More than half of public school students are now low income. What does that mean for schools?

082113rohrerThe Southern Education Foundation released a research bulletin today on the increase in low-income students in our nation’s public schools.

Low income students are now a majority of the children in America’s classrooms.

This change comes at a time when we have higher performance expectations for our students. Those expectations will be harder to meet because low-income students bring more challenges to the classroom.

Stanford researchers have found the gap in test scores between affluent and low-income students has increased by nearly 40 percent since the 1960s.  (The score gap between rich and poor is now twice that of the black/white score gap.)

The Stanford research by Sean Reardon is interesting; it is not that schools are failing low-income kids; academic performance is, in fact, improving. However, the performance of rich kids is outstripping not only poor children, but middle-class students as well.

Why? One reason may be because their parents are investing heavily in their success, including providing top preschools and enrichment opportunities. (Anybody read about the SAT prep tutor in New York who charges $1,500 for 90 minutes and requires kids take at least 14 sessions? I’ll do the math for you — $21,000. For that, parents get a promise their child’s score will rise an average of 400 points.)

As Reardon writes, “Family income is now nearly as strong a parental education in predicting children’s achievement.”

Greg J. Duncan and Richard J. Murnane, authors of  “Whither Opportunity,”  write, “…as the incomes of affluent and poor American families have diverged over the past three decades, so too have the educational outcomes of the children in these families. Test score differences between rich and poor children are much larger now than 30 years ago, as are differences in rates of college attendance and college graduation.”

New research is highlighting the increased chronic stress experienced by children growing up poor in America.

As Eric Jensen, author of “Teaching with Poverty in Mind,” notes:

This kind of stress exerts a devastating, insidious influence on children’s physical, psychological, emotional, and cognitive functioning—areas that affect brain development, academic success, and social competence. Students subjected to such stress may lack crucial coping skills and experience significant behavioral and academic problems in school.

Children in low-income homes are less likely to have parents who can provide stability and guidance.

Jensen writes: Socioeconomic status correlates positively with good parenting, which, research has found, improves academic achievement (DeGarmo, Forgatch, & Martinez, 1999). Unfortunately, the converse is also true: the chronic stress of poverty impairs parenting skills, and disengaged or negative parenting in turn impairs children’s school performance. Parents who are struggling just to stay afloat tend to work extra hours, odd shifts, or multiple jobs and are less able to provide attention and affection and to devote their time, energy, and resources to their children. These deficits have been associated with higher levels of externalizing behaviors and poor academic performance on children’s part (Hsuch & Yoshikawa, 2007).

With that bit of background, here is the bulletin from SEF:

Low income students are now a majority of the schoolchildren attending the nation’s public schools, according to a research bulletin issued today by the Southern Education Foundation. The latest data collected from the states by the National Center for Education Statistics show that 51 percent of the students across the nation’s public schools were low income in 2013.

In 40 of the 50 states, low income students comprised no less than 40 percent of all public schoolchildren. In 21 states, children eligible for free or reduced-price lunches were a majority of the students in 2013.

Most of the states with a majority of low income students are found in the South and the West. Thirteen of the 21 states with a majority of low income students in 2013 were located in the South, and six of the other 21 states were in the West.

Mississippi led the nation with the highest rate: ­71 percent, almost three out of every four public school children in Mississippi, were low-income. The nation’s second highest rate was found in New Mexico, where 68 percent of all public school students were low income in 2013.
This defining moment in America’s public education has been developing over several decades, and SEF has documented the trends and implications in two prior reports.

In its 2013 report, SEF Vice President Steve Suitts wrote:  “No longer can we consider the problems and needs of low income students simply a matter of fairness…  Their success or failure in the public schools will determine the entire body of human capital and educational potential that the nation will possess in the future. Without improving the educational support that the nation provides its low income students – students with the largest needs and usually with the least support — the trends of the last decade will be prologue for a nation not at risk, but a nation in decline…”

 

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119 comments
newsphile
newsphile

There is no simple solution to eliminating poverty.Some families have no desire to get out of a system that supports birthing multiple children to increase a monthly check; the family has taught the girls how to work the system for generations.There is no clearing house for gathering data on how many truly needy there really are, so it becomes a guess.Numbers are reported from grossly inaccurate free lunch counts at schools, from non-profits whose clients are reported multiple times because they are served by multiple agencies, and from many other additional sources. So, no one knows how many or how few people are truly in poverty.


