Thursday, May 3, 2018

American Race, Poverty, Social Dysfunction, and Ethics

"The illegitimacy rate among blacks is 72 percent...But why was the black illegitimacy rate only 14 percent in 1940"??!!
Walter E. Williams, Black Economist

Below is a very powerful article worth reading again, and again. I don't agree with all of the points, especially not the dubious right-wing ones, BUT Williams raises many important issues about poverty, race, government, social dysfunction, and ethics.

First, let me emphasize that I don't think getting out of poverty is nearly as easy as successful leaders such as Williams claim.

Many poor people work very hard. Many of them don't have the 'good life' that Williams' statistics claim.

I spent most of my adult life working with teens from poor and/or dysfunctional single parent families (usually the mom; the deadbeat dad gone:-( .

Here's one powerful example.
A nice teen had fallen behind on his homework. I put pressure on him, required a meeting with his parents.

As it turned out, the teen had gotten behind on his homework because every day he watched his little brothers because his mom (dad missing) was having to work 2 jobs just to make ends meet at a basic poverty level.

Have you ever tried to make ends me on minimum wage?!

And work 2 jobs?

And care for 1 teen and 2 children--all of them boys?

I've worked minimum wage before (though as a single), too. It wasn't easy, couldn't make ends meet even by myself.

So while we need to encourage all people to work their way out of poverty as Williams emphasizes, we need to be compassionate and help!

There are many poor people doing the best they can, such as that very hard-working poor mother that I met.

My hat goes off to her.

Think about what former President Jimmy Carter has to say:

from Dependency, Not Poverty by Walter E. Williams
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

"There is no material poverty in the U.S. Here are a few facts about people whom the Census Bureau labels as poor. Dr. Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield, in their study "Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America's Poor" (, report that 80 percent of poor households have air conditioning; nearly three-quarters have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more. Two-thirds have cable or satellite TV. Half have one or more computers."

"Forty-two percent own their homes. Poor Americans have more living space than the typical non-poor person in Sweden, France or the U.K. What we have in our nation are dependency and poverty of the spirit, with people making unwise choices and leading pathological lives...The illegitimacy rate among blacks is 72 percent....why was the black illegitimacy rate only 14 percent in 1940?"

"...A statistic that one doesn't hear much about is that the poverty rate among black married families has been in the single digits for more than two decades, currently at 8 percent. For married white families, it's 5 percent.

"Now the politically incorrect questions: Whose fault is it to have children without the benefit of marriage and risk a life of dependency? Do people have free will, or are they governed by instincts?"

"...census data "going back a hundred years, when blacks were just one generation out of slavery ... showed that a slightly higher percentage of black adults had married than white adults. This fact remained true in every census from 1890 to 1940"? Is anyone willing to advance the argument that the reason the illegitimacy rate among blacks was lower and marriage rates higher in earlier periods was there was less racial discrimination and greater opportunity?

"No one can blame a person if he starts out in life poor, because how one starts out is not his fault. If he stays poor, he is to blame because it is his fault."


"Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school. Second, get married before you have children, and stay married. Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage."

"And finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior. It turns out that a married couple, each earning the minimum wage, would earn an annual combined income of $30,000."


READ the rest of his debatable, thought-provoking article at:

Please rescue the impoverished, the persecuted, the abused.

Live in the LIGHT,

Daniel Wilcox

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