The Silence of the Poverty Pimps
Keeping New Mexico miserable for fun and profit
Leftists think poverty is something that happens to people. Exploitative capitalism, racism, sexism, bad luck — the underclass results not from the choices individuals make, but nefarious forces.
“The Power of the Success Sequence for Disadvantaged Young Adults” suggests otherwise. Authored by Wendy Wang and Brad Wilcox, a pair of Ph.D. sociologists, the American Enterprise Institute/Institute for Family Studies paper documents the way that three far-from-grueling behaviors — earning a high-school diploma, getting and keeping a full-time job, and not creating children outside wedlock — keep poverty at bay, and forge “a path to move up to the middle class and realize the American Dream.”
In response to the “it’s different for minorities and the poor” claim, the authors drop some devastating data:
In fact, young adults from disadvantaged circumstances who follow the sequence are markedly more likely to overcome challenges and achieve economic success. The vast majority of black (96%) and Hispanic (97%) Millennials who followed this sequence are not poor in their mid-30s (ages 32 to 38), as is also the case for 94% of Millennials who grew up in lower-income families and 95% of those who grew up in non-intact families. Moreover, for those who do not have a college degree but only finished high school and who work and marry before having children, 95% are not poor by their mid-30s.
Source: “The Power of the Success Sequence for Disadvantaged Young Adults,” American Enterprise Institute, May 2022
Rest assured, Wang and Wilcox’s research will receive a good leaving-alone in Santa Fe. The pols and bureaucrats who benefit from keeping New Mexico mired in socioeconomic debasement aren’t interested in the success sequence. Most are too stupid and/or lazy and/or ideologically blinkered to even understand the concept, but the cagier types know that their state offers concrete support for its validity.
According to the latest federal figures, New Mexico is #1 in dropouts, #3 in avoidance of work, and #3 in illegitimacy. Weighing the factors equally, that’s worse than Alabama. Worse than Louisiana. Worse than Mississippi. The Land of Enchantment runs in the opposite direction from the habits that promote stability and prosperity — and the state has a surplus of adverse childhood experiences, violent crime, vagrancy, and despair to show for it.
The silence of “public servants” regarding the success sequence is appalling. Evidently, “job” security matters more to them than the well-being of New Mexicans.