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Poverty update 07 05-15

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Presentation on Poverty for my classes

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Poverty update 07 05-15

  1. 1. POVERTY? 1
  2. 2.  THE WORD ”POVERTY” IS THE WRONG WORD.  WHAT IS THE “RIGHT” WORD? 2
  3. 3. DEPRIVATION ! 3 I will replace it often throughout this series of slides to see what happens.
  4. 4. "DEPRIVATION" in the US and Elsewhere 4 "Conservatives say if you don't give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they've lost all incentive because we've given them too much money.” George Carlin
  5. 5. The many are not enslaved because they are poor, they are poor because they are enslaved. Bertrand Russell 5
  6. 6. "If a free society cannot help the many are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." ~ John F. Kennedy inaugural address, January 20, 1961 6
  7. 7. "DEPRIVATION" in the US Our typical view of such phenomena is called “ideographic.” This looks at the individual case. The person on the street. Another view is called “nomothetic.” This word basically means “law” (nomos) and looks at “general” circumstances. That is, how might this condition be in the social realm, not just for this individual. 7
  8. 8. "DEPRIVATION" in the US As such, we might use our “sociological imagination” as C. Wright Mills suggested not all that long ago. That is, when a condition applies to an individual only, there is a personal trouble. But when such a condition is affecting many people, then there is a public issue (i.e. a social problem). For more on this consider reading his work in more detail at http://socialsciences.nsula.edu/assets/Site- Files/The-Promise.pdf ` 8
  9. 9. "DEPRIVATION" in the US The stigma and stereotyping of "DEPRIVATION" in the United States is intense, and the media, for whatever reasons, does much to perpetuate these negative images. 9
  10. 10. "DEPRIVATION" in the US Let’s look at some of the common stereotypes. (Perhaps your personal experience supports some): 1. Lazy 2. Addicted to alcohol or drugs 3. Prefer welfare to employment (“work the system”) 4. The “Welfare Queen,” who is usually black, drives a Cadillac. 5. The single mother who had more children to extend welfare benefits. 10
  11. 11. The Welfare Queen Myth The term "welfare queen" was created by then presidential candidate Ronald Reagan in 1976 during his 1976 concession speech. He would tell the story of a woman from Chicago's South Side who was arrested for welfare fraud: 11
  12. 12. Reagan’s Speech 1976  "She has eighty names, thirty addresses, twelve Social Security cards and is collecting veteran's benefits on four non- existing deceased husbands. And she is collecting Social Security on her cards. She's got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names. Her tax-free cash income is over $150,000." 12
  13. 13. Reagan’s Speech 1976  Per a New York Times article Reagan did not have the facts.  In fact the woman he referred to had four aliases, not 89, collected about $8,000, not $150,000.  Regardless, the myth continues. 13
  14. 14. WHO REALLY GETS GOVERNMENT AID? 14
  15. 15. If you expand the definition of "government benefit" to include tax expenditures, many more Americans benefit. There's a long-standing debate about whether to count tax breaks like the mortgage- interest deduction for homeowners or the employer health deduction as a government "benefit." Some economists say that these tax expenditures are no different from actual spending. Others contend that these deductions merely allow people to keep more of their own money. Yet these tax expenditures added up to about $1.2 trillion in 2011. And they tend to flow disproportionately toward wealthier households: Washington Post By Brad Plumer September 18, 2012
  16. 16. How many in "DEPRIVATION" are we? As of 2014, the number of people in the United States who qualify as being in "DEPRIVATION" is now about 45 million people. That is around 15 percent of our population. 19 Statistics US Census Bureau cited in Huffington Post 09/16/2014
  17. 17. Culture of ”Poverty" Thesis:  …[T]hey have neither the knowledge, the vision nor the ideology to see the similarities between their problems and those of others like themselves elsewhere in the world. In other words, they are not class conscious, although they are very sensitive indeed to status distinctions.  (Lewis 1998 in Wikipedia) 20
  18. 18. My Argument:  If, say, the “culture of Poverty” thesis is true, that the poor are deliberately lazy and live by a different value system that the rest of the country, then wouldn’t that make the United States the laziest of all the industrialized nations? 21
  19. 19. 22 The Number and Rate of the "DEPRIVATION" in the US, 1959-2010
  20. 20. 23
  21. 21. 24 Could you live on this here in Salinas?
  22. 22. Who are our Deprived?  Minorities  Children  Disabled  Single mothers 25
  23. 23. 26
  24. 24. Alyssa lives with her parents in Kentucky. She is an only child but her grandmother, uncle, and orphaned cousin live close by. Their small, shabby house, heated only by a wooden stove, is falling apart. The ceiling in Alyssa's bedroom is beginning to cave in. The family would like to buy a trailer if they could afford it. Alyssa's mother works at McDonald's and her father works at Walmart; everything they earn goes towards bringing up their daughter. (http://www.motherjones.com/media/2012/11/kids-bedrooms-james-mollison)
  25. 25. Children Under 18 suffering from "DEPRIVATION" 28 Category Number (in thousands) Percent All children under 18 16,401 22.0 White, non-Hispanic 5,002 12.4 Black 4,817 38.2 Hispanic 6,110 35.0 Asian and Pacific Islander 547 13.3 NOTE: These numbers have gone up quite a bit since 2005
  26. 26. Using The lunch program as a rough proxy for "DEPRIVATION", the Southern Education Foundation reports that 51 percent of students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade in the 2012-2013 school year were eligible for the federal program that provides free and reduced- price lunches.
