October 1, 2013

California has highest poverty rate in country

For a long time, I've been pointing out that many standard statistics of income, poverty, or cost of living fail to fully get at the underlying question of most interest: standard of living. Now, a new study from the Public Policy Institute of California that includes a better cost of living measure and government benefits finds that California, home to Silicon Valley and Hollywood, has the worst poverty rate of any state in the country, with vast Los Angeles County having the worst poverty rate in the state.

From the Los Angeles Times:
L.A. County leads California in poverty rate, new analysis shows 
A new analysis of hardship that adds factors such as housing costs and government benefits found that 27% of L.A. County residents lived in poverty in 2011, compared with the official rate of 18%. 
By Gale Holland 
September 30, 2013, 9:05 p.m. 
Los Angeles has the highest poverty rate among California counties, according to a new analysis announced Monday that upends traditional views of rural and urban hardship by adding factors such as the soaring price of city housing. 
The measurement, developed by researchers with the Public Policy Institute of California and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, found that 2.6 million, or 27%, of Los Angeles County residents lived in poverty in 2011. The official poverty rate for the county, based on the U.S. Census' 2011 American Community Survey, is 18%. 
The new analysis set California's poverty rate at 22%, the highest in the nation, compared with the official rate of 16%. [Emphasis mine].
Counties such as Placer and Sacramento, with more moderate housing costs, have lower poverty rates than those of metropolitan areas, researchers said. 
"We always see maps of official poverty and think of the Central Valley as the most impoverished,"

Well, much of the Central Valley also looks depressingly poor when you drive through it.
said economist Sarah Bohn, a research fellow at the public policy institute and one of the study's authors. "This really turns that on its head." 
The new model aims to present a fuller picture of poverty by taking into account living expenses and government benefits ignored in the official formula.

But, I thought massive immigration was Good for the Economy?

45 comments:

Asher said...

Income diversity is our greatest strength. If you rephrase "large gini coefficient" as "income diversity" that makes it all better.

Anonymous said...

I think we need to increase the legal minimum wage from $10/hr to $25/hr.

It's the only socially just thing to do. Think of the children.

Anonymous said...

Even though Texas has relatively low unemployment, our workers are much more likely to be working in a job paying minimum wage or less compared to most other states," said Francis Deviney, senior research associate at the Center for Public Policy Priorities, which advocates policies to reduce poverty. "Today, Texas invests an average of $5.78 per adult without a high school diploma/GED for adult basic education and literacy training, compared to $66.20 nationally. These programs are a critical first step to moving low-income Texans into careers that pay family-supporting wages."

Census data backed up the link between education and poverty, with 30 percent of people without a high school diplomat living in poverty, while the rate was only 4.2 percent for those with a college degree.

A thriving oil and gas industry has kept unemployment below the national average since 2007, the last year before the Great Recession. Since 2008, Texas has been a national leader in adding jobs, but between 2008 and 2012, the percentage of people under 65 years old with private health insurance dropped from 57.6 percent to 54.7 percent.

During that same period, enrollment in public health coverage, such as Medicaid, went up from 16.7 percent to 20.3 percent. The uninsured rate remained fairly constant at 25 percent, while the number of uninsured dropped nationally.

The median household income in Texas, $50,740 a year, was largely unchanged between 2011 and 2012. But incomes have still not returned to 2000 levels, when the median was $52,365.

Mississippi had the lowest median income in 2012 at $37,095, while Maryland had the high
Actually, Texas shows up with higher ineqailty because of the Rio Grande, oh well.

countenance said...

Unemployment stats suffer the same problem. You can be "employed" if you work one hour a week at an above board job. Really, per your suggestion, it should be redefined, with the demarcation line being the ability to afford rent or mortgage on a house that can house yourself your spouse and one or two kids, preferably two to get close to replacement level 2.1 TFR, in a quality public school district (one that doesn't do Commune Core or suspend 7 year old boys for gun shaped pop tarts and keychains).

OT, and you can delete this part if you want -- I found this on YouTube, it's a 2 year follow up on the D.C. black boy and Silicon Valley white girl in Waiting for Superman. You just might be able to turn this into commentary.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYCc_YoszxU

Anonymous said...

The thing is, you can always argue that while immigration may on average increase poverty, because it brings poor people here from other countries, it nevertheless benefits the people who were here already, and that since the poor immigrants are also better off here than where they came from, everybody wins.

I suspect this argument is bogus, but still, it isn't logically inconsistent with the statement that "California has highest poverty rate in country," so it needs to be addressed.

countenance said...

