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Working Class Whites Are Giving Up Hope.

Written by Gary North on July 29, 2013

Working class whites are giving up economic hope, according to a recent poll. They did not vote for Obama.

The article did talk about single-mother households. They are in poverty, of course.

—For the first time since 1975, the number of white single-mother households who were living in poverty with children surpassed or equaled black ones in the past decade, spurred by job losses and faster rates of out-of-wedlock births among whites. White single-mother families in poverty stood at nearly 1.5 million in 2011, comparable to the number for blacks. Hispanic single-mother families in poverty trailed at 1.2 million.

What did the social planners expect? If the government subsidizes a particular behavior, we get more of it. That was the conservative argument a generation ago. It was dismissed as heartless by liberals.

It has now come to this.

Sometimes termed “the invisible poor” by demographers, lower-income whites are generally dispersed in suburbs as well as small rural towns, where more than 60 percent of the poor are white. Concentrated in Appalachia in the East, they are also numerous in the industrial Midwest and spread across America’s heartland, from Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma up through the Great Plains.

More than 19 million whites fall below the poverty line of $23,021 for a family of four, accounting for more than 41 percent of the nation’s destitute, nearly double the number of poor blacks. . . .

In 2011 that snapshot showed 12.6 percent of adults in their prime working-age years of 25-60 lived in poverty. But measured in terms of a person’s lifetime risk, a much higher number — 4 in 10 adults — falls into poverty for at least a year of their lives.

How bad is it? Very.

By race, nonwhites still have a higher risk of being economically insecure, at 90 percent. But compared with the official poverty rate, some of the biggest jumps under the newer measure are among whites, with more than 76 percent enduring periods of joblessness, life on welfare or near-poverty.

By 2030, based on the current trend of widening income inequality, close to 85 percent of all working-age adults in the U.S. will experience bouts of economic insecurity.

This is what 80 years of welfare state politics have produced. But of course, no one in the mainstream mentions this.

“Poverty is no longer an issue of ‘them’, it’s an issue of ‘us’,” says Mark Rank, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis who calculated the numbers. “Only when poverty is thought of as a mainstream event, rather than a fringe experience that just affects blacks and Hispanics, can we really begin to build broader support for programs that lift people in need.”

Pessimism now reigns.

Going back to the 1980s, never have whites been so pessimistic about their futures, according to the General Social Survey, which is conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago. Just 45 percent say their family will have a good chance of improving their economic position based on the way things are in America.

The divide is especially evident among those whites who self-identify as working class: 49 percent say they think their children will do better than them, compared with 67 percent of non-whites who consider themselves working class.

In November, Obama won the votes of just 36 percent of those noncollege whites, the worst performance of any Democratic nominee among that group since 1984.

The reason is not stated. It is discussed at length by Charles Murray in his 2012 book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010. The reason is moral. Lower-middle-class whites have adopted the lifestyle that we usually associate with inner-city blacks.

What can be done about this? Murray has no suggestions, other than this one, aimed at successful white liberals: “Preach what you practice.” They practice stable marriage. They preach unfettered sexual liberation. Their message has been heard, with disastrous results.

There will be no solutions from Washington. The welfare system has failed. That was Murray’s message in 1984: Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980. Left intellectuals hated that book. It is now 25 years later. Its dire predictions have come true.

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27 thoughts on “Working Class Whites Are Giving Up Hope.

  1. Tom Cook says:

    Had these young women the least bit of self-esteem, they'd not have spread their legs for the first dirtbag who came along and now they have bought a life of poverty or at least substandard living. They are stupid young females and they generate little sympathy in my mind. There is no cure for stupidity.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have a landscape company and recently hired a guy straight out of jail. He lives in a local shelter. They feed him breakfast and dinner, and they send him off with a huge sack lunch each day. When we stop for fuel he goes into the convenience store and buys ice cream sandwiches and bottled drinks using the food stamp card the State loads with $200 per month. I pay him nearly twice per hour more than what I cleared my first year in business after all my investment and expenses.

    And he has 3 young kids on welfare with his ex-wife.

    Why would he work harder or do more? His reward is already greater than his contribution.

    But he thinks he deserves more, that he “needs” more “help”.

    Any politician that votes to take away from the creators in society to give to the do-nothings should be charged with robbery.

