Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Saturday, July 5, 2014

The South Is Essentially A Solid, Grim Block Of Poverty

And the south is a solid bloc of conservative voting.  This is what southern conservative leaders have done for the citizens who vote against their best interests by keeping those conservatives in office.  And here is the result of their failed conservative policies.  Nothing but misery has "trickled down" to these southern states:

North Carolina and a handful of other Southern U.S. states saw the biggest increases in the number of people living in what are known as "poverty areas" between 2000 and 2010, according to a new Census Bureau report. Poverty areas are places where more than 20 percent of the people live below the federal poverty line, which varies by family size. For a family of four, the poverty line in most states is an annual income of $23,850. 

 Today, 25.7 percent of all Americans live in such areas, up from 18.1 percent in 2000, according to the report. Having a quarter of the nation living this way is a problem: Poverty areas are typically marked by "higher crime rates, poor housing conditions, and fewer job opportunities," the report points out.



Rational Nation USA said...

It is rather political to correlate this to simply conservative leadership in the south IMO. There certainly are other factors in addition to governmental leadership that impact on this and identifying them as well is important.

I would like to see more detailed data.

Shaw Kenawe said...

One thing that contributes to this sad situation is conservative governors of southern states refusing Medicaid expanded coverage for their citizens, cutting back on food stamps, and keeping the minimum wage low. That's for starters. Those 3 things negatively impact the economic life of families.

What do you think is the cause of the poverty rates in this section of the country? Policies? Culture? The economy?

Infidel753 said...

I've seen what seems to be an increasingly common right-wing response to such data. Any time the backwardness of the South is pointed out, they just say it's because the South has so many blacks and they drag all the averages down.

As if Mississippi and Alabama would be just like Massachusetts and Connecticut if you took all their black citizens out of the equation.

I don't know if there is any official breakdown of statistics on poverty, literacy, etc. by race, but I'm sure it would show that the white population in the South is more backward than the rest of the country.

Your own map shows that in fact culture is the driving force here (the direct causes of poverty are social backwardness, which is part of culture, and government policy, which is ultimately shaped by the culture of the voters). Look at the two exceptions in the solid block of poverty across "the South" -- Florida and Virginia. Those are the states which have seen the most non-Southern immigration, because of retirees and others flooding into Florida and government workers spreading into the DC suburban sprawl in northern Virginia. Given such numbers, large areas of those states are no longer culturally "Southern", and their politics and policy have also begun to change.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Infidel753: "I've seen what seems to be an increasingly common right-wing response to such data. Any time the backwardness of the South is pointed out, they just say it's because the South has so many blacks and they drag all the averages down."

I've heard that too. But then I ask them to explain West Virginia, which is one of the poorest of the poor, and only about 3% of its population is African-American.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

You might be a Southerner if …

You owe the taxidermist more than your annual income.

The main course at potluck dinners is roadkill.

You take a fishing pole to Sea World.

You pick your teeth from a catalog.

You've financed a tattoo.

Your dad walks you to school because you are both in the same grade.

You are still holding on to Confederate money because you think the South will rise again

Dervish Sanders said...

Oneo of other factors, I believe is racism. But that is political as well, the GOP being the party that panders to the racists. The racists vote in the Republicans and the Republicans keep wages low.

FreeThinke said...

My friends and relatives who live in North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico --none of whom could be described as "rich" or "over-privileged" -- would take vigorous exception to these "findings."

All live very well, have nice houses in pleasant communities and wouldn't live anywhere else given the choice.

As Mark Twain famously observed, "... Lies, God-damned lies, and STATISTICS!"

Twains, as you may know, could hardly be called a "Conservative," by any stretch of the imagination.

Some of the most depressing U.S. poverty imaginable can be found in central and northern rural Maine, New York City, upper New York State, Central and Southern New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and much of Ohio.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I'm sure there are pockets of poverty in most of the states you mention, but the facts are that the southern states are the poorest and, the policies that keep those states in this troubling situation are the policies advanced by Republican governors and/or Republican legislatures of those southern states.

Quoting Mark Twain doesn't change that fact.

Even in the poorest of poor nations, one can always find people who live very well. The fact that your relatives take exception to these facts do not cancel them out.

Here's another list of the 10 poorest states. All but one is in the south.

