Daily Bread for 9.28.22: Local and National Views of Child Poverty

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 58. Sunrise is 6:49 AM and sunset 6:40 PM for 11h 50m 44s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 7.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

 Whitewater’s Parks & Recreation Board meets at 5:30 PM

  On this day in 1781, American and French forces backed by a French fleet begin the siege of Yorktown.

Whitewater has begun, only these last few years, a more candid discussion of child poverty within the area, in both the city proper and the school district. 

And so, one can find a plain, accurate account of socio-economic conditions in the area, as the school district’s budget director recently presented:

Download (PDF, 482KB)

See Slides on Whitewater’s (Socio-Economic) Condition and Brief Implications of Whitewater’s (Socio-Economic) Condition.

Of the Whitewater Unified School District’s administration and school board: their presentation on need is true, but will this truth be transformative for them? A profound truth should bring a profound transformation in words and deeds. The district’s Central Office will not be able to address this truth through boosterism’s mendacities. 

Libertarians — genuine ones — care about poverty and know that for hundreds of millions across this planet, free markets have lifted people across the globe from destitution. These successes did not come from government intervention and did not come from so-called government private ‘partnerships.’ Such partnerships are all-to-often incumbents’ and insiders’ efforts to help themselves to public funds they do not deserve. Cronyism enriches cronies. 

That’s why FREE WHITEWATER has doggedly addressed poverty in this community: a it’s topic that should be discussed and a condition that can be alleviated. 

Nationally, child poverty figures have dropped, and that presents an initial question: Why?

A discussion of this topic appears from at The Daily, from 9.26.22:

While this program argues that government spending counted more carefully for each recipient and as an increased amount has lifted many from poverty, it also notes the role of welfare reform and economic growth as causes of national poverty decline. Many of the benefits discussed are wage subsidies through tax credits for working recipients (the working poor).

An emphasis of reform on work benefited all, and poverty fell among children nationally for all races and ethnicities.

If America in aggregate has achieved these gains, then many American communities have achieved their own gains that contribute to national success against poverty.

Whitewater, bluntly, is not among the communities that have seen uplift.

While this libertarian blogger will never hold to the view that others should be silent, when the self-described development men in this town (landlords, bankers, CDA alumni, public relations men) speak they have behind them a generation of public-policy failure

They have the same rights as other residents, deserving neither less nor more. They do not, however, have the same quality of ideas and proposals as other residents, as they’ve wasted decades on failed ideas and projects. 

Their hocus-pocus economic theories will not ameliorate this condition, and their supposed successes (superficial and paltry as they are) have done nothing to improve individual and household incomes in this community.

Ordinary people in Whitewater — and we are all of this kind, a few residents’ sense of entitlement notwithstanding — know that development trickery hasn’t done the trick. 

For the community’s well-being, for all of us, it’s stand or fall on this challenge. The consequences of a generation of policy errors have been worse than mere statistics; these consequences have broken the community into shards. Bad economics leads to troubled socio-economics. 

Solutions won’t come from the failed past, and won’t adhere to a single orthodoxy. A minimal role for government, but a powerful role for a Dorothy Day figure in Whitewater (whether religious or secular) would do much to slowly heal this community. See Waiting for Whitewater’s Dorothy Day(It’s impossible to imagine Day, herself, without definite  religious views, but other perspectives could still reflect a fundamental, charitable focus.) 

While there are parts of Day’s thinking about government that are libertarian, others of her views on economics are decidedly different. (No matter — one prescribes for the patient, not the pharmaceutical representative.)

Free markets are holistic, like good nutrition and exercise: they enrich people each day, and are the foundation of health and prosperity. Government intervention is like both ordinary and emergency medicine: a role for prescribed pills, annual checkups, and emergency trauma care.

A charitable role like Day’s would be different from either: part daily routine, part basic needs, but also healing through counseling and a transformed perspective. 

Whitewater needs all of this now. 

Many years ago, I thought Whitewater might have found her own, contemporary version of Dorothy Day. I was mistaken, and sadly, hauntingly so: our present would have been so much better for a past like that. 

And so, and so — one carries on, while yet waiting hopefully.

Space station flies over Hurricane Ian:

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1 year ago

A couple of campus perspectives.

1) First, there isn’t anybody who thought our preliminary enrollment numbers would be good.Most campuses have teh same situation. Madison is an exception for obvious reasons. Everyone is waiting to see what comes next. There are a few big variables.

2) Yes, the whole generate growth for the town/generate growth for the school district gang is a broken record. You have to think that the 1200 sq. foot number has something in it for them though.

3) You’re not joking to say a “Dorothy Day” antidote for Whitewater is a non-traditional program. Not a free market one for sure. It says something about your outlook that you think Whitewater needs more than one approach. So you thought someone in Whitewater might once have played that role (for some reason didn’t)? A leftwing charity firebrand would have been noticeable. Interesting because anyone who played the role back then would have had a rough, rough, time.