Don't results count?
Posted by aogWednesday, 20 July 2011 at 22:37 TrackBack Ping URL

An interesting article and chart which shows that general progress against poverty in the USA was making slow and varying progress until the Great Society when the government stepped in to “help”. As predicted by free market types like me, progress almost immediately ground to a halt. “Unexpectedly”, of course. But clearly that can’t be the fault of any government program or action, it must have been Fox News convincing people to stay poor just for spite.

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Harry Eagar Sunday, 24 July 2011 at 21:22
Does not pass the tarpaper shack test. Pre-Great Society, millions of Americans lived happily in tarpaper shacks. Now, post-Great Society, they are doomed to live in apartments with running water. (I suppose this kind of 'study' will find admirers among people who are not old enough to remember the '50s, but I was there and I haven't forgotten.)
Annoying Old Guy Monday, 25 July 2011 at 12:10
What doesn't pass that test? That the official statistics created by the US government don't show that trend line? I am aware of the situation with regard to poverty in the 1950s. Is your view that the 1950s were basically the same as the 1900s, and the 1850s, and that the situation didn't start to improve until the Great Society?
Harry Eagar Monday, 25 July 2011 at 13:25
No, it started to improve with the New Deal. But, yeah, despite the New Deal, in 1950 the situation where I grew up was basically unchanged since 1900, and, economically speaking, since 1850. If you can overlook something as big as the Depression, I suppose you can overlook anything. In 1966, Senator Billy Spong took a tour of Southside Virginia and eastern North Carolina to demonstrate the fact. The howls from the business community were intense.
Annoying Old Guy Monday, 25 July 2011 at 14:32
Let's ask this again, since you passed it on by. bq. What doesn’t pass that test? That the official statistics created by the US government don’t show that trend line? Here, let me fix up your comment a bit. bq. No, it started to improve with the New Deal [...] If you can overlook something as big as the Depression Ah, much more accurate. I do think that perhaps you should look at actual statistics, rather than presuming your personal experience is sufficient to describe nation wide trends. For instance, you might check out electrification rates, or telephones, or even automobiles. I would be somewhat surprised to find that these rates among the poor were the same in 1950 as 1850, or even 1900. Now, my personal experience is much different, and far more significantly so is the experience of She Who Is Perfect In All Ways' family, who have lived in the same local area for 6 generations. I have many friends from here whose family history is similar. Why does your personal history trump mine?
erp Monday, 25 July 2011 at 16:39
How about mine. I was an adult in the 50's living in NYC and while the living wasn't easy, it was a lot better for the downtrodden than it is today. For one thing, drugs weren't rampant. For another, families were intact. Most ethnics including negroes or coloreds as blacks were called back then lived in their own neighborhoods where there were extensive support systems. Maybe the buildings were ramshackle, but they were on a human scale and far better than the awful projects which replaced them. As kids, we went all over Brooklyn and Queens on our bikes without a moment's fear no matter which neighborhood we were in. During the war there were jobs for all, then the boys came home and blacks who came to the cities from the south during the war were pushed out by the unions. Welfare for families with no male presence killed poor families of all colors dead and we haven't looked back -- we just keep on doing more of the same wrong-headed thing. Harry, I've never lived without running water, but a whole lot of people, including my folks, did and they survived quite nicely. I'd much rather have a father for my kids than a nice shiny water faucet paid for by confiscating money from others.
Harry Eagar Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 13:05
Oh those happy darkies, them were the days, weren't they? How ungrateful of them to have objected to the fine conditions they were enjoying. And they were so healthy, they didn't even need doctors and hospitals, which was a savings for the taxpaying public. Who wouldn't want to go back to that?
erp Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 13:39
Harry, sarcasm only works when there's a underlying truth. In this case, there isn't any. I didn't say the "darkies" were happy, I said conditions before the multi-trillion dollar war on poverty were far better than conditions that followed and health care for the poor is worse. How can that be when the government is running Medicaid, a totally free, single payer, i.e., the taxpayer paid, program for the indigent. How could it be that poor people are worse off after decades of following your prescription for a cure? It couldn't be that all that money has gone into the pockets of powerful dems could it? Nah. Rich fat cat white Wall Street Corporationist Republicans are the culprits.
Harry Eagar Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 11:56
You're misinformed. They are not worse off now. For one thing, they don't live in tarpaper shacks.
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