November 15, 2012

Natural Republicans Watch: "Latino Poverty Rate Climbs to 28%"

From Fox News Latino:
Latino Poverty Rate Climbs to 28% 
While Latinos are gaining in political clout, they are also falling down the economic ladder, new Census numbers show.

This is a misleading topline in that it suggests a change over time, when the main story here is really about an important change in methodology.

The official "poverty line" was dreamed up in the early 1960s (?), but was quickly criticized for not including government transfer payments. A half century later, the feds have finally gotten around to announcing poverty rates inclusive of certain welfare payments (but not including stuff like public schools, emergency rooms, policing, etc.) Also, living expenses are counted, too.
Economists long have criticized the official poverty rate as inadequate. Based on a half-century-old government formula, the official rate continues to assume the average family spends one-third of its income on food. Those costs have actually shrunk to a much smaller share, more like one-seventh. 
The official formula also fails to account for other expenses such as out-of-pocket medical care, child care and commuting, and it does not consider noncash government aid, such as food stamps and tax credits, when calculating income. 

Under the new, alternative methodology:
Latinos poverty rates climbed to 28 percent after the census reconfigured its algorithm to take into account medical costs and government programs. The Hispanic poverty level rose after the government took into account safety-net programs such as food stamps and housing, which have lower participation among immigrants and non-English speakers.

Especially among illegal immigrants. The Gingrich House of the mid-1990s had the opportunity to actually do something to restrict immigration, but they punted on the larger question. On a lesser question, fortunately, they did take constructive action, restricting welfare for illegal aliens. I suspect that this has had a positive impact on the quality of illegal aliens and their likelihood to turn into welfare sponges.
... The numbers released Wednesday by the Census Bureau are part of a newly developed supplemental poverty measure. Devised a year ago, this measure provides a fuller picture of poverty that the government believes can be used to assess safety-net programs by factoring in living expenses and taxpayer-provided benefits that the official formula leaves out. 
Based on the revised formula, the number of poor people exceeded the 49 million, or 16 percent of the population, who were living below the poverty line in 2010. That came as more people in the slowly improving economy picked up low-wage jobs last year but still struggled to pay living expenses. The revised poverty rate of 16.1 percent also is higher than the record 46.2 million, or 15 percent, that the government's official estimate reported in September. 
Due to medical expenses, higher living costs and limited immigrant access to government programs, people 65 or older, Hispanics and urbanites were more likely to be struggling economically under the alternative formula. Also spiking higher in 2011 was poverty among full-time and part-time workers. 
The portrait of poverty broken down by state notably changed. California tops the list, hurt by high housing costs, large numbers of immigrants as well as less generous tax credits and food stamp programs to buoy low-income families. It is followed by the District of Columbia, Arizona, Florida and Georgia.In the official census tally, it was rural states that were more likely to be near the top of the list, led by Mississippi, New Mexico, Arizona and Louisiana.

Under the new calculations that include cost of living (but not cost of homeownership) and some government benefits:
Hispanics and Asians also saw much higher rates of poverty, 28 percent and 16.9 percent, respectively, compared with rates of 25.4 percent and 12.3 percent under the official formula. In contrast, African-Americans saw a modest decrease in poverty, from 27.8 percent under the official rate to 25.7 percent based on the revised numbers. Among non-Hispanic whites, poverty rose from 9.9 percent to 11 percent. 

We still need an official calculation of middleclassness, which would involve the cost of buying a home in a decent public school district.

iSteve readers will be shocked SHOCKED to learn that when cost of living is entered into the equation, it turns out that immigrant-heavy states lead the True Poverty list.

Yet, the idea that California, home to the vast wealth generating industries of Silicon Valley and Hollywood, leads America in poverty ought to be a wake-up call to the conventional wisdom.

