I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Friday, November 4, 2011

Who Will Be The First "Reformer" To Use This Factoid?

A new way of measuring poverty comes out on Monday. Childhood poverty in this new model drops from 22% to 15%.

So, who will be the first corporate reformer to use this factoid to say we should stop using childhood poverty as an "excuse" to keep us from firing teachers, stripping them of tenure, and instituting merit pay?

Post your winners in the comments.

ADDING: From the article:
While most scholars have called the fuller measure a step forward, Robert Rector, an analyst at the Heritage Foundation, argues that both census counts — old and new — sharply overstate the amount of deprivation in the United States. In a recent study, he cited government data showing many poor families had game systems like Xbox.
“When the American public hears the word poverty, they are thinking about material hardship — bad housing, homelessness and hunger,” he said. “Most of the people that are defined as poor by the government are not poor in that sense.”
You can buy a used Xbox at a garage sale for a little bit of nothing. Even new, a Wii will cost you $150 at Walmart. That's not too much to scrape up.

You can be poor and have a video game console, or a cell phone, or air conditioning. People make choices; they see middle class folks giving their kids Play Stations, and they stretch themselves to do the same. That doesn't make them deserving of their situation; it doesn't make them leeches.

But at Heritage, I guess you're not "really" poor unless you're living in a cardboard box. Besides, we all know you'd be able to get that new version of Call Of Duty coming out next month if your kids' teachers didn't suck so bad...


Anonymous said...

Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, the US Chamber of Commerce, anything founded by Dick Armey or supported by Karl Rove or Grover Norquist, the Koch brothers or Pete Peterson, etc., ad nauseam. All of the above groups are libertarian, Ayn Randian or far right wing corporate controlled propaganda mills. Their only interest is the top 1%, enriching the already rich and to hell with ordinary mortals. These corporate shills will do whatever their corporate oligarchs tell them to do. It's about richey rich ideology, not helping ordinary Americans. All the C-Span channels constantly have either Heritage, AEI or Cato on one of their channels on an almost daily basis, as if these so called think tanks were impartial and had no vested interest in promoting the corporate ideology. AEI, Heritage and Cato have a huge corporate bias, they are not independent and impartial research institutes. They are anti-union, pro privatization, pro deregulation and pro predatory crony capitalism. Please, can we get real. If all 3 C-Span channels had Mike Moore, Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz, Elizabeth Warren or Dean Baker on one of their channels on an almost daily basis, the right wing would be screaming bloody murder. As we comment, great masses of Americans are falling into poverty because they are losing jobs, losing their homes, losing their life savings and/or going bankrupt from medical expenses. I would suggest that a single mother of 2, for example, making $20,000 a year from a couple of part time jobs with no health benefits, no pension, no job security and no vacation is the working poor. She may be better off than some destitute Indian living off of a toxic waste dump but that's small comfort to the single mom and her kids.

Anonymous said...

Some snippets from Paul Krugman's Friday (11-4-11) column:
"Inequality is back in the news, largely thanks to Occupy Wall Street, but with an assist from the Congressional Budget Office. And you know what that means: It’s time to roll out the obfuscators!"
[ ]
"Whenever growing income disparities threaten to come into focus, a reliable set of defenders tries to bring back the blur. Think tanks put out reports claiming that inequality isn’t really rising, or that it doesn’t matter. Pundits try to put a more benign face on the phenomenon, claiming that it’s not really the wealthy few versus the rest, it’s the educated versus the less educated.
So what you need to know is that all of these claims are basically attempts to obscure the stark reality: We have a society in which money is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people, and in which that concentration of income and wealth threatens to make us a democracy in name only."

Duke said...

Good stuff, Anons.

Anonymous said...

Who says they bought those? Maybe they were gifts from relatives or the annual Christmas gift program.

Just because people have these things, doesn't mean they bought them themselves.

I suppose these people think that even if they were gifts, they should be sold to help make ends meet...