corners. Now that she's making her bread by preaching to choir-mates at the Christian Coalition, Heritage Foundation and Republican political conferences, it confirms she's back on the corner, if only metaphorically.

Explaining her adventures with the welfare system, Star says she was, ". . . caught up in the welfare cycle, seduced by the easy living and the carefree allure . . ." as well as " . . . its magical, sometimes luxurious hold." Wow!!! Those I've known who would have reveled in welfare's carefree allure and its magical, luxurious hold - had those delights existed - failed to notice them.

Although she often points out wherever racial bias was used against her, she pooh-poohs the thought that it might cause others any harm. Moreover, all the girl's troubles, her many sex partners, her abortions, her criminal acts, etc. were caused by something or somebody else. It was government, especially that nefarious part of it foisted on unsuspecting blacks by liberals. Many blacks who get a leg up in this society abhor the failures of liberalism, but apparently don't want to recognize that without liberalism's successes, conservatives in this country would have kept them all back in the cotton fields. But Star's never at fault, as in her analysis: "If just one person had said, `Star, what you're doing is wrong,' it might have changed the destiny of my life." One wonders why such advice wasn't necessary for her sisters and brother, who - it appears - turned out to be pretty good people, despite having the same background." ...

Posted by: fayfreethinker

September 30, 2013 at 9:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Just proves that progressive liberalism is and remains a clinical mental disorder.

Posted by: jeffieboy

October 1, 2013 at 11:52 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

What proves?

Posted by: Coralie

October 1, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

If what progressive liberal knuckleheads are doing to "poor" people is so noble and working so well why haven't these "poor people" with cars, cell phones, big screen TV's, free food, subsidized housing, WIC and SNAP, plenty of cash for tobacco, booze and drugs, supported by various other public benefits and programs including free education designed to "raise them up" not moved forward an inch since you started meddling in it?

It is simply because you have trapped them in it by creating a class of socially bankrupt uninspired dependents. Progressive liberals policies share fault equally with these poor tortured souls few of whom will never learn or know better. In child raring they call it enabling. Progressive liberals are adept at enabling and then abandoning. Great job, Libs!

Posted by: jeffieboy

October 1, 2013 at 5:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Some years ago the NWA food stamp offices wouldn't give out food stamps to people who DIDN'T have a car--the reason being that if you don't have a car in NWA, you can't seriously look for a job.

Posted by: Coralie

October 1, 2013 at 6:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

J: "why haven't these "poor people" with cars, cell phones, big screen TV's, [blah blah blah]>>

This old favorite line from Sowell. Here's a smack of that I wrote on this forum years ago:

IrishM"...the standard of living of those considered poor would be the envy of those who lived at least twenty years ago."

Which of course is ridiculous. This argument from "the poor have TV's and microwaves now" is so ludicrous I didn't bother to kick it, but let's give it a poke now.

I remember when my dad bought our first microwave, I think it was 1977 (early adopter). As I remember it was an astonishing $800. When we adjust for inflation:

we find that he paid about $3,012 in today's dollars. So we can see how this trick works. It plays on the fact that a microwave used to be a rather pricey appliance. Not anymore. I see a nice one on Amazon for $55. So we see this product has dropped in price, in this rough comparison, by 54x. Quite a difference. The poor haven't been raised up, the shiny electronic toys we like, have come down.

Owning a microwave is no longer in anyway associated with wealth or doing well, but rather just a really cheap way to heat food. Same with TV's, etc.,..."

Time to freshen up your stinky old arguments, wingnuts.

Posted by: fayfreethinker

October 1, 2013 at 6:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

There still remains a centrist moderate solution.

With hard work comes prosperity.

Posted by: Tankersley101

October 1, 2013 at 9:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal )


"Some years ago the NWA food stamp offices wouldn't give out food stamps to people who DIDN'T have a car--the reason being that if you don't have a car in NWA, you can't seriously look for a job."

I'd like to see some background on that pile of dung.

Posted by: Tankersley101

October 1, 2013 at 9:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

I didn't quickly find something backing up Coralie's claim, but I did find Paul Ryan trying to throw people off of food stamps if they *do* have a car. If it's worth more than $5k.

"Beyond the $20 billion in cuts that will throw an estimated two million children, elderly, and disabled Americans off food stamps, millionaire Rep. Paul Ryan is pushing an amendment that would close the door to assistance for the vast majority of Americans. Ryan and Rep. Frank Lucas are proposing that categorical eligibility be eliminated and replaced with an asset limit. If an individual has $2,000 in savings, or a car worth more than $5,000, they will not be eligible for food stamps.

The CBO found that the impact of the move to an asset limit would throw 1.8 million people off of the program."


Wealth inequality is immensely important:

"Map: How the world’s countries compare on income inequality (the U.S. ranks below Nigeria)"
"The United States doesn't come out of this comparison looking great. It's ranked 44th out of 86 countries, well below every other developed society measured. It's one spot below Nigeria, which has some of the worst political corruption in the world and in 2012 saw nationwide protests over perceived income inequality. The United States' Palma ratio ranks it just beneath Nigeria but above Russia and Turkey -- all countries that have experienced heavy political unrest in recent years.
The data offer a reminder that the United States might enjoy greater economic equality than much of the world, but it is at the bottom end of the developed world. And the Palma ratio actually shows the United States in a more positive light than does the Gini coefficient, which ranks it even lower."

