Marketwatch posted an article this week titled Why the American Dream is Unraveling, in 4 charts. As usual, the MSM journalist and the liberal Harvard academic can create charts that reveal a huge problem, but they completely misdiagnose the causes and offer the typical wrong solution of taking more money from producers and handing it to the poor, with no strings attached. This has been the standard operating procedure since LBJ began his War on Poverty 50 years ago. Do these control freaks ever step back and assess how that war is going?

The poverty rate had plunged from 34% in 1950 to below 20% before LBJ ever declared war. It continued down to 15% just as the welfare programs began to be implemented. The percentage of people living in poverty hasn’t budged from the 15% range since the war began. This war has been just as successful as the war on drugs and the war on terrorism. Any time a politician declares war on something, expect a huge price tag and more of the “problem” they are declaring war upon.

The Federal government runs over 80 means-tested welfare programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and targeted social services to poor and low-income Americans. Over 100 million Americans received benefits from at least one of these programs. Federal and state governments spent $943 billion in 2013 on these programs at an average cost of $9,000 per recipient (not including Social Security & Medicare). That is 27% of the total Federal budget. Welfare spending as a percentage of the Federal budget was less than 2% prior to the launch of the War on Poverty.

In the 50 years since this war started, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs. Adjusted for inflation, this spending (which does not include Social Security or Medicare) is three times the cost of all U.S. military wars since the American Revolution. In terms of LBJ’s main goal of reducing the “causes” rather than the mere “consequences” of poverty, the War on Poverty has utterly failed. In fact, a large proportion of the population is now completely dependent upon government handouts, incapable of self-sufficiency, and enslaved in a welfare mentality that has destroyed their communities.

The primary cause of their poverty and dependency on government are the policies implemented by liberal politicians which have destroyed the family unit, promoted deviant behavior, encouraged the production of bastard children, eliminated the need for personal responsibility, provided no consequences for bad life choices, and bankrupted the nation. The rise of the welfare state has coincided with the decline of the American state. The proliferation of welfare programs has broken down the behaviors, social norms and cultural standards that lead to self-reliance, generating a pattern of growing inter-generational reliance upon government handouts. By undermining productive social norms, welfare creates a need for even greater succor in the future.

So let’s get to the four charts that supposedly reveal why the American dream is unraveling. The Marketwatch article makes the following claim:

The upper-middle-class families Putnam profiles separate themselves into affluent suburbs, with separate public schools and social spheres from those of their poorer counterparts. As a result, the poorer children not only face greater hardships, but they also lack good models of what is possible. They are effectively cut off from opportunity.

The faux journalist makes the laughable argument the reason poor children don’t succeed in life is because people who have studied hard, graduated college, succeeded in life, and moved out of poor neighborhoods have left the poor children to face hardship and lack of opportunity. This is a classic liberal storyline. Blame those who have succeeded through their own blood, sweat and tears for the failure of those who languish in poverty due to their own life choices, lack of respect for education, and lack of work ethic. Chart number one reveals one thing to the Harvard academic Robert Putnam and another to me. He believes kids of people who have a college education have some sort of unfair advantage over kids of lesser educated parents:

“The most important thing about the experience of being young and poor in America is that these kids are really isolated, and really don’t have close ties with anybody. They are completely clueless about the kinds of skills and savvy and connections needed to get ahead.”

Why are poor kids isolated, with no ties with anybody? Isolated from whom? They don’t have ties to their family? That is a ludicrous contention, supported with no facts. All kids are completely clueless. You don’t get ahead in life through savvy and connections. You have the best chance to get ahead in life through opening a book, studying hard, and getting good grades, all with the support of concerned involved parents. There are no guarantees in life, but education, involved parents, and working hard dramatically increase your odds of success. It’s not a secret formula. Putnam believes the chart below reveals that kids in households with college educated parents have an unfair advantage over kids in households without college educated parents. To me it reveals the complete and utter failure of LBJ’s Great Society programs and the feminist mantra that men aren’t necessary to raise children.

The percentage of children living in single parent households with a college educated parent is virtually the same today as it was in the early 1960’s, just under 10%. The percentage of children living in single parent households with a high school educated parent in the early 1960’s was 20%. Today that number has risen to 65%. Liberals purposely misdiagnose the problem because admitting the true cause of this disastrous trend would destroy their credibility and reveal the failure of their beloved welfare programs. The key point is that prior to LBJ’s War on Poverty less than 10% of ALL children grew up in a single parent households. Today, that number is 33%. The lesson is you get more of what you encourage and incentivize. The liberal academic solution is for college educated households to give more of their money to the high school or less educated households. Academics with an agenda never ask why their solutions haven’t worked in 50 years.

The number of households in the U.S. in 1960 totaled 53 million and there were 24 million traditional married couple with children households, or 45%. There were 3 million single parent households with children, or 6%. Today the total number of households in the U.S. is approximately 122 million and there are only 25 million with traditional married couple with children households, or 20%. Meanwhile single parent families with children households have skyrocketed to 13 million, or 11%. The war on traditional two parent families by the government, liberal mainstream media, Hollywood, feminists, and academics has been far more successful than the War on Poverty.