Our goal should be to help people help themselves. We have much evidence that increasing benefits doesn’t help break the cycle of poverty.People who don’t know how to budget, how to shop, how to parent and often don’t want to change their habits aren’t helped by throwing additional dollars their way. The problem is far more complex.

I believe in helping people who need help.I also believe it’s a mistake to give hand outs instead of a hand up.Paired with my responsibility to help the people receiving part of my taxes in a monthly check, I would like to see responsibility and accountability added as a hand up.I would like to see mandatory participation (different from attendance) in parenting classes for everyone who receives a monthly government check and is of child-bearing age.I would also like to see education in budgeting, shopping, and job training requirements for everyone below age 65 who receives a monthly welfare check.I have heard arguments that this is denying their freedom, but I believe “your freedom ends where mine begins”.If you count on me for monthly support, I should be able to count on you to do your part.It takes a partnership to break the poverty cycle.

Sadly, I witness many of these families making the rounds of non-profit food pantries by week three of each month.They have purchased foods that are costly and have little nutrition, sold their coupons, and have a list of area food pantries on speed dial, and the children continue the cycle because that’s all they know.

There are families who try to stretch their government dollars for food until the end of the month; they work to exit the system, and food banks rarely hear from them.They have formed a silent partnership with those of us whose taxes ensure they receive that monthly check, and they always think of it as temporary, not a generational lifestyle.



Ron Mexico
Ron Mexico

Anyone seen the movie Idiocracy by Mike Judge (Beavis & Butthead, Office Space creator)? It's not the best movie but the subject matter is right on what class80olddog is talking about. Kind of scary too...

BehindEnemyLines
BehindEnemyLines

Stop dumping money down the dry hole of public "education" and spend it on something worthwhile, like doing whatever possible to reduce birth rates among those who can't afford to raise kids in the first place.

honested
honested

@BehindEnemyLines 

Yes let's starve public education (doing so is working so well in Georgia) then we can develop plans to deal with those who have no skill but to kill or steal in the future.

How little attention does one have to pay before your ideas make sense?

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@BehindEnemyLines


How about we use the educational system to help educate and inform students about how to reduce unwanted pregnancies and the true cost associated with raising a child? How about we use education to help give parents better parenting skills?  How about we support the children who are already born as well as try and reduce birth rates among those who are unprepared for parenthood (I do not use ability to afford children as a measuring stick as some folks fall on hard times AFTER children are born)?   How about we acknowledge that public education has and is still doing a hell of a lot of good things and is hardly lacking in worth, as you suggest?

Lexi3
Lexi3

@Quidocetdiscit @BehindEnemyLines 


There was a time when the "educational system" was not assigned the task of preventing unwanted pregnancies, and teen birth rates were lower. Society worked well without the intervention of the "Great Society." Government schools whose curricula are dominated by statists will never do half the job once done by intact, two-parent families.


The "we can't punish the children" crowd invented an effective ploy to justify expanding the welfare state, concomitantly  greatly expanding the number of illegitimate children--the moral hazard of "benefits." Until that benefit faucet is turned off, and "single parents" quit warehousing children they bore and don't raise there is little hope for the vast majority of public school students in the vast majority of school districts. And, unless folks get serious about controlling the flow of illegal immigrants the latter will sop up huge amounts of vital resources for their "needs." Talk about punishing [other] children.


The good news in all this is that test score comparisons of schools and public school students over time mean little, since the demographics are markedly different.

honested
honested

@Lexi3 @honested @BehindEnemyLines 

They are still reeling from the damage done by the lunatic efforts of michelle rhee and her misguided henchmen.

However, DC schools are in much better condition than when she left.

Lexi3
Lexi3

@honested @BehindEnemyLines 

If the key to improving public school education were more money then Washington DC, which has per pupil expenditures among the highest in the country, would have good schools,. In fact, they are among the worst in the country.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@honested @Lexi3 @BehindEnemyLines Michelle Rhee the cheat?

Lexi3
Lexi3

@Wascatlady @Lexi3 @Quidocetdiscit @BehindEnemyLines 


It bothers me that they are breaking US law by being here. It bothers me that they are using resources that would be better spent on US citizens and people here by invitation.


