Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Satire Becomes Truth

The other day I wrote a post, snarkily (I thought) called New Wingnut Argument: The Poor Aren't Actually Poor. Well, never underestimate the adventurers of wingnuttia. Today I find Bill Steigerwald, in Townhall.com, actually asking, rhetorically and in all earnestness, Are Our 37 Million Poor Really Poor?
When you look at the people who John Edwards insists are poor, what you find is that the overwhelming majority of them have cable television, have air conditioning, have microwaves, have two color TVs; 45 percent of them own their own homes, which are typically three-bedroom homes with 1{1/2} baths in very good recondition. On average, poor people who live in either apartments or in houses are not crowded and actually have more living space than the average person living in European countries, such as France, Italy or England.
It's the same article as the other one, with the same points from the Heritage Foundation "report."

And the same overriding point: the poor aren't poor, but when they are, it's because they're lazy and they like being single mothers.
Q: Is there any single reason why the “official poor” are poor?

A: If you look at the official poor, particularly at children who are officially in poverty, there are two main reasons for that. One is that their parents don’t work much. Typically in a year, poor families with children will have about 16 hours of adult work per week in the household. If you raised that so that you had just one adult working full time, 75 percent of those kids would immediately be raised out of poverty.

The second major reason that children are poor is a single parenthood in the absence of marriage. Close to two-thirds of all poor children live in single-parent families. What we find is that if a never-married mother married the father of her children, again, about 70 percent of them would immediately be raised out of poverty. Most of these men who are fathers without being married in fact have jobs and have a fairly good capacity to support a family.

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