The drastic increase in households with fatherless children, especially in the black community, is the primary reason the poverty rate hasn’t dropped over the last 50 years. It is the primary reason poor children remain poor. It is the primary reason why every urban enclave in America continues to degenerate into dangerous, filthy, lawless ghettos. The statistics tell the story of decline, depravity, failure, and an endless loop of poverty.

  • An estimated 24.7 million children (33%) live absent their biological father.
  • Of students in grades 1 through 12, 39% (17.7 million) live in homes absent their biological fathers.
  • 57.6% of black children, 31.2% of Hispanic children, and 20.7% of white children are living absent their biological fathers.
  • Among children who were part of the “post-war generation,” 87.7% grew up with two biological parents who were married to each other. Today only 68.1% will spend their entire childhood in an intact family.

Annual divorce rates are only marginally higher today than they were in the early 1960’s. So that does not account for the drastic increase in fatherless households. But, the differences among races is dramatic. Blacks divorce at a rate twice as high as whites and three times as high as Asians.

Marriage rates of Asians are almost three times higher than marriage rates of blacks. Marriage rates of whites are two times higher than marriage rates of blacks. Is it really surprising that Asian children score the highest on all educational achievement tests?

The facts prove that people (no matter what race) who marry and stay married offer their children a tremendously better opportunity to succeed academically, thereby giving them a much higher chance of moving up the socioeconomic ladder. This doesn’t mean that children from a single parent household can’t succeed. It just means they have a better chance with two parents. It’s just simple math. Two adults working together can provide higher income, more help with school work, and offer a more stable environment for the child. The liberal media and those with a social agenda scorn the traditional family as if it precludes people from living however they choose. The results of the war on families can be seen in the chart below.

The unwed birth rate stayed below 5% from 1945 through the early 1960’s. As soon as the government began incentivizing people to not get married and to have children out of wedlock, the rates skyrocketed. Today, four out of ten children are born out of wedlock. Seven out of ten black children are born out of wedlock. Only two out of ten black children were born out of wedlock in 1964. These births out of wedlock are not the result of dumb teenagers making a mistake. Almost 80% of these births are to mothers over the age of 20, with 40% of the births to mothers over the age of 25. And these horrific results are after the 55 million abortions since 1973. This didn’t happen because of women’s rights or women feeling empowered to raise children on their own. Knowledge about and access to contraceptives is not a reason for unwed pregnancies. Poor women and the men who impregnate them receive more welfare benefits by remaining unmarried and receive additional benefits by having more children out of wedlock.

Children Living with Mother Only-bwh graph

So all of the data confirms the fact children who grow up in two parent households do better in school, are far less likely to be enslaved in poverty, and have a chance to succeed in life, not matter what the educational level of their parents. In the early 1960s there were very few households with college educated parents. My Dad was a truck driver and my mother was a stay at home mom until we were in high school. We were lower middle class, but all three of their children attained college degrees by studying hard, working part-time jobs to help pay for their education, and having the support of concerned parents. Could we have gotten college degrees if we had been raised by only my mother? I doubt it.

Harvard Professor Putnam prefers to ignore the politically incorrect fact that a return to traditional families would begin to reverse the 50 years of damage caused by the War on Poverty. He believes it is in the moral interest of wealthier families to help improve the economic prospects of poorer children. Liberals also don’t think the $13,000 spent per student per year is enough to educate them properly. He actually believes taking more money from producers and handing it to non-producers will boost the U.S. economy.

“The U.S. economy would get a major boost if the opportunity gap were closed. We cannot continue to live in our own bubbles, or compartments on a plate, without consequences. What I hope people take away is that helping poor kids, giving them more skills and more support would economically benefit their kids.”

The country has spent $22 trillion on the war on poverty and spends approximately $1 trillion per year, but liberal academics think if we just spend more, the complete and utter failure of their solutions will be reversed. They ignore the fact a Democratic President (Clinton) and a Republican Congress instituted welfare reform in 1996 that temporarily stopped the increase in spending, halted the rise in unwed births, and put poor people back to work. Today only one welfare program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), effectively promotes self-reliance. Reforms that created TANF in 1996 moved 2.8 million families off the welfare rolls and into jobs. Those gains were reversed as the Obama administration and congressional leadership undid the employment and training requirements enacted 14 years ago. Liberals think it is cruel and inhumane to make poor people work.

Putnam’s final three charts just reinforce the fact traditional families, involved parents, and higher education lead to higher incomes and upward mobility for children in these settings. The reason children in households with college educated parents get more daily attention is because those households are far more likely to have two parents. The time was equal in the early 1970s when two parent families were more prevalent. Having strangers raise kids in government subsidized daycare centers as a substitute for fathers hasn’t worked out so well.

In another shocker, poor children, who are predominantly from single parent households, without a role model to replace their missing fathers, score far worse in tests that predict success in college. The key attribute to educational success is not the educational level of the parents, it’s the need for poor, middle class or wealthy households to have two parents invested in the future of their children.

