Black Incomes Surpass Whites in Queens

Black fathers matter.

Black Incomes Surpass Whites in Queens

By Sam Roberts

October 1, 2006

Across the country, the income gap between blacks and whites remains wide, and nowhere more so than in Manhattan. But just a river away, a very different story is unfolding.

In Queens, the median income among black households, nearing $52,000 a year, has surpassed that of whites in 2005, an analysis of new census data shows. No other county in the country with a population over 65,000 can make that claim. The gains among blacks in Queens, the city’s quintessential middle-class borough, were driven largely by the growth of two-parent families and the successes of immigrants from the West Indies. Many live in tidy homes in verdant enclaves like Cambria Heights, Rosedale and Laurelton, just west of the Cross Island Parkway and the border with Nassau County.

David Veron, a 45-year-old lawyer, is one of them. He estimates that the house in St. Albans that he bought with his wife, Nitchel, three years ago for about $320,000 has nearly doubled in value since they renovated it. Two-family homes priced at $600,000 and more seem to be sprouting on every vacant lot, he says.

“Southeast Queens, especially, had a heavy influx of West Indian folks in the late 80’s and early 90’s,” said Mr. Veron, who, like his 31-year-old wife, was born on the island of Jamaica. “Those individuals came here to pursue an opportunity, and part of that opportunity was an education,” he said. “A large percentage are college graduates. We’re now maturing and reaching the peak of our earning capacity.”

Richard P. Nathan, co-director of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, called Queens “the flip side of the underclass.”

“It really is the best illustration that the stereotype of blacks living in dangerous, concentrated, poor, slum, urban neighborhoods is misleading and doesn’t predominate,” he said.

Andrew A. Beveridge, a Queens College demographer who analyzed results of the Census Bureau’s 2005 American Community Survey, released in August, for The New York Times, said of the trend: “It started in the early 1990’s, and now it’s consolidated. They’re married-couple families living the American dream in southeast Queens.”

In 1994, an analysis for The Times found that in some categories, the median income of black households in Queens was slightly higher than that of whites — a milestone in itself. By 2000, whites had pulled slightly ahead. But blacks have since rebounded.

The only other places where black household income is higher than among whites are much smaller than Queens, like Mount Vernon in Westchester, Pembroke Pines, Fla.; Brockton, Mass.; and Rialto, Calif. Most of the others also have relatively few blacks or are poor.

Despite the economic progress among blacks in Queens, income gaps still endure within the borough’s black community, where immigrants, mostly from the Caribbean, are generally doing better than American-born blacks.

“Racism and the lack of opportunity created a big gap and kind of put us at a deeper disadvantage,” said Steven Dennison, an American-born black resident of Springfield Gardens.

Mr. Dennison, a 49-year-old electrical contractor, has four children. One is getting her doctoral degree; another will graduate from college this school year. “It starts with the school system,” Mr. Dennison said.

Mr. Vernon, the lawyer from Jamaica, said: “It’s just that the people who left the Caribbean to come here are self-starters. It only stands to reason they would be more aggressive in pursuing their goals. And that creates a separation.”

Housing patterns do, too. While blacks make more than whites — even those in the borough’s wealthiest neighborhoods, including Douglaston — they account for fewer than 1 in 20 residents in some of those communities. And among blacks themselves, there are disparities, depending on where they live.

According to the latest analysis, black households in Queens reported a median income of $51,836 compared with $50,960 for non-Hispanic whites (and $52,998 for Asians and $43,927 among Hispanic people).

Among married couples in Queens, the gap was even greater: $78,070 among blacks, higher than any other racial or ethnic group, and $74,503 among whites.

Hector Ricketts, 50, lives with his wife, Opal, a legal secretary, and their three children in Rosedale. A Jamaican immigrant, he has a master’s degree in health care administration, but after he was laid off more than a decade ago he realized that he wanted to be an entrepreneur. He established a commuter van service.

“When immigrants come here, they’re not accustomed to social programs,” he said, “and when they see opportunities they had no access to — tuition or academic or practical training — they are God-sent, and they use those programs to build themselves and move forward.”

Immigrants helped propel the gains among blacks. The median income of foreign-born black households was $61,151, compared with $45,864 for American-born blacks. The disparity was even more pronounced among black married couples.

The median for married black immigrants was $84,338, nearly as much as for native-born white couples. For married American-born blacks, it was $70,324.

One reason for the shifting income pattern is that some wealthier whites have moved away.

“As non-Hispanic whites have gotten richer, they have left Queens for the Long Island suburbs, leaving behind just middle-class whites,” said Professor Edward N. Wolff, an economist at New York University. “Since home ownership is easier for whites than blacks in the suburbs — mortgages are easier to get for whites — the middle-class whites left in Queens have been relatively poor. Middle-class black families have had a harder time buying homes in the Long Island suburbs, so that blacks that remain in Queens are relatively affluent.”

The white median also appeared to have been depressed slightly by the disproportionate number of elderly whites on fixed incomes.


But even among the elderly, blacks fared better. Black households headed by a person older than 65 reported a median income of $35,977, compared with $28,232 for white households.

Lloyd Hicks, 77, who moved to Cambria Heights from Harlem in 1959, used to run a freight-forwarding business near Kennedy Airport. His wife, Elvira, 71, was a teacher. Both were born in New York City, but have roots in Trinidad. He has a bachelor’s degree in business. She has a master’s in education.

“Education was always something the families from the islands thought the children should have,” Mr. Hicks said.

In addition to the larger share of whites who are elderly, said Andrew Hacker, a Queens College political scientist, “black Queens families usually need two earners to get to parity with working whites.”

Kenneth C. Holder, 46, a former prosecutor who was elected to a Civil Court judgeship last year, was born in London of Jamaican and Guyanese parents and grew up in Laurelton. His wife, Sharon, who is Guyanese, is a secretary at a Manhattan law firm. They own a home in Rosedale, where they live with their three sons.

“Queens has a lot of good places to live; I could move, but why?” Mr. Holder said. “There are quite a number of two-parent households and a lot of ancillary services available for youth, put up by organized block associations and churches, like any middle-class area.”