  3. electricangel1978 says:

    Are there that many young men with large paychecks waiting to sweep those women off their feet? I think not. They'd likely have found a fellow poor person, unless they were exceptionally beautiful enough to attract a wealthier man.

    No, the big change hasn't been in economic poverty, but moral and spiritual poverty. There was a time when the poor had the same morals and churches as the rich, when neighborhoods weren't segregated by income but ethnicity or religion. The utter collapse of community has made economic poverty far, far worse, and that collapse of community we can lay right at the feet of the Federal government.

  4. They’ve killed off eastern steel mills, now they’re closing down coal mines. These two industries plus the union-killed car manufacturing employed millions. Thanks a lot dumboctrats!

  5. When Obama was re-elected on Tuesday, I officially retired the following Thursday. I have been self-employed for the past 40+ years. I could see (what I thought was) the "hand writing on the wall." I was tired of the whole mess. As I saw it, the administrative rules, and such, were strangling the life out of me. Couple that with earning less money and no real positive outlook, and I said, "the young folks want this guy that's leading them to serfdom, I hope they enjoy the ride to the bottom." I was involved, too. I did not live in a vacuum. I chaired a county political Central Committee, a state legislative race, was a candidate for County Commissioner and the State Senate. I now have NO respect for congressmen, senators, governors – the whole system. I don't even read a newspaper anymore or the evening news.

  6. I know how you feel and I sympathize. But you have something to share that no one on this planet does — your 40+ years of experience in your chosen field. I believe those of us who have been educated in the "school of hard knocks" has a duty to at least try to rescue our fellow man from serfdom. There are still those out there who don't want to waste their lives and you could help lift them up by showing them at least one way to avoid the shackles. You can celebrate those 40 years by helping others achieve their own brand of success. Consider a blog, a self-published book, a podcast — there are dozens of ways to reach out over the net — and you will find an audience of those who are searching for just what you have to offer. Don't ever give in to the temptation to quit living your life as fully as possible, having goals and dreams and aspirations — these are what make us want to get up in the morning and "carry on."

  7. Actually, Gary, if you were a real economist you'd understand that 80 years of corporate lobbying efforts have produced not a welfare state, but a Wal-Mart state where corporations can pay unlivable wages – legally – which forces people onto public assistance. Each Wal-Mart store benefits from over $400,000 in public assistance each year, with some at over $900,000. Your ALEC-puppet Koch-whore politicians have produced nothing but corporate welfare queens.

  8. Wal-Mart is just the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds, if not thousands of companies profit off the hard work and economic misery of their employees. Congratulations on your free market!

  9. Uhh, I don't know where you get your facts from, but Chinese-based imports have killed off US manufacturing. Blame that on the Wal-Mart you frequently shop at.

  10. You're a sick man, Tom. Get some help.

  11. I get that and fully agree. We, in 2013 America are in dire straits but look at the people we elect to office. One of the congressional reps in my state has been in office for over 25 years. She is as worthless as t*ts on a bull but you'd think the electorate would see this and elect someone new? Not on your life! What do you do when people become so complacent they don't realize they are screwing themselves? Please offer a solution…I'd love to hear it!

  12. yeah…sin is always stupid in every form…in fact worse, it is to love death…and that is what we are witnessing: the death of a culture.

  13. Bill in NC says:

    The single mothers I know were married, until abandoned by their husbands, usually for a girlfriend 25-35 years younger.

    Most states have either eliminated alimony or put strict time limits on it, so in a few years the philandering ex-husband is free of any financial obligations to his former wife.

    And now the kids get to travel between mom & dad (& daddy's new squeeze), which doesn't exactly lead to stable relationships in their future…

  14. You're both right. The pincers have been applied from both directions. By design, IMHO.

  15. Shane, public assistance = welfare. Once you create the welfare state, the corporations will use it to their advantage. The free market did not create public assistance.

    You have been refuted…again.

  16. Re: Shane,
    — Actually, Gary, if you were a real economist —
    Drag a chair, people! We're going to receive a lesson in economics from someone who fancies himself the best over men.

    — you'd understand that 80 years of corporate lobbying efforts have produced not a welfare state, but a Wal-Mart state where corporations can pay unlivable wages – legally – which forces people onto public assistance —

    Mark this day in your calendar so that, each year, Wikipedia mentions today as the day when Shane presented his economic theory on wages: You see, wages are low because they're "legal".