Attributing obesity rates of children from non-college educated households to the parents’ eduction is quite a reach. In the early 1970’s the obesity rates were very close between high school educated households and college educated households. So why has it surged? The liberals claim the poor go hungry and don’t have enough food. Shouldn’t that lead to higher malnutrition rates and not higher obesity rates? Maybe the surging obesity rates are due to the government lunch programs, the fast food culture in urban ghettos, no fathers around to encourage outside activities, and using food stamps to buy junk food rather than healthier foods. Bad choices generally lead to bad outcomes. Obesity is a choice. Of course liberals now classify it as a disability which needs to be subsidized by the government.

The American dream has unraveled for many reasons. Not spending enough on welfare programs is not one of the reasons. The welfare/warfare state is bankrupt. We spend $1 trillion on welfare programs, $1.4 trillion on Social Security and Medicare, and over $1 trillion on the military/surveillance apparatus. It’s a bipartisan bankruptcy, as Republicans agree to increase the welfare state as long as the Democrats agree to increase the warfare state. The only thing sustaining this debt based house of cards is a Federal Reserve which provides zero interest financing and a never ending willingness to debase our currency to keep the status quo in power. The current rate of spending on the welfare/warfare state is unsustainable. We could voluntarily reduce the spending before the financial collapse or the spending will stop abruptly when our country undergoes a catastrophic financial implosion that will make 2008 look like a walk in the park.

Voluntarily putting the country back on a path of self reliance could be done if there was a will to do so. Reversing the culture of dependency would require a major dose of tough love that would upend the entire ideology of liberalism. Able-bodied, non-elderly adult recipients in all federal welfare programs would be required to work, prepare for work, or at least look for a job as a condition of receiving food stamps or housing assistance. This would promote personal responsibility and provide the recipients with some self respect. Obama is a big proponent of national service, why not national service for recipients of welfare?

Anti-marriage penalties should be removed from welfare programs, and long-term steps should be taken to rebuild the family in lower-income communities. Marriage penalties occur in many means-tested programs such as food stamps, public housing, Medicaid, day care, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The welfare system needs to be revamped to reduce these counterproductive incentives. The appeal of welfare programs as an alternative to work and marriage could be reduced by requiring able-bodied parents to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving aid. Today government advertises in an effort to get more people to sign up for food stamps and dozens of other welfare programs. Government should be promulgating the facts on how marriage prevents social ills – poverty, poor education, juvenile crime – associated with children born to unmarried women.

Lastly, we need to cutoff the illegal influx of low-skill immigrants from the South, whose children will receive far more in welfare benefits than they pay in taxes, if they pay any taxes. The country must reject blanket amnesty or “earned citizenship” for millions of illegal immigrants who then could access the welfare system. The welfare system is already unsustainable and adding millions of illegals into the system would be the tipping point.

Lyndon B. Johnson’ s goal was not to create an ever increasing welfare state, but to give the poor a helping hand towards self-sufficiency. His idealistic aim was to cure and prevent poverty. But, once a program is put into the hands of politicians looking to get re-elected every two years, the unintended negative consequences expand exponentially. $22 trillion later the American Dream is virtually non-existent for the 47 million Americans languishing in poverty and the once prosperous middle class who have seen their real wages stagnate due to Federal Reserve created inflation and taxes increase to pay for the ever expanding welfare/warfare state. One chart provides a major explanation of why the American Dream has unraveled, but you won’t see Obama, liberals or the mainstream media talking about it. Traditional married, two parent families are the antidote to poverty, not government welfare programs.

The debate on how to help the poor has raged for centuries. A wise Founding Father told us how the war on poverty would unfold.

“I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.” Benjamin Franklin

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  • Tom Welsh

    “You don’t get ahead in life through savvy and connections. You have the
    best chance to get ahead in life through opening a book, studying hard,
    and getting good grades, all with the support of concerned involved

    Plausible, but in fact utterly wrong. I have the experience of two generations to show that these statements bear no resemblance to the truth.

    I opened books and studied hard from the age of 6 or so until 21, when I graduated from Cambridge University with a bachelor’s degree. (I could have had a Master’s degree on payment of a trifling sum of money, which I did not do precisely because it meant nothing). I won scholarships to school and university, and got excellent grades for 13 years – all with the support of involved, concerned parents. However, when I was at school (a very famous British independent school) I made a conscious decision NOT to network, making “friends” who would be useful later in life, but to rely on my own abilities as you advise in your article. This strategy failed utterly. My intelligence (Mensa member) and qualifications did nothing for me, and I lived an average life as a distinct under-achiever considering my abilities.

    Meanwhile school and University companions who had trailed far behind me academically became successful politicians, diplomats and civil servants; ran publishing companies, banks and stockbroking firms; became Army generals; and so on. They had savvy and connections, while I only had my native intelligence and hard work. Savvy and connections won hands down.

    In the last 15 years I have seen history repeat itself with my children. They both earned Master’s degrees, are highly intelligent, sociable and good-natured, also hard-working and perfectionist. Yet they languish in badly-paid run-of-the-mill jobs, while contemporaries whose parents had good connections thrive.

    No, I fear your conclusions are wholly wrong. It would be nice if we lived in the world you describe, but we don’t.

