The U.S. Census bureau released a report
in August showing that the poverty rate rose from 12.5% in 2003 to 12.7% in 2004. The poverty rate is set at about $19,300 for a family of four. On the surface it would seem that Americans as a whole are slipping deeper into poverty. Comparing these numbers to the rise in illegal aliens (estimated by some at 3 million in 2004 alone) shows that the numbers are severely misleading.
... poverty has been stuck for non-Hispanic whites, though it's fairly low. Since the late 1970s, it's generally fluctuated between 8 percent and 9 percent, depending on the economy. But poverty among blacks -- though still appallingly high -- has declined sharply. In 2004 it was 24.7 percent, down from 33.1 percent in 1993, though up from 22.5 percent in 2000. As recently as 1983, it was 35.7 percent.
The dramatic improvement may reflect the 1990s' economic boom. Or it could stem from the 1996 welfare reform, which restricted benefits and imposed tougher work requirements. Job-holding among single mothers has increased significantly. Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution reports that the share of never-married mothers working rose from 46 percent to 66 percent from 1994 to 2002. The number of families receiving traditional welfare dropped from 5 million in 1994 to 2 million in 2003.
Given these trends, the overall poverty rate should be drifting down. It isn't.
We have uncontrolled entry of poor, unskilled workers across our southern border. Although many succeed, many don't, and many poor Latino immigrants have children, who are also poor. In 2004, 25 percent of the poverty population was Hispanic, up from 12 percent in 1980. Over this period, Hispanics represented almost three-quarters of the increase in the poverty population.
Tipped by: Lonewacko