In smaller categories, the numbers become less precise. Still, for households headed by a man, median income was $61,151 for blacks and $54,537 for whites. Among households headed by a woman, the black and white medians were the same: $50,960.

Of the more than 800,000 households in Queens, according to the Census Bureau’s 2005 American Community Survey, about 39 percent are white, 23 percent are Hispanic, 18 percent are Asian, and 17 percent are black — suggesting multiple hues rather than monotone black and white.

“It is wrong to say that America is ‘fast becoming two nations’ the way the Kerner Commission did,” said Professor Nathan, who was the research director for the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders in 1968 and disagreed with its conclusion. “It might be, though, that it was more true then than it is now.”

May 31, 2023. Tags: , , , , , . Black Fathers Matter, Economics, Racism. Leave a comment.

How Blacks’ Experience in Idaho Differs From National Narrative

Black fathers matter.

How Blacks’ Experience in Idaho Differs From National Narrative

By Arthur Goldberg

May 25, 2023

A remarkable study highlights a barely known exception to the generally accepted truism that black Americans’ poverty and unemployment rates are considerably higher than those of whites.

Idaho is the only state in the nation where blacks earn more than whites, and their income also tops that of all other races and ethnic groups, according to the study “Idaho Blacks: Quiet Economic Triumph of Enduring Champions.”

As the highest-earning racial group in Idaho, blacks earn 106% of the mean weekly earnings of whites and show an even higher earnings differential from other races and ethnic groups, according to data from the U.S. Labor Department.

The black experience in Idaho clearly differs from the national narrative. Compare the astounding 30% earnings differential for blacks compared with elsewhere in the United States, where blacks overall earn only three-quarters of whites’ income.

Such achievement is based upon several factors that are unusual to some extent, according to the preliminary research by authors Rama Malladi, an associate professor of finance at California State University, and Phillip Thompson, a fifth-generation Idahoan who is director of the Idaho Black History Museum.

Long-term trends, their study says, include “fewer barriers to land ownership, smaller populations, well-knit communities, men’s involvement in the family, and a relatively less hostile [social and regulatory] environment than prevailed in other states.”

“Blacks have been part of Idaho’s history from the inception of the current state,” Malladi and Thompson observe, citing historical data from as early as 1870.

Blacks began emigrating to Idaho in the 1840s as trappers and fur traders, in the 1860s and 1870s as miners, homesteaders, and cowboys, and later as urban-based tradesmen. In the last quarter of the 19th century, blacks arrived as scouts, guides, cavalrymen, pony express riders, cooks, veterinarians, railroad workers, missionaries, and circuit riders.

Due in part to rising violence and racism in the South in the 20th century, and recognizing economic opportunities caused by a need for workers, Idaho’s black population continued to expand. Recognizing the potential for upward mobility in a free market system, the study says, the black population “has grown in double-digit percentages in all decades except during the era of the Great Depression and the world wars.” A Smaller Black Population

By 2020, Idaho’s black population was growing at a significantly faster rate (262 times) than both the state’s overall population (123 times) and the white population (142 times).

However, Idaho residents who are black or African American make up only about 1% of the state’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s July 2022 population estimate. (Multiracial individuals constitute a separate category.)

This small population base, or “micro-minority,” is a primary factor cited by the study’s authors as benefiting economic opportunities for Idaho blacks. Nationally, blacks on average make up 13.6% of the population.

In the five states with the lowest income disparity between whites and blacks, the study notes, blacks represent under 2% of the working-age population. Like Idaho, the four other states are in the Pacific Northwest: Hawaii, Wyoming, Montana, and Oregon.

Documentation from the 19th century shows that blacks already were able to own farms and homes in Idaho, buttressing the thesis that blacks there experienced fewer barriers to land ownership than they would in many other states. As the authors point out, at the end of the 19th century, farmland ownership by Idaho blacks “ranked as the third highest in the country.”

Blacks who migrated to Idaho took full advantage of the 1862 Homestead Act, which provided that any adult citizen (including freed slaves) who never had borne arms against the government could claim 160 acres of government land, as long as they lived on and improved that land.

Black migrants also were able to gain equal access to educational opportunities for their children. Idaho integrated its schools in 1871, a full 83 years before a U.S. Supreme Court ruling integrated the nation’s public school systems. This achievement occurred only seven years after Idaho was founded as a free territory. Workforce Participation, Social Stability

Interestingly, the study’s authors point out, workforce participation rates for blacks at the end of the 19th century were “much greater than the total population.” Several blacks who moved to Idaho were major entrepreneurs, as illustrated by the case of Lewis Walker.

Upon his arrival in Silver City from the former slave state of Maryland, Walker began purchasing property, constructing buildings, and creating ownership in small business ventures such as shoe stores, barber shops, and saloons. In 1913, when Walker was 75, the local press recognized him as potentially the oldest Idaho settler.

This capitalist ethic, which continued to this day, is a factor in the economic achievement of black Idahoans.

Unlike many other states, Idaho’s societal climate of self-reliance and its embrace of economic and personal freedom, plus respect for those who work hard to achieve the American dream, made it a place where a tight-knit but integrated black community could flourish. A neutral playing field permitted blacks to rise on their own merit.

Black Idahoans’ focus on capitalism and individual initiative, independent of government, also is illustrated by the fact that they didn’t focus on the military or other sectors of government for employment. The study notes that their military participation rate was “the lowest” among all states, as they focused instead on entrepreneurship.

Also significant were several cultural factors, the authors observe, writing that “the family as an institution has been strong in Idaho.”

The social stability enjoyed by black families, in turn, provided a stable environment, increasing household income for many blacks and reflecting Idaho’s overall financial stability. In 2020, for example, Idaho ranked first among states for creditworthiness and third for low unemployment. It was one of the least regulated states in the union.

Moreover, Idaho’s blacks didn’t have the same concerns about personal safety. Mob lynching provides a classic example. Across America between 1882 and 1946, more than two and a half times as many blacks were lynched as whites. In Idaho, the record shows 20 whites were lynched, but no blacks.

