Showing posts with label poor bashing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poor bashing. Show all posts

June 9, 2018

Why Is It More Americans Are Opposing Government Subsidies or Welfare Programs?

A new study shows that since 2008, more white people in the United States oppose welfare programs, in part because of increasing "racial resentment."
One of the reasons for this opposition, according to the report, is white Americans' perceptions that they might be losing their financial and social status while people of color make gains in those areas                                                        

 These researchers — Robb Willer, a professor of sociology at Stanford University, and Rachel Wetts, a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley — have conducted other studies that linked racial bias and the Tea Party movement.
While conducting this recent study about opposition to welfare, Willer and Wetts showed the respondents graphs they had fabricated. The fictional data demonstrated white Americans becoming a minority or showed the income of white Americans decreasing as the incomes of people of color increased.
The researchers wanted to understand how the behavior of white Americans shifted when they perceived different things — even if untrue — about how certain racial groups were faring.
Despite those perceptions, other research has found that white people are the biggest beneficiaries of the government safety net. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, white people made up the the largest share — at 52 percent — of people lifted from poverty by safety-net programs, while black people made up less than a quarter of that share. When it comes to receiving Medicare, white people make up about 43 percent of recipients, Hispanics about 30 percent, African-Americans 18 percent, with 9 percent identified as other, according to Wetts.
I spoke with her about the findings and the implications of the new research. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity. 
What was the most surprising finding?
Honestly, to me, it was this last finding. ... We showed them graphs of whites' and minorities' income trends — and these were made up. But in the racial threat condition, we showed them [also fabricated data] that whites' incomes were declining.
So I would think, rationally, that you should want to support programs that benefit whites in this condition, right? But we didn't find that. We didn't find that they wanted to support programs that benefit whites when whites' incomes are declining. Instead, we found they wanted to cut programs that they perceived as benefiting minorities.
That is sort of contradictory to me. Can you break that down?
The way that we understood this is that those perceptions [that] whites' income advantage were declining were perceived as a threat to white status and this status threat increased their feelings of resentment of minorities.  
So, it was less a rational response to incomes declining, "How can we help people whose incomes are declining?" And more about, "This is a feeling that the status position that I've become accustomed to is slipping away." And that increases resentment of minorities, and so, it's a more emotional response that leads them to want to cut welfare programs to help the poor.
So is it just that their "racial resentment" overtakes the ability for them to see that, you know, people of their demographic or their racial group also benefit greatly? 
I guess I would say that previous research shows that in American society, there's this very strong idea of individualism ... believing that people should just ... work hard and that they can overcome all their circumstances [despite] our findings that this opposition to welfare was increasing during the Great Recession. So even in those moments when it's very clear that there are large structural issues that are leading to people to be unemployed, there's still a sense that someone [should] just be able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and not rely on government aid.
Our study can't tell all the reasons why people might oppose welfare programs, but we look at this role of the threat to white status as one of the things that can trigger welfare backlash. 
That's a very good point. Even though members of all racial and ethnic groups are using these programs, white Americans tend to perceive them as mostly benefiting African-Americans. So, there's a misperception of who the primary beneficiaries are of these programs.
So this study pulls from data from 2008, which is when Barack Obama was elected. Can you walk me through the correlation between politics and these findings? 
In our first study, when we analyzed the nationally representative survey data, we show that white racial resentment rose beginning in 2008, and we argue that this was likely due to, again, this perceived threat to whites' racial status caused by a sort of confluence of Barack Obama being elected the first non-white president, and also the beginning of the Great Recession. So, you know, Obama's election was an event with huge symbolic significance for racial relations, like people were talking at the time that we'd entered this [so-called] post-racial era.
So for many people, we believe that they perceived this as a sign, that this is a sign of ... relative political power decline for whites at a moment of economic recession. [It] created this sense of racial threat that led to heightened racial resentment and heightened opposition to welfare among whites, even during this time of economic crisis.
Do you think that the opposition to welfare by some white Americans is only going to get larger?
It's hard to speculate on that, because there's a lot that could happen. We only look at what we think is an important source of opposition to welfare. But only one. So there are other factors [besides] impact opposition to welfare.
With Barack Obama gone and a new figure in the White House, it's unclear what sort of impact that political development might have on whites' sense of their status in society. So I think that's an interesting venue for future research.
Why use the phrasing "racial resentment" in the survey? Why not "racism"? 
That's an interesting question. There are two parts to this answer. The first is that sociologists, political scientists and other scholars distinguish between older, more explicit forms of racial prejudice — founded on assertions of biologically-based differences between racial groups — and more "modern" forms of prejudice. 
Since the civil rights movement, white Americans increasingly reject old-fashioned or "Jim Crow-style" racism (statements like "white people are more intelligent than black people"). However, they continue to hold a number of negative attitudes toward African-Americans, including a tendency to attribute racial inequality to individual failings of black Americans and the belief that black people are responsible for the racial tension in this country.
So, the use of "racial resentment" distinguishes that it's the latter type of attitude that is triggered by threats to whites' standing.
The second is that Americans generally tend to think of "racism" as a stable characteristic of individuals, not something that can be prompted or change in response to changing circumstances or social trends. Since we're highlighting the way that changing perceptions of the social world influence whites' racial attitudes, we wanted to use a term that emphasized that these attitudes can change over time, which feelings of resentment more clearly communicates.
"We find evidence that welfare backlash among white Americans is driven in part by feelings that the status of whites in America is under threat," Wetts told NPR.