"Immigration benefits people who are here already"

Provided you have at least a ten figure net worth.

Meanwhile, it also marginally increases the poverty of people who are already here. Mass immigration reduces the wage salary equilibrium economy wide, not just in immigrant worker heavy fields. For instance, the skyscraper window washers in Chicago were making $50 an hour ca. 1990 are now making $28 an hour, both expressed in real terms, not adjusted for inflation.

Tony said...

This survey probably doesnt take into account the 20 undocumenteds living in a 1,000 sq ft house.

David said...

Not Steve's fault, but posts are awfully depressing lately. Time to hit the diet cola and read up on what the smart kids are working on. Although if I read another article about the Singularity, I'm going to spit up.

On California: hasn't some study been done comparing overcrowding in rat cages and overcrowding among humans? Is there not an established similarity between the two in increasing resource scarcity, aggression, neurotic behavior, and general deterioration in species character? We could graph any rapidly growing human population on top of the rat results, and I wager this would be instructive. This all sounds pretty jokey, but I vaguely recall that someone more or less serious really did it once.

Meaning, even if we import into the Valley a billion, not low-IQ Mexicans, but East Indian super-geniuses - assuming they exist - we still are not going to outrun the zombie of Malthus, at least until these super-geniuses invent free energy or a perpetual motion machine and beat finitude once and for all.

Speculation: Immigration restrictions form an important part of population control, one that developed fortuitously over hundreds of years. What are national (birth nation) boundaries but bounds on growth, effectively? I'd like to see something on this.

Evil Sandmich said...

We could graph any rapidly growing human population on top of the rat results, and I wager this would be instructive.

I've heard that story before myself, but it doesn't go very far in explaining places like Japan. My guess would be that a square mile with a couple dozen generic Mexicans is going to be more violent and have more crime than the same square mile with 100,000 Japanese living on it.

Anonymous said...

"hasn't some study been done comparing overcrowding in rat cages and overcrowding among humans?"

Somebody needs to check out the SCALE thread at MyPostingCareer.com

Anonymous said...

Los Angeles is virtually communist and extremely hostile to any sort of private enterprise or human freedom.

That helps explain why it's become poor.

Matthew said...

Alta California today, America tomorrow.

"The thing is, you can always argue that while immigration may on average increase poverty, because it brings poor people here from other countries, it nevertheless benefits the people who were here already, and that since the poor immigrants are also better off here than where they came from, everybody wins. I suspect this argument is bogus, but still, it isn't logically inconsistent with the statement that "California has highest poverty rate in country," so it needs to be addressed."

From a 2012 Wall Street Urinal column by Joel Kotkin: "Nearly four million more people have left the Golden State in the last two decades than have come from other states."

In other words, the interests of the native-born Americans living in California have not been served as a result of immigration. They are not better off as a result. I see only one real advantage to the mass immigration that has flooded California and the coastal areas in general these last few decades: it has made it easier for flyover country to attract and retain good talent that would otherwise have migrated to the coasts. As even flyover country fills up with Turd World immigrants, even that will cease to be any sort of advantage.

Anti-Democracy Activist said...

Related: The most overlooked reason why San Francisco is so liberal relates to this. American politics do have a strong class component; it's just not the same as in Britain or many other countries. In America, it's the top and bottom together against the middle. The Democrats have, in the post-WWII era (and certainly in the post-Vietnam era) been the party of the social, cultural, educational, and economic elites banded together with the low end of the working class and the entirety of the welfare class; while the Republicans have, in that same time frame, been the party of middle class respectability.

Which brings us to San Francisco. SF used to be a middle class city, but hasn't been that in decades. Nowadays, living there is so prohibitively expensive that there are really only two ways to do it: to be rich, or to be subsidized by the government. For all the griping about "income inequality" on the part of liberals, their showcase city is the poster child for it - a place where in order to just get by, you have to either be making at least six figures or be on Section 8.

Yes, there are other reasons why the city is as liberal as it is, but the class structure of San Francisco and its relation to the city's politics is very important and little-discussed.

Speaking of which, has anyone had a talk with the leadership of the Republican Party and asked them what they think will happen to the party of middle-class respectability once they allow their corporatist cronies in big business to destroy the country’s middle class in order to maximize profits and stock prices?

David said...

>Somebody needs to check out the SCALE thread at MyPostingCareer.com<

Thanks. The reference given there is to John B. Calhoun, who worked with mice. His paper, "Population Density and Social Pathology," is here.

Vegas Dude said...

Semi-literate peasants are better than communist SWPLs, blacks and RINOs. Current US citizens have the lack of character to elect Obama twice, even though McCain and Romney were also bad. The US needs a new people.