  27. 27. Food Stamps SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Per GOVT web page: http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/applicant_recipients/facts.htm It states that it helps low-income people buy the food they need for good health. You may be able to get SNAP benefits if you are: •Working for low wages or working part-time •Unemployed •Receiving welfare or other public assistance payments •Adjunct college instructors •Elderly or disabled and are low-income; •Homeless.
  28. 28. "DEPRIVATION" Numbers by Race 2009 32 •Non-Hispanic Whites: 29.8 million (12.3%) •Hispanic: 12.3 million (25.3 %) •African American: 10 million (25.8%) •Asian & Pacific Islander: 17.5 million (12.5%) (US Census 2009)
  29. 29. 33
  30. 30. Women  In 2007, 28.3 percent of households headed by single women were poor. (Read that number again please.)  13.6 percent of households headed by single men and 4.9 percent of married- couple households lived in "DEPRIVATION". (National Poverty Center) 34
  31. 31. Veterans:  About 12% of the adult homeless population are veterans.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 49,933 veterans are homeless on any given night. * NOTE: There are now (2016) programs addressing this. I may be able to ditch this slide soon! 35
  32. 32. Veterans:  About 1.4 million other veterans, meanwhile, are considered at risk of homelessness due to "DEPRIVATION", lack of support networks, and dismal living conditions in overcrowded or substandard housing.National Coalition for Homeless Veteranshttp://nchv.org/index.php/news/m edia/background_and_statistics/ 36
  33. 33. 37
  34. 34. By age 50, 42 percent of Americans will have been in "DEPRIVATION" for at least a year. (Lauer and Lauer 2006) [It still checks out as of 2010 from a variety of interpretations of census data.] 38
  35. 35. Families with children are among the fastest growing group of the homeless. Later we can look at "DEPRIVATION" in the world. For a peek, look at how we compare to many other countries. 39
  36. 36. "DEPRIVATION" in the US Perhaps you have heard the song: “Teenage Immigrant Welfare Mothers on Drugs.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uByGoPGP9wY Need I say more? Perhaps I should. 40
  37. 37. More on shelter, or lack of 41
  38. 38. Median income as a measure in the US: In 1992, $13,000 was the ”poverty" level for families consisting of an elderly couple because the median income for such families was $26,000. But the official "DEPRIVATION" figure was only $8,500, about one-third the median income. 42
  39. 39. Wealth and Income Distribution While income (what you earn regularly) is a useful measure of social strata, wealth (what you have) is better. Let’s look at the US distribution of wealth: 43
  40. 40.  The wealthiest 1 percent of American households own nearly 40 percent of the nation’s wealth.  The lowest 40 percent own about 1 percent of the nation’s wealth  The poorest 20 percent of Americans receive 5.7 percent, and the richest 20 percent receive 55 percent of all after-tax income—the greatest inequality in the developed world.  (Lauer and Lauer 2006) 44
  41. 41. Global "DEPRIVATION" 45
  42. 42. Country Best off 10th Poorest 10th Inequality Index Sweden 152% 56% 2.7 Netherlands 175 62 2.9 Norway 162 55 2.9 Switzerland 185 54 3.4 France 193 55 3.5 U K 194 51 3.8 Canada 184 46 4.0 Italy 198 49 4.1 United States 206 35 5.9 Gini Index by select developed nations 46
  43. 43. 47 GNP Per Capita for Selected Countries
  44. 44. 48
  45. 45. In Sweden the poverty-level is applied to incomes at about 60 percent of the median Swedish income; and in other European countries it varies between 40 and 60 percent. In other words, in countries the standards for qualifying as being in poverty are lower than those of the US. Thus, making comparisons consider that the US has even MORE people impoverished than the numbers indicate. 49
  46. 46. 50 GDP Per Capita for Selected Countries
  47. 47. Two Categories Absolute "DEPRIVATION" Relative "DEPRIVATION" 51
  48. 48. Absolute "DEPRIVATION" is a condition in which people do not have adequate resources to met their minimum needs, such as food, water, clothing and shelter. 52
  49. 49. Childhood "DEPRIVATIO N" rates in rich countries. UNICEF, 2005 53
  50. 50. Absolute "DEPRIVATION" USA 54
  51. 51. Relative "DEPRIVATION" applies to those for whom the minimum needs have been met, but who still experience a great deal of economic uncertainty. They have few options for the goods they can afford. Also, although they are often working, they are underemployeed. 55
  52. 52. Relative "DEPRIVATION" Relative "DEPRIVATION" is what we my think of as the dominant form in the United States, and indeed, the rest of the so-called “developed” world. 56
  53. 53. Relative "DEPRIVATION" UK 57
  54. 54. Some Relative "DEPRIVATION" around us now 58
  55. 55. More of the absolute stuff USA 59
  56. 56. Criterion for Global "DEPRIVATION" The UNDP (United Nations Development Program) has use as a measure the “less than a dollar a day” criterion. It estimates that 1.3 billion people meet this measure worldwide. 60