I know, considering the above situation, let's arrange a situation where it's easy for the rich to get richer, and harder for the poor to not be poor.
America. Wake up. The robber barons of the 1800's are back and you are being robbed in broad daylight. We have 7 Wal-Mart heirs that have cornered as much wealth as 42% of the entire country. It's not enough. The Koch bros. have $50 billion, 43% of that in the last 3 years. It's not enough. It's never enough. They want more, and they'll do anything to get it. That's how mindless greed works.

Posted by: fayfreethinker

October 1, 2013 at 10:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sounds like the need a lawyer, but don't pick either of these:

Posted by: jeffieboy

October 2, 2013 at 10:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

J: [Conspiracy wingnut "before it's news" link claims Obama] "surrendered his license back in 2008 in order to escape charges he lied on his bar application.">>

You really are a special kind of stupid aren't you?

Snopes: FALSE.

And Factcheck:

Old rubbish from 2008. It's like you have no interest in believing things that are true.

Devastating article by former conservative Andrew Sullivan: "The Nullification Party"

Posted by: fayfreethinker

October 2, 2013 at 10:41 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

"a special kind of stupid"
Best description I've read yet!

Posted by: cdawg

October 2, 2013 at 11:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Tank: "I'd like to see some background on that pile of dung." (That people were refused food stamps because they didn't have a car so they could look for a job--you had to look for a certain number of jobs every week.)
Sorry, I can't oblige this time. It's anecdotal.
I was there and knew people who were told this by the person at the Food Stamp Office.

Posted by: Coralie

October 2, 2013 at 2:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Maybe it wasn't written policy but just one or two bitchy people in charge. I don't know.
At the time it seemed like a Catch-22. You had to have a car to get a job, and you had to have a job to get a car and keep it running.
Transportation can take a huge chunk out of a poor person's income.

BTW, here's something about Mexico's excellent transportation system.
Funny how a much poorer country than ours can have better public transportation.

Posted by: Coralie

October 2, 2013 at 2:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

"In 2012, Mexico acheived universal healthcare."
"According to the site, health care in Mexico is described as very good to excellent while being highly affordable, with every medium to large city in Mexico having at least one first-rate hospital. In fact, some California insurers sell health insurance policies that require members to go to Mexico for health care where costs are 40% lower.
Some of Mexico's top-rate hospitals are internationally accredited. Residents of USA, particularly those living near the Mexican border, now routinely cross the border into Mexico for medical care. Popular specialties include dentistry and plastic surgery. Mexican dentists often charge 20 to 25 percent of US prices, while other procedures typically cost a third what they would cost in the US"

Posted by: Coralie

October 2, 2013 at 3:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Cor: "Mexico's excellent transportation system.">>

We experienced this first hand while spending six weeks in Mexico this summer. The words I would use to describe their bus system, at least on the Yucatan peninsula, would be professional, timely, clean, inexpensive and top notch. The buses are as fancy as an airliner with multiple movie screens, etc.

Cor: [quote] "Residents of USA,... routinely cross the border into Mexico for medical care.">>

One could call it fleeing. An astonishing one million people in California go to Mexico for healthcare every year. And when Americans aren't going there, they are engaging in "medical tourism" by going to India. Jamaica is building a huge new fancy facility in Negril for this purpose.

As required by government set prices, the fee for a hospital bed (not private), with food, in a Japanese *for profit* hospitals... is $11.

Try spending a night in a US hospital without spending somewhere between one and ten thousand dollars.

We have been feeding, completely unnecessarily, a one trillion per year (at least) medical healthcare beast, and it is squealing mightily that now this flow is simply going to be crimped a little. We see this in how spineless, gutless politicians like Womack and Boozeman, who receive a vast majority of their campaign funding from their out of state puppet masters, dance to the healthcare industry tune when their puppet strings are pulled.

This little game has reached critical mass. The jig is up. We simply can no longer afford to prop up the fraud, waste and deceit this disgraceful game requires anymore.

The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care

--In Japan, costs are capped at $650 per month. You can’t pay more than that. --ibid, pg 86
--Fee for MRI of head, as set by government: $105 (vs. about $1,200 in US) --ibid, pg 92
--Doc’s most competitive and capitalist in the world. --ibid, pg 83
--Supply exceeds demand, patients just walk in. --ibid, pg 96

We are being shagged royally. It doesn't have to be this way.

Posted by: fayfreethinker

October 2, 2013 at 3:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Without a sense of personal responsibility and hope you are nothing. Fact is that progressive liberals yearn to make everyone but them "nothing". Follow such drivel at your peril. A life well lived is one much better than one blessed upon what these "betters" will give you.

It is better to live a free mistake than it is to live one someone else crafted for you. Freedom or death comes to mind. Before I will let the likes of these progressive liberals take me I would gladley die.

Are they as passionate? Nope. They are cowards that wouldn't die for anything, not even a their own misguided dreams.

Posted by: jeffieboy

October 2, 2013 at 8:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Jeffie responds with no substance, it's all foot stamping, hand wringing and Teabagger regurgitate. He's completely out of gas.

Posted by: fayfreethinker

October 2, 2013 at 9:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal )