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Sobering statistics on child poverty

By Katy Murphy
Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 at 9:15 pm in families.

The number of school-age children living in poverty soared by 30 percent(!) in California between 2007 and 2010, according to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

In the United States, nearly 2 million more children between the ages of 5 and 17 fell into poverty during that time.

I wrote about that depressing trend today, in this story. My colleague Danny Willis created a database that lets you search the numbers by school district boundary and county. You’ll find it at the end of the piece.

You know what the poverty line is, as defined by the Census? For a family of four (two adults, two children), it’s a household income of $22,000.

Alex Briscoe, director of health care services for Alameda County, told me today that “the harshest truth” is not just the number of children in poverty, but the fact that it’s becoming harder for them — and everyone else — to escape it.

How is poverty manifesting itself in your school or community? How is your school responding to the increased need?

You can find the Census data here.

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  • Nextset

    So Young, So Broke, So what?

    The US government has been carefully imposing policy to generate poverty in the proletariat. This was done by the Democrats and the Republicians – but the Democrats do it with the most glee.

    You haven’t seen anything yet – we will reach Calcutta level poverty in the Urban Cores, because as the State collapses, no more food stamps, no more unemployment, no more free health care, no more welfare at all. And trust me, the State is collapsing and will fail. How they do it is the thing – superinflation is one way. It works just as well as turning of the printing presses.

    We could reverse this poverty trend overnight with a roundup and internment of illegals, and confiscation of all their assets. And I don’t seriously think you would have to intern all of them, they would self-deport in the face of relentless enforcement of our territorial rights. Will this happen, probably not.

    You cannot keep the Proles out of poverty with open borders and exportation of service jobs. You can’t have a manageable number of Prole children with a welfare state providing incentives and not dis-incentives from rabbit-like reproduction.

    The schools have little to do with any of it except they now teach proles to stay proles instead of the social mobility that used to be taught.

    So the hand-wringing is just fake to me. We know exactly what we are doing and we are doing it deliberately.

  • J.R.

    Since we are going OT…….

    Let me ask the general question, if school districts are dealing with such massive problems as homelessness, poverty, and lack of funding why are ridiculous wastes of money in education still so prevalent?

    http://blog.sfgate.com/cityinsider/2011/12/01/former-sf-schools-chief-collects-six-figure-philly-buyout-and-then/?tsp=1

    http://www.hjta.org/california-commentary/taj-mahal-lausd

    Why is there such a disconnect in this country to such blatant and obvious stupidity?

  • J.R.

    more of the same robbery of taxpayers………

    http://articles.philly.com/2011-08-29/news/29941632_1_school-superintendents-school-districts-contract-negotiations

    The education system screams poverty but it clothes itself in opulence at taxpayer expense.

  • Nextset

    I wrote the earlier post on the spur – after thinking about the issue further I feel the real work for the schools to do is to make it absolutely clear to the prole kiddies that what is happening is no surprise – it’s been coming for 2 generations now and then some. The schools need to teach enough economic history for the students to get it that worse is coming if current policies continue or deepen as is expected.

    It is real easy not to be poor. It’s real easy to stay poor and get poorer. The kids had better be told it’s up to them – look around the room. Some of you will die in the gutter and some of you will be fine. Some people did ok in the fall of the USSR. Some people made it in the Great Depression in the USA and abroad. Some people eve survived the Holocaust. And by “some people” I do not mean those who started out rich or inherited family money. There is no disaster in the human condition that some relatively ordinary people don’t survive against the odds. Teach the kiddies to open their eyes and watch their step.

    Lots of the risk factors for making it or not are self inflicted and are up to the individuals. That goes for getting AIDS also. The kiddies need to be told that nobody owes then a breath of air or a crust of bread except maybe their parents for awhile. It’s all up to them. You know, the things the immigrants are told by their parents.

    Then we turn to a discussion of what the risk factors are – those things that can be self selected. Some people have bad DNA, bad genes, bad luck. These birth defects happen but they are not universal and not common. Even dummies can make it – cue the movie “Forrest Gump”.

    If the Public Schools want to help their kids make it in terms of social, occupational and economic mobility they are going to have to teach history and what works – and teach history and what doesn’t work. They are going to have to teach some form of morality along the line of not being poor, AIDS infected, imprisoned, drug addled, crime victim, no driver’s license, etc.

    This is not at all an easy thing because you are going to have to teach a lot of people to turn their backs on their culture and their family not to mention “friends”. Engendering aversion of risk factors for poverty (failure) will affect who they associate with, where they live, what they study, it can get into religion, politics and philosophy. This is a huge factor when you are teaching proles.

    Which is why the urban schools of late promote poverty and teach indiscipline. You can “get along” if you just tell the kiddies to go with the flow and tolerate everything and everybody.