  57. 57. 61
  58. 58. Also is the capability ”poverty" measure (CPM) for poverty. It is based upon three criteria: 1 The capability to be well nourished (measured by the proportion of children under the age of five who are underweight. 62
  59. 59. 2 The capability for healthy reproduction, measured by the proportion of births unattended by trained health personnel. 3 The capability to be educated, measured by female illiteracy. 63
  60. 60. Relative Rates of "DEPRIVATION" Source: Michael F. Forster,"Measurement of low Income and "DEPRIVATION" in a Perspective of International Comparisons," Occasional Paper No.14. Paris:OECD,1994. 64 Country/Year Percent USA 1986 18.7% Australia 1985-6 15.7 Canada 1987 15.4 U.K. 1986 12.4 Sweden 1987 12.1 Italy 1986 10.1 France 1984 8.9 Germany 1984-5 8.5 Belgium 1985 5.4 Netherlands 1987 4.7
  61. 61. 65
  62. 62.  ▪The fact that the poorest Americans are worse off than the poorest Europeans is confirmed whatever "DEPRIVATION" and inequality measure is taken as a basis.  While the average American has a higher living standard than the average resident in the other countries, this does not hold for the entire spectrum of the income distribution.  Furthermore, the levels and duration of "DEPRIVATION" is higher in the United States and the United Kingdom than in Continental European countries: more people experience "DEPRIVATION" and stay longer in "DEPRIVATION" in US and UK. (OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) 66
  63. 63. 2 Minute Classroom Writing: Would you pay more in taxes to eliminate "DEPRIVATION"? 67
  64. 64. Denmark Without Taxes (a 30 second video) 68
  65. 65. ADDENDUM 69
  66. 66. Here in Salinas, a proposed solution:  Merely pass an ordinance that “sets forth a process to remove things like tents, furniture, shopping carts and more from city property.”  The ordinance, titled "Restricting Bulky Items and Personal Property on City Property," sets forth a process to remove things like tents, furniture, shopping carts and more from city property. In the process, a notice can be posted 24 hours before the removal and then the property owner can claim the property within 90 days. 70 http://www.thecalifornian.com/story/news/my-safety/2015/10/13/ordinance- passed-remove-homeless-property/73885824/
  67. 67. Previous students journal  WEDNESDAY 03 SEPTEMBER, 201X Well, no Sociology class today; chance to get some work done, after sleeping in to make up for some much needed sleep. Stayed up late last night watching a DVD movie. Uneventful for the most part, just did my usual and went to Starbucks to have some coffee, then read a little, resolved some personal issues on the internet that needed to resolved, since I had procrastinated them a bit. I have to rely on their power supply and their WI-FI when not at Hartnells' or Steinbeck's Libraries, or McDonalds' WI-FI, and occasionally Jack In The Box though it doesn't have WI- FI yet; since I don't have any other source of electricity, lest I stay at a motel, which I cannot afford often.  Such is the life of a “homeless vet that goes to college.” It's not easy for people whom have never been there; either a homeless person, or a veteran, and most of all – going to college while living on the streets of Salinas. It's been one hard road, that seems to have more pot holes than it has even surface. Not the kind of road most would be anxious to take, and not easy to fix, nor inexpensive to repair. As Mills explained, each individual's experiences vary, and each has it's own perceptions; there is no precise method or manner of determining the many variables of the sociological structure as the only and absolute method of inquiry, or towards finding solutions to the problems that occur in one's lifespan; they can be because of one's choices, or they can be because of a wider influence on account of the complexities of social cross-cultural interactions. 71
  68. 68. :Despite occasional efforts to discredit the anti"DEPRIVATION" consequences of social security programs, the literature generally confirms that the welfare state achieves its goals of reducing "DEPRIVATION" and inequality (e.g., Moller et al. 2003 ; Scruggs and Allan 2006 ). That the welfare state does reduce poverty has enormous implications for human well-being in that the literature documents a multitude of destructive and injurious effects of poverty, including lower self-esteem, lower efficacy, higher rates of depression, and other deleterious psychological states (e.g., Simmons et al. 2010 ). It is also well established that poverty is highly correlated with, and a demonstrable cause of, poor physical health, greater rates of alcoholism, domestic violence, and divorce rates, all of which are clearly inimical to human well-being (for a review, see Radcliff [2013] ). FROM: Size of Government and Human Well-Being, Assessing the Impact of the Size and Scope of Government on Human Well- Being, Patrick Flavin, Baylor University, Alexander C. Pacek, Texas A&M University, Benjamin Radcliff, University of Notre Dame 72
  69. 69. # 73

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