Interestingly, men still dominate the workforce within Idaho’s black community, although the nation as a whole experienced a different scenario. And the increase in women’s labor force participation in the state’s black community in no way parallels the dramatic nationwide increase in female workers in the second half of the 20th century.

Women now constitute more than 50% of America’s workforce, and their participation in it sharply increased from 1960 to 1980. By contrast, women made up only 36% of Idaho’s black workforce in 1960; that share increased only slightly, to 37%, in 2018. Religion and Male Role Models

A strong element of cohesiveness in Idaho’s black community was the early establishment of churches and the internalization of traditional religious values.

After many blacks “migrated to a town or city,” the study’s authors observe, “the first community institution they established was usually a church.” This emphasis on believing in God and observing religious practices is consistent with Idaho’s overall cultural environment as a conservative or “red” state.

Although 81% of Idaho adults say they are certain or fairly certain that God exists, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll, the nation is experiencing increasing secularism in government and education. This reflects a growing national abandonment of belief in God and an increasing percentage who say they are “religiously unaffiliated” (atheists, agnostics, and those who don’t identify with a particular religion).

In Idaho, the authors report, blacks and whites share a strong fidelity to family as an institution. Nationally, however, nearly 9 million children of all races are are negatively affected by the absence of fathers.

Although positive male role models are critical for a child’s development, homes without fathers have grown significantly since the 1960s. As the so-called Moynihan report made painfully clear in 1965, the decline of the black nuclear family in America significantly slowed blacks’ progress toward economic and social equality.

By contrast, Idaho’s black families bear little or no resemblance to this national black experience. Consider the fact that American society as a whole has witnessed rapid gains in separation and divorce, as well as in never-married mothers.

The authors make two observations about the positive influence of Idaho’s black males in family life: 1) the proportion of single-family households headed by women is significantly lower than the country as a whole (6% vs. 26%), and 2) the proportion of single-family households headed by men is significantly higher (22% vs. 6%).

The authors conclude by noting that the history of black Idahoans “is neither well-documented nor studied in depth,” and suggest that more research could uncover “valuable insights” into what led to their prosperity.

More research undoubtedly would be helpful. But these remarkable preliminary findings by Malladi and Thompson show how a society that relies upon the traditional values of faith, family, freedom, and entrepreneurship is more likely to economically advance those who diligently work to succeed. Such findings are consistent with the experience of blacks in Idaho, since they generally raised themselves not to be dependent on government. Meritocracy and a Level Playing Field

The findings also defy the common belief that all personal problems are solvable simply by creating additional government interventions, including greater regulatory power. Such a view has led to an increasingly stifling orthodoxy of affirmative action programs with racial and gender preferences.

However, even the Brookings Institution, a left-leaning pillar of the Washington establishment, admits that the nation’s poverty rates have remained unchanged since the implementation of affirmative action policies.

Thus, one clear lesson of the Malladi-Thompson study is that a culture of meritocracy based upon a level playing field, as evidenced by the black experience in Idaho, creates prosperity.

Equal opportunity for all, as opposed to mandating equal results, is the best and most effective way for an individual to succeed—even while overcoming persistent inequality.

May 30, 2023. Tags: , , , , . Black Fathers Matter, Economics, Racism. Leave a comment.

Here is yet another news article about a mother who is struggling to provide for her children, where the article makes absolutely zero mention of the children’s father, and the article puts 100% of the blame on the lack of sufficient government programs

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 20, 2023

Here is yet another news article about a mother who is struggling to provide for her children, where the article makes absolutely zero mention of the children’s father, and the article puts 100% of the blame on the lack of sufficient government programs.

This woman has six young children, including a baby that was born just a few months ago.

I am completely disgusted that the writer of the article makes no mention whatsoever of the children’s father, and blames the entire situation on a lack of sufficient government programs.

Here’s part of the article:

“I’m hard-pressed to believe a woman with six kids who is homeless can’t be the highest preference person,” he said, referring to Arvizo, who had her sixth child in October. “And that’s why I don’t believe in these lotteries.”

Because there are far fewer vouchers than households who need them, the shortage creates a “zero-sum” mentality that unfairly pits voucher seekers against one another, said Philip Garboden, an affordable housing professor at the University of Hawaii.

“I think it’s important to remind everybody, the main culprit here is the shortage” of vouchers, Garboden said.

You can read the entire article at this link.


March 20, 2023. Tags: , , , . Media bias. Leave a comment.

A woman who had a baby out of wedlock complains that she can’t find a husband to help take care of her child

February 5, 2023. Tags: , . Parenting. Leave a comment.

Why did Honda make an anti-marriage commercial?

Honda is in the business of selling cars.

So why did they make this anti-marriage commercial?


November 14, 2022. Tags: , , , , . Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Barack Obama quote in the New York Times: “We know the statistics – that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison.”

“We know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled – doubled – since we were children. We know the statistics – that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.”

– Barack Obama, New York Times

Original source:

Archived version:

September 21, 2022. Tags: , , , , , . Barack Obama, Education, Parenting, Racism, Violent crime. 2 comments.

Here’s yet another news article about the “struggles” of a “low income,” “single mom,” where the article makes exactly zero mention of the father of the children

Insider just published this article about the “struggles” of a “low income” “single mom.” The article makes exactly zero mention of the father of the children.

The mainstream media has been doing everything it can to try to normalize the idea that children don’t need a father. I’ve previously written about this kind of thing here, here, here, here, here, and here.

In this particular case, the mother wants the government to give her $187,000 in taxpayers’ money. That’s the amount of money that the mother borrowed under her own name to pay for her children to go to college so they could become “successful.”

So here’s my question: If these children are “successful,” why aren’t they willing to use their own money to pay back the loans?

A single mom who took on $187,000 in student debt for her kids wishes Biden would consider parents in his loan-forgiveness plans: ‘I just don’t feel like it’s fair that we’re overlooked’

By Ayelet Sheffey

June 18, 2022

* Biden’s reported debt-forgiveness plan likely won’t include parents who took out loans for their kids.

* Adria Mansfield, 43, has $187,000 in parent PLUS student loans she took out for her kids’ college.

* It was the only way she could give her kids a higher education, and she can’t afford to pay it off.

Adria Mansfield will do whatever it takes to give her children the best futures — even if it involves a six-figure student-debt load.

The problem for her lies in President Joe Biden’s broad student-loan-forgiveness plans, and the fact that parents haven’t been included in that conversation.

“Half of our children would not be able to go to school and become successful if it weren’t for the parents,” said Mansfield, 43. “And I just don’t feel like it’s fair that we’re overlooked.”

Mansfield’s $187,300 student-debt load comes from parent PLUS loans that she took out for two of her kids, which allowed her to borrow the full cost of attendance minus any financial aid the child already received. About 3.7 million families hold parent PLUS loans that total $104 billion. Those types of federal loans have the highest interest rate at 6.28%, and they’re set to increase to 7.54% in July.

Working in a school as a behavior facilitator and being the sole provider for her kids, Mansfield didn’t make enough to pay out-of-pocket tuition at one public and one private university for her kids. She took out the maximum amount of PLUS loans for two of her children and plans to do the same for her daughter who is graduating high school this year. She says it was the only way she could ensure her kids would get a higher education.

While Biden is considering $10,000 in student-loan forgiveness for undergraduate borrowers making under $150,000, parents and graduate students haven’t been included in those plans, and Mansfield said she’s looking at payments for the foreseeable future without options for relief.

“Society pressures our kids so much into needing college because you have to get a degree to have a better job, so I felt it was important because that’s what my kids wanted to do,” Mansfield said. “But now we’re being punished for taking out loans so our children will be successful.”

‘Feeding my children and taking care of our necessities is my first choice’

After her children graduated college in 2017 and 2019, Mansfield was placed on an income-driven repayment plan that allowed her to temporarily make $0 monthly payments because of her low income. While she said not having to make those payments was helpful, the interest continued to build, making it almost impossible for her to get ahead of her debt — and she said that element has affected her “tremendously.”

“I had this debt on my credit, and it was restricting me from getting a house because my student-loan amount was so high that the lenders didn’t even want to lend me money to buy a house,” Mansfield said. “And I certainly don’t make enough money to pay off the loan, and feeding my children and taking care of our necessities is my first choice.”

Mansfield isn’t alone in her struggles — many other parents have taken out student loans under their own names to provide for their kids, and they’re left paying off debt that gets higher and higher because of surging interest. A recent report from The Century Foundation, a left-leaning think tank, said the average PLUS-loan borrower still has 55% of the initial balance remaining after 10 years of repayment — and 38% after 20 years, which means most parents spend more time paying off student loans than they did raising their kids.

Kristin Blagg, a researcher at the Urban Institute, previously told Insider that the idea of giving loans to a student is so they’ll earn enough money with a degree to pay the debt back, but that’s not the case for parents.

“The math for parents, particularly if they’re really unable to pay the college tuition and other costs at the moment their child is going to school, that math doesn’t quite work out because the parents aren’t necessarily receiving that benefit of a college education,” Blagg said.

‘We need to be considered in the loan forgiveness’

Biden hasn’t yet confirmed an amount of student-loan relief he’s considering, and the only definitive statement he’s made so far on the topic is that $50,000 in relief — an amount progressives were pushing for — is off the table. But it’s likely the relief will focus on undergraduates, which would leave those with PLUS loans in the dark.

Peter Granville, a senior policy associate at The Century Foundation, recently told Politico the reason parents haven’t been included in the loan-forgiveness conversation might be because when it comes to parent PLUS loans “there’s very little data on these parents themselves,” and there’s “much less known about actual parents and their outcomes when it comes to taking on these loans.”

Either way, Mansfield hopes whatever decision Biden makes won’t exclude the borrowers who did what they needed to do to help their children succeed.

“I just want us parents that have put our name on the dotted line so that our children can be successful to be considered in the fact that we, too, have struggles,” Mansfield said. “We took the loans out for our children to be successful. We need to be considered in the loan forgiveness as well.”

June 18, 2022. Tags: , , , , , . Education, Media bias, Parenting. Leave a comment.

Attention Los Angeles Times! This article that you recently published is not a good argument for abortion. Instead, it’s a good argument against having casual, unprotected sex with irresponsible men.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

May 7, 2022

The Los Angeles Times recently published this article, which the paper seemed to think was a good argument in favor of abortion.

But I read the entire article, and I don’t think it’s a good argument in favor of abortion. Instead, I think it’s a good argument against having casual, unprotected sex with irresponsible men.

Another thing that I dislike about this article is that it makes no mention whatsoever of the father(s) of the three children that this single woman had already given birth to before aborting her fourth child.

So this unmarried woman has three children out of wedlock.

Then she has unprotected sex, with an irresponsible man whom she considers to be the exact opposite of father material, gets pregnant, and has an abortion.

Nothing in this article is a good argument for abortion.

Instead, the article is a good argument against having casual, unprotected sex with irresponsible men.

A Texas woman needed an abortion. Here’s how far California went to help her

By Anita Chabria

May 6, 2022

The first sign of Stephanie’s pregnancy was nausea, as it so often is — that particular debilitating queasiness that knocked her off her feet, sometimes all day, days at a time.

It kept Stephanie, who asked me not to use her real name for all the obvious reasons, from working. She runs her own business in Austin, Texas, braiding hair, a skill she learned as a teenager.

“Men, women, children,” she told me with a Lone Star twang. “Yes, ma’am,” she does them all and loves it, loves making her customers feel beautiful.

When Stephanie took a pregnancy test and it came back positive, she was shocked at first, then dismayed. Then things got worse.

Though she hadn’t thought much about it, Texas had just passed its law banning abortions after a heartbeat is found. California, the Golden State of both sunshine and liberty, has of course doubled down on access to reproductive health, also something Stephanie wasn’t yet thinking about.

Stephanie had been dating a man who had been a friend for a few years. They met at a restaurant during a Sunday lunch, and in retrospect, Stephanie wishes she’d kept him “in the friend zone.” As soon as she knew she was pregnant, she also knew he wasn’t someone she wanted to be in a long-term relationship with. He was never going to be the kind of partner she could count on, and she didn’t need more of that.

“Dealing with him, that would have brought a lot of negative problems in my life,” she said.

She has three children, ages 14, 6 and 5. She’s a single mom with all the hard work that comes with it, but “my kids are my main priority,” she says.

The youngest is a “dancing machine” who will start kindergarten soon, a little girl with a big personality. Her 6-year-old is the comedian, a clown, she says, with a helpful side.

Her teenage daughter dreams of being a nurse who works with babies. The young girl thinks being a RN will give her a life of luxury, Stephanie says.

That may not work out quite how the teen thinks, but Stephanie is proud of her drive. “She’s a go-getter, very mature,” she says.

Stephanie, 33, prayed about the pregnancy. She ran through her savings being off work. She thought about the bills a baby would bring, what it would mean for her kids, and for her own future. Then she decided to have an abortion.

“Where I am at in my life, I am on a journey where I am still trying to find myself, trying to be the best mother I can be,” she said. “And I feel like it’s hard enough already and I don’t want to bring another child into this world.”

This is of course none of our business, and requires no justification, no back story to make us understand a choice that is hers alone. But Stephanie shared her story with me both to help explain what it really means for California to be a sanctuary state for abortion, how urgent it is that this state keep the promises its politicians are making, and to let others in need of an abortion know that there is help in these dark and frightening days.

What Planned Parenthood Los Angeles did to help Stephanie, the lengths it went to, surprised me. It made me proud to be in a state that isn’t backing down from this ugly fight, and it made me realize that we are far beyond putting on pink hats and protesting at a statehouse where the governor and legislators already have doubled down on making California a sanctuary for reproductive care.

This is no longer just a culture war between those with political and ideological differences, if it ever was. This is a crisis of identity that will determine the future of this country for decades to come, a dividing line between inclusive democracy and a white Christian nationalism that is seeking, successfully for now, to domino our rights one by one in a vicious fight to keep power for a few at the expense of equality and equity for most. It is racist, sexist, hate-filled and un-American.

I asked Erwin Chemerinsky, one of the nation’s pre-eminent constitutional scholars and a professor at UC Berkeley, where we are headed if the leaked Roe decision becomes law. His assessment was bleak.

“Justice Alito’s opinion, assuming it becomes the final decision, will put many rights in danger,” he said.

“The right to custody of one’s children, the right to keep the family together, the right of parents to control the upbringing of their children, the right to purchase and use contraceptives, the right of consenting adults to engage in same-sex sexual activity, the right of competent adults to refuse medical treatment,” all those will be vulnerable, he warned.

He predicts that if Roe is overruled, states will “adopt laws prohibiting contraceptives that act after conception, like the IUD, the morning after pill, some birth control pills. They will outlaw IVF where embryos are not implanted. They will prohibit women from leaving a state for an abortion and more.”

Stephanie knows exactly what that oppression feels like.

After the positive test, she went to a Texas clinic. She was only about six weeks pregnant, but they found a heartbeat and that was that. Suddenly the Texas law was about her, and her future narrowed down to panic and fear.

“Before I went though this situation, I really didn’t care,” she said of the Texas law. “But then when it affected me, it was like, ‘Oh, s—.’ ”

She said the clinic basically kicked her out. She was crying, and she went back inside to ask if they knew anyone who could help her. The answer was a hard no. Luckily, a friend persuaded her to call Planned Parenthood in Texas that day, and that clinic got her in touch with the Los Angeles office. She said she was thinking there was no way she could get to California, but her friend told her to make the call anyway, a last-ditch hope.

“Immediately they were so helpful,” Stephanie said. “They were concerned. They made me feel good in that moment. Everybody down here just turns up their nose.”

The coordinator who handled her call got to work, Stephanie said. Planned Parenthood booked her flights between Texas and L.A. — 1,242 miles each way — and paid for them. They arranged transportation and a hotel — and paid for those, too. They even gave her money to pay for incidentals such as food.

But it was the way they made her feel that she remembers most, “like it wasn’t an embarrassment or a shame,” she said.

She was at the lowest point in her life and she found “love from strangers,” she said.

She flew in on a Monday and had the procedure on a Tuesday, then headed home to her kids the next day. No complications, no drama.

“I didn’t expect all this,” she said. And that’s why she’s willing to talk about it. She thinks the Texas law is “trash” but California welcomes those in need.

“I want people to know that in this life you cannot judge anyone,” she said. “I also want people to know there is help and support out there. Don’t feel alone, don’t feel embarrassed, do what’s best for you.”

She — a smart, resourceful adult — barely figured out how to get access to the reproductive care she needed. She thinks about a 14-year-old girl too scared to tell her mom she’s knocked up, or a mom who just can’t figure out where to go for help when that daughter does come to her.

It doesn’t have to be rape or incest. We don’t need the horror stories or worst-case scenarios. Thousands of women, girls and transgender people find out they are pregnant every day, with thousands of back stories that are none of our business.

But the fact that they no longer have choices in states such as Texas and Oklahoma — or even know where to go for help — should be everyone’s business.

Sue Dunlap, the head of Planned Parenthood L.A., told me they see about 100 people a month from out of the state for reproductive care. Across California, clinics are gearing up to help many more than that, possibly several hundred per week at the bigger facilities.

The state Legislature is working to increase access to reproductive care by allowing more types of medical professionals to handle abortions, and by creating state funds that would help cover costs. Organizations like Planned Parenthood are collecting money and marshaling resources.

Dunlap didn’t want to call it an underground railroad for reproductive care, maybe for all the harsh history that term holds, but I’ll call it that. That’s how far backward the current moment is, and how steeped in past racism it is — because a lack of access to abortion hits Black and brown people the most, and hurts those who are poor and marginalized with greater brutality.

If you do nothing else, I hope you will share Stephanie’s story far and wide, so that others in need of reproductive care know the help here is real.

Even Stephanie still can’t quite believe what California did for her, and her family.

“I didn’t expect all this,” she said.

None of us did, but here we are. And while fighting to help individuals such as Stephanie is critical, we have to be real about how much is at stake. California might prefer to focus on its own needs, but as a leader of civil rights, it is being thrust into a national role of protecting the vulnerable — whoever they may be.

It pains me to end a reproductive rights column with a quote from someone without a uterus. But credit where credit it due.

“Pay attention, America, ” Gov. Gavin Newsom said this week, speaking outside Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. “They’re coming after you next.”

May 7, 2022. Tags: , . Abortion. Leave a comment.

Shame on the New York Times! Instead of asking “Where are the fathers of these children?” the New York Times blames childhood poverty on lack of government funding. Also, shame on the New York Times for saying “they had little choice.”

Here is a recent article from the New York Times about a bunch of unmarried women and their out-of-wedlock babies.

The word “father” does not appear in the article.

Instead, the New York Times uses the following words and phrases to explain why these women and children are living in poverty:

“have few options”

“waiting for subsidized housing”

“18 people had been inside the four-bedroom public housing unit, triple the number of people who had moved in a decade earlier”

“mothers, sons and daughters”

“they had little choice”

“a growing family forced to crowd ever more tightly into the apartment it already had”

“According to a 2016 assessment of housing needs in the city, Philadelphia is supplying less than 12 percent of the publicly supported housing needed for its low-income households”

“Without enough funding to support a program like that”

“Shakia Miller, who lives in a three-bedroom unit at the West Park Apartments, which are owned and managed by the housing authority, applied for a bigger place when she was pregnant with twin boys. They are now 9 years old, yet the family, which includes Ms. Miller’s three older children, is still living in the same apartment.”

“There were six people on the lease at that time, a number that expanded, by the time of the latest lease, to 14. There were three sisters, Rosalee, Virginia and Quinsha, and a growing number of children”

“There should have been a lot more resources for the family”

“For the families that are in such a situation, there may not be much of a choice at all.”

So that’s what’s in the article.

According to the New York Times, these women had no control over anything, and the reason that these women and their children are living in poverty is because the government is not spending enough money.

The New York Times never asks where the children’s fathers are.

The New York Times never asks why these women had so many out-of-wedlock babies that they could not afford to take care of.

Shame on the New York Times for not asking, “Where are the fathers of these children?”

Shame on the New York Times for blaming their poverty on lack of government funding!

Shame on the New York Times for falsely claiming these these women had no choice and no control over their situation!

I’d like to propose a new policy. Instead of the government spending more money on unmarried women and their out-of-wedlock babies, the government should stop funding them entirely.

Unmarried women who have babies out of wedlock should not be rewarded with public housing and section 8 vouchers.

Whatever you reward, you get more of.

We should stop rewarding unmarried women who have babies out of wedlock.

An unmarried women who has a baby out of wedlock should never be eligible for public housing or section 8 vouchers.

Before the Democrats started their “Great Society” and their “war on poverty” in the 1960s, only 5% of babies in the U.S. were born out of wedlock.

Today, it’s 40%.

This chart shows the increase. The chart is from this link at Wikipedia:,_1940-2014.png


And now I’d like to talk about the origination of the fire that killed those mothers and their children.

First, someone removed the batteries from the home’s smoke detectors.

And second, a very careless and negligent cigarette smoker left their lighter in a place where a five-year-old boy was able to get it and then use it to set the family’s Christmas tree on fire. I don’t blame the five-year-old boy. I do blame the adult smoker.

This incident happened in Philadelphia. And while I don’t know the statistics for Philadelphia, I do know that in New York state, low-income smokers spend 25% of their income on cigarettes.

Choices matter.

Choices result in actions.

Actions result in consequences.

Having babies out of wedlock that you can’t afford is a choice, no matter how many times the New York Times writes that “they had little choice.”

Taking the batteries out of smoke detectors is also a choice that can lead to disastrous results.

Leaving a lighter where a five-year-old can get it is irresponsible and negligent.

Smoking is stupid.

Spending 25% of your income on cigarettes when your own children don’t even have adequate housing is inexcusable.

Childhood poverty would be greatly reduced if people behaved responsibly. Let’s consider two groups of people in the U.S. The first group has a poverty rate of 2%. The second group has a poverty rate of 76%.

The first group consists of people who followed all three of these steps:

1) Finish high school.

2) Get a full-time job.

3) Wait until age 21 and get married before having children.

The second group consists of people who followed zero of those three steps.

Among people who follow all three of these steps, the poverty rate is 2%.

Among people who follow zero of these steps, the poverty rate is 76%.

My source for that information is this article, which refers to this PDF, and the relevant data is on page 15 of the PDF. The study uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Finally, I’m going to end this blog post by posting a video of the song “Love Child” by the Supremes from the 1960s. By today’s standards, this song would be considered extremely conservative, as well as racist and sexist. It’s a great song, with a lesson that needs to be taught more often:

February 12, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , . Economics, Housing, Media bias, Parenting, Smoking, Social justice warriors. 3 comments.

Black Fathers Matter

Black Fathers Matter

By Katie Kieffer

June 22, 2020

Fathers matter. A child without a good father figure grows up with a disadvantage that cannot be erased by money, education or fame. Activists claim that whites and police are primarily responsible for holding blacks back. In truth, black father figures are the foremost differentiating factor in their offspring’s quality of life.

69 percent of black children are born to unmarried mothers, according to the latest data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In contrast, the CDC reports that 28 percent of non-Hispanic whites are born to unmarried mothers.

June 22, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Black lives matter, Parenting. Leave a comment.

Black America Needs Fathers

June 3, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Black lives matter, Economics, Racism. Leave a comment.

“Number one: Stop having children with people who don’t support them”

Dave Ramsey is a financial advisor with a radio call in program.

In this case, the caller is an unmarried woman who has three children, all of whom were fathered by the same man, who is an abusive, illegal alien and an identity thief, and who does not pay any child support.

