Better Than Ezra

This is from a Census Bureau visualization of child poverty in the US, sent in by reader BGinCHI. Brown means poor, son, numbers add up to nothing. No matter how much richsplaining Paul Ryan does about how it’s all the young bucks fault, what’s been done to these children is fucking awful.

98 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    They certainly got the colors right.

  2. 2
    c u n d gulag says:

    Just what I expected – mostly Southern, and mostly rural, and mostly Red States: Where people vote against their own best interests.

    Tribal politics at its worst!

  3. 3
    Davis X. Machina says:

    They all have shoes and cellphones… how can they be poor?

  4. 4
    Belafon says:

    Watching the animation, it really seems to be based on the idea that Republicans are going to damage Obama, even if it means hurting their own constituents.

  5. 5
    Ash Can says:

    This is what slays me about the whole poverty “debate.” Fuck the “bootstraps” bullshit. We have millions and millions of kids in poverty. Even if their parents weren’t helpless, the kids really and truly are.

    Then again, they’re all the wrong kind of kids, and white kids in poverty don’t exist, and starvation will teach them all valuable life lessons for when they’re adults (if they make it that far), and guns and tax cuts are more valuable and important than kids anyway.

  6. 6
    MomSense says:

    You look at the concentrations of child poverty in this map and they are mostly from Republican controlled states. These are the same people who demagogue (only when there is a Democrat in the White House) about thinking of the poor children who will be saddled by so much debt. Meanwhile these same children are suffering in poverty right now. Poverty for children means going hungry, not having proper shoes and clothing, not always having safe, adequate child care, not having proper access to medical and dental care, and so much more. These same Republicans claim to be Christians. I can’t imagine that Jesus would be ok with this kind of mass neglect and suffering.

  7. 7
    Ash Can says:

    @Belafon: It’s Chicago’s “Council Wars” writ large. When Harold Washington was elected mayor, there was a large and powerful faction of white aldermen who did nothing but fight to stymie Washington’s every move, simply because he was black and was trying to expand city services into neighborhoods that up to then had always gotten short shrift. And the putzes who are refighting the Council Wars now are the ones carrying on about “Chicago-style politics.” They should know; they’ve evidently learned everything they know from Fast Eddie Vrdolyak.

  8. 8
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Belafon:Try “…the idea that Republicans are going to damage Obama, even if it means their constituents hurting themselves…”

  9. 9
    Josie says:

    @c u n d gulag: I don’t know about the southern states, but, in Texas, it isn’t that they vote against their own interests. It’s that they don’t vote, and the Republicans are doing their best to keep it that way.

  10. 10
    Original Lee says:

    Fascinating to me is that you can see Benton Harbor, Michigan, and its sister city across the river, St. Joseph, Michigan on the map. Benton Harbor is the little orange-red dot in southwest Michigan across Lake Michigan from Chicago. Rachel Maddow has talked about Benton Harbor occasionally on her show.

  11. 11
    Ash Can says:

    @MomSense: These are people for whom capitalism is a religion and Christianity is an economic tool.

  12. 12
    jon says:

    Those lazy inner city types sure are drawn to those vast metropolises of Montana, Mississippi, and Northeastern Arizona!

  13. 13
    El Cid says:

    In my view the context for Ryan’s jabbering isn’t just about racist appeals to white nationalist prejudice — it’s about blaming the jobless for lacking jobs. It’s about laying the blame for the problems of the nation’s economy upon the poor themselves. The reason there’s unemployment is that the jobless refuse to work (at what job? don’t ask), and government (via Obama, the Kenyonesian wimp tyrant) allows the lazy jobless to survive and breed instead of somehow encouraging them to feel such pain & shame that finally their powers to telekinetically manifest jobs gets triggered.

    In short, it’s kind of like the X-Men, whose powers often manifest themselves in adolescence given some trigger of stress or strong emotion: jobs aren’t given to you by an ’employer’, even though we have sets of ‘job creators’ we worship. No, jobs simply manifest themselves given the right hormonal eruption of shame, patriotism, and conservative values.

