Much was made this week about the AP survey on the economy, economic, insecurity, and poverty, but more time should have been put into the discussion. The work is serious news with greater ramifications than Friday's jobs report, which will reflect AP's findings but only touch the surface. In fact, the gist of the report is that white America has all but given up hope of the economy, settling for a new paradigm that means harder times, and lost American glory with fewer opportunities.
In short, this report is the biggest S.O.S from white America in generations.
Overall, the report paints a shocking portrait of an America that says 80% of adults in the United States face near-poverty, government subsidies and joblessness. This certainly belies the White House's assertion the economy is stronger after escaping the worst recession since the Great Depression. In fact, the report reveals a nation barreling toward a Great Depression, not away from such a dire predicament. This harkens back to those photos taken by Dorothea Lange, including her most famous one of the 32-year old migrant worker who got by day to day from frozen vegetables in nearby fields and birds killed by her children.
This report zeros in on what's different now than similar surveys and reports on poverty in America - this is now a story of all Americans, including white Americans. Noticeable trends and stats that stood out to me include:
> Number of white single mother households living in poverty with children surpassed blacks in past decade, propelled by jobs loss and fast rates of out of wedlock births.
> 17% white children living in high poverty neighborhoods (30%+ at poverty) from 13% in 2000.
> 62% white Americans rate the economy as "poor."
> 19 million whites living in poverty, which is $23,021 for a family of four (two times rate black Americans).
> 76% of whites have experienced some form of economic inequality (joblessness, welfare, poverty).
These numbers dovetail with a spat of confidence surveys that show tumbling confidence about the future and even voting patterns that reflect growing indifference among white Americans.
This of course gets back to the notion of inequality that is being pushed hard by the left (amazing how magazines like Harpers could have major articles on topics that just happen to be the focus of the White House in a timeline that would suggest serious coincidence or serious collusion).
Of course this story goes beyond the rapidly sinking economic state of white America; it's about a record 46.2 million people, or 15% of the population, living in poverty. Naturally the reaction has been to ask how this can be fixed. The liberal media thinks this is a way to finally get white people on the bandwagon ... the victim bandwagon.
This report will be used to hammer home lies about capitalism, the transfer of wealth and would be solutions. Even as Detroit smolders from an economic and spiritual meltdown, the aftermath of being the perfect test of progressive economic and social ideas.
Long Trail of Blame
The fact of the matter is that President Bush took his eye off true market principles, which changed dynamics of a lot of things.
The housing bubble was the result of political shenanigans that built the ultimate house of cards. Sure, big banks played their role, but none of this happens without the government turning Freddie and Fannie into elephant graveyards for bad debt that wasn't repackaged and sitting on bank balance sheets of other investment organizations. If there were pro-business policies in place, the nation would be in real growth mode (only a politician could brag about 1% growth and 7.6% unemployment).
While the nation has been sidetracked with a variety of news headlines that promote racial animosity and a recent speech by President Obama suggesting treatment of black people is moving backwards, there is a major crisis in white America that's going unnoticed or ignored. I suspect it will pick up media traction as the left makes its move to lure the same people it "dissed" for clinging to guns and religion instead of putting faith in Big Government. I can't say whether this will work or not, but considering how little Americans know about history, even recent history, it will be interesting to watch how it plays out.
If victimhood is accepted by more Americans, we're looking at higher taxes, faster decline in education standards, fewer new businesses, fewer jobs, less innovation ... essentially we'd become France overnight. The truly super wealthy will still have a lot of money, but the wonderful wealth-generating machine, already broken psychically and in spirit, will be totally mothballed. America is in trouble, but a long way from France or worse, but there is no time to lose reversing that sinking feeling.