Ramsey starts out his response with the following:

“Number one: Stop having children with people who don’t support them”

Here’s my take on this woman’s behavior:

George Carlin was right when he said the following:

“Think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of ’em are stupider than that.”

February 12, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Immigration, Parenting. 2 comments.

Candace Owens criticizes Democrats for the high rates of violent crime and poverty in the inner cities that they control, as well as their policies that encourage women to have babies out of wedlock

September 16, 2019. Tags: , , , , , . Politics. 1 comment.

U.S. Congressional representative Katie Porter (D-California) doesn’t seem to think that children need a father, and doesn’t seem to care about the density restrictions and other anti-development laws that increase the cost of housing in California

U.S. Congressional representative Katie Porter (D-California) recently talked about “Patricia,” one of her “constituents” who lives in Irvine, California.

Here’s a video of part of Porter’s statement, from the Washington Post channel at YouTube:

Since Porter said she looked up the salary of Patricia’s job at, I am guessing that “Patricia” is fictional. Nevertheless, I will go along with this, and offer my comments and analysis.

Patricia works as a bank teller at JPMorgan Chase, and earns $16.50 per hour, which works out to $35,070 per year. Patricia has a six-year old daughter, and the two of them live together in a one-bedroom apartment in Irvine, California. After taxes, Patricia takes home $29,100 per year, which is $2,425 per month.

Porter provided this image of Patricia’s monthly expenses:

These are Patricia’s monthly expenses:

$1,600 rent

$100 utilities

$250 on a 2008 car

$150 gas

$402 USDA “low cost” food for one adult and one child

$40 phone

$450 after school childcare

This leaves Patricia with a monthly budget deficit of $567.

Porter blames this budget deficit on JPMorgan Chase.

Now I’d like to offer my own commentary and opinion on this, in three different categories.

First of all, Porter makes no mention whatsoever of Patricia’s child’s father.

If Patricia was actually married, then her husband could work from home and take care of their child after school, and there would be no need to spend $450 per month on after school child care. Also, her husband’s income from working at home would make it easier to pay for their other expenses.

This refusal by Porter to even so much as mention Patricia’s child’s father is typical of liberals when they talk about single mothers who are struggling to raise their children. I have previously written about liberals’ refusal to mention the fathers of these children here, here, here, here, and here.

Secondly, Porter never mentions how density restrictions and other anti-development laws cause the price of housing in California to be substantially higher than it would otherwise be.

But I will mention it.

Here is a link to an article that was published by the Atlantic in 2007.

When a developer builds housing, there are three separate and distinct costs: the cost of land, the cost of construction, and the cost of getting a building permit (which the article refers to as the “right to build”).

Irvine is in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. According to the Atlantic article, using data from 1999, getting permission for the “right to build” added $303,000 to the cost of a house in Los Angeles in 1999.

Here’s part of the relevant text from the article:

In a 2003 article, Glaeser and Gyourko calculated the two different land values for 26 cities (using data from 1999). They found wide disparities. In Los Angeles, an extra quarter acre cost about $28,000 – the pure price of land. But the cost of empty land isn’t the whole story, or even most of it. A quarter- acre lot minus the cost of the house came out to about $331,000—nearly 12 times as much as the extra quarter acre. The difference between the first and second prices, around $303,000, was what L.A. home buyers paid for local land-use controls in bureaucratic delays, density restrictions, fees, political contributions. That’s the cost of the right to build.

And that right costs much less in Dallas. There, adding an extra quarter acre ran about $2,300—raw land really is much cheaper—and a quarter acre minus the cost of construction was about $59,000. The right to build was nearly a quarter million dollars less than in L.A. Hence the huge difference in housing prices. Land is indeed more expensive in superstar cities. But getting permission to build is way, way more expensive. These cities, says Gyourko, “just control the heck out of land use.”

The same article also includes this chart:

And please remember, this cost for the “right to build” is completely separate from the cost of the land, and the cost of construction.

The cost for the “right to build” is determined entirely, 100% by zoning laws, density restrictions, and other local government policies.

Here’s another example of how hard it is to get a building permit in California:

January 23, 2015

… there were more permits for single-family homes issued last year through November in just one Texas city – Houston (34,566) – than in the entire state of California (34,035) over the same period.

Let’s put this into perspective.

Houston is 628 square miles.

California is 163,696 square miles.

So even though California is 260 times as big as Houston, Houston actually issued more new building permits for single family homes in 2014 than did the entire state of California.

Just think about that for a minute.

Those numbers show just how incredibly, ridiculously hard California makes it to build new housing.

Anyone who has ever bought or sold anything at eBay understands that, all else being equal, the bigger the supply of something, the lower price, and the lower the supply, the higher the price.

By making it so difficult to get a building permit in California, the government is causing housing to be far, far more expensive than it would otherwise be.

Here is a great article by Thomas Sowell about how the politicians in California have waged war against the construction of new housing.

This video also explains California’s war against the construction of new housing. And please note that it is progressives, social justice warriors, and other left wing activists who are the ones that are most opposed to building this new housing:

California is waging a very strong, major war against the constriction of new housing.

But Porter never mentions any of this.

Third, being a bank teller is an entry level job. It doesn’t require any education beyond high school.

If Patricia wanted to earn more money, she could have gone to college or trade school before having a child.

But Porter never mentions this, either.

April 15, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Economics, Housing. 2 comments.

Hypocrite Bernie Sanders changes his tune on “millionaires and billionaires” after the media reports that he is one of them

I want to start out by saying that I think it’s absolutely wonderful that Bernie Sanders became a millionaire by selling books to customers who wanted to buy them.

I have no problem with the fact that Sanders is a millionaire.

What I do have a problem with is his hypocrisy.

On many, many occasions, Sanders has criticized “millionaires and billionaires.”

This is a link to a video on C-SPAN’s website, which shows Sanders making such a statement. Here are his exact words: (skip to 0:33)

“There is something profoundly wrong, when in recent years, we have seen a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires, at the same time as millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages, and we have shamefully the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country.”

