The Landslide Faction
This year, it's rational to go with the winner.
A couple of decades ago I read an article--by Norman Podhoretz, I think--that clued me in to the overriding importance of broken families when it came to explaining poverty statistics. Years later, Podhoretz's thesis became conventional wisdom. Now Robert Samuelson has written a similar column explaining that "the increase in poverty in recent decades stems mainly from immigration." Key paragraph:
[F]or 2003, the Census Bureau estimated that 35.9 million Americans had incomes below the poverty line; that was about $12,000 for a two-person household and $19,000 for a four-person household. Since 2000, poverty has risen among most racial and ethnic groups. Again, that's the recession and its after-math. But over longer periods, Hispanics account for most of the increase in poverty. Compared with 1990, there were actually 700,000 fewer non-Hispanic whites in poverty last year. Among blacks, the drop since 1990 is between 700,000 and 1 million, and the poverty rate—though still appallingly high—has declined from 32 percent to 24 percent. ... Meanwhile, the number of poor Hispanics is up by 3 million since 1990. [Emphasis added]
Don't expect the left--which likes to cite with horror rising poverty numbers--to explain that the rise is largely due to the continuing influx of poor Hispanics from abroad. Don't expect the Bush administration to point this out either, at least while it's engaged in Karl Rove's Great Hispander Project. But at some point after November 3 this truth will become the new CW--faster than the truth about broken homes, I predict. ... P.S.: Samuelson is also good debunking the idea that incomes have been stagnant:
Mostly, the middle class is getting richer. Consider: in 2003, 44 percent of U.S. households had before-tax incomes exceeding $50,000; about 15 percent had incomes of more than $100,000 (they're also included in the 44 percent). In 1990 the comparable figures were 40 percent and 10 percent. In 1980 they were 35 percent and 6 percent. All comparisons are adjusted for inflation.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Here comes ... : Tomorrow's N.Y. Sun supposedly has a big Kerry/honorable discharge story. ...Update: Here's the article. ... Polipundit, of all people, comes to Kerry's defense. Beldar does not. ... Isn't it clear that if Kerry got a less than honorable discharge, it was for his post-Nam anti-war activities, which everyone already knows about. So how is this story damaging? [The coverup-ed. But it can't be worse than the crime itself!] 9:59 P.M.
Monday, October 11, 2004
Should Kerry take a dive in Colorado? Ron Brownstein notes that as Kerry becomes competitive in the state, Colorado Democrats are tempted to vote against the state initiative that would award Kerry a proportional share of Colorado's nine electoral votes even if he loses. After all, why should Dems settle for a proportional share if they can win all nine? But that's a risky calculation: If the initiative passes and is upheld, Kerry would almost certainly get four of the nine electoral votes even if he loses the state. If the initiative fails--in part because Dems think Kerry might win--but then Kerry loses the state by a hair, he winds up with zero. It could theoretically be smarter for him to settle for a sure 4 --losing to Bush in the state but winning the initiative--than to go for all 9. ... Of course, Kerry would have to factor in uncertainty about whether the initiative will be upheld in court. The "sure 4" wouldn't be all that sure. Prof. Hasen explains why here and here. ... Update: Vodkapundit says the initiative is now going down, and this poll seems to support him. ... P.S.: They don't like it much over at Daily KOS. ... [Thanks to alert reader P.M.] 4:52 P.M.
Kerry puts on the strait-jacket: Kerry's no-tax-increase-for-people-making-less-than-$200,000 pledge on Friday was more significant, in terms of boxing Kerry in should he win, than has been reflected in the press coverage. USAT's Walter Shapiro points this out:
Photograph of Howard Dean on the Slate home page by Jim Bourg/Reuters.