    This problem is worse for blacks than whites. It has been said that blacks are only one degree from madness – that is even successful blacks have a relative that is crazy a hell. Not the same with San Francisco Chinese, Italians, Irish – groups with a stronger common denominator and less tolerance for deviation from that common denominator.

    Before detractors go off on the above paragraph consider the job applicant for a 2 year security clearance from the Dept of Defense – or even a peace officer job. You are (tend to be) disqualified from these positions if you have relatives/friends/roommates with “issues”. The same thing occurs in other occupations but it’s not so formal.

    I know a black employee likely to need a security clearance in the future. That person thinks nothing of Facebook friending a tatted up gang-banger distant cousin. I have known several people (and relatives) with these clearances – I’ve been involved and been interviewed for such clearances over 3 decades. I’ve heard all kinds of horror stories. Will that person listen to warning and get the associations straight – No. And it’s not like there is any real friendship. They just don’t want to “offend” by eliminating the link on Facebook.

    They’ve been taught – conditioned – to be nice and tolerant.

    Meanwhile my white acquaintances in the defense industry are into the 2nd generation sailing through 2 year clearances in the early to mid 20s. They are called that because it takes 2 years of backgrounding to get them.

    People with the clearances are paid $60k+ to empty wastebaskets. Yes you can always be an engineer or scientist (and make much more), but you can also do relatively unskilled labor in various places and still make a great living wage. Then there is the value of a good marriage and how to nail that down. You don’t have to be a genius to do well there, you do have to have a clue of the rules, though. Wonder what the marriage rate is for female black urban school graduates now vs 1970? Is there any discussion of the “rules” in our schools? (You can always start with the California Code books – Penal, Vehicle, Civil, W&I etc)

    Some people are training their kids from early on to look at the world the way it is with no illusions and to find and take their place in it as a productive person who can make it what is, and is expected to come. Some people send their kids to OUSD & LAUSD and just think things will work out.

    The urban schools could do much better on schooling their products to make it in the Brave New World. I don’t think they want to. Urban Schools are doing all they can to become nothing more than lowest denominator Continuation Schools. They seem to go out of their way to make their prole products poor, and say it’s the parent fault the kids didn’t thrive. No. A good school can take Proletariat students and improve their place in society. It’s not done by patting them on the head.

    That’s not to say the urban schools won’t claim success based on progress made by some people – immigrants especially. This post is about the huge number of home grown Proles – much of whom will not even graduate.

    The thread is on the stats on child poverty. How many of these “parent” types were themselves urban school students? My Catholic School classmates are doing just fine (even the dummies) – so are their children for the most part. It’s disingenuous to complain about increased poverty stats when the schools engendered the poverty by bad schooling. Even the disciplined dummies are not so poor.

    Brave New World.

  • Katy Murphy

    Here’s a link to the Census report: http://www.census.gov/did/www/saipe/data/index.html

  • Nextset

    An interesting post on Global Guerrillas about dental care as a requisite for membership in the Middle Class:

    http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2011/12/are-you-part-of-the-global-middle-class-let-me-see-your-smile.html

    I know a candidate or at least a former candidate for a job at CA Prisons. He managed to clear background but his candidacy went nowhere, while others were hired. I’m pretty sure his dental problems had much to do with the final decision. He was otherwise just what they normally would use. I would never hire a candidate with his teeth either. Too bad, so sad.

    I’ve previously (not recently) seen lectures at Rotary meetings complete with slide shows of the mouths of public school children by a local dentist explaining what is happening in local urban people dental-health wise. He said what they are seeing is remarkable, he’s been in practice for well over 30 years. The level of indifference to the damage and the future prospects of these people by their “parent” speaks volumes. I’m pretty sure the problems is worse now than then based on what I’m seeing in adults.

    And you can bet all of these “families” have cell phones, big screen TVs, and have money for their favorite vices. Also the people involved don’t look like they’re missing any meals. Quite the opposite.

    I don’t know what the schools are expected to do about any of this – CPS referrals, perhaps. What I would like the schools to do is make it brutally clear to the kiddies that time is not on their side and if they don’t work it they are moving further and further away from middle class norms in diction, appearance and mores and must plan on living what they song refers to as a “poor man’s life”. I see people who are endentulous in their 20s – who aren’t meth addicts. Some of these people are not career criminals at all. They are proletariat and have not been trained. Prole families do not train their children about a lot of things. They learn by hard knocks. A good school can make a difference here.

    Poverty is not the issue although it’s a problem to be overcome. The problem is unbridled present-oriented behavior and thinking the schools needs to fight in it’s prole students. In your urban schools you have “poor” immigrants sitting beside Otis and Latifah who are having entirely different & better outcomes. The schools need to stop making Otis and Latifah so comfortable – light a fire under them. Go nose to nose with them and tell them their shortcoming, their “parent”‘s shortcomings and where they’d better change.

    You don’t fight poverty or overcome it by letting the “poor” think they are fine the way they are.