However, now that the media has reported that Sanders himself is a millionaire, he is saying something very different. The New York Times just quoted Sanders as saying:

“I wrote a best-selling book… If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.”

I agree 100% with Sanders’ statement.

If I can just add three more zeros to my own book sales figures, I, too, will become a millionaire.

Sanders’ association of the existence of “millionaires and billionaires” to the fact that there are children living in poverty is not accurate. According to the book The Millionaire Next Door, 80% of U.S. millionaires are first generation rich. They earned that money legally and honestly, by providing labor, goods, and services that people were willing to pay for. That makes everyone better off. It does not cause anyone to live in poverty.

The real reason there are so many children living in poverty in the U.S. has nothing to do with the fact that there are “millionaires and billionaires.” Instead, the high rate of childhood poverty can be attributed almost entirely to the irresponsible behavior of their parents.

Let’s consider two groups of people in the U.S. The first group has a poverty rate of 2%. The second group has a poverty rate of 76%.

The first group consists of people who followed all three of these steps:

1) Finish high school.

2) Get a full-time job.

3) Wait until age 21 and get married before having children.

The second group consists of people who followed zero of those three steps.

Among people who follow all three of these steps, the poverty rate is 2%.

Among people who follow zero of these steps, the poverty rate is 76%.

(My source for that information is this article, which refers to this PDF, and the relevant data is on page 15 of the PDF. The study uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau.)

Wikipedia has published the following chart, which shows the massive increase in the rate of out-of-wedlock births that has taken place in the U.S. since the 1960s. Source:,_1940-2014.png

According to that chart, since 1960, the percentage of babies born out-of-wedlock in the U.S. has skyrocketed from 5% to 40%.

In the 1960s, the Democrats launched their “War on Poverty,” whereby the government started paying women to have babies out-of-wedlock.

And as anyone who understands economics will tell you, whatever you subsidize, you get more of.

In this video, a happily married woman explains how a government social worker told her that she should get divorced in order to collect more benefits:

The liberals who complain about childhood poverty almost never blame it on the high out-of-wedlock birth rate.

Time and time and time and time again, the media publishes articles about childhood poverty, without even mentioning the fathers of these children.

April 10, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Economics. 1 comment.

Attention Adriana Alvarez! It’s not McDonald’s fault that you chose to have a baby out of wedlock.

The woman in this video chose to have a baby out of wedlock.

She has also, apparently, made no attempt to acquire education or job skills beyond the high school level.

She says the $12.50 an hour she gets paid to work at McDonald’s is “poverty” level.

The narrator cites government statistics to show that she is actually above the poverty level.

The narrator asks “Where is the father?”

I had actually asked myself those exact same words before the narrator did.

This woman has been working at McDonald’s for eight years. Instead of acquiring better education and job skills, she thinks the way to earn more money is to protest.


October 8, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Social justice warriors. 4 comments.

Media bias: once again, a news article about a financially struggling single mother trying to raise her children makes absolutely no mention of their father

The Guardian recently published this article about a single mother who is having financial troubles as she tries to raise her two children on the salary that she gets from working at a fast food restaurant.

As is always the case with articles like this, the article makes absolutely no mention of the children’s father. (I have written about this media irresponsibility before – see here and here.)

In this particular case, the article refers to the woman as “a single mother of two.”

It doesn’t say that she is “divorced,” or that she is “widowed.”

The article makes absolutely zero mention of the children’s father.

The article does quote the woman as saying:

“At the top of America, when it comes to Trump and them, their goal is to keep us down. Between these billion-dollar companies and Trump, it’s a power trip.”

So now it’s Trump’s fault that this woman is a single mother of two.

I’d like to see the results of the DNA test for that.

If Trump is in fact the father of her children, then yes, it is Trump’s fault that she is having so much financial trouble.

Otherwise, Trump has no fault whatsoever in her situation.

The article also talks about how the woman is part of the movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

But in the real world, even liberals themselves do not want to pay fast food workers $15 an hour.

In December 2013, I made this blog post, which is titled “I dare liberals to buy a McDonald’s franchise, and pay the workers $15 an hour.”

More than three years later, I followed it up with this blog post, which is titled, “Hypocrite liberals have rejected my challenge for them to buy a McDonald’s franchise and pay the workers $15 an hour.”

I also made this other blog post, which is titled, “In the real world, no liberal has ever bought a McDonald’s franchise and paid the workers $15 an hour.”

So even liberals themselves are not willing to pay McDonald’s workers $15 an hour.

Here is some information that liberals never talk about:

Let’s consider two groups of people in the U.S. The first group has a poverty rate of 2%. The second group has a poverty rate of 76%.

The first group consists of people who followed all three of these steps:

1) Finish high school.

2) Get a full-time job.

3) Wait until age 21 and get married before having children.

The second group consists of people who followed zero of those three steps.

Among people who follow all three of these steps, the poverty rate is 2%.

Among people who follow zero of these steps, the poverty rate is 76%.

(My source for that information is this article, which refers to this PDF, and the relevant data is on page 15 of the PDF. The study uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau.)

Finally, here is a seven minute video with information that liberals never talk about. In my opinion, every middle school and high school in the U.S. should show this to all of their students, repeatedly, every year.



August 23, 2017. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Media bias. 1 comment.

Poll: If you had two daughters, and could only give money to one of them…

In this video, the speaker says the government should stop giving money to women for having babies out of wedlock. She says the government should force the biological father to pay for raising the child, instead of the taxpayers.

She also says that if she had two daughters, and one had a baby out of wedlock and needed money to take care of the baby, and the other one got good grades in high school and needed money to pay for college tuition, she would give money to the one who wanted to go to college, and not to the one who had the baby out of wedlock. Her rationale for this is that we should reward good behavior, not bad behavior.,

I agree with her. I believe that we should reward good behavior, not bad behavior. I would give the money to the daughter who wanted to go to college.

Which daughter would you give the money to?

(Video contains lots of profanity.)



March 23, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Education, Politics, Polls. 3 comments.