Matthew said...

"We could graph any rapidly growing human population on top of the rat results, and I wager this would be instructive."

"I've heard that story before myself, but it doesn't go very far in explaining places like Japan. My guess would be that a square mile with a couple dozen generic Mexicans is going to be more violent and have more crime than the same square mile with 100,000 Japanese living on it."

Not really the relevant comparison. The real comparison is an urban square mile with 100,000 Japanese in high rises vs. a suburban square mile with 5,000 or so Japanese on quarter-acre lots. The latter will be happier and more peaceful, almost guaranteed.

Humans have in fact gotten less violent as our populations have grown, but that's due to domestication of the people (excluding violent people from the gene pool via execution and imprisonment) and (more or less) reliable policing.

In Before the Dawn, Nicholas Wade noted that in hunter-gatherer populations, both ancient and modern, about one-third of people died violently. Today the share of deaths due to violence, even accounting for wars and government-induced famines, is far lower.

But the fact that, ceteris paribus, people are happier, mentally healthier, and less violent in less crowded environemnts is indisputable. From any perspective: economic, financial, environmental, cultural, or psychological, our current policy of mass immigration makes no sense whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

"But, I thought massive immigration was Good for the Economy?"

Well, maybe they are counting the fact that destitute Mexicans in LA are 1000X better off than they would be in Mexico.

And Mexico would be in way worse shape than it is if it couldn't offload its excess population and get those remittances.

Works great for Carlos Slim anyway.

eah said...

How many of the 'impoverished' families own two cars and a flat screen TV?

Vegas Dude said...

Maybe we don't need as many middling IQ white cubicle workers. Just a few very smart creative types and the rest stoop labor. I certainly won't miss the middle class with its love of rules, regulations, taxation and inane team sports. And a lot of Mexi-girls are hot.

Anonymous said...

Although the particular nature of the region's poverty has changed a half a century later, the region remains in crisis.

Children at Friends of Children of Mississippi
Delta children are better nourished and educated than in the 1960s, thanks to government programmes
Nationwide, 14.3% of Americans lived in poverty in 2009. In Mississippi, the figure was 22%, and in some counties in the Delta, it was 48%.

The Delta, where children's bellies were once distended from malnutrition, is now the fattest region in America, and it leads the country in teen pregnancy and single parenthood.

Some corners of Belzoni, a town Mr Clayton visited with civil rights worker Kenneth Dean, seem barely to have changed. Third Street is still lined with ramshackle, draughty wooden shacks.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

Everyone else seems to be moving forward and we still seem to be regressing”

Marcus Dennard
Nursing assistant trainee
Though they now have running water and toilets, the dilapidated houses look just the way they did 44 years ago. Two in a field off Highway 49 have been turned into museum pieces.

"They were old in 1967," Mr Dean says as he casts his eye over the scene today.

But some things have changed since Mr Clayton first pointed his camera at scenes of grinding poverty.

In the 1960s, the houses were inhabited by single mothers struggling to feed their children.

Some of Third Street's original inhabitants remain, but most residents now are unemployed men, some strung out on drugs and alcohol.

Belzoni is still full of single women, but many of th

Anonymous said...

Semi-literate peasants are better than communist SWPLs, blacks and RINOs. Current US citizens have the lack of character to elect Obama twice, even though McCain and Romney were also bad. The US needs a new people.

You do realize the semi-literate peasants are what pushed democrats over the top. 55 percent or so of white America voted republican, even though the GOP put up two dogs. Had we had the same demographics of 1984, McCain or Romney would have won like Reagan. But thanks to third world immigration, which you seem to promote here and at Vox Day's blog, what's left of sane, white folk are doomed to electoral oblivion.

Even after 40 plus years of propaganda, traditional white America was siding on the right. But the third world peasants you so admired have given the SWPLs an unbeatable advantage.

Foreign expert said...

This is NOT POVERTY. It is comparatively low income. They are completely different.

Anonymous said...

Well, just look at what the main industry of LA county is - big porn.
Yes, LA couny seems to think that its world mission is to drown the world in filth and obscenity.
Perhaps it's no accident that the world's most obviously exploitative industry - whose raw material is young human female flesh - should be located in one of the world's most hideous ant hill of a city, where any exposed flesh is quickly devoured by predators.

Many dystopian novels were published in the late 20th century about future urban nightmares. The idea that a major American city could somehow have degenerated into a mass televised knocking shop was even too weird and too perverse for even the most fevered imagination.