  14. 14
    Keith G says:

    This is one of several salient and a very important issues – issues that the leadership of the Democratic Party could use to up the steaks in the2014 midterms.

    We need voter turn out and we need to tangibly show there is a huge difference between Democrats and Republicans in such a way that even the reluctant and the dumb can understand.

  15. 15
    RaflW says:

    @c u n d gulag:
    On first blush, maybe. But states like Minnesota have seen a significant rise as well. In the 1999 map, except for the area (surprise!) where Native American concentrations are highest, the map was pretty blue.

    Now, the oranges and reds of shame are rising. This sucks, not just for the south.

    ETA: I’ve spent some considerable time in New Mexico, too, and it’s a lovely state yet just chock-full of poor people who are struggling. It’s not some dixie political jerkwater, but it is shockingly poor despite its purple/blue politics.

  16. 16
    Fuzzy says:

    @c u n d gulag: Tribal is correct. A lot of the red areas North of the Mason Dixon line are Native American reservations.

  17. 17
    RaflW says:

    @El Cid: I’d say this is exactly it. The blame-shifting works fairly well here because our national narrative is all about individualism and “bootstraps” and all that shit.

    In soc!alist effete Europe, workers tend to understand that redundancies and job cuts are the fault of crappy capitalists, not allegedly crappy workers. So of course the US politicians also have to bash Europe, their trade unions, and their educated workforces.

  18. 18
    Joel says:

    The thing that bugs me about the poverty rate is that it doesn’t seem to take account of cost of living, which is why the ACELA corridor looks completely poverty-free on the map. Anyone who has lived there knows better. In other words, the “poverty rate” only effectively measures rural poverty.

  19. 19
    PurpleGirl says:


    These are the same people who demagogue (only when there is a Democrat in the White House) about thinking of the poor children who will be saddled by so much debt.

    They aren’t concerned with poor children being saddled with debt; it’s their grandchildren being saddled with debt so that the government can help current poor children. They don’t care about the future of the poor or the poor of the future. It’s all about Rethuglican grandchildren having to pay the debt.

  20. 20
    Punchy says:

    What the hell is going on in NE Arizona? Is that all tribal land? Good lord….

  21. 21
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    I bet those poors have luxuries like refrigerators and other modern appliances. If they want to pull themselves out of poverty, they need to keep their legs closed and stop have babies out of wedlock (unless they are raped because that is a gift from God.)

  22. 22
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Ash Can: Now you know the Teahad doesn’t give a rat’s a## about children once they’re born except as a tool to shame sluts: Right to Life is only from conception to birth.


  23. 23
    JoyfulA says:

    I see that fracking added a yellow edge to the northern tier of Pennsylvania rather than solving its problems.

  24. 24
    RaflW says:

    More broadly, while I agree that these maps tend to show the impact of myriad bad Republican policies, at its core it shows how damaging the growing income disparities are on vast areas of the country.

    And how long-lasting the effects of the late-Bush-era crash have been. Which goes back to the shitty policy “responses” of the 1%’s lackeys. What I fail to grasp is how the 1% think they’ll continue to amass wealth when so many of the customers of the businesses in their stock portfolios are reaching the level of poverty where they can’t afford a damn thing.

    For some reason I was recalling that “Rent is Too Damn High” guy from NYC the other day. But I realize his framing is all wrong. “The Pay is Too Damn Low!” is the real issue.

  25. 25
    Ash Can says:

    @RaflW: Income inequality increased under Bush II, then the economy crashed. And following the crash Obama and the Dems were politically unable to pass the kind of stimulus bills that it would have taken to right the ship (heaven only knows what the nation would look like today if even what we managed to get passed hadn’t happened). This nation’s allergy to taxes and government programs (Thanks, Reagan!) will turn it into a banana republic yet.

  26. 26
    different-church-lady says:

    When you get right down to it, the red states are really brown states.

  27. 27
    jonas says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    Where people vote against their own best interests.

