Skip to comments.Profiting From a Child’s Illiteracy
Posted on 12/07/2012 11:56:03 AM PST by reaganaut1
THIS is what poverty sometimes looks like in America: parents here in Appalachian hill country pulling their children out of literacy classes. Moms and dads fear that if kids learn to read, they are less likely to qualify for a monthly check for having an intellectual disability.
Many people in hillside mobile homes here are poor and desperate, and a $698 monthly check per child from the Supplemental Security Income program goes a long way and those checks continue until the child turns 18.
The kids get taken out of the program because the parents are going to lose the check, said Billie Oaks, who runs a literacy program here in Breathitt County, a poor part of Kentucky. Its heartbreaking.
This is painful for a liberal to admit, but conservatives have a point when they suggest that Americas safety net can sometimes entangle people in a soul-crushing dependency. Our poverty programs do rescue many people, but other times they backfire.
Some young people here dont join the military (a traditional escape route for poor, rural Americans) because its easier to rely on food stamps and disability payments.
Antipoverty programs also discourage marriage: In a means-tested program like S.S.I., a woman raising a child may receive a bigger check if she refrains from marrying that hard-working guy she likes. Yet marriage is one of the best forces to blunt poverty. In married couple households only one child in 10 grows up in poverty, while almost half do in single-mother households.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Not at all, when you consider that he's pointing out this behavior in red-state Kentucky, rather than the exact same thing going on three blocks away from him in NYC.
Smells like an attempt at highlighting conservative hypocrisy to me.
If NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF can get past his white liberal guilt maybe he can do a story on the numbers of kids and adults on disability in Detroit...(don’t hold your breath for that story - the New York Times has an agenda after all...)
This kind of behavior is a reflection of a culture of poverty. It is unrelated to race and party affiliation.
Don't the children go to public school? Surely their mothers aren't taking care of school-age children all day when there's free supervision available. Why aren't the children learning to read in the schools they attend?
Quite true, but that the author chose to use poor KY white people as examples rather than poor NYC minorities a couple of subway stops away is very telling.
The author is stating, surprisingly for a NYT story, that some poverty programs are counter-productive. If he used a black family as an example, he would be called racist and accused of blaming the victim.
It's ok to blame the victims if they're hillbillies.
Exactly right! It goes beyond that too. The Kentucky people they have chosen to focus on are White. Couldn’t make that point by addressing fifth generation Blacks down the street who have lived by this same model.
Some whites do use welfare much the same as Blacks, but you wouldn’t have to go to Red-neck Kentucky to find an example of that.
This is the New York Times being the same New York Times it has been for decades.
At which point, the child becomes eligible to apply on their own, independent of parents and if approved those checks may be coming for life.
“Will the circle be unbroken?.........”
I never heard of that one before.
This is a response to the stories about how Kalipornia has a higher poverty rate than West Virginia
well, at least he’s addressing the problem. We can’t expect the NYT to focus on black families in NY, but for them to even acknowledge that the lib policies don’t work SOMEWHERE in the USA is better than nothing imho
That’s not an illogical response there. It does bother me they purposefully focused on a white red-neck area though. They know which groups are far more represented by the welfare rolls, as a percentage of their demographic.
As you state they did get it right. With the Left, even when they get it right, they still game to system to reinforce/protect their agenda.