Anti-Democracy Activist said...

California's liberals have been voting for the hardest-left Democrats in the country for 40 years, and have the highest poverty rate in the country to show for it.

Maybe they should try doing something other than more of the same stuff that's been proven conclusively over the course of four decades to not work?

Naaaah - that's just crazy talk.

Anonymous said...

"This is NOT POVERTY. It is comparatively low income. They are completely different."

Isn't poverty measured by income relative to the community? Poverty is not starvation. You can live a long and impoverished life. I guess if you want to get down to basics, if you survive to breed, you're not poor.

WMarkW said...

Of course imported high school dropouts grow the economy. They just lower it PER CAPITA, which is the measure of our standard of living.

Mark said...

"And a lot of Mexi-girls are hot."

This is the answer to the question on why I decided to pick Tijuana instead of Vegas for my next vacation.

Puggg said...

"We always see maps of official poverty and think of the Central Valley as the most impoverished,"

Well, much of the Central Valley also looks depressingly poor when you drive through it.


Why isn't it as poor as it looks?

Because just cruising through a place can sometimes give you a misleading image about race demographics.

You could drive through certain urban neighborhoods in the evening during the summer, see all the blacks hanging around on their porches, on the sidewalks and in the streets, and drive away thinking the neighborhood is 100% black. But then you look at that neighborhood's election race voter statistics, and 70% of the people who cast votes are white, more during midterms and special elections.

What does that all mean?

The neighborhood population is really 50-50, but the black misbehavior keeps white people scared and locked in their houses during summer evenings.

And that's what I think it is in the central valley of California, it's not really as poor as it seems because Hispanics and their poverty is ostentatious.

David said...

>And a lot of Mexi-girls are hot.<

David's law: In any informative anti-immigration discussion, the likelihood of someone's remarking on the sexual attractiveness of the immigrant females approaches 1. I am saying it is a tired troll tactic, probably indulged in by porn producers bent on nation-wrecking, but that's just a guess.

pat said...

David wrote:
On California: hasn't some study been done comparing overcrowding in rat cages and overcrowding among humans?

I was just reading up on the behavioral sink phenomenon in connection with my recent video on homosexuality. I didn't fined much compelling evidence for any human consequences. It's probably a dosage level thingee. People are never quite as crowded in human habitats as the rats are in those experimental colonies. It's like saccharine testing. You need to give the rate the equivalent of 20 pounds of saccharine a day to get the desired bad result.

All sorts of 'well known' demographic facts aren't well known at all. Thirty years ago I used to tell people that government work payed well. I pointe out that most of the richest counties in America were the DC suburbs. People rejected mere facts and embraced their childhood prejudices. So it seems to be also with LA poverty.

Albertosaurus

Mr. Anon said...

"But, I thought massive immigration was Good for the Economy?"

It is good for the Econonomy, Steve. It just happens to cause poverty. Poverty has nothing to do with the Economy. The Economy is the alpha and omega.

In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was "Economy". All Praise be unto "The Economy" - hallowed be it's name.

Mr. Anon said...

"OT, and you can delete this part if you want -- I found this on YouTube, it's a 2 year follow up on the D.C. black boy and Silicon Valley white girl in Waiting for Superman. You just might be able to turn this into commentary.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYCc_YoszxU"

I saw that little clip. The girl - well on her way to being an NWL - went to Malawi to teach the people there words to describe their families. Do people like her realize what they are saying? How incredibly arrogant it is? We have to teach you beknighted, backward (black - not that that matters, why did I even mention it - I must be a racist - forget I said that) people how to even think about your own family members. I would not forgive them for despising us. White people should stay the hell out of Africa and stop telling them how to run their affairs.

Anonymous said...

"But I thought mass immigration was good for the economy."

Its only good for the elites.

jody said...

"But, I thought massive immigration was Good for the Economy?"

having millions of people below the official government calculated poverty line can still be good for economic 'growth'. they are not mutually exclusive conditions. slaves worked for zero dollars an hour and contributed to economic growth. just not for themselves.

as we've established, both the cultural marxists, er, democrats, as well as Conservatism Inc., would love to have 20 million new americans toiling away for federal minimum wage. what better way to set the US back on the path to 'growth' than to flood it with millions of 7 dollar an hour workers.

jody said...

texas produces 2.7 million barrels of oil per day, on it's way up to 3 million by 2014. if texas were a country, this would make it about the number 10 oil producer in the world. texas itself will be producing more oil than mexico, and put it in the same league as venezuela, the united arab emirates, and iraq. now reflect on neocon policy of securing oil resources in iraq by launching a 1 trillion dollar invasion - a nation which only produces about as much oil as a US state will soon. what's the ROI on this? not looking good.

