Miracle: Sacramento MSM laments California’s mass poverty

For months, Cal Watchdog, U-T San Diego columnist Steven Greenhut and the U-T editorial page have drawn attention to the fact that under a new measure of poverty introduced by the Census Bureau in November 2012, California has the worst rate in the country. Why? Because of the high cost of living. Now the Sacramento media establishment, or at least one of its most prominent members, has finally chosen to both acknowledge this fact and its implications. Take it away, Dan Walters.

“Living costs may not be particularly burdensome for those at the top of the economic ladder – the fortunate folks who live in Beverly Hills, Hillsborough or other affluent enclaves. But they do affect those on the middle and lower rungs, as a new Census Bureau report underscores.

“California’s official poverty rate of 16.5 percent is somewhat higher than the national rate of 15.1 percent, but under an alternative Census Bureau method of calculating poverty that includes cost of living, our poverty rate soars to – by far – the highest rate of any state. Nearly a quarter of Californians, 23.8 percent, live in poverty.

“This is, or should be, a matter of shame, especially for politicians who profess to represent society’s underdogs but who enact policies that raise their struggling constituents’ cost of living, or inhibit the creation of jobs that would lift poor Californians out of poverty. … [While] the state’s media and political elites may sneer at Texas and other states that lack our mild weather and scenic attributes, they should note that Texas’ poverty rate is just two-thirds of California’s and Iowa’s is just one-third.”

But don’t expect the anti-Texas sneering to stop. It’s just one part of an overall mindset in the Obama era, in which the left views the right as not just wrong on politics but as pathetic, racist inferior beings. Admitting that a conservative state is better governed than California? Admitting that there are far fewer poor people in Texas than the Golden State? In San Francisco, west Los Angeles and Democratic legislative chambers, that’s akin to hate speech. The CalBuzzers are probably laughing themselves silly at the very thought these facts might be true.



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  1. LetItCollapse
    LetItCollapse 10 November, 2013, 13:31

    “….California has the worst rate in the country. Why? Because of the high cost of living.”

    Mr. Reid, I have a problem with this theory. I commented previously on it under another CWD blog.

    I examined the 2012 census bureau report that compiled this data that you referenced. The average US poverty rate, as calculated by the Census Bureau method, was 16%. Then I looked specifically at the southern border states – many of which have a much lower cost of living as compared to CA. This is what I found: CA: 23.8%; AZ: 18.8%; NV: 19.8%; TX: 16.4%; NM: 16.1%.

    And then I looked at other states with high costs of living, similar or above that of CA: NJ: 15.5%; NY: 18.1%; MA: 13.8%; CT: 12.5%; AK: 12.5%; RI: 13.6%; NH: 10.2%.

    Of note, I found that most of the states with the highest costs of living, similiar or above that of CA, had surprisingly low poverty rates. New York was the one exception with an 18.8% rating. (We know NY has a serious illegal immigrant problem). The others ranged from 10.2% to 15.5%, all below the national average of 16%.

    But if you examine the southern border states (as shown above) you would note that all rank higher than the national average poverty rate (16%) and range from 16.1% to 23.8% despite the fact that most have relatively low costs of living.

    At some point people have to recognize this pattern and speak to the facts before us. The correlations show that it’s not all about cost of living. Much has to do with demographics and the effect of loading up the states with illegal indigent populations from other nations. This has consequences that many would rather ignore. But avoiding the cause of a problem does not remedy it.

    Reply this comment
    • eck
      eck 10 November, 2013, 20:53

      OK, OK, you’ve made your point, we’re not the worst. But being among the worst is still a great cause for concern, anguish.

      Reply this comment
      • LetItCollapse
        LetItCollapse 11 November, 2013, 12:33

        What? We’re not the worst? Of course we’re the worst @ 23.8%. I never said we weren’t the worst. How’d you come up with that?

        My point was that the CB’s numbers indicate that the media’s lamebrain theory that the ‘high cost of living’ is largely responsible for the high poverty rates is flawed. It’s not so much ‘high cost of living’. It’s saturating certain states with illegal indigents that’s causing the poverty rates to climb.

        The reason Texas does not have our poverty rate is because Texas is not as strong a magnet for illegal immigration as California. Texas doesn’t give them TX driver’s licenses or defy Federal law by refusing to turn them over to the Feds for deportation like California. No wonder more illegals come to California and our poverty rates climb! Duh!

        Reply this comment
  2. LetItCollapse
    LetItCollapse 10 November, 2013, 16:58

    Oh, and Mr. Reed. I find it very disconcerting that people in the media business who should be incredibly skilled in analyzing and interpreting empirical data would miss such simple correlations that I found with a rather elementary evaluation of the Census Bureau numbers. To claim that the poverty rates are exclusively or significantly linked to “high cost of living” as opposed to the demographic makeup of the various states simply makes no sense to a reasonable man after a rational and logical evaluation of the data. I am just so disappointed by what the mainstream media reports these days. It’s so critical in these times of national crises for our gate guards assigned to protect the citizens from tyranny to provide us with all the facts. Look how they dropped the ball on ObamaCare. Now I see them doing the same thing with immigration. Very discouraging.

    As always, I have an open mind and am willing to consider arguments to my foregoing interpretation of the Census Bureau data. And I will change my opinion if the argument makes sense. Maybe I missed something.

    Reply this comment
  3. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 10 November, 2013, 17:16

    There are always poor and Democrats. why?

    Reply this comment
  4. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 10 November, 2013, 17:38

    Let’s see now, high poverty, high unemployment, high cost of living, debt, corruption and bankruptcy everywhere and yet the Dems still have a choke hold on Crazyfornia politics. What’s wrong with this picture?

    Governor Clown has been making noises lately about his concern over the states “inequality” problem. My guess is that the solution will be higher taxes on the rich and middle class (to fund transfer payments/subsidies to the poor) and counter productive nonsense like raising the minimum wage 25%.

    I guarantee you that the Dems will only make the problem worse. But hey, they will screw it up with the best of intentions and that’s what really counts right?

    Reply this comment
    • eck
      eck 10 November, 2013, 20:55

      You really think they can screw things up any more? Wow, what a pessimist! (sarc)

      Reply this comment
  5. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 10 November, 2013, 19:58

    Stop the presses! Halley’s Comet must be making an surprise visit, as Dan usually makes sense about as often as Halley’s scheduled arrivals.

    I see pigs on the runway, and their tails are spinning.

    Reply this comment
  6. Queeg
    Queeg 11 November, 2013, 10:17

    During WW2 the urgency to personally and collectively survive required massive emphasis on each citizen pulling the war machine cart.

    The cart is in China being cut up for scrap!

    By the way, the government just approved China chicken coming into United States for your tostadas.

    Reply this comment
  7. David in the OC
    David in the OC 11 November, 2013, 14:00

    The problem with giving cost of living too much weight in the rankings is that it can cut both ways- the claims that public school teachers in Calif. are among the lowest compensated in the nation are also based on the high cost of living.

    Reply this comment
    • John Seiler
      John Seiler 11 November, 2013, 17:23

      David: Good point. Then the teachers should tell their unions to pursue policies that reduce the cost of housing, such as ending the California Coastal Commission.

      Reply this comment
  8. Ulysses Uhaul.
    Ulysses Uhaul. 11 November, 2013, 23:23

    I love the Coastal Commission. My beach Casa would be worth one-third in value without these arbitrary regulations dreamed up by command economy planners.

    Reply this comment

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