America’s Economy: Failure to Thrive Hits Poorest the Hardest

Young girl with tears streaming down her cheeks

A new study released Tuesday reveals that the poverty rates among American children have risen under the Obama Administration, especially African-American, American Indian, and Latino children.

The study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation showed poverty rates among all children have grown since 2008, when the rate was 18%; the rate increased to 22% by 2013. The report indicated particularly bleak news for African-American, American Indian, and Latino children, stating, “On nearly all of the measures that [it] track[s], African-American, American Indian and Latino children continued to experience negative outcomes at rates that were higher than the national average.” [Sources:,, Annie E. Casey Foundation]

I’m confused.

I’m repeatedly told that things like government health insurance, minimum wage law increases, increases in food stamps, higher taxes for people who make more than $250,000 a year, and increased spending on public education and community colleges make life better for everyone, particularly for African-American, American Indian and Latino children.

“Investment” of money, taken from the private sector and redistributed by the government, is supposed to improve life for those on the lowest economic rungs. At a minimum, life should not become decidedly worse. To suggest otherwise,  I have been told again and again, is no different than racism.

The logic goes like this:

Government programs and requirements make life better for the poorest in America, most of whom are people of “color.”

The only reason for opposing government redistribution of wealth — particularly Obama’s policies, since he’s black — would be racism.

If you support Obama’s policies, you’re virtuous and nonracist; if you oppose them, you’re racist.

That’s the emotional “reasoning.”

But I don’t understand. How can it be racist to oppose Obama’s polices, when Obama’s policies have coincided with a statistically significant deterioration in the standard of living for blacks, Latinos and American Indians in inner cities or other poor areas? What gives?

The study admitted, “During the last three months of 2014, the unemployment rate for whites and Asian Americans was roughly 4.5 percent, compared with a devastating 11 percent for African Americans and 6.7 percent for Latinos.”

Now, we certainly cannot suggest that the dramatically higher unemployment rate for African Americans or Latinos has anything to do with free will or choice. This would be tantamount to saying that people in these racial groups are lazy and unproductive.

OK, then. We’ll assume that every single black and Latino person who’s unemployed is in that state because someone forced them, or victimized them.

But who or what victimized the African Americans and Latinos whose unemployment rate is so much higher? The government has made free health insurance, free cell phones, free food stamps and minimum wage laws more abundant and plentiful than ever before, particularly in the inner cities where these policies are popular. If these policies, laws and subsidies do provide more jobs, stimulate economic growth, and enable poor people to become more independent and self-reliant — then where’s the evidence? And why is there so much evidence to the contrary?

Almost 40% of African-American children live in poverty.

In 2013, according to the report, 31% of children lived in families where no parent had full-time, year-round employment. In 2000, 9% of children lived in census tracts where the total population’s poverty rate rose to at least 30%. From 2009 to 2013, that figure rose to 14%.

How do advocates of Obama-like policies of high taxes, increased government spending and regulation, and socialized medicine explain all this? Or, perhaps more relevant: Why will they not be asked to explain this?

My premise, of course, is that it’s better for the poorest and most vulnerable people to live in a thriving, economically prosperous private economy. In that setting, they can much more easily find jobs and be much less likely to perhaps be forced to rely on government programs. True, the rich get richer and the middle class get richer in a thriving private economy growing 4, 6 or 8 percent a year; but the poor get richer too.

Government programs, minimum wage laws, regulation and redistribution hamper the private economy, keep it from growing, and harm the people that advocates of these policies claim to care about the most.

Of course, if your desire is to see vulnerable people of “color” dependent on the government, and growing in unemployment along with the poverty that inevitably accompanies high unemployment and low economic growth/high taxation/high regulation, well then — I guess you’re happy with these figures.

Rich and middle class people are harmed by Obama’s policies too. They pay more in taxes, and they suffer under the yoke of government regulation, control and redistribution, just like everyone else, in the sense that they don’t make nearly as much personal and economic progress as they otherwise would have, unless, of course, they have connections in the government.

But the poorest and most vulnerable are the first and hardest hit. They have the most to lose from an economy that suffers from failure to thrive. That is now America’s economy. It was a problem before Obama, of course; George W. Bush spent more on social spending than any Republican president, perhaps ever, while his successor, Obama, has spent more than any civilization in human history (look at the national debt).

The poorest and most vulnerable are the hardest hit. Yet — tragically, heart-breakingly and self-defeatingly — they flock back to the very politicians, looters and wealthy manipulators who ensure their continued stagnation and poverty, in ever-greater numbers all the time.

Could the KKK or any other white supremacist, Nazi/racist group, have planned an outcome more fitting to their goals than what America’s progressives have accomplished?

And yet they all scream for more.


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