April 3, 2017

Texas Rep Quotes Bible: “if man won’t work, he shall not eat” No Snaps

Texas Rep. Jodney Arrington quoted 2 Thessalonians 3:10, which says “ f a man will not work, he shall not eat” No SNAPS or Food Coupons.
I am sure you are aware you can justify almost anything using the Bible. Anything,  from abandoning your family to throwing a man to the lions or stoning to death women and homosexuals. 
In the age of the Trump type of politics and by that I mean the anything goes rhetoric; One should not be surprised that some GOP government official, which has been voted into office,  would pick up a passage of the bible to say we should not have Snaps (Food) to help for the poor. They dropped Gay people from getting the wrath of the Bible to be replaced by the poor and the non Christians, particularly Muslims it seems. But like one of my niece’s would say “this is the word of god.” 
The god these people follow is damn hard but please read on. 

A GOP lawmaker quoted the New Testament earlier this week to question why the country does not have more stringent work requirements for those on government welfare like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

In a House Agriculture Committee hearing on Tuesday, Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, took the opportunity to read from the Bible after a witness in the hearing referenced a passage from Leviticus in his testimony.

“I think that’s a great reflection on the character of God and compassion of God’s heart and how we ought to reflect that compassion in our lives,” Arrington said, before turning to a different Bible chapter.

Citing 2 Thessalonians 3:10, Arrington implied that even Jesus himself thought that people should work for their food.

“The scripture tells us in 2 Thessalonians chapter 3:10, he says, ‘for even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: If a man will not work, he shall not eat. And then he goes on to say ‘we hear that some among you are idle.’ . . . I think it’s a reasonable expectation that we have work requirements,” Arrington said. 

“I think every American — Republican and Democrat — wants to help the neediest among us,” he continued. “And I think that it is a reasonable expectation that we have work requirements. I think that gives more credibility, quite frankly, to SNAP.”

The congressman then allowed the panel of witnesses to address his concerns.

Russell Sykes, a senior fellow at the Empire Center for Public Policy, who was a witness in the committee’s hearing, reminded Arrington that a lot of people on SNAP are not able bodied and therefore would not be able to meet a mandatory work requirement.

Able-bodied SNAP participants do have to work to receive the benefits under current rules. Children, seniors and those with disabilities comprise almost two-thirds of all SNAP participants.