I am not at all surprised that the children of illegals outperform the children of people here legally. That's a small hurdle to leap over, and says nothing about how their children's children... will do. California, which has experienced the most extensive invasion, is a harbinger of things to come. There, they sop up $20 billion a year (the amount of its annual deficits) in resources and contribute most to the welfare rolls and crime statistics.

Lexi3
Lexi3

@Quidocetdiscit @BehindEnemyLines " (I do not use ability to afford children as a measuring stick [of preparedness for parenthood] as some folks fall on hard times AFTER children are born)?"



Sure, and the other 40+ million folks are or will be lifers at the public trough and on democrat voting rolls. There are more than 46 million folks in our country receiving food stamps (SNAP), though relatively few "fell on hard times."  Many were born into the scheme, and many sucked in by Obamanomics.


"The food stamp program is growing nationwide, as more than 46-M people received food stamps in Y 2014, that is 20-M more than before the Y 2008 recession began." 

http://www.livetradingnews.com/washingtondc-usas-highest-percentage-food-stamp-recipients-92544.htm


That's the way Obama "helps" the middle class by making them more dependent. The current administration has created two new SNAP recipients for every job it claims to have created during our Dear Leader's reign. Id.




Lexi3
Lexi3

@Wascatlady 


You are probably thinking of Beverly Hall and her esteemed coterie of dedicated "educators."

straker
straker

class - "dump parenting"


And, no amount of social experimenting will ever make a silk purse out of a sou's ear.

class80olddog
class80olddog

It is reverse evolution.  The smarter parents have lower numbers of kids and the not so smart have greater numbers of kids.  There is no selection pressure, since there is always welfare and support programs to keep them from starving.  The result is a general lowering of the average IQ.  But do I think that is the major problem in schools?  NO.  Unlike some on here, I don't believe that the problem of failing schools lies in dumb kids.  I think it lies more in dumb parenting, and dumb ATTITUDES by the students.  Reinforce that with policies at the school that reward failure (no discipline, social promotion, no penalties for absenteeism) and you are guaranteeing failure for these kids.

popacorn
popacorn

Survival of the least fit. Not the way nature intended, and the consequences will only get worse. 

bu2
bu2

@class80olddog 

The Roman Empire had decreasing population, more concentration in cities and less healthy populations (they kept decreasing the height requirement for legionnaires) and got over-run by the barbarians.  I worry that what you describe is a repeated process of human civilizations.

straker
straker

Upper middle class and wealthy people are generally smarter than poor people.


Their children are generally smarter than the children of the poor.


This is one of the reasons for the gap in test scores and it always will be.


Doing the politically correct thing and ignoring this, in the end, helps no one.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@straker

Upper middle class and wealthy people also tend to get better pre-natal care than poor people.  They tend to have better healthcare than poor people, better food, better access to educational opportunities and enrichment.  They also tend not to live near toxic waste sites, or in old homes that still harbor lead paint, or on land that has been contaminated by industrial dumping.    It is not so simple as inmate intelligence.

OldPhysicsTeacher
OldPhysicsTeacher

@Quidocetdiscit @straker  "Toxic waste sites, lead paint, industrial dumping," really?  You are really stretching a point here.  Most of the lead found has been in the inner cities and the amount of lead injected by kids eating lead paint has been greatly over exaggerated.  In fact, most of the "lead" found in inner cities was found in the playgrounds due to tetraethyl lead being added to gasoline.  Both of the uses were stopped in the 1970's - some 50 years ago. Hardly being a major cause of the failure of poorer kids doing worse in school than the richer ones.


Yes, there are dumb rich kids.  Yes, there are smart poor kids.  Yes, the army with the least soldiers and the worse equipment does occasionally win..., but it's best NOT to bet that way.  Occam's Razor was expressed and continues to be used because IT WORKS.

Lexi3
Lexi3

@Quidocetdiscit @straker  "It is not so simple as inmate intelligence.."


Freudian slip?


Your argument sounds so 1920's, 60's... If those variables doomed folks, explain the great successes of Asian immigrants who arrive to live in poor neighborhoods, whose children go to inner city schools, who escape to better living than folks who, with their offspring, have inhabited for generations the neighborhoods you describe?