at current prices of 100 dollars a barrel, that's 300 million dollars a day, 9 billion a month, or 108 billion a year. 100 billion a year in economic activity can support A TON of IQ 88 minimum wage caliber citizens. california has no such luxury. it's going to rely on taxing the middle class europeans to death. it would probably tax the computer industry to death as well, but they seem to get out of the way of the huge tax hammer that comes down on most other industries in states under complete democrat control.

of course hindsight is always 20/20. at the time of the iraq invasion, US oil production was heading inexorably downward. texas production in march 2003, when US forces landed in iraq, was only 1.1 million barrels per day, and continued to slowly decline all the way down until it hit bottom in july 2007 at just 1.059 million barrels. tripling the oil production between 2007 and 2014 is an astounding turn of events, though it was mainly driven by very high prices and new tech. and, that new production is only helpful if you're an oil producer, work for an oil producer, or are a parasite government which taxes an oil producer. if you're merely an oil consumer, a 3 fold increase in supply hasn't made prices fall. pricers are higher than ever.

countenance said...

Mr. Anon

What I noticed about that Superman follow-up clip is that the black boy from DC ("Anthony") was starting to get more interested in basketball than anything, mainly because he hit puberty, and therefore, I think his mental development had just about leveled out. If they do another follow up on him later on, he'll probably show to be falling behind in school, and for him, it was that $35k/yr boarding school in D.C.

As far as the white girl in the SV, "Emily," what I picked up on is that she was doing decently in her public high school, which she had to go to because she couldn't get into the charter school. Remember, her parents were so worried about her going to the public high school, according to Superman, because of its tracking. As Sailer noted, the real reason is that her parents didn't want their lower track daughter to have Hispanic friends who would also be in that school's lower track, and didn't want her to have Hispanic boyfriends.

The follow-up only implied she was doing okay in school, but it didn't go over the quality of her boyfriends.

Anonymous said...

"And a lot of Mexi-girls are hot."

hot-too-squat.

Jefferson said...

I live in a Bay Area suburb where East Asians outnumber Hispanics.

So my suburb does not have a huge poverty problem like the rest of the state, because East Asian households on average earn a lot more money than Hispanic households.

I am lucky enough to live in one of the more desirable areas of California. Thanks to the fact that my father makes a very comfortable living.

The majority of Hispanics in California can not afford to live in my suburb, hence why the percentage of Hispanics in my town is significantly lower then their share in the state as a whole.

My town is only 15 percent Hispanic, while California as a whole is almost 40 percent Hispanic.

Mr. Anon said...

I have noticed that there are cities in the San Francisco Bay Area (on the peninsula) that have seen a huge influx of hispanics and, as a result, they now look............well, they look great. The neighborhoods are orderly and clean, the houses well-maintained. Not to be too boorish, but is there a higher class of Mexican moving into these areas? (and I don't mean "more European rather than Mestizo", I simply mean more responsible, hard-working, future-oriented, etc.) I have read that there are places in the Valley that are becoming like Mexico, but Santa Clara and San Mateo counties - frankly - look better than ever, as far as I can tell.

Cail Corishev said...

"The neighborhoods are orderly and clean, the houses well-maintained. Not to be too boorish, but is there a higher class of Mexican moving into these areas?"

Gay Mexicans, maybe? Is that a thing?

Anonymous said...

"But, I thought massive immigration was Good for the Economy?" - Massive poverty is good for the economy. atleast in the short term.

Anonymous said...

http://rt.com/news/piracy-damage-study-uk-726/

Anonymous said...

http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/introduction-the-european-left-in-crisis

Anonymous said...

http://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/what-happened-to-mexico-an-interview-with-anabel-hernandez

Jefferson said...

{quote]I have noticed that there are cities in the San Francisco Bay Area (on the peninsula) that have seen a huge influx of hispanics and, as a result, they now look............well, they look great. The neighborhoods are orderly and clean, the houses well-maintained. Not to be too boorish, but is there a higher class of Mexican moving into these areas? (and I don't mean "more European rather than Mestizo", I simply mean more responsible, hard-working, future-oriented, etc.) I have read that there are places in the Valley that are becoming like Mexico, but Santa Clara and San Mateo counties - frankly - look better than ever, as far as I can tell.[/quote]

Actually the best suburbs in the Bay Area to live in are the ones where Asians outnumber Hispanics. Because these suburbs tend to have a very low crime rate. They really are living up to the model minority image.