  17. Re: Shane,
    — Uhh, I don't know where you get your facts from, but Chinese-based imports have killed off US manufacturing —

    Oh-h! The buggy-whip is gone! Woe is us!

    — Blame that on the Wal-Mart you frequently shop at. —

    Blame the bargain hunters! Misers! How dare they look for lower prices??? There are leeches that need subsidizing!

  18. Translation: I understand nothing about wages and how they are determined on the market. They are determined arbitrarily by big, bad corporations! Of course, if this were true, everyone in the US would be working for the minimum wage, when in fact about 4% do. D'oh!

  19. Sounds like the people in Detroit. They could not help themselves, and kept voting for the same "nothings" and look where it got them.

  20. When a Woman can have a bunch of Brats No legal Father on the books,and live well, on Welfare/SNAPl W/O working, take in a lover, and get his money, put the 15 and older kids on the street selling Drugs and doing Burglaries, Hell, why should any single Mother Bust her Azz working. The White Women learned this Trick from the Minorities! Use to be that a white woman had to have Zebra Kids to collect Welfare, –Not Now! 51% of the Nation Pay No Taxes. Welcome to Obama-Land!

  21. Wall Mart has nothing to do with the current lack of jobs, Pass the Pipe-line and stop all the Agenda 21 and Global Warming B/S . The Economy will come Back! The Demo-Commies are Doing this to us! For a NWO, the Soviets AND the U.S.A have to Fail! They're Half There. BTW, I have a B.A. Social Science! Soo it's not a Red-Neck Rant, It's an Educated Red-Neck Rant!!

  22. Linda Lou says:

    Every time the Bolshevik-Communist takeover occurred the majority was always in poverty. The article says that by 2030 "close to 85 percent of all working-age adults in the U.S. will experience bouts of economic insecurity," in soviet Russia, 80% of the population was considered to be poor. If you look at when they killed off the Chinese, the majority of them were in poverty. It was all manufactured poverty and starvation.
    The majority of the people they murdered were Christians and Nationalists.
    That is who they are coming for. That is who they plan to wipe out here in America – and the rest of the Western World. Their Talmud commands them to wipe out all of the Christians, so that their "Tribe" can rule over the Goyim.

  23. Single Mother implies never married to the minds of many: Perhaps a new term is needed to describe Women who have never been married but have children; so as to differentiate them from abandoned mothers. I see many young, self described, single Women on the dating sites and Craigslist who already have had their "fun" and produced children and now are looking for a new man to join their ready made family! These are the ones who have benefited from a Liberal sex education – i.e. "Spread your wings (legs), woman, and enjoy being sexually liberated! They were given the license to "do their own thing" in the secure knowledge that the rest of Society – those still having decent jobs – would pay the expenses if their sex partner split! Thank you Progressive America!

  24. Competition! When industry can no longer compete it ether moves to where it has better odds, or it goes under! For various reasons, the cost of operating in America and employing American workers became more than for their foreign counterparts. No industry can survive when the cost of its product exceeds the cost of competing products! At a certain point it is even more cost effective for the consumer to buy cheaper quality products and just renew them more often! That is where we are with our China trade! Plus; just try to build a factory here in the US! After possibly years of EPA mandated environmental studies – where there is more concern for a displaced Pi**Ant than for American workers – and installing the latest mandated Enviro-tech, and dealing with Gov't reg's and taxes, OSHA, Unions, etc., why would anyone want to mess with all that? And don't forget workers who are incensed that a business owner makes a profit big enough to make dealing with the Bull crap worthwhile! It's no wonder this Nation is losing jobs!

  25. Are you say Walmart would have to pay more without welfare or would the same people be relying on charity?

  26. It's simply a case of what makes a working class White American more valuable than a Chinese or Indian worker? It's a helluva lot cheaper to have Chinese and Indian produce the merchandise then ship it to the world than hire Americans? Well there you go. Don't bother blaming the gubmint because if the government were laiissez-faire then there'd be no welfare, minimum wages, anti-child labour laws nor compulsory education for minors. Hence an adult worker would be living off charity because children are the ones working on the cheap in factories across America.

  27. I wrote neither of your suggestions.

    I can see you like to speculate on what if scenarios, such as your dubious suggestion that without anti-child labor laws fathers would sit around goofing off while their sons and daughters work themselves to exhaustion in factories.

    But I have no interest in speculating on Walmart what-if scenarios, I described what Walmart actually does in the real world.