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@OldPhysicsTeacher @Quidocetdiscit @straker


Yes, really.  I taught in an inner city school built on a site that was contaminated by a previous paint factory, so our play yard had high levels of lead.  Our water fountains had to be turned off because the pipes were lead.  We had to be very careful with walls, floors and ceilings because they were all filled with asbestos. The rates of cancer in certain areas of the state were much higher because the people living there were exposed to the industrial fall out of near by industrial plants and their smokestacks, as well as their dumping into the water supply. So yes, I am serious.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@Lexi3 @Quidocetdiscit @straker


"Inmate..."


Typo. And the interesting thing is I would never even had made the connection if you hadn't pointed it out, because I don't seem to have those preconceived assumptions.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@Lexi3 @Quidocetdiscit @straker


What? You think I am criticizing you for "reading too carefully"?  


LOL!  Is that REALLY what you think?  I suspect you know exactly why I commented as I did, but just in case... No.  I am not criticizing you for "reading too carefully." Nor am I criticizing you for finding a mistake in my typing.  It happens and I do not mind being corrected.  What I am criticizing you for is for suggesting that I was making a prejudicial assumption that poor people naturally end up as inmates in prison.  THAT is what I was criticizing you for.

luludog
luludog

We need to do 100% audit of the City of Atlanta's  handing over $400 million in taxpayer funds to billionaire Arthur Blank, sole owner of 90% of the Atlanta Falcons,  towards the construction of his new (and unneeded) Falcon's Stadium.. Come on, anothercomment, get real. It's the billionaires and their corporations who are the ones abusing welfare here. How about a 100% audit of Cobb County government's welfare payments to Liberty Media - the billion dollar company which owns the Atlanta Braves -  getting $600 million from Cobb County taxpayers to build their new stadium. Georgia pays $26 million the Mercedes Benz to get them to relocate their headquarters from New Jersey to Atlanta. Surely this needs an audit, too. Pure corporate welfare. No genuine economic benefits. No accounting for the use or allocation of these government gifts to billionaires. How come you never complain about how this type of welfare, the corporate kind where big money is gifted to the super wealthy by our elected officials? No, anothercomment, you will never focus on this cesspool of government spending. You want to focus on the poor to distract everyone from the real welfare fraud afflicting our country-corporate welfare for billionaires.  

anothercomment
anothercomment

We need to do 100% audit of the free and reduced lunch program. We would quickly save so much money on this program and on the wasted Title one money, that these large districts use to pay adults.

I was first shocked and wanted to vomit about 13 years ago when I watched pop warner football and Cheerleading practice, and witness a mother pull up in a Mercedes Benz two seat coupe, was dressed head to toes in designer clothes, shoes, purse, had a natural hair hair weave, nails and of course the latest phone (not just the free phone) . her Children were also running around with the latest handheld gaming devices, and were frequent customers of the snack bar. She sat down and was filling out Free lunch applications for each child. I told a successful black male friend. His response, was you don't get it the Car is in the baby daddy's name in exchange for her not getting child support and for her to still qualify for all these programs and get her earned income credits. The white dominated pee wee football board turned down this Mercedes driving Baby Mama request, for financial scholarship for Pee Wee football.

This is not an isolated case.My daughters last public school was 76% black and Hispanic. some how the school had exactly 76% free and reduced lunch. Yet their were black children I could track down to addresses on Fulton County tax rolls for $1M Or more. More than myself and many white parents.

On the rare occasions that my child had grandma birthday money and wanted to spend it at Gamestop we would always run into a Hispanic or Black free luncher with their own premium account.

The $4,500 plus earned income credits are spent on junk, rims, TVs, Wii, Xbox just read the polices reports of every Section 8 apartments.

We need 100% verification to stop the fraud.

GaGirl53171875
GaGirl53171875

@anothercomment  You supposedly saw these people cheating the system so you are going to judge every single person who needs assistance based on your limited experience?

When preachers are  busted for affairs or cheating their churches out of money do you stop attending church because all preachers are corrupt?

Curious to know if you voted for Nathan Deal, who was called out by his colleagues as one of the most corrupt legislators in Congress?



Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@anothercomment You have got WAAYY too much time on your hands if you actually did this!  Get a job!  Get a life!

Lexi3
Lexi3

@Quidocetdiscit @Lexi3 @Wascatlady @anothercomment 


By "subprime fiasco" you mean the effect of the effort of government to make housing more affordable by lowering standards for creditworthiness and forcing banks to lend to unworthy borrowers?