Again, another list of the poorest, all traditionally conservative red states.


The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which interviewed more than 176,000 people from all 50 states last year, measures the physical and emotional health of Americans across the country.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the more than 50 metrics comprising the six broad categories Gallup used to identify well-being.

Well-being matters because it effectively reflects health, employment, education and the local environment.

The 10 most miserable states listed are conservative red states.

Top 10 states in USA with highest poverty rates

The issue you did not address is why, by every measurement of well-being: education, health care, economic opportunity, employment, housing, environment, the traditionally conservative states do so poorly.

Instead you are defensive and talk about pockets of poverty in other states.

That's not what this is about. Overall, conservative policies have failed the citizens who live in these states.

Don't you or your fellow conservative care why that is?

The conservative blogs are full of whiners and malcontents blathering on about the Commie/Liberal/Fascist President Obama while the southern states do nothing meaningful to lift their citizens out of the third-world misery their policies keep them in.

If conservative policies do this to the southern states imagine the misery and economic destruction those policies would bring to the entire country should the extremist TGOPers take over all the levers of power.

KP said...

It doesn't look like decades long progressive experiments in Cali and NY are doing much/if any better than the south. The difference is that there are pockets of extremely wealthy progressives and Dems in Cali and NY that skew results.

But business is leaving California for the south so maybe they will benefit from aerospace, car manufacturing and energy production in the next decade. State taxes are part of that shift.

Things keep moving around. They always have. Breathe in ... breathe out.

The browning of America will also result in change. It will happen; like the tides. And most of the super charged energy and rhetoric on blogs is dust in the wind.

In my view, better to focus on our local communities. Politics is local. So are "works".

Rational Nation USA said...

Well said and with much truth KP.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"...there are pockets of extremely wealthy progressives and Dems in Cali and NY that skew..."

That's true, but one of the surveys which found a "misery" index overwhelmingly in the southern states, doesn't measure wealth alone. It measures education and health care services and coverage as well. Wealth alone, or the lack of it, unfortunately isn't isn't the only index considered in all of the polls and surveys included in this post.

Hope you and your family had a great 4th. Ours was rained out. We had to celebrate on the 3rd. I don't think John Adams would have minded.

James Everett said...

So what you all are actually stating is that your U.S. political system has brought our Southern Confederate States to the point of abject poverty, because your government invaded and replaced our governments and Constitutions with your political institutions?

Shaw Kenawe said...

No, James Everett, that was not written anywhere in this blogpost.

Actually, that is what YOU wrote.

What this post is about is the fact that southerners continue to vote against their best interests and their political leaders care more for GOP ideology than they care for the well-being of their citizens. There are many ways the governors can improve health care choices and education.

The conservative governors and legislatures in our southern states, despite the influx of industry and people fleeing the Rust Belt for the south, have not capitalized on that resource. Instead their choices have turned the southern region into a solid bloc of poverty and misery.

You can't put the blame on liberals for that, because it is the policies of the southern states that have kept them poor.

Dervish Sanders said...

This post was noticed by someone who comments on another message board. This person said "I've even seen people on the Left bash these states because (supposedly) more poor people are in them. I guess they would rather the states kick the poor people out or kill them off in order to improve their standings".

Ridiculous, huh? The Left wants to kill poor people... as opposed to getting them to vote in their own best interests and electing representatives that reject "right to work for less" laws and accept expanding Medicaid. Two things that would IMPROVE the lives of poor people (and lead to FEWER deaths).

Shaw Kenawe said...

I'm not surprised to read how a T-GOPer cannot understand what he or she reads. Instead of being concerned with how the conservative governments in the souther states have neglected the poorest of the poor, they blame liberals and northerners for pointing out this sad situation.

You really, really can't reason with people like that.

To them, any statement of fact is, in their minds, blaming or, in the case you've noted, wishing harm on groups of people.

Sadly, they've abandoned reason for emotionalsim.

Anonymous said...

Republican or democrat.....what I hear here is more skirting of personal responsibility. "It's somebody else's fault" I was heading for the complete bottom..until "i" chose to make a difference in my life. Today I'm happy and content. All along and today I'm the only responsible for "my choices". This victim mentality makes me sick to my stomach!!!!!