    What you don’t see in these charts is how the poverty rate has disproportionately affected minorities — those pockets of grinding poverty in the Mississippi delta, Arkansas, Arizona, and New Mexico, for example, really tell the story of how blacks and Latinos (and Native Americans) have slipped from the bottom rungs of the economic ladder down to the basement — they can’t even climb any more. Sure, there’s rural poverty that impacts whites (see JC’s state, e.g.), too, but not nearly as much. Minorities and the working poor *do* vote overwhelmingly in their own interests — it’s just that in most red states, they’ve been gerrymandered into irrelevance in favor of upper middle-class whites who vote Republican.

  28. 28
    c u n d gulag says:

    Thanks for pointing that out for me!

  29. 29
    RaflW says:


    Minorities and the working poor *do* vote overwhelmingly in their own interests

    Well, they do vote overwhelmingly Democrat. When/if they vote.

    As pointed out up-thread, in Texas the minority voter turnout is abysmal. The Dems could have considerable political clout if they can get their base to vote – and they do seem to have a decent plan to move that way now.

    We also, as is often pointed out on BJ, have the issue that minority and poor voters tend to vote in Presidential years only. Add in the terrible things being done to keep the poors and minorities from voting (our neighbor Wisconsin has done it again, the f*&ers), and the structural impediments just become too much.

  30. 30
    Belafon says:

    @jonas: True, but the chart shows the fraction of the children in poverty. While the minorities are poorer, they don’t make up 50% of the population in most of these areas.

  31. 31
    c u n d gulag says:

    The contortions that politicians put into gerrymandering districts needs to completely change.

    But of course it can’t, because the districts were gerrymandered to keep the politicians who gerrymandered the district’s in the first place to stay in office, stay in office.


  32. 32
    Elie says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    except what is happening in the upper northeast (NY,Maine, NH, Vt?) where there is a big spot of red that grew significantly from the first period to the second?

  33. 33
    Elie says:

    …and Michigan — though that is much easier to explain

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G:

    the Democratic Party could use to up the steaks

    Your suggestion is that the D party give even more t-bones to lazy young inner city thugs?

  35. 35
    Platypus says:

    These maps illustrate failure, but whose? As much as I might like to blame red-state ideologues for everything, the declines seem to have happened across the board. Blue places got less blue (WTF happened in Oregon?) just as surely as red places got more red. That points to a federal problem, and the reds haven’t exactly been the only ones steering that ship. They might actually have a point that the programs we have aren’t necessarily helping as much as we thought they would. Where we differ is in what to do about it. A reasonable person would say that we should learn from our experience, and make the whole resource-allocation process more empirical. That would lead to improving some programs, replacing others, reducing or perhaps even eliminating still others. No matter how you slice it, though, Ryan’s “burn it all to the ground” is neither morally nor empirically supportable.

  36. 36
    Corner Stone says:


    Those lazy inner city types sure are drawn to those vast metropolises of Montana, Mississippi, and Northeastern Arizona!

    I enjoyed this comment in its entirety.

  37. 37
    RSA says:

    numbers add up to nothing.

    Surprisingly, it looks like rust the rustbelt does sleep, contra Neil Young.

  38. 38
    Belafon says:

    @Platypus: There is a national problem reflected: We called it the Great Recession. That would cause the wealth of most of the nation to go down, meaning that the number of poor grew. But watch the animation and notice how badly the red states and red areas of states like Oregon and Washington have been disproportionately affected.

  39. 39
    Elie says:

    I don’t think that we can understand this just in terms of the federal safety net. Local and state governments took huge hits in services delivered and this was at the same time that we had a pretty much jobless recovery in many areas…There was growth in service sector jobs that don’t pay squat and a lot more dependence on local food banks (read volunteer). Foodbanks around us have been loudly proclaiming the increased need they have. Some school districts even cut back on free lunches for kids.

    We have to look at this as a network — not just one contributing factor. We can fix this but we have to define the problem/s correctly to be effective.

