76% of White Americans Feel Economically Insecure Under Obama

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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Good news. We’ve narrowed down the racial economic insecurity gap. And we did it by making everyone poor. Finally, a better world is at hand.

Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

Hardship is particularly on the rise among whites, based on several measures. Pessimism among that racial group about their families’ economic futures has climbed to the highest point since at least 1987. In the most recent AP-GfK poll, 63 percent of whites called the economy “poor.”

While racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to live in poverty, race disparities in the poverty rate have narrowed substantially since the 1970s, census data show. Economic insecurity among whites also is more pervasive than is shown in government data, engulfing more than 76 percent of white adults by the time they turn 60, according to a new economic gauge being published next year by the Oxford University Press.

The gauge defines “economic insecurity” as a year or more of periodic joblessness, reliance on government aid such as food stamps or income below 150 percent of the poverty line. Measured across all races, the risk of economic insecurity rises to 79 percent.

“It’s time that America comes to understand that many of the nation’s biggest disparities, from education and life expectancy to poverty, are increasingly due to economic class position,” said William Julius Wilson, a Harvard professor who specializes in race and poverty.

He noted that despite continuing economic difficulties, minorities have more optimism about the future after Obama’s election, while struggling whites do not.

“There is the real possibility that white alienation will increase if steps are not taken to highlight and address inequality on a broad front,” Wilson said.

Addressing and highlighting inequality is exactly how we got into this mess. Because all those measures involve wealth redistribution while depressing the overall job market. It means that everyone gets poorer, but some people go on welfare, whether it’s real welfare or the welfare of government jobs.

Sometimes termed “the invisible poor” by demographers, lower-income whites are generally dispersed in suburbs as well as small rural towns, where more than 60 percent of the poor are white.

More than 19 million whites fall below the poverty line of $23,021 for a family of four, accounting for more than 41 percent of the nation’s destitute, nearly double the number of poor blacks.

By race, nonwhites still have a higher risk of being economically insecure, at 90 percent. But compared with the official poverty rate, some of the biggest jumps under the newer measure are among whites, with more than 76 percent enduring periods of joblessness, life on welfare or near-poverty.

By 2030, based on the current trend of widening income inequality, close to 85 percent of all working-age adults in the U.S. will experience bouts of economic insecurity.

So we all have something to look forward to now.

“Poverty is no longer an issue of ‘them’, it’s an issue of ‘us’,” says Mark Rank, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis who calculated the numbers. “Only when poverty is thought of as a mainstream event, rather than a fringe experience that just affects blacks and Hispanics, can we really begin to build broader support for programs that lift people in need.”

Those programs create need by killing economic growth, then drain more money from the working poor and the middle class to subsidize the bureaucracy for the programs, which makes them struggle even harder to stay afloat.

—For the first time since 1975, the number of white single-mother households who were living in poverty with children surpassed or equaled black ones in the past decade, spurred by job losses and faster rates of out-of-wedlock births among whites. White single-mother families in poverty stood at nearly 1.5 million in 2011, comparable to the number for blacks. Hispanic single-mother families in poverty trailed at 1.2 million.

Welcome to the collapse of the family.

The share of children living in high-poverty neighborhoods — those with poverty rates of 30 percent or more — has increased to 1 in 10, putting them at higher risk of teen pregnancy or dropping out of school. Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 17 percent of the child population in such neighborhoods, up from 13 percent in 2000, even though the overall proportion of white children in the U.S. has been declining.

The share of black children in high-poverty neighborhoods dropped sharply, from 43 percent to 37 percent, while the share of Latino children ticked higher, from 38 to 39 percent.

Interesting. One wonders what accounts for the sharp decrease among black children.

The divide is especially evident among those whites who self-identify as working class: 49 percent say they think their children will do better than them, compared with 67 percent of non-whites who consider themselves working class.

Last November, Obama won the votes of just 36 percent of those noncollege whites, the worst performance of any Democratic nominee among that group since 1984.

Some Democratic analysts have urged renewed efforts to bring working-class whites into the political fold, calling them a potential “decisive swing voter group” if minority and youth turnout level off in future elections.

That’s the group Republicans need to be working on, instead of plotting their economic destruction with Amnesty.

  • INTOLERANTOFEVIL

    We voted for this thug, never again will America vote for a minority after what obama has done to America….

    • Dennis Early

      your wrong blacks will continue to vote for any black crook and do it over and over and the cheating will continue

      • INTOLERANTOFEVIL

        Sorry, should have put real Americans will never vote for a minority again…..

    • DogmaelJones1

      You’re in error. “We” didn’t vote for this thug. I personally didn’t vote in the last two presidential elections because it had narrowed down to a choice between non-entities (McCain and Romney) and a racist, Marxist entity (Obama) who had virtually promised to destroy the country, so, where was the “choice”?