When Esquire sent Tom Wolfe to California in 1963-64 to write about the local hot rod scene, he found the opposite of what the government is reporting today. Michael Anton writes in City Journal in "Tom Wolfe's California:"
... the core insights on which Wolfe built his career—the devolution of style to the masses, status as a replacement for social class, the “happiness explosion” in postwar America—all first came to him in California. ... 
That piece—“The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby”—represents the first time that Wolfe truly understood and was able to formulate the big idea that would transform him from an above-average feature writer into the premier cultural chronicler of our age. Those inhabiting the custom car scene were not rich, certainly not upper-class, and not prominent— indeed, they were almost invisible to society at large. Wolfe described his initial attempt to write the story as a cheap dismissal: “Don’t worry, these people are nothing.” He realized in California that he had been wrong. These people were something, and very influential within their own circles, which were far larger than anyone on the outside had hitherto noticed. ...
“Practically every style recorded in art history is the result of the same thing—a lot of attention to form plus the money to make monuments to it,” Wolfe wrote in the introduction to his first book. “But throughout history, everywhere this kind of thing took place, China, Egypt, France under the Bourbons, every place, it has been something the aristocracy was responsible for. What has happened in the United States since World War II, however, has broken that pattern. The war created money. It made massive infusions of money into every level of society. Suddenly classes of people whose styles of life had been practically invisible had the money to build monuments to their own styles.” If Wolfe’s oeuvre has an overarching theme, this is it.

Well, 1963 was a long time ago in California. (Here's Benjamin Schwarz of The Atlantic on what has been lost in California.)

18 comments:

ms madigan said...

Republicans are becoming natural losers, so maybe they should embrace the loser white working class and loser hispanics.

The genius of democrats was being the rich globalists' party but putting forth the image as the party of 'victims' by playing the 'evil white man' trope.

Rich democrats say that they, unlike gop 'racists', share with others, but look at the socio-economic divisions in blue states!

I wonder if there is a good number of Obama Republicans like there used to be Reagan Democrats.
Many less privileged people of all races have come to see the gop as the party of rich while seeing dems as party of victims. But it's all really the card trick of tropery.

Anonymous said...

'amnesty' sounds too nice.

it's really rewarding law-breaking and invasion.

amnesia goes with amnesty. reagamnesty... how did that turn out?

Anonymous said...

Awwww, tosh, Steve.

What we are seeing in today's America (and this is mostly due to the Republicans, whose recent defeat seems to have put you into a rather sour mood), is raw, naked, Darwinian, Devil-take-the-hindmost, ree dealing, free wheeling capitalism.
This is the natural and logical conclusion to the system ie 'clout' in the market-place counts for everything and the 1% skim off the cream and the losres get tossed a few bones. The USA is a merely a machine for perpetuating that spiel, haven't you noticed by now Steve?
Let me count it out with matchsticks. The 1% basically own the Republican Party.The way the 1% are able to maximize their share of the USA GDP (no, there's absolutely no limit to their greed, if they could get away with it, they'd take 100% and leave the losers with f*ck all), is by means of unrestricted free trade (it means exactly what is says on the tin), and unrestricted, (by necessity, massive) third world immigration.
Works a treat - biological warfare by another means, just as rapacious and vicious as a plague of locusts, and fast breeding too.
You see, the losers cannot possibly win if they are swarmed out into irrelevancy, it's rather like that famous and succesful scientic triumph of releasing neutered scrw worm fly males - swamped out and reduced to economic eunochcracy, spare parts looking for non-existant holes and writhing about in impotent fury.
-And the 1% cackle and cream off the loot.

As Mark Feld 'Deepthroat', the vanquisher of the Jowlhound put it, "Follow the money".

Anonymous said...

Buh buh but the magical transformative power of US institutions are sure to transform Mexicans into ordinary middle class Americans REAL SOON NOW!

Anonymous said...

"Awwww, tosh, Steve."

Talk like a normal person, douchebag... and Steve has already made the same points you've made before only better.

Norville Rogers said...

Calif. used to have a huge multifarious economy, sort of as a minor tangential point to your observation about smaller proportion of skill-free peasants who can't speak the language. Lots of land for agriculture (less useful now w/o obscene amounts of water not going to be used for drinking), lots of oil too, aerospace & manufacturing, plastics, chemicals, textiles, mid-range laboratory stuff as well as bureaucratic corporate paper processing. Hollywood was just the opportunist newcomer, and nobody had heard of personal computers. In that environment you can have many types of middle class, black & brown middle classes too. Now they all would have to enroll in law school to keep up.

carry a big stick said...