Lexi3
Lexi3

@GaGirl53171875 @anothercomment 

"When preachers are  busted for affairs or cheating their churches out of money do you stop attending church because all preachers are corrupt?"


The difference is that church attendance is voluntarily. No choice whether to pay taxes confiscated from productive members of society to create and maintain incentives for producing illegitimate children and drawing illegal immigrants to the benefits trough.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@Lexi3 @Quidocetdiscit @Wascatlady @anothercomment


If you think that was the only cause of the mortgage crisis, you may want to do more investigating.  Yes, government policies that had an impact, but I suggest you resist the urge to put all the blame on said policies.   It was a "perfect storm" of many factors, with shadow banking being a major contributor.  I myself was pressured to take out a $300,000 loan on a teacher's salary, and had to say "no" several times.  I stuck to my guns, but others put too much trust in loan officers and got in over their heads.  They made the mistake of trusting people in the baking industry to actually give them good advice, but loan officers work for banks, and banks were making good money on the backs of consumers. We bailed out the banks.  We did not bail out many of the common folks who lost their homes and savings. If you do not think there is fraud among the financial elite in this country, I can only conclude you are being willfully blind.

Lexi3
Lexi3

@Quidocetdiscit @Lexi3 @Wascatlady @anothercomment 


You made my point about creditworthiness.


I cannot imagine what "good advice" you and your comrades were expecting from bankers. Budgeting? Appraisals? I know what I can afford and don't buy things I can't pay for. And if American Express lets me charge things I can't pay for I wouldn't blame it for taking advantage of me (though I would have enjoyed the use of those things). I do applaud you for your willpower in resisting the "fraud" bankers attempted to visit on you. I'm guessing you weren't hard pitched a bundle of mortgage backed securities. I do all right in my practice and rarely have bankers knock on (or kick down) my door to force loans on me.


For the record, many banks and investment banking houses were not bailed out, and many homeowners were. The federal government again is pressuring banks to make loans to uncreditworthy borrowers, so watch out. Dodd Frank made small banks more susceptible to failure and large banks less likely to be allowed to fall or rise on their own merits. Only the federal government in its finite wisdom could produce credit card interest rates of 20%+ in an environment of near zero interest rates. And only unsuspecting borrowers would take those terms.

Lexi3
Lexi3

@Quidocetdiscit @Lexi3 @Wascatlady @anothercomment 


Hey, we agree on something: we should let banks bear the risk of failure, and, when they are taken over by regulators the shareholders end up with nothing for their investments, though the banks may survive in another iteration, like Wells Fargo succeeding Wachovia. But as a point of fact, the bank regulators both forced banks to make loans to uncreditworthy borrowers, and coaxed them, with a wink and nod, into believing that the government would stand behind those loans.


I suspect the complaints you have regarding bailouts ought to be directed to the investment bankers which packaged and sold bundles of worthless  and worth little "mortgage backed securities" some of which banks did fail (Bear Sterns, Lehman Bros), and some which were saved (Goldman Sachs, Citibank JP Morgan). Then too, the quasi government entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, were the chief packagers of worthless securities, and the folks over there made out like bandits in the meltdown.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@Lexi3 @Wascatlady @anothercomment


There is a heck of a lot of waste and fraud from the upper end of society as well...and in the long run, they do a lot more damage. Just ask those who lost everything during the whole subprime fiasco.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@Lexi3 @Quidocetdiscit @Wascatlady @anothercomment


Well, if banks were stupid enough to push loans onto people who they KNEW would likely not be able to pay them back, and trade in shadow funds, then they get very little sympathy from me when the bottom falls out of their little fantasy world, and lo and behold, those people can't pay the loans back and the banks are stuck with a bunch of houses they cannot unload on the market.  I guess if the banks do not have the willpower to resist the pressure of the government to make loans to uncreditworthy borrowers, maybe they deserve to fail....after all, they ARE in the business and DO know the ins and outs, unlike many first time borrowers.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Have not read any of the comments yet, but I am sure there is at least one claiming that Free/Reduced lunch rates is not an indicator of poverty--that they have themselves seen people on free lunch arriving at school in Lexus and Mercedes with hair extensions and fancy fingernails, plus designer jeans.