    • MCB

      You’re a base ignoramus and abject fool. Q: What do you get when you send a jack ass to college? A: An educated jack ass as you are the poster child for this statement. You had all the education, self proclaimed intelligence and knowledge and yet with ample opportunities, you still couldn’t succeed so that just proves that you are a failure, a moron and a loser.

    • Clif Brown

      Good post, Tom, and you are absolutely right about the need to network, but networking doesn’t necessarily mean promotion of the undeserving. It is distinct from nepotism, though the two too often go together. A good worker gets a good reputation and, unavoidably in society, we have to relate well to others as well, so capability by itself doesn’t guarantee success.

      The ideal is a sufficient amount of ambition, a willingness to work with others in a respectful and helpful way, self-confidence that allows one to be told what to do without taking it as a personal affront and the intelligence to grab on to the knowledge needed to do not only the current job but more demanding jobs.

      There can be no success when one has an attitude and I believe that is the biggest problem, one not even mentioned in the article we are commenting on. One has to go to work with the idea that “I am going to make something of myself doing the best work I can”, not with the idea that “nobody better dis me!” If one is looking for affronts to the self, they will be found from the first day on the job. There has to be a hierarchy in business, one doesn’t have to love it but one has to tolerate it at least. I’ve always felt the best approach is to keep in mind “nobody owes me anything”.

    • Llpoh

      Poor Tom Walsh – so sorry that despite all your best efforts and personal brilliance you are still a loser. Must suck to be you. Maybe it was lack of hard-work, or lack of common sense that was your downfall.

      My experience is just opposite to yours – despite being from a disadvantaged background, education, hard-work, thrift, and common sense paid off quite handsomely. And is paying off well for my children, I might add.

      Maybe the problem is you. Ever think of that? Remove the blinders. I know it is easier to believe that the world is against you, and that you would have been a huge success “if only”.

      Nothing worse than a sore loser, and Tommy sure is that.

      • animalogic

        Only thing worse than a sore loser is … a sore winner. So nice you doing so well that you can spare a bit of poison for those who DARE complain. Ah, how i envy you and your vaulting self rightousness.

    • ROHBAR

      We do not always get what we want or wanted, There have been many people who got married and were going to be that way all their life, do you see the media supporting marriage, NO! Do you see the divorce courts trying to be supportive by trying to keep a marriage together? Do you see the government doing everything they can to support and defend the Constitution? Have you looked at what the globalist banksters have done in Africa or else where to help people get a better life or governments not wanting to destroy their “enemies” or really tell the truth? Do you have children and watch them grow enjoy the evenings or weekends with your family? Or did you listen to some commercial telling you if you get this or if you listen to the government teachers they are going to give you good grades and life is going to be wonderful? Have you been to a war and seen your buddies get maimed or killed because of lying governments? Sometimes enjoying what GOD has given you in the good times and trusting Him in the bad times something very few people really ever tell you! Life is not the way we want it to be, its the way to grow thru adversity!

  • Tom Welsh

    Incidentally, I don’t disagree with your main idea that social welfare may worsen the problem of poverty. It’s just that your remarks about “savvy and connections” are logically independent of that idea. It’s difficult to imagine any kind of society that does not have a privileged elite. Communism, which ostensibly set out to get rid of the privileged bourgeois and capitalist elites, ended up by creating an even more elite class in the form of the nomenklatura and senior officials. The USA, which began by outlawing all titles of royalty and nobility, ended by reducing all social distinctions to wealth. Unfortunately, that has come to mean that wealth and goodness coincide, so that the rich are deemed virtuous and admirable in proportion to their wealth, and the poor are deemed contemptible simply because they are poor. Your arguments seek to justify this, but in view they fail completely.

    • ddeprogrammer

      I read the same article and did not get the impression that the author was saying society should not have a privileged elite or that a privileged elite would not arise in society. Nor did I get the impression the author tried to justify the obviously questionable idea that wealth and goodness coincide and that the poor are deemed contemptible because they are poor. Rather, he was making the point that government policies in many cases condition the values and consequently determine the poor life choices that many poor people make. The most obvious point he made was this one, referring to Chart 4:

      The unwed birth rate stayed below 5% from 1945 through the early 1960’s. As soon as the government began incentivizing people to not get married and to have children out of wedlock, the rates skyrocketed. Today, four out of ten children are born out of wedlock.

      If the government is responsible for this abysmal statistic, due to the welfare laws, is it accurate to say the author was blaming poor people for their choices, or was he blaming government? According to my reading, he was blaming government.

      I don’t even believe that the author was against networking and using personal connections to get ahead. It’s just that doing so to join the elite is an edge case. Because, its a fact that not everyone can be a member of the elite in society. That is as true as saying not everyone can be above average. For the vast majority, getting an education, working hard, and maintaining a positive attitude is the best gamble. It does not guaranty success, but that is the way to bet.

    • berger friedrich-wolfgang

      Did We ever question the Legitimacy of the zionistic Worldview We inherited ? Eying the World on the Basis of “Common zionist Ideology” is the real Obstale & Barrier hindering the Breakthrough to TRUTH ! Rejecting honest Humans already fighting the khazarian Cancer with the “Fair Win – Win – Approach”, by “Morally Categorizing them as NOMENCLATURA” certainly make us Prisoners in this continental FEMA -Camp – USA !

  • Tyler

    This article is a disgrace. Poverty dropped like a rock in the 1960s.

    • Tyler

      This article should be deleted and JimQ should issue an apology to this site’s fans.

      • Tyler

        In the decade following the 1964 declaration of War on Poverty,
        the poverty rate in the U.S. dropped to its lowest level in recorded history.

        I say again, this article is a disgrace and JimQ owes this site’s fans an apology.

        • JimQ

          Censorship – the last bastion of liberal control freaks.

          • animalogic

            “Liberal control freaks” and censorship. That’s rich. Of course “conservatives” (specially of the “neo” variety ) never show an interest in either censoring or control. Honestly, i doubt there are too many genuine ” liberals” OR “conservatives” left anywhere…

        • MCB

          You are a disgrace Tyler and an intellectual retrograde buffoon who is a hypocrite because you have parsed a small data set from a given time period to support you thesis, while ignoring the entire data set of the “War on Poverty” (1964 – 2015) and what’s it done the Black nuclear family unit and the Black community as a whole (i.e. crime, high school drop our rates, incarceration rates, children born out of wedlock, etc.). That War on Poverty sure did move the ball down the field didn’t it, at least in your mind.

          Using your logic, you’d give a ringing endorsement on the War on Drugs and The War on Terror and use flawed data sets to support other false notions on why those wars were huge successes (at least in your mind) and would declare that statism is such a great success and has been and will continue to be money well spent, Since The War of Poverty is a success story, so is The War of Terror and The War on Drugs again using your brand of (il)logic.

          Do you fly a red flag with a Sickle and a Hammer outside of your house on the side of your garage door whenever your’re feeling patriotic? You are the epitome of a soft headed useful idiot that Yuri Bezmenov described to Ed Griffin in a 1985 interview.

    • Dr Smileyface

      And JimQ’s article crashed like a Led Zepplin, but without a whole lotta love.

      • MCB

        Because love is the only and definitive answer to all of life’s problem,s, here’s one that even a soft headed liberal like you might even understand, if even only a little…

    • JimQ

      Poverty dropped like a rock in the 1950s. Can’t you even read a simple chart?
      You must have graduated from one of those government run schools.

      • Tyler

        Poverty dropped like a rock in the 1960s because our government waged war on poverty. That is a fact.

        • JimQ

          How do you explain the drop in the poverty rate from 34% in 1950 to 20% in 1964, before the war on poverty?

          • Tyler

            Eisenhower and Kennedy were great presidents, and our Congress wasn’t filled with buffoons.

    • ROHBAR

      If you look at statistics it did not, poverty got worse, welfare never helped anyone it destroyed detriot, and many other cities! With the politicians pushing NAFTA this pushed jobs out of the USA and put many out of work! Welfare became the daddy of many ethnic communities! Chicago Black Activists: “Voting Democrat is Black on Black Crime”!–” Government’s War On Family”

  • Dr Smileyface

    Tough love with Jim and a return to the ‘Good old days’ when men were men, women were women and bastard children, immigrants and the poor knew their place.

    If Jim, the Pope and the English Tory party could only get together for an hour or two they’d soon thrash out these ‘social problems’.

    Anyone for Dickens?

    • JimQ

      “To believe in personal responsibility would be to destroy the
      whole special role of the anointed, whose vision casts them in the role
      of rescuers of people treated unfairly by “society”.”

      Thomas Sowell

      • MCB

        Tough love for “Dr Smileyface.” We could put you in a room with three retards with a Rubik’s Cube and you be the only one who couldn’t solve the puzzle, but yet you’d find a way to blame someone else for your failure because you collectivist mindset is built around a the failed notion that’s it’s almost always someone else’s fault for the failure of an individual and you’re not a responsible or honest enough of a man or women to take responsibility and accountability for your own life’s actions and failures, but I bet for you and of any limited number of your successes (if you’ve ever had any other than living you pathetic, pious, meaningless existence), you’d be the first one to take all of the credit for yourself when you achieved that rare success.

        And since you blamed education is a separate post “Dr Smileyface”….

        If only The Greeks would have had a public education system as effective as ours in America, Plato and Socrates would have been even smarter because they would have been better educated and using your logic because “education” is to be blamed according to your reductionist and illogical thesis they never self actualized in their life because they lacked a formal education system.

