Poor White People and Social Apartheid

by Lewis Loflin

While leftist social engineers are obsessed with so-called "minorities," the largest number by far of poor people are white. Besides liberal hostility towards working class white people, whites tend to more self-sufficient and commit far less crime per capita than non-Asian minorities. (They also don't vote Democrat if they bother to vote at all.)

Sadly in my region of Southwest Virginia in the heart of Appalachia many of the destructive effects of government programs are undermining both self-sufficiency and pride many of the poor once had. The numbers are all too real and growing.

To quote a study from the Virginia Department of Social Services in 2009: "Virginia's poverty rate has not decreased substantially over the last 30 years." It's the same story in Tennessee as well. How can this be after spending perhaps a billion dollars in the VA 9th District alone over the last 20 years? To quote "Where Do All the Welfare Billions Go?" (Human Events, February 6, 1982) M. Stanton Evans points out:

One has to wonder how it is possible to spend these hundreds of billions to alleviate poverty and still have the same number of poor people that we had, say, in 1968...It prompts the more suspicious among us to ask: What happened to the money?...[A] tremendous chunk of these domestic outlays goes to pay the salaries of people who work for and with