  40. 40
    scav says:

    @Platypus: There was a wee bit of a national, indeed global, economic “Whoops!” in the middle of the series, so I’m not sure we can exactly blame it on Fed programs for letting the impacts appear nationally.

  41. 41
    Platypus says:


    Affected more severely? Sure. Disproportionately? Less clear. The poor are always hit hardest by a recession, regardless of whose policies are in place at the time. The correlation with having been poor before is much stronger than the correlation with leaning toward the right either before or during the recession.


    It’s true that there’s not just one factor, but let’s not forget that one of the reasons the local/state government took such huge hits in services delivered was the withdrawal of federal block grants etc. The one place we can affect policy that will help children in all of these places is at the federal level.

  42. 42
    Sherparick says:

    @c u n d gulag: In Mississippi, the white vote went 89% to 11% for Romney. I can assure you that most of those in white vote are not rich. But the pull of one’s tribe is strong is it not. I do speculate that many white poor and working people don’t vote at all, being alienated from both political parties, and those that do are organized and directed in how to vote by their Evangelical preachers.

    By the way, the Cooks and Halperins and Allens and Chuck Todds of the world never discuss the “sectionalism” of the white vote, that a plurality of Northern whites vote their class interests and identify perhaps more as “workers,” “Yankees,” and “middle class” then they do as “whites.” They might even have secret hippie sympathies. Although the article speculates that Romney could have captured more of the white vote, I actually don’t see how in an election involving a Black President and enormous dog whistling and immigrant bashing by Romney. I think 38% is the hard floor of white people who don’t go nuts when the issue of race is brought up in our unconscious.

  43. 43
    Belafon says:

    @Platypus: yes, but you’re trying to say this is a national problem, when the areas being affected most strongly by the recession are those affected by Republican “policies of screw the poor, they’re on their own.” The Southern states have done very little to help the poor.

  44. 44
    c u n d gulag says:

    Thanks for that link.

  45. 45
    ThresherK says:

    Is there a version of this map akin to the real red and blue electoral map, i.e., showing area more correlated to population density rather than square miles?

  46. 46
    BGinCHI says:

    Yesterday I was thinking about Ryan’s fucking stupid comments (like something you would hear in a Poli Sci 101 course from the dumbest student in the back row) and so I started looking up stats.

    There are lots of them from census data. Poor people are everywhere, but especially in rural areas that vote for GOP reps.

    But these charts that show children in poverty are just sickening. Rich people are playing a game and everyone else is suffering, aided and abetted by GOP politicians and beltway media.


  47. 47
    BGinCHI says:

    @ThresherK: You can google and see, but not that I know of. I was originally looking for poverty correlated to urban/rural.

  48. 48
    Petorado says:

    We need to turn the issue of poverty from it being an absence or lack of money to an absence or lack of control over destiny and opportunity. Money is not about what a person has/ is earning, it’s about concentrating power: those that have money are weaponizing it to control who is allowed to make decisions and who those decisions over public policy favor. Instead of speaking about the increasing disparity of wealth, we should tok about the increasing concentration of power in the hands of the 1%.

    Conservatives have turned the economy into a zero sum game where we are all fighting over a limited size pie, rather than working on policies of growth so the pie grows and all can get larger slices. Working against sound financial policy allows conservatives to retain control over the rest of the population.

  49. 49
    Woodrowfan says:


    I think 38% is the hard floor of white people who don’t go nuts when the issue of race is brought up in our unconscious.

    Gad, that’s depressing… I live in an area where it’s (probably) well over 38%, but that just means elsewhere it’s well under 38%.

  50. 50
    ThresherK says:

    @BGinCHI: Thanks.

  51. 51

    Why are Ezra’s actions surprising? He is a CW peddling baby Villager after all. Broder in training, if you will.

  52. 52

    BTW did you guys read NYT this morning, sore loser POW has penned an op-ed bashing Obama, it made me mad.

  53. 53
    catclub says:

    @jon: The Lower Mississippi River – the Delta. Still black, still third world.