  • VHG1

    Why does he meia avoid calling Obama what he is? Obama is a racist! He hates Whites, as does his wife! Their combined histories prove it!

    • Mike Sallese

      Excellent comment. Perhaps he is the only one working for you? Listen to whom you voted are saying and most importantly doing http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/28/americans-poverty-no-work/2594203/

    • chuckie2u

      Obama is part of the master plan to transform America into a Socialist regime. He did not elect himself. Don’t be surprise to see a movement to disban the constitution and allow him to be appointed President in 2016.

  • GSR

    Whites are about 75% of the voting electorate. Just winning a tiny percetnage more of them, would win elections for the GOP.

    • John Gould

      Why should Whites vote for the GOP, what have they done but aid and abet the decline of this nation?

      • objectivefactsmatter

        Obviously RINOs need to go.

      • delm31_nabla@yahoo.com

        The Democrats hate whites. And Males. And heterosexuals. And Christians. Who else?

        • John Gould

          So do Republicans. I wouldn’t vote, I would tax revolt at this point if I could get anyone on board. Shay’s Rebellion anyone?

      • http://www.RightFightHQ.com/ WeCanWinThisFight

        3rd party? With each passing day it’s sounding less and less ridiculous.

        Brand New POLL! on the States fighting Obama’s abuses of federal power …Please Vote!
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        • chuckie2u

          You have a 3rd party already voting in the Republican Party and electing candidates. The Tea Party and conservative Independents. The RINOS controlling the party hate them.

    • chuckie2u

      When over half that amount vote Democrat where is the insecurity. Obama is doing a good job of providing jobs for his supporters. It will be those who are not on board that will suffer marginalization and loose their jobs.
      As a side issue in the last several elections a large percentage of the so called Evangelicals of the Christian faith that were registered to vote did not. If this one group had bothered to register and vote there would be a big difference in elections at all levels..

  • TheOrdinaryMan

    But this sick creation of dependency on government is more insidious than even Daniel Greenfield might know. What do I mean? There’s evidence to show that the Waldo Canyon Fire, which destroyed 310 homes in Colorado, a short time ago, was set by Al-Qaeda operatives; and they’ve set other fires in the U.S.. THEY ARE AT WAR WITH US. The major news media isn’t reporting this.

    • chuckie2u

      In the not to distant future those Islamist our Government support will be part of the internal war on America . It is only going to get worse.

  • CowboyUp

    Not to defend the dp, which will make almost everyone outside of DC poor if they keep getting their way, but how the government scores poverty is ridiculous.
    A person can live in a multimillion dollar home on an estate, with horses, a fleet of cars, boats, yachts, prop planes and jets, with millions in the bank, and still be living in party by government poverty standards.

  • Dennis Early

    this country does not do anything that does not promote agendas that only help blacks, the whole nation has been programed and REWARDED for helping blacks, the black caucus will only push things that benefit blacks and screw the rest of us. on top of that young blacks are still programmed to hate anything they think is white. the only way whites will have a chance is to get away from blacks that target us for crimes and for sure do not raise kids in neighboorhoods with blacks or send them to school with 45 percent or more fot the thug blacks

  • cynthia curran

    Well, I agree ,Republicans like Paul Ryan want to import more lower skilled and higher skilled workers, still whites have lower poverty. Take Orange County Ca, Santa Ana a heavily Hispanic town has an unemployment rate of 8.8 versus Mission Viejo mainly whites of 3.9 percent. In Mission Viejo can get real estate jobs while in Santa Ana until recently it was hard to get construction work. Granted, some whites in the OC that are low skilled end up worst than Hispanics since they don’t double up on housing more than one family and live in motels.

  • cynthia curran

    For the first time since 1975, the number of white single-mother households who were living in poverty with children surpassed or equaled black ones in the past decade, spurred by job losses and faster rates of out-of-wedlock births among whites. White single-mother families in poverty stood at nearly 1.5 million in 2011, comparable to the number for blacks. Hispanic single-mother families in poverty trailed at 1.2 million.

    Usually, Blacks and Hispanics have a higher percentage than whites but there is social class. element. Take Kern County whites have a higher teen birth rate than Hispanics in much higher income Placer County. Placer is interesting,Republican and has a low teen birth about 4 years ago it was called the new Orange County since it is Republican and has low poverty and it less minority but its Hispanics and Blacks or Asians tend to be more Middle Class. Arkansas

  • cynthia curran

    Arkansas has the higher teen birth rates mainly white while in Texas its mainly Hispanic since whites have a lower poverty rate.

  • cynthia curran

    Rand Paul seems to have not helped Kentucky that much since it has high food stamp usage. Republicans need to find away to deal with the decline of manufacturing work. Training poorer whites for small business and using the small business Administration to give loan to whites starting business in state’s like Kentucky. Having whites learn to start online business in the red states or red counties. One thing they can do is decrease job competition a the lower level jobs allowing whites in poorer areas to do construction work, maid’s work, landscaping by defeating the current bill on immigration.

  • cynthia curran

    Last November, Obama won the votes of just 36 percent of those noncollege whites, the worst performance of any Democratic nominee among that group since 1984.

    A lot of them didn’t show up to vote, they were the Ross Periot votes in states like OH.

  • delm31_nabla@yahoo.com

    They should feel that way. A future as a poor, second-class citizen, minority.

  • cynthia curran

    Personality, Republicans needs to changed Jack Kemp enterprise zones and apply them to the white poor regions of Arkansas, Kentucky and West Virginia instead of Blacks or Hispanics in the inner city.

  • cynthia curran

    Well, actually maybe the Republicans need to get not the poor white vote but get the upper-middle more again. In California where Republicans dod bad they sitlll did better in,Placer, South Orange and North San Diego, these are not poor places. In fact South Orange County has Newport Beach and cites like Mission Viejo where Romney did . The Republicans did the best in the south in richer white areas in Texas, and so forth. Whites in the south unlike whites in the north that have more money vote for the Republicans. The upper-middle class in the North is more split or in some areas more Democratic. The Republicans need to aiim more for a Placer County than a Kern County it can be done again. Years ago the Republicans won in San Diego and Orange not so much in Kern in California politics, they could be against some of the development on the conservative side that causes too much traffic or more of a free market approach for the environmental companies instead of tax subsides, some libertine types have made it without the subsides. Obama did best on the OC or Sd among whites that lost their house or jobs and least among whites that still had their house or job. The Dems are better are envy or resentment.

  • cynthia curran

    Republicans should support construction work for the native born instead of ilegal immigrants. In the long term construction work was paying better in some parts of the region than manufacturing unless you were an engineer. There is plumbing and heavily equipment construction not just general laborers like the Brookings inst which is telling a half truth and wants thousands of Mexicans or Central Americans to do. In Orange County and San Diego before the recession some construction workers according to a customized builder were making 100,000.

  • cynthia curran

    Well, some of the boom was artificial but wages for construction workers vary depending upon if the native born versus foreign born. The late developer Bob Perry who gave a lot of money to Texas and National Republican candidates was responsible for Texas construction being 60 percent Hispanic and many in the US illegal. The average wage for a foreign construction worker in Texas is 11 versus 16 for a native born worker. All the Republican Party needs to get lower class whites is to kick illegal immirgants out of construcation.

  • cynthia curran

    Also, Republicans need to do a different approach in different states, Bobby Jandel wanted to changed Louisiana from income taxes to sales taxes, it failed since Louisiana has a lower income white population than Texas. Texas whites have a lower poverty rate,in fact most poverty in Texas is the Rio Grande area over 90 percent Hispanic and rural or the Hispanic and black populations in the larger cities like Houston or Dallas and whites in Austin 11 percent have a higher poverty rate than nicer suburbs Collins county at 4 percent..

  • cynthia curran

    Construction jobs and so forth are the key since they usually average from 8 to 22 per hr which is similar to the factory jobs that got shipped overseas. Republicans because of George W Bush looked bad on Americans getting construction work because of illegal immigrants or factory jobs being shipped overseas since George W Bush was a free trader. Republicans might have support government heath services at the non-federal level a community clinic by state and local taxes rather than federal taxes or a much better method of private charity health care for the poor, this will help to defeat Obamacare more than just voting it out.

    • chuckie2u

      There is more to Obamacare than Health Issues. After all the hot air blown in Washington it will become the law of the land as another control over the masses and the transfer of the M.D.s to paid employees of the Government. 40% or more of a clinics wealth will be transferred to Washington..

  • mtnhikerdude

    America needs jobs , jobs and more jobs. Lee Iacocca predicted the obvious years ago . Basically he said unless we take the wool out of our eyes we will be a Nation of people selling fast food to one another. He also said ,”There are no free lunches”.

    • chuckie2u

      And after the Progressives control the free lunches those receiving them will do exactly as they are told or they won’t eat. We are seeing a true emergence of a two class society,governmet employed vs non-government employed, where in the middle class business owner will be shut down and merged with the entitlement class.

  • cynthia curran

    As for birth rates, some upper-middle to lower wealthy white areas have higher birth rates, Ladera Ranch is the only city in Orange County South that has more children under 5 than Hispanic Santa Ana. Ladera Ranch attracts the successful evangelical or Mormon. Texas upper middle class white communities also have a higher birth rate.