Taylor Link is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_ or click on his name.

November 5, 2015

People Living in Affordable Apartments Pay over 50% of Income for Rent [and] Who is backing Trump?

 The Current NYC Mayor Promises affordable housing; Lower middle and middle class renters pay at least 50% of their income in such affordable apts. The only renters that pay a fair and sometimes too fair rents are NYCHA renters. They just have to put up with high crime and no repair services. NYCHA was a good concept but the politicians with landlords in their pockets made sure it failed. Wether is Amtrak or any subsidized service will surely fail if money is taken for maintenance and up keeping, insuring that the billions spent to built that service ends up in the can (adamfoxie*blog)
Before I go into a story on the NYDaily News today let me just say that I’m an unwilling expert on rents in NYC. Not only because Im informed about the issue but because I live it. I live in a rent regulated apt. Why is it rent regulated? Built with federal loan guarantees with the stipulation to give rent breaks to some renters. No one can tell me if the program in which my building gave some breaks to some renters still goes on. I do know that they still do if they need renters and the renters make at least a minimum of a certain amount a year. Leaving the issues about this building aside let me just get to the money. I have paid at times 80% of income on this one bedroom apt. upon lease renewals (yearly leases). If you change jobs, become disabled, get sick or for what ever reason your income goes down the rent keeps going up every time you renew your lease. The average rent increase has been from $45 lowest (one time, except this year there is no increase for the first time ever) and $80 the highest which was happening every year for about 8 yrs.  After finally getting approved to a state program because of the high rent opposite my income now my rent is frozen as long as my income does not goes up. Still with this frozen rent and a reduction of about $80. a month I still pay 50% of income in rent + utilities. This is just one story, I don’t know how people are able to manage in this city. For all the talk about SNAP (food stamps) most people will be turn down unless they have kids. I see unwed mother’s having kids without a father so they can leave home and have the government pick up the tap for food, health and apartment.  The system is set up for people not to be honest. I have never met one person who cries out foul about food stamps that knows the qualifications for it They just see a fat woman in  front of them at the cashier of the supermarket with a cart full of goods. That woman is feeding a bunch of mouths that the government insisted she have in order to help her. If she had no kids she will not even be at your supermarket.Some people loves the Donald because without any information like most voters he says the hell with this and that and they like it. He solves all the problems by magic and promises to make this nation great again (when did it stop being great opposite most nations?) Uninformed people and people that will directly benefit from him i.e. Landlords will find it thrilling that he can say he will do all that. I wish they will go to George Bush’s speeches and see if he didn’t say the same things in a little better language (not much). He was also not a politician before running for governor of Florida and was as rich as the Donald if not more. The thing is that once they are in  they are in for two terms. The first term given by the uninformed (the same that say Trump is just using his money and don’t see the money he gets by law and under the table by the PACS) and the second by the system of money and promises.”            [Adam Gonzalez]      
 Bush went after the Japanese and Trump the Chinese and Mexicans. He wont antagonize Putin and never did Bush (Why? The-world-where-putin-inhabits-does-not-exists)

“A just released survey found that a large percentage of the tenants cannot afford to live in their apartments and are either rent burdened or severely rent burdened,” the study states.

Last spring, the group surveyed 115 tenants at 16 randomly selected buildings in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx built between 2001 and 2011 by the city's major affordable housing players.

These buildings all got big tax breaks, so developers had to cap rent for eligible lower- and moderate-income tenants.

But as the years passed, incremental rent increases were allowed. With incomes flat for the last decade, rent costs begin to chew up renters’ budgets.

