On the right wing take on Black families and welfare being destructive.

They draw this conclusion by pointing out the coincidence in timing with Johnson‘s War on Poverty and increased single parent Black households.

Their argument is simple: welfare rewards single parents households.

To make this argument, they omit several other big sociological changes that occurred simultaneously, and basic logic. 2/
First the logic:
To say that someone is in a single parent household to get welfare benefits implies that person is a rational economic actor working in a system in which they get more benefit from being a single parent than from being in a dual parent situation. 3/
Y’all can go look up how much welfare actually is and how poor you have to be to qualify for *all* benefits and that there are *very* few states that have even *all* benefits adding up to more than minimum wage and see that in most instances, 4/
the income from welfare will be less than the income from a working partner. Add in the added benefit of having a parenting partner aside from income, and that welfare is usually only provided short-term, and you’ve negated the rational decision-making in almost all cases. 5/
But further, a rational couple would simply choose to raise the child jointly while technically living in different households, which negates the whole “single parenting is the bad consequence of welfare” concept.

Now, to simultaneous sociological changes
1. Divorce rates and single parenting generally increased about that time and if you control for income, Black increase rates are not nearly as high compared to others as they make out
(though they are higher so let’s look at other factors too)
2. Nixon’s War on Drugs followed right on the heels of Johnson’s War on Poverty. Guess what might impact Black families?
Massive numbers of Black men being incarcerated.
3. What else happened in the same era? - Black migration to cities, redlining, white abandonment of cities taking the tax base with them, and the rise of two income households among the middle class. 9/
How is the rise of two income households in the middle class relevant?
Black households had already been for the most part two income households. The single income household was never a cross-population norm. 10/
But what happens when the middle class become two income households? Prices adjust. Before the rise of two income middle class households, a family with two low-income workers could afford to live not far below a single middle income family. 11/
It was easier to make do (and become middle class) if two low-income workers contributed.
But the rise of middle class two-income households made two low-income workers, well, low income even together. 12/
It increased the trap of the poverty trap.

There are *many* factors that harmed black communities simultaneously immediately after the civil rights movement. Some intentionally (war on drugs) some not, probably (rise of two income middle class households). 13/
To single out welfare as if it’s the only change that happened at that time is, frankly, dishonest.

I want to close with: I am not condemning necessarily the rise of two income households as it is impossible to disentangle that from increased autonomy of white women, which is a good thing. 15/
But the right wing economics that increased income pressure simultaneously have taken that good thing and created a lot of negative side effects that we still need to adjust for.

The end.

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More from @eminently_me5

26 May
Someone asked me about AAVE and whether it’s unreasonable to have an expectation that we use “standard American English” in professional settings.

Short thread.

Please do not search for the original convo to pile on the person who asked, who I believe was a in good faith.
You can scan this article to see a list of English language dialects.
I’ve known Irish people that I cannot understand a word they are saying when they speak rapidly to each other. 2/
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26 May
On the lab leak thing: it’s an unknown. Maybe one day it will be a known. But I don’t understand why it’s politicized among normal people.
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22 May
Israel is a state: “Israel has a right to defend itself”

Palestinians don’t have a state so, they don’t?

We should stop thinking of violence as morally different if it’s from a state or a not-state.


Going to add: I feel the same about US foreign policy and attacks on the US by non-state actors, and a wide array of analogous examples.

Particularly “America, Africa, etc don’t have states recognized by European countries so colonize away!” 2/
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20 May
A man who feels compelled to jump into Dylan Farrow’s mentions with Woody Allen’s “side” is a man who does not know the most common boundaries of decency which might be part of why he feels committed to Woody Allen’s “side” in the first place.
why would you need to jump into her mentions about it? *even* *if* her memory is faulty (which I am not asserting as anything but a hypothetical) you getting in her face is not going to benefit anyone but is going to upset her (if she noticed). 1/
*if* this were a case of a faulty memory, you being an ass in her twitter mentions is not going to have an impact of clearing up what would be, in that hypothetical case, a complex and still delicate psychological issue. 2/
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19 May
I feel like it should be axiomatic that ruthless power is never in favor or the marginalized.

I don’t understand thinking otherwise.
Possible corollary: people who think ruthless power would be in favor of the marginalized are people who expect to be in the hegemony of that ruthless power and think they would be more beneficent power-mongers.
But power-mongering by definition marginalizes those without power, does it not?
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19 May
One more try:
the US has a structure that pushes dichotomy. If we had a multiparty structure we might not be where we are. But we don’t, so here we are.
My premise - which you may or may not agree with, but in that’s a *separate* discussion - is that one of the two dichotomous powers has given up any and all boundaries in its quest for power. 2/
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And to a degree that they will actively and openly oust members that oppose their naked zero-sum, zero-rules approach. 3/
Read 16 tweets

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