  54. 54

    Look at my poor Michigan. That change is the result of bullshit trade policies endorsed by Republicans and DLC Democrats. The seeds of that poverty change was partially ushered in by Clinton. One reason why I won’t support Hilary Clinton, fmr DLC leader in the primary.

  55. 55
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @boatboy_srq: I think it’s actually quite apt. The forced birth folks only care about the “babies” until they cross the cervical rubicon. Afterwards the value is only if they be used to shame sluts and when they can tote an M-16.

  56. 56
    artem1s says:


    For some reason I was recalling that “Rent is Too Damn High” guy from NYC the other day. But I realize his framing is all wrong. “The Pay is Too Damn Low!” is the real issue.

    yes, this. I try to remember this basic argument when confronting the ‘taxes too high’ BS from glibertarian idiots. If you get paid a decent living wage, it means you can suddenly take advantage of the things those taxes pay for. Things like museums, libraries, parks, hospitals, roads, decent schools, home buying and improvement programs, etc, etc.

    when my wage changed from barely subsistence to lower middle class, the opportunities that opened up were mind boggling. It didn’t take all that much to change my life from ‘just barely hanging on’ to ‘actively engaged in planning for my future well-being’.

    Less taxes wouldn’t have made one whit of difference to me in my former state. The ones that did happen, I barely noticed because every income tax reduction was countered with a usage tax at the state or local level to make up for lost revenue.

  57. 57
    Gene108 says:


    Business is global.

    Increased standards of living in other parts of the world off-set economic stagnation in the U.S.A., Canada, Japan and Western Europe.

    Plus the really rich are not so much interested in economics, but rather keeping what they have from being eroded by inflation, for example.

  58. 58
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Paul Ryan needs to be retroactively put on flight 370 and disappear.

  59. 59
    Gene108 says:


    Last sentence should read “economic growth” in place of “economics”.

  60. 60
    Seanly says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Yeah, that’s one of the worst aspects of Ezra.

    Speaking of Ezra, Wonkette hates his new enterprise & has been ripping him a new one the last few days. Yeah, I need a bunch of triangulizing wannabe-Villager hipster douche nozzles to tell me how I should think happy thoughts about the evil overlords plundering our nation.

  61. 61
    Mike in NC says:

    @BGinCHI: The Republicans running the asylum known as South Carolina are well on the way to outlawing abortions under any and all circumstances, guaranteeing that the supply of poor children will continue to grow.

  62. 62
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike in NC: You really can’t blame them. They need people to work in the cotton fields.

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:


    What you’re missing is that 48 out of 50 states have “balanced budget” requirements for state budgets — basically, they are forbidden from deficit spending during a downturn and have to cut services instead. That means that states have basically shot themselves in the foot by assuming that good times will always stay good and they don’t need any kind of a rainy day fund.

    In theory, the federal government should be available to make up the difference in bad times, but when you have Republicans controlling the purse strings in Congress, you get the results you see above.

  64. 64
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Seanly: I would like someone to pull out his wife’s column from last year complaining about how Obama’s appointments were all predictable and the lack of women troubling and just switch the names. He spent a lot of time defending that. Let’s count the women and see if any women were given power.

  65. 65
    JoyfulA says:

    @c u n d gulag: But, wow! Did you read the comments? All about the white people’s legitimate rights they have to stand up for?

    I have a problem coming up with even one right I have to stand up for as a white person. Rights as a woman, of course, is a different matter.

  66. 66
    BGinCHI says:

    @Mike in NC: It just gets sadder and sadder….

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:


    White people have the same rights as everyone else of not being discriminated against, freedom of religion, etc. What we no longer have are special rights that put us above everyone else based on the color of our skin, and it’s the loss of those special rights that is driving those people around the bend.

    (Am I saying that it’s conservative projection at work once again when they complain that minorities and gays are asking for “special rights”? As their heroine Sarah Palin says, “You betcha!”)