“Even in a low rent increase environment, the rents do go up,” said one affordable housing developer who reviewed the survey. “And if income is flat or if (a worker’s) hours are cut, the gap between 30% of income towards rent and the real rent paid over time continues to grow.” 
One in three said their rent jumped more than 20%, while 11% saw their rent skyrocket more than 40%. That compares to an average 12% rent rise in New York City between 2005 and 2013, census data show.                                                    

A 55-year-old airport worker who lives in an affordable building in Brooklyn says her rent started 18 years ago at $250. It’s about to go to $600.

“My salary before taxes is $404. After taxes it’s $316,” said the tenant, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she fears retaliation by her landlord.

“Everything in life goes up and up and we can’t get everything for free. But if it’s based on your income, it’s still a lot with my salary,” she said.

Real Affordability planned a protest Wednesday at a gala for NYS Association for Affordable Housing, the affordable housing developer trade group.

The survey, which targetted buildings built by NYSAFAH members, shows “once NYSAFAH developers build their ‘affordable’ housing, the rents rise much faster than tenants’ incomes, increasing the rent burden on low-income tenants who struggle to afford their apartments.”

Jolie Milstein, president & CEO of NYSAFAH, blasted the survey, saying it “conveniently fails to note whether or not any of the tenants' incomes decreased over time.”

“A decrease in income could be caused by loss of employment, personal injury or retirement,” she wrote. “If a tenant in affordable housing loses their job and becomes rent-burdened for a period of time, does RAFA suggest they should be evicted?”


October 30, 2015

An Immigrant Against All Immigrants

 Tomio Okamura, anti poor, immigrant, the Czech Tea party Evangelist

Tomio Okamura is scanning the menu in one of those Chinese restaurants that could be anywhere in the world except China — excessive gold decoration, a fish tank in the entrance, swooning traditional music. (This one is in Prague, Czech Republic.) He selects tea and a basic cabbage salad with sliced carrots, smiling as he murmurs a Mandarin phrase to the young waitress. Now, where were we? Oh, right. “We don’t need immigrants,” proclaims Okamura, founder of the nation’s most popular far-right party, gesturing toward the restaurant staff. “The Czech Republic will be stronger if we keep our traditions.”

You might be sensing a disconnect here. It only gets stronger. We’re seated near a courtyard that houses a Thai massage parlor, a Vietnamese fast-food joint, KFC and Miki Travel, a U.K.-based travel agency where Okamura works. It’s kind of a strange place for one of the country’s most popular, and controversial, politicians to be hanging out. His former party, Dawn of Direct Democracy, rode a wave of anti-immigrant fervor into the Czech Parliament in 2013. From there, Okamura managed to piss off almost every politician and minority group in the country, eventually including other leaders of his own party. The resulting furor has him down for the moment, though far from out.

Okamura — who, as you’ve probably guessed by now, wasn’t born in the Czech Republic — is nevertheless a striking representative of Europe’s exclusionist movement. His views echo those of other right-wing movements throughout the continent, like Marine Le Pen’s National Front in France and Greece’s Golden Dawn Party, which are growing in prominence by campaigning on an anti-EU, tough-on-crime and anti-immigration platform. Though unlike, say, Le Pen — who has tried to moderate her party’s image, even suspending her father from the party he founded — Okamura seems to delight in sharpening his edge.

Given Okamura’s part-Japanese ancestry and the fact that he immigrated to the Czech Republic in his 20s, his anti-immigrant stance is, well, “very ironic,” says Jiří Pehe, a well-known Czech political analyst. Okamura ping-ponged between Japan and Europe as a kid and was bullied in both places; despite that, he sees nothing untoward about suggesting that Czechs insult Muslims by walking pigs in front of mosques or burying porcine remains at the sites of future mosques. (When I ask him about those comments, Okamura insists that they’re perfectly “normal.”) He’s also unrepentant about telling the Roma, the Czech Republic’s largest and most disenfranchised minority, to pull up stakes and create their own state elsewhere. 