        “Do they believe that the aim of teaching English is to increase the exact and beautiful use of the language? Or that it is to inculcate and augment patriotism? Or that it is to diminish sorrow in the home? Or that it has some other end, cultural, economic, or military? … it was their verdict by a solemn referendum that the principal objective in teaching English was to make good spellers, and that after that came the breeding of good capitalizers. … I have maintained for years, sometimes perhaps with undue heat: that pedagogy in the United States is fast descending to the estate of a childish necromancy, and that the worst idiots, even among pedagogues, are the teachers of English. It is positively dreadful to think that the young of the American species are exposed day in and day out to the contamination of such dark minds. What can be expected of education that is carried on in the very sewers of the intellect? How can morons teach anything that is worth knowing?” – H. L. Mencken (1925)

        • ROHBAR

          MCB agree with a lot of what you say but our public school system is not all what it is cracked up to be! There are many teachers that want to teach students and not be dealing with regulations, from the top down or there are teachers pushing propaganda like the top down “common core” stuff, federal gov’t trying to take over were parents should have the responsibility! schools were conceived to serve the economy for the youth to follow a mind set not learning what the Founders gave us, or to know who GOD is! Who Controls The Children (schools dumb down kids deliberately) these are on utube also charlotte Iserbyt “Secret History of Western Education”!

  • Clivus Multrum

    This was all predicted by conservatives and honest liberals half a century ago, not to mention B. Franklin as the author points out.
    It’s a shame common sense is not so common anymore.

    • Dr Smileyface

      It’s like slavery, cannibalism and incest – all thought essential at one time by God-fearing folk with oodles of common sense.

      I blame education…

      • MCB

        I blame education too because education demonstrably failed you “Dr Smileyface.”

  • the silenced masses

    Brilliant! It’s the poor peoples fault that they’re poor. It’s so obvious, why didn’t anyone ever think of this before?!

  • The Latest Flashing Red LIght: Global Earnings Plunge Most Since Lehman 03/20/2015

    The latest red light: Global equity 12-month forward EPS has turned to the tune of 7% negative on a YoY basis. In fact, as the chart below shows, global forward EPS is now plunging at the fastest rate since Lehman, and is down to levels last seen in 2011.

  • jadan

    Jim Q, what are you hanging around the US for? Get on down to your Australian utopia and STFU. You’ve got nothing to contribute. We’ve got more than enough pious self-righteousness already. I hope your Aussi community is stormed by angry aborigines demanding a piece of your action. Then you can shoot them all with your automatic weapons and reenact the American Dream!

    • JimQ

      Liberals have so much hate. Thanks for revealing your true nature.

      • jadan

        It’s not hate. I don’t hate you, Jim Q. It’s anger. And I’m not a liberal whatever you mean by that. I’m a radical. You and people like you piss me off, that’s all.

        • JimQ

          Good. My purpose in life is to piss people like you off.

          • jadan

            Don’t piss off those dark skinned fellas, Jim, they’ll bugger you in the dream time!

  • MCB

    This is yet another great op-ed piece JimQ! And to the people posing against your fact-based data and hen pecking you with their emotive responses, they are the epitome of this quote.

    “Hell is other people.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

  • oldmangristle

    So all of the data confirms the fact children who grow up in two parent
    households do better in school, are far less likely to be enslaved in
    poverty, and have a chance to succeed in life, not matter what the
    educational level of their parents.

    Gee, sorry your dad croaked when you were nine kid. Tough luck. Now, just take a look at these handy charts!

    • ddeprogrammer

      If you re-read the article, you will notice the author was advocating for changes in welfare laws that would reward parents for marrying or staying married, instead of the opposite. Has nothing to do with your pointless comment.

      • oldmangristle

        Except for the sad fact that real life has a way of intervening in our nice little plans that tend to make such charts and screeds utterly moot. Such as your dad dying when you were nine years old and your mother having to go to work just to get by, along with umpteen other things that can go wrong despite all your hard work, and your best efforts to do what’s best.

        Life is more complicated than that, for some of us. Things just don’t work out in a way that supports this author’s (and apparently your own) dreams of a spurious and fantasy-filled view of life, which should be left in the trashpile of 1950s ideology where they belong.

        It sucks, but it is reality, and we have no choice but to deal with it as it comes.

        • ddeprogrammer

          To say that life is very unpredictable at the individual level is not very profound or useful. Nor does it negate the author’s points. LIfe is more complicated than a few basic facts, rules, and policies, for all of us, not just you or “some of us”. But platitudes don’t necessarily make good laws.

          Nor do you know anything about the author’s dreams or mine. My comment was addressed to your point, nothing more. If you lost your father at age nine, I’m sure the author did not write the article to diminish your loss, and neither did I call your comment pointless to diminish anything you’ve been through.

          If getting through childhood is so difficult without a father, wouldn’t it make sense to structure welfare laws so they pay just as much if not more to two parent households as they do to single mothers?

  • cityspeak

    Jim you state: The rise of the welfare state has coincided with the decline of the American state.

    I would argue that the rise of the the military industrial complex has coincided with the decline of the American state.
    You can choose a fully functioning democracy or you can choose empire. We chose the latter and are on the road to ruin. Perhaps one day we will wake up and return to a democracy that works for a majority of her citizens.

    • GOP warfare and DNC welfare expanded guv beyond constitutional and economic limits

  • Sarastro92

    Hmm… but deindustrialization, outsourcing, financializing the entire economy, smashing unions, all of which lead to declining real wages and benefits, boom/bust asset inflation have no impact at all on poverty rates, family formation and fertility rates.

    This is why the US is so truly screwed: ideological cant on Left and Right while oligarchs drive the world over the proverbial cliff. The Left is obsessed with identity politics and dominated with irrational neurotics; the Right is dominated with Austrian-style Market Fundamentalism and militarism.

  • AL


    • taxes

    • JimQ

      You don’t even know the difference between debt and spending. Yikes!!! The mind of a liberal is a terrible thing to witness.

      • Tyler

        Please visit and read at least five posts.

  • Scott R.

    Nice attempt to turn this into a partisan issue and blame liberals, when in reality it is an issue of the banks, the Federal Reserve, and the corporations in a unified war against the people.

    • MCB

      Nice attempt to not hold any individuals accountable and instead blame the collective government and the politicians that YOU and others have elected and will continue to reelect that oversee those banks and corporations. It’s always someone else’s fault in our blameless society and of course you bear no responsibility Scott R. because its the bankers and the crony corporations who are at fault, not the voting masses who elect the politicians that oversee those banks and corporations that run roughshod over the people. It’s idiots like you who vote for idiot politicians who are a micro representation of The Bell Curve of the nations populace where average people like you vote for average politicians. People get the the government they deserve…

      • Scott R.

        Um, you have no idea who I voted for, or if I even voted at all. You have no idea what sort of activism I have done to try to end the Fed and get the Constitution to be upheld again. You have no idea of the tireless & thankless work that I am doing on a daily basis to try to restore freedom to the people. Until you are actually doing as much as I am, don’t you DARE point the finger at me.

        • MCB

          I’m sorry for saving “YOU”, but everything else still stands.

  • MCB

    The main thing that every political campaign in the United States demonstrates is that the politicians of all parties, despite their superficial enmities, are really members of one great brotherhood. Their principal, and indeed their sole, object is to collar public office, with all the privileges and profits that go therewith. They achieve this collaring by buying votes with other people’s money. No professional politician is ever actually in favor of public economy. It is his implacable enemy, and he knows it All professional politicians are dedicated wholeheartedly to waste and corruption. They the enemies of every decent man.” – H. L. Mencken

    The even bigger enemy to people than the politician is the people themselves that keep ignorantly voting 90%+ of the time for these same politicians that keep us in endless war, devalue our currency, take our freedoms and liberties and commit high crimes of treason and conduct naked crimes of cronyist racketeering on all levels as we tumble towards tyranny. But the idiot posters here who are offended or disagree with the FACTS JimQ presented that it is the government (who was given de facto consent from all who voted for these corrupt and inept politicians) who manufactured our socio-economic crises think the solution to our current runaway problems is MOAR government. You people are useful idiots.

    • mulegino1 .

      Indeed. Gresham’s Law applies to politics just as it does to the world of money and finance: bad politicians drive out good ones. And, as with the worthless debt bearing Kosher toilet paper issued by the private banking cartel, Le American bear types are perfectly content with their politicians- as long as they can continue grazing at the Golden Corral and playing fantasy football.

      Cognitive dissonance is the foundation of the somnolent, lobotomized American “dreamer’s” world view: he votes for the bad politician depending upon a “D” or an “R” following their name, then rants and raves about the deteriorating condition of the society and economy-even if his lettered candidate prevails- which he always blames on the fact that not enough “R’s” or “D’s” took power, despite the fact that no matter which side prevails, things are always increasingly bad and getting worse. But he is boxed in by his flat screen world view. And the shadows in his cave are HD. The truth, to him, is a plague.

  • Mar 23, 2015 Major U.S. Allies Join AIIB to Establish New World Reserve Currency

    In today’s video, Christopher Greene of AMTV reports on the new world reserve currency.

    • MCB

      They have us over a barrel because we let them.

  • Bernhard Voelkelt

    A real gem… George Carlin very succinct analysis of the American Dream.

  • Rocky Racoon

    Back in the 60’s Detroit city made cars to a hole. Who believes in hard work” I thought we had machines to replace man as beast of burden and I thought the purpose of getting an education was to become educated what has that got to do with getting a job? Why do I have to pay for my “education” to work for someone to make money off my knowledge shouldn’t they pay for my training oh they do through my higher wages I see well sir real wages have not risen since the 70’s the only ones who get welfare in America are the banks and the corporations for the poor working people it’s a free market free to work for minimum wage or starve they call that a choice. I didn’t read your whole article and all your fancy charts but there is a depression going on son it is hidden Welfare in America hell working people don’t even get benefits how do you expect welfare in America is there such a thing how come you have the highest rates of poverty in the developed world if you have so much welfare. I know you got a lot of people working in these private for profit prisons you all got goin on over there which is worse than slavery or feudalism but I don’t know about welfare u got. I know where all those daddies are they are working for free in prison right its a black thing right those single women are all black with no husbands but all the black men are in jail working for nuthin. did you figure that one out Jack. And all those welfare programs that money goes to white school kids who got an education it all goes to them the money to run those programs what elsse are they going to do we don’t make cars any more or tractor’s or shoes or anything. All that welfare money goes to the wardens the moral gatekepper’s who put all the black men in jail to work for nuthin and they get jobs as social workers watching over the dangerous black man who goes to jail for marijuana but the white kid gets a ride home and they tell h is daddy and his daddy says thanks John because they went to school together and John Law says I know you’ll take care of it this time but next time it’s gonna cost ya wink wink and the black man get 15 years for stealing a bag of barbecue chips cause he ran out of ketchup making tomato soup ouuta it so yea it’s a black thing single mothers no fathers that’s what every one is afraid to say or they be called a racist. Where they hell did you go to school and how the hell did you graduate anyway? Oh theys all racist where you went to school um I see all the teacher their moms teachers to and what about their dads they tye principle? Oic n ever working in car plant how bout a battery shop or scrap yard or docks ever do that no eh oic we used to do that i amecia now they do it in BAngledash oh move back there I never been there How can I move back t here.

  • MCB
  • berger friedrich-wolfgang

    Why do I always have a Problem in Understanding, that the “American Federation” is quite “something Other”, than the privately-owned “Federal Reserve” ? Are You Americans “privately owned; spoiled-up Uncle TOMS, so to say ?


    I couldn’t even finish reading this author’s tripe.
    What a head fucked elitist dumbass.
    This system has always been rigged by the rich and powerful.
    Now they have eliminated any chance of the unemployed of finding
    any kind of work that will pay a survivable wage.
    Yes, we will always have some people who aren’t smart enough
    to be able to figure out the system well enough to make a living.
    That’s why any moral system has those who are better off contribute
    to those who are in trouble and give them a helping hand instead of
    ridiculing them and pushing their faces deeper into the mud.
    I struggled all my life dealing with pricks who ‘had connections’.
    They were all kiss asses who would throw you under the bus for a nickel.
    I’ve been up and down many time in my life, but always had my youth to
    fall back on. Now, I’m 70, disabled and lost everything in the rigged markets
    in 2010 and am living on $700 a month Social Security and food stamps
    and rely on Medicare for my medical care.
    Now the news is that the Republicans in power want to give the military
    more than 60 BILLION dollars more in their budget and cut Social Security,
    Medicare, and food stamps for the poor.
    What a country!
    I hope the poor rise up and destroy everything and kill everyone at every
    level of government, especially the Federal Government.
    Power to the people!

  • خدمات شركة عزل الاسطح والخزانات بالرياض 0544460944

    تخصصت شركة الروضة فى جميع انواع العزل سواء العزل الحرارى او العزل المائى او الاهتمام بالاعتماد على افضل الطرق المستخدمة فى كافه انواع العزل فاذا كنت تبحث عن افضل ما تتمناه فى العول تساعدك على التخلص من الحرارة وارتفاعها والتخلص من تسربات المياه فى الشتاء فعلكي ان تستعن وتتصل بينا على الفور

    عزيزى العميل اذا كنت فى اى مكان فى الرياض او خارج الرياض وتبحث عن افضل الشركات التى تقوم باعمال المنزليه ومكافحة الحشرات فعليك ان تستعن بينا على الفور للقيام بكل ما تتمناه فى اقل وقت ممكن فلا تتردد فى التعاقد مع شركة الروضة والاتصال بينا على الفور.

    شركة نظافة بالرياض

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  • gr

    The US is dying from a million cuts. Part of the reason the USA is a nanny police state now is that whenever there is a problem, the kneejerk reaction in the US is to call for a new law.

    Nanny state laws are not the best solution, however. Nanny state laws lead to more laws, higher fines, and tougher sentences. Thirty years ago, DWI laws were enacted that led to DWI checkpoints and lower DWI levels. Seatbelt laws led to backseat seatbelt laws, childseat laws, and pet seatbelt laws. Car liability insurance laws led to health insurance laws and gun liability laws. Smoking laws that banned smoking in buildings led to laws against smoking in parks and then bans against smoking in entire cities. Sex offender registration laws led to sex offender restriction laws and violent offender registration laws.

    Nanny state laws don’t make us safer, either. Nanny state laws lead people to be careless since they don’t need to have personal responsibility anymore. People don’t need to be careful crossing the street now because drunk-driving has been outlawed and driving while using a cellphone is illegal. People don’t investigate companies or carry out due diligence because businesses must have business licenses now.

    The main point of nanny state laws is not safety. The main purpose of more laws is revenue generation for the state.

    Many laws are contradictory, too. Some laws say watering lawns is required, while other laws say watering lawns is illegal.

    Many nanny state laws that aim to solve a problem can be fixed by using existing laws. If assault is already illegal, why do we need a new law that outlaws hitting umpires?

    Nanny state laws are not even necessary. If everything was legal would you steal, murder, and use crack cocaine? Aren’t there other ways to solve problems besides calling the police? Couldn’t people talk to people who bother them? Couldn’t people be sued for annoying behavior? Couldn’t people just move away? Even if assault was legal, wouldn’t attackers risk being killed or injured, too? Having no laws doesn’t mean actions have no consequences.

    If there is no victim, there is no crime.

    We don’t need thousands of laws when we only need 10.

    Freedom is not just a one way street. You can only have freedom for yourself if you allow others to have it.

    Think. Question everything.