Saturday, November 25, 2017

Josh Park: The Myth Of Institutional Racism

Not an iron-clad argument by any means, but an important one that's almost always ignored on the left:
   Although there is a major inequality of wealth between the average white and black families, those who say that institutional racism is the problem behind this discrepancy may want to examine the effects of making responsible decisions. According to the Brookings Institute, in order for someone to avoid permanent poverty in the United States, there are three simple rules to follow: graduate high school, get any full-time job, and don’t have kids out of wedlock. Regardless of race, only 2% of people who follow these three rules are in poverty, while 75% have joined the middle class. Although it is definitely true that black children are more likely to be born into poorer families, the study shows that the path to the middle class is relatively wide today. Graduating high school is a very reasonable goal and is almost entirely up to the individual, and it is still very reasonable to argue that any person is capable of finding ANY full-time job, barring any disabilities or mental illnesses (I personally do believe that a social safety net should exist for those who physically cannot produce).  [My emphasis]
   Even if a well-paying full-time job seems difficult to attain, it is still very possible to avoid permanent poverty. The biggest indicator of poverty is neither the quality of one’s job nor one’s educational attainment; the biggest indicator is single motherhood (or, to a lesser extent, single fatherhood). This is true not only because of the direct effects of single motherhood itself (such as a much lower average income), but because of the countless effects that stem from single motherhood. According to the U.S Census Bureau, married couples in the United States earned an average household income of around $107,000 in 2015, whereas single mothers had an average household income of around $47,000. Single fathers had an average income of around $67,000 (Table F-10, “All Races,” Historical Income Tables). It is simply common sense that not having two spouses will most likely lead to a lower household income, which can present more financial hardships for the family. According to the Business Insider, the family’s income levels can have a significant effect on the children’s “ likelihood of going to college,” and, for female children, “becoming a teenage mom.” When parent-income levels increase, “college attendance rates rise and teen birth rates fall.” This shows that single parenthood not only leads to a much lower average income, but also hurts the children’s likelihood to become more educated and increases their likelihood to have children out of wedlock (perpetuating the family’s struggle to find financial stability).
   It is, therefore, unsurprising that the poverty rate is significantly higher for single-parent households than two-parent households. Interestingly, single-parenthood is extraordinarily high in the black community, as 64% of all black families live in single-parent households, compared to 40% of Hispanics, 30% of whites, and 17% of Asians. Even more surprising is how the poverty rate for two-parent black households is only7.5%, which is under the American average of 10.6%. Furthermore, two-parent black households have a significantly lower poverty rate than white single-mother households, which sits at 25.4%. What happened to white privilege?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The importance of single motherhood on long-term life outcomes is astonishing. And it gets more tragic when multi-partner fertility is added into the mix. In those cases, if a child is born to a poor single mother who has kids with multiple partners, he has effectively no chance to escape poverty, and the likelihood of him falling into some form of criminality is shockingly high. You see a little bit of discussion of it, but there are too many contradictory sacred cows at play to craft a good message.

12:33 PM  

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