I have always taught in schools with free lunch rates of 60% or higher.  While I am sure there ARE some cheats (look to our leadership to see how prevalent this is) most of these kids are poor.  Many of them also have parents whose priorities do not put their children first, but that is true of so many parents, no matter the income level.

Lexi3
Lexi3

@Wascatlady  It almost certainly is true that parents of all income levels don't always put their children first, but middle and upper income families don't put the bills for raising their kids on the taxpayers. That's the economic folly and immorality of the Great Society "assistance" schemes.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@Lexi3 @Wascatlady


Do  you know anything about the Great Depression?  About child labor?  About soup lines and the dust bowl?  About children loosing fingers and arms in industrial accidents?  About them walking on glass on factory floors?  About malnutrition among the poor prior to some of those Great Society programs? About how many died of preventable illnesses?  About the lack of clean water? Food? Education? Electricity?  Do you know anything about our history at all? I might agree that there have been unintended consequences of "assistance" programs - consequences that should be addressed - but "immorality"?   How is it "immoral" to try and better the lives of people who are living in abject poverty? 

Lexi3
Lexi3

@Quidocetdiscit @Lexi3 @Wascatlady 


I do know about the causes and effects of those things and appreciate your asking. I stand in wonder of a capitalistic engine of growth so powerful that even the misguided acts and intentions of progressives and government grandees couldn't stop it from creating an environment where we had the luxury to address those concerns.


It is immoral to construct, grow and maintain a scheme of financial incentives that induces women to bear children in single "parent" households and to eschew work for their entire lives. It's immoral to confiscate the hard earned resources of honest citizens to finance that scheme and to buy the votes of the recipients of "assistance' and their enablers.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@Lexi3 @Quidocetdiscit @Wascatlady


I find people who espouse views like yours seem to have a very skewed view of "reality".  You speak as though the ONLY people who are "honest citizens" are those with conservative views.  That the ONLY people who have actual jobs are conservatives.  That the ONLY people who get government support are democrats.  That is NOTreality.  



Believe it or not, you make some points I do agree with.  We have created a self-perpetuating system that has become a system of generational support for some people, which is a problem that does need to be addressed.  However, it needs to be addressed realistically.  Just shutting down all support services and throwing people to the wolves will not work, and will likely lead to a total break down of society, a rise in crime and mass rioting.  What we need to do is offer MORE support that helps people get out of the rut of lifelong dependence through job programs with guaranteed jobs.  By paying enough in minimum wage that it pays to go back to work and not stay home.  Through providing cheap day care for workers in low wage jobs.  Through providing comprehensive sex education and easy, cheap access to birth control.  Through well funded educational systems for those in poverty and support to keep teen mothers in school. etc.


However, what I find it that the same people who do not want to continue social services also do tho what to fund any of the programs that would actually help to get people off those services. I think they actually believe that by cutting all those services, suddenly the masses of people being helped will either suddenly just disappear into oblivion, or become productive citizens overnight without any training or support.  Or maybe they will just conveniently drop dead on the street without inconveniencing anyone who matters.


Lexi3
Lexi3

@Quidocetdiscit @Lexi3 @Wascatlady "I find people who espouse views like yours seem to have a very skewed view of "reality".  You speak as though the ONLY people who are "honest citizens" are those with conservative views.  That the ONLY people who have actual jobs are conservatives.  That the ONLY people who get government support are democrats.  That is NOT reality."


Nope. I know a lot of highly intelligent, honest, hard-working, earnest, highly schooled (but uneducated) folks who believe as you do. They are simply misguided.


No one advocates discontinuing services to the truly needy, though that hardly means those services ought to be provided by government. What follows ineluctably from a government bureaucracy designed to serve the needy is a growing and perpetual stream of "needy" constituents who vote their wants and candidates.


It surely does not mean government should command private employers to pay anyone a "working wage." If raising income is a legitimate goal of society as a whole, then those folks ought to be paid from general tax revenues. It is immoral to prevent a rational adult from selling his labor for whatever wage he may choose to accept, and to prevent an employer from buying labor at that same wage established in a voluntary exchange. And, I don't favor rewarding folks who have kids they cannot or will not support with "free childcare" or most other services they ought to work to get for themselves and their families. And, yes I do believe that folks who cannot or will not provide for their families should not have children, and if on "assistance" should be mandated contraception while they are on the dole.


Happy MLK Day to all.