I believe that our President's stated official position on low-skilled steady factory jobs is "They aren't coming back"

Roland said...

"'amnesty' sounds too nice.

"it's really rewarding law-breaking and invasion.

"amnesia goes with amnesty. reagamnesty... how did that turn out?"

New word: amnestesia?

Auntie Analogue said...


[T]the idea that California, home to the vast wealth generating industries of Silicon Valley and Hollywood, leads America in poverty ought to be a wake-up call to the conventional wisdom."

Wake-up call? Don't hold your breath. Because after you'll have died from oxygen deprivation Big Brother will come round and charge Mr. Sailer with assisting suicide.


By the way: how much would you bet that the shiny new Government poverty-calculating algorithm doesn't take into account the billions of dollars that immigrants - both legal and illegal immigrants - remit to their native homelands?

Eric said...

What we are seeing in today's America (and this is mostly due to the Republicans, whose recent defeat seems to have put you into a rather sour mood), is raw, naked, Darwinian, Devil-take-the-hindmost, ree dealing, free wheeling capitalism.

Ridiculous. I don't know how you could live in the US and even form that thought.

Anonymous said...

Here's the top number counties fro Asians La overamillion Santa Clara over500,000nd Orange County over 500,000 no wonder they vote Democratic since those places are high rent. Mexicans live in Texas but also California and Arizona and Chicago and New York and Florida

beowulf said...

"What has happened in the United States since World II, however, has broken that pattern. The war created money. It made massive infusions of money into every level of society. Suddenly classes of people whose styles of life had been practically invisible had the money to build monuments to their own styles.”

Damn, that's a very astute point. We've never run budget deficits like WWII before or since, 20% to 30% of GDP year after year(in current terms, $3T to $$4.5T, making the current $1T deficit seem kind of underwhelming). It was those deficits that made the postwar economy by increasing both public infrastructure and private savings(ripping off the German patent office didn't hurt).

As the WWII debt was paid down (in relative terms, GDP simply grew faster than the interest rate on the debt), the economy gradually weakened-- GDP growth, productivity, median income and the trade balance all weakened. Perhaps, economic stagnation begat cultural stagnation and is the reason why music, fashion and other "monuments to their own style" change much slower now than during the 1960s.
http://monetaryrealism.com/why-are-bond-yields-in-a-30-year-bear-market/#comment-8015

Anonymous said...

I guess once you urbanized its the high inequslity like a New York City and lots of immirgants to booth. It doesn't matter if your suburban or not looked at ge nice big houses in California that are converted into rentials.

Anonymous said...

Vaguely assuming that California owes its status to the physical plant of the entertainment industry is a weird doctrine of these times; I couldn't see thinking of New Orleans as The Town Mardi Gras Built

Anonymous said...

Well, liberals saw the decline of California with prop 13 lbrary service was cut to 6 days and some services outsource. Colleges which were near being free now and k thru 12 budgets cut but it was a time before Mexician immirgantaion would pretty much keep enrollments high.

afscme spambot said...

Yeah, Prop 13, that's what's holding California back... Sheesh

Mr. Anon said...

"11/16/12 5:40 AM
Anonymous afscme spambot said...

Yeah, Prop 13, that's what's holding California back... Sheesh"

Yeah, it's funny when liberals continue to blame Prop 13 - a voter iniative that was passed in 1978, and only sought to restrain the increase in property taxes - for California's current woes. It's kinda like blaming the Code de Napoleon for the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Anonymous said...

"Hispanics" are not Latinos at all and if they are poor is because of their reliance on doing nothing while collecting all the Welfare benefits and watching the Jerry Springer immoral show so they can learn how to manufacture more illegitimate children.
These "proud Americans!!!" needs more Welfare. Are they also discriminated? Of course they think that they are. Who would want to live next to them anyway.
They should blame their own "Hispanic-Iberian culture from being low-class and very different from mainstream and not blame Whites.