Okamura claims he never really sought political power and even insists he had more influence before he was elected to public office. He was previously a prolific blogger and claims to have reached an average of 100,000 people with each post, covering topics from immigration (naturally) — he wrote that the Czech Republic would soon be aflush with African migrants behaving like “animals” — to homosexuality and Christian values. After running away from his Tokyo home at 18 to work as a garbageman and then a popcorn vendor at a movie theater, Okamura headed to the Czech Republic for good, where he was (naturally) a model immigrant. He eventually opened a travel company — a later venture took clients’ stuffed animals on tours around Prague (seriously) — and made appearances on TV cooking shows as an expert in Japanese cuisine.

Indeed, Okamura still speaks with the practiced emphasis and colorful phrases of a TV presenter. Back in the Miki Travel office, his booming voice and harsh rhetoric strike an incongruent note with the soft-pink-and-purple wallpaper behind him. But he’s still measured and careful, turning often to his laptop to check translations of English words he doesn’t know. A simple V-neck sweater, worn blue jeans and sneakers suggest he isn’t working in Parliament today, an impression belied by his unshakable attachment to his iPhone, which buzzes incessantly.

Okamura denies criticism that he’s nothing but a naysayer. Ostensibly, Dawn stands squarely for “direct democracy,” which boils down mostly to allowing popular votes to overrule legislatures and recall elected politicians. In practice, of course, such measures might also encourage conservative regions to discriminate against immigrants regardless of national policy — something like the way the states’ rights arguments once buttressed Jim Crow laws in the U.S. Okamura is also critical of a recent decision to accommodate some 70 Syrian refugees, a notably low number, in the country. Okamura thinks the money is better spent on the Czech Republic’s own poor or in refugee camps where the Syrians came from. “Poor Czechs should come first,” he says.

Okamura, however, has his own problems. Earlier this year, most of his fellow Dawn legislators staged what he calls a coup by leaving to form their own organization. The rebellious members said Okamura was too authoritarian — there’s that irony again, given Dawn’s promotion of direct democracy — and alleged that he used some $23,000 of party funds without approval. Okamura has since started a splinter party called Freedom and Direct Democracy. Still, his chances of seriously getting back into the game are “negligible,” says Ondrej Cisar, a professor in the department of sociology at Charles University.

But don’t count Okamura out. As our check comes, the conversation drifts toward his father, a Japanese marketer, and his mother, a power plant engineer from the Czech Republic. “I can’t be racist,” he muses. “I’m half-Japanese.”

OZY Author Reporter

Nathan covers global business, sports and culture for OZY, where he landed after putting his dreams of basketball stardom on hold ... for now. After a childhood of jumping from country to country, Nathan is used to feeling like a tourist everywhere he goes.

September 29, 2014

News Anchor Unaware of Mic being on Curses and bashes the poor

Briefly forgetting that he was at his job as a news anchor and not at home in his recliner, News 12 the Bronx's Matt Pieper managed to turn a story about crossing guards into a diatribe against the poor.
 On Wednesday, Pieper apparently thought they were at commercial and didn't realize his mic was on when he started railing against the need for crossing guards. "Parents should do their f—ing job and walk their little kids to school on their own, and not rely on everyone else," he said. "Kind of like people rely on government assistance for their entire lives."
The on-scene reporter, Amy Yensi, inexplicably replied, "I think I qualify for government assistance." After Pieper told her to "just check that box, girl," she responded, "#EBT!" The complaints quickly started rolling in to the channel's Facebook page, and soon there was a post about a "technical error" during the show. "A personal conversation between an anchor and a reporter was unintentionally placed on air," it read. "News 12 the Bronx deeply regrets that this incident took place. The remarks of these individuals in no way reflect the views of News 12 management or other News 12 personnel."
It would probably serve Pieper well to consider that the borough he covers had an average12.7 percent unemployment rate in 2012, and the percentage of Bronx residents living in poverty rose to 30.4 percent — the highest rate of any county in New York State and the highest of any urban county in the United States. —Catherine Garcia

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