  68. 68
    kindness says:

    Anyone see Jon Stewart last night? His bit on the $3B for Food Stamps being > $4B tax cuts for oil companies in Republican speak was right up this thread’s alley. I think C&L has the clip up this morning.

  69. 69
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Maybe having the top 1% holding 42% if the nation’s financial wealth isn’t working out so well.

  70. 70
    TooManyJens says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: It’s working out great for the people who matter the most in our system.

  71. 71
  72. 72
    Cervantes says:


    What the hell is going on in NE Arizona? Is that all tribal land? Good lord….

    Dine (Navajo) and Hopi, mostly.

    Not a new phenomenon.

  73. 73
    JustRuss says:


    (WTF happened in Oregon?

    Southern and eastern Oregon are very rural, and traditionally dependent on the timber industry. When the timber dried up they got some federal funds to compensate, but that’s been phasing out. The dark red spot in the north is a reservation, I’m pretty sure. Also includes Bend, which was booming as a retirement/resort community until 2008, then crashed hard. I was talking to a couple teachers from Bend last summer, they have a ton of homeless kids in the system.

  74. 74
    pseudonymous in nc says:


    Those lazy inner city types sure are drawn to those vast metropolises of Montana, Mississippi, and Northeastern Arizona!

    SE Kentucky too: a part of America where having electricity in your home is still not a certainty.

  75. 75
    🍀 Martin says:

    Man, the commitment to equality from the job creators couldn’t be clearer. It’s not just native americans that are dirt poor any longer!

  76. 76
    catclub says:

    @Keith G: “choice by Android voice recognition”

    I read Vice recognition. “… you appear to be lying, can I help you with that?”

  77. 77
    sparrow says:

    @Ash Can: Brilliant.

  78. 78
    Cervantes says:


    The thing that bugs me about the poverty rate is that it doesn’t seem to take account of cost of living, which is why the ACELA corridor looks completely poverty-free on the map. Anyone who has lived there knows better. In other words, the “poverty rate” only effectively measures rural poverty.

    You have a keen eye. Cost of living is taken into account as it varies over time but not as it varies geographically. Here’s the Census Bureau:

    Following the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Statistical Policy Directive 14, the Census Bureau uses a set of money income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who is in poverty. If a family’s total income is less than the family’s threshold, then that family and every individual in it is considered in poverty. The official poverty thresholds do not vary geographically, but they are updated for inflation using Consumer Price Index (CPI-U). The official poverty definition uses money income before taxes and does not include capital gains or noncash benefits (such as public housing, Medicaid, and food stamps).

    That is how the Census Bureau measures poverty and they have their reasons. Other federal agencies measure poverty differently.

    And if you want to know why the Census Bureau does it this way: it’s a long story, beginning with the work of Mollie Orshansky in the early ’60s. She’s the one who came up with the notion of “money income thresholds.” Why did she and her successors not take geographic variation into account? Another long story. Short version: it’s a difficult question.

    If you’d like to know more about Orshansky’s work and how it has developed, see here.

  79. 79
    Cervantes says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    the cervical rubicon

    Sorry, but that’s just wrong.

  80. 80
    Cervantes says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Paul Ryan needs to be retroactively put on flight 370 and disappear.

    I have a better idea.

  81. 81
    Gex says:

    @RaflW: In part it is because the growing middle classes in India and China can outconsume Americans. They don’t really care if Americans can’t afford things.

  82. 82
    Shakezula says:

    Nothing to add except excellent post title.

  83. 83
    Scott Alloway says:

    @Elie: That NW Maine section has me puzzled. Nobody lives in Western Aroostook, northern Piscataquis and northern Somerset Counties (except in Jackman, Somerset). I mean NObody. It’s a great northern forest. I worked in social programs iin both Piscataquis and Somerset counties, and most of the population was along the first 25 miles or so of their southern borders.

  84. 84
    Cervantes says:

    @Scott Alloway: The map shows percentage in poverty. If only one child lives in Western Aroostook and that one child is poor …

    Maybe you can take a closer look here.

  85. 85
    Arclite says:

    If you told me this was a map showing the temperature increases caused by global warming, I wouldn’t have known that it wasn’t.

  86. 86
    Elie says:

    @Scott Alloway:

    Hmmm.. maybe a data glitch? Your real world knowledge of this area is important.

    Here are the methods on the site given above for this map:


    The Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) derived poverty surface was produced using spline interpolation. A spline interpolation uses a set of values located at specific points, and creates a continuous surface over a given area. In this case, child poverty rates are interpolated from the geometric center of elementary and unified school districts. These rates are defined as the ratio of related children in poverty ages 5 to 17 divided by the total number of children ages 5 to 17.

    The applied spline interpolation method constrains interpolation to values inside respective states. In this way, state surface comparisons can be made. ”

    I have no idea what this means, but further down the page it says something about large distances not being accurate.

    I also have no idea how unified school district data got mapped to poverty rate either.

    In the absence of clear explanation, I would be very cautious about this map and what it means. Just sayin

  87. 87
    Miles SWO says:

    @c u n d gulag: They aren’t voting against their own best interests. Poor people are barred from voting, and middle class people vote against the best interests of the poor people.

    It’s been this way since white folks landed in the American South.

  88. 88
    Elie says:

    My thinking is that the geographic unit of analysis for the map is school districts. Not clear that these geo-areas would stay the same from time one to time two. New or enlarged school districts versus those that became smaller would necessarily fiddle with the denominator on a rate based statistic such as percent of poverty.., and might give misleading results.

    My heart wants to say that I think that this map is correct, but my head is a little unclear about the data and methods and whether these results account for all the necessary data issues.

  89. 89
    Bill Murray says:


    Increased standards of living in other parts of the world off-set economic stagnation in the U.S.A., Canada, Japan and Western Europe.

    while this is the argument of standard trade theory, it is not really true. Maybe partial off-set happens, but if global corporations couldn’t use wage arbitrage to increase their profits, they would not do this

  90. 90
    Mabel Davis says:

    But they have no food nor opportunity to get a job.

  91. 91

    Poor areas = lousy education = easily manipulated by rightwing politicians and preachers. For example: the national debt. Rightwing politicians care not a whit about this, but recognize it as a gigantic number they can use to scare the uneducated/undereducated with. And the greater the poverty in the country, alas, the greater the problem would be. To quote Albert Eistein, “An empty stomach is not a good political advisor.” And more and more people’s stomachs are empty.

  92. 92
    Scott Alloway says:

    @Cervantes: I get your point, but IIRC, that area is all forest. No roads, nada until you you hit St. Francis de Madawaski, so 60 miles northeast. Ditto for Piscataquis County. Literally no people live there. It is true wilderness. That’s why I was suspicious. Married a County girl a long time ago and in another life. It was a long trip up there.

  93. 93
    Cervantes says:

    @Scott Alloway: And yet there are school districts there.

  94. 94
    Scott Alloway says:

    @Elie: @Elie: My guess on the school district approach is that the unorganized northern Maine townships where no one lives are included in the closest district. There are a lot of those up in the three counties (ie T8 R9 would be a 6 mile by 6 mile square on the map. Nobody home in most cases). That would cause the map to show larger geographic region rather than specific census blocks. Landowners pay tax to the county which provides whatever services are needed. (Snowmobile trail maintenance?)

  95. 95
    Cervantes says:

    @Scott Alloway: Hence the suggestion:

    Maybe you can take a closer look here.

    You can choose to look at the data by school district, by county, etc.

  96. 96
    ottercliff says:

    A big fat tax cut for the 1% and a loosening of environmental regulations ought to solve the problem……

  97. 97
    Procopius says:

    @Davis X. Machina: And 99.6% of them have refrigerators. Oh, the humanity!

  98. 98
    pluky says:

    @Ash Can: Notice the spots in Appalachia centered around West Virginia, and in the Northwest straddling Washington, Oregon, and Idaho? Those are mostly poor white kids.

Comments are closed.