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From: Dennis Kidwell (email him)
Re: America's Egalitarian Temptation — Stalinism's Unquiet Ghost, by Peter Brimelow
Peter Brimelow said:
"Another way of looking at the impact of immigration is poverty. If you look at the government poverty numbers, they're really quite extraordinary. They fall like a stone from the 1930s through about 1972. In 1972 the proportion of Americans in poverty was 11.3 percent. And it's been around there ever since. It's oscillating up and down, but essentially we've been moving sideways for 30 years."
In fact we don't have even 1 percent poverty (for now).
For around ten years I worked for myself as half-owner/worker of Drywall Maintenance Inc. We did a large volume of work for taxpayer supported "housing projects".
Although they are privately owned, I prefer to think of large scale section-eight type "public" housing as the government's mistress. Everybody knows she's there and it's a real scandal but nobody's talking for fear of Daddy Government's wrath.
Day after day we would make repairs on the apartments. More often than not the damages were due to tenant neglect or carelessness.
One hot summer day when we were working at a large section-eight apartment complex in Durham, NC, I noticed several African-American males who appeared to be in their mid 20s sitting on a couch (yes an indoor full-sized couch) under a large oak tree at the curb side so that their feet rested on the curb as if it were an ottoman. After a while I noticed what appeared to be some road-side drug commerce going on. It seemed a little brazen but not really all that unusual.
I pondered the scene as I was toiling away and thought about the fact that these are people whom the government considers to be "living in poverty" (see NYT's account here).
But wait a minute! These people are paying rents that are 0 to 30 percent of the market value. The apartments are not fancy but they are decent, with heating and air conditioning. The tenants almost all have color TV's and cars to drive. They also have no shortage of food, especially fast-food. By world standards they are living far above the "poverty level". They may be "poor" but they are certainly not living in poverty—at least not in material poverty.
I then pondered the fact that the guys sitting under the tree had all of the essentials of shelter and food, etc. that I have. However, I'm working really hard and they are not! Now in a way that fact makes me feel like the slave and they the master. Even illegal aliens cash in on the free stuff.
The only people living in poverty that I've noticed are the generally deranged, lost souls know affectionately by the leftist crowd as "street people". I estimate that they are less than 1 percent of the population.
I wonder who's going to pick up all the pieces of what used to be our country when this whole egalitarian tyranny era falls flat on its face (when that happens we will find out what 11-12 percent maybe even 15-20 percent living in poverty really means — yes, you got it — Brazil).
Well actually I know the answer — you and me and the rest of the "Americans" will soldier on and try to salvage our civilization after 40-50 years of wantonly destructive policies.
It will be a tough row to hoe but we will succeed.
Peter Brimelow comments: Of course, I agree that, as this reader expresses so vividly, the federal Government's definition of poverty leaves a lot to be desired. But regardless of what "poverty" means in absolute terms, its relative movement over time still tells us something—in this case, about the impact of immigration on wage rates and income distribution.