December 12, 2010

Welfare Talking Points #3

Talking Points on Welfare Part 3:

People on welfare are mostly black teenage mothers:

FALSE: This is a fiction created by assholes like Newt Gingrich to get poor white people to get angry at poor black people, so that poor people in general would spend our time fighting against one another, instead of coming together and fighting against rich assholes like Newt Gingrich.
According to our gov’ts figures, white people receive the largest amount of welfare by race, making up nearly 40% of the welfare recipient population. 43% of welfare recipients with children have only one child, 30% have two, 15% have three, and there’s a real sharp drop-off after that.
Of those who are on welfare, and are mothers, 47% are between the ages 20-29. 32% are between the ages of 30-39. Only 7% of welfare recipients who have children are teenagers.

So sorry. The most common welfare recipient is white, between 20-40 years old, and has two kids or less.



  2. In what way was this a strawman argument? I hear people make this argument all the time (Women just have BABIES TO GET WELFARE, AAAH THE ABUSE blah blah blah)

  3. Actually, it was about both, if you watched the video. It was about BLACK (and Hispanic in my area I'll include) mothers having multiple BABIES to game the "welfare" system. This is a narrative that's exposed on a regular basis, just on the streets of everyday life. I hear this every day about Hispanics (I live in Southern California). Much of the arguments against welfare started off with a very racial basis, dating back to the "welfare queen" myth. Reagan did not specifically say that the woman was black, but he described her in ways that fit existing black stereotypes, for example claiming that she was from South Chicago (a predominately black neighborhood) and drove a Cadillac. Reagan regularly portrayed the recipients of welfare and food stamp programs as blacks and portrayed welfare programs as a drain on the average (white) tax payer's wallet. Newt Gingrich played the very same game (And why wouldn't he? It's very successful) You're either lying or fooling yourself if you really believe these arguments don't often have a racial element behind them.

  4. That is fair, and I agree. Any zero-sum game of public policy (welfare, social security, medicaid, medicare, etc.) pits people against each other. That is how the State wins. When the means of survival are politicized, someone will lose.

    I think, and this is directed to Mr. Patriot, there is a better statistic to measure likelihood. What percentage of each population is on welfare, rather than the make up of the greater welfare population. What percentage of whites are on Welfare, what percentage of blacks, etc...? Also controlling for Urban vs. Rural would help too. Oh, and defining what you mean by welfare(there are many programs that are considered welfare, besides TANF) But that may be beyond your means of analysis.

  5. This posting reminds me a lot of the work of Tim Wise on welfare and racism.