Tuesday, August 05, 2014


I posted this on a facebook thread a while back about Cliven Bundy, nut rancher, and his remarks about black people no longer learning to pick cotton, and the presumed trouble that's gotten them into.

All my life I've been hearing about all the lazy welfare moochers. I've been hearing what a big deal it all is, how the black people don't want to work, how welfare creates an incentive not to work, to stay at home doing drugs and having babies in order to get more welfare. And for many years I accepted this "conventional wisdom" about the lazy ghetto culture of welfare mooching black people.

Then, in the mid 90s, with the help of "liberal" President Clinton, the Republican Congress did away with Aid to Families with Dependent Children, you know, welfare, the big bogey monster of direct cash payments to the poor. The end of "welfare as we know it." Welfare rolls, which became limited to two years, and required recipients to have a job in order to collect, became DRAMATICALLY reduced, leaving only a relative few people getting it. All that was left was rental assistance, food aid, and Medicaid for the very poor. But no more welfare as we understood it back in the 70s and 80s. It totally changed the game.

Nonetheless, the mythology about how we created this massive dependent class with screwed up psychologies continued as though nothing changed. And that got me thinking. What do I really know about the very poor? About the ghettos? The information is out there, lots of studies and statistics about how the very poor actually behave in real life, but I have very little knowledge of it, and what I do have is probably more than the general population--for instance, I know that multiple studies have shown that the rate of welfare fraud is less than five percent.

But here's one thing I do know. People talk about this stuff as though they're certain of what they're talking about, even though the entire game changed twenty years ago. This means people who talk this way HAVE NO IDEA what they're talking about.

So if you really want to engage me in any discussion about all the lazy black welfare moochers, your folk tales and mythology and conventional wisdom which "everybody knows" aren't going to cut it. You're going to have to show me that you really do know what you're talking about. Until then, you're just repeating what are probably racist ideas about black people being lazy moochers, so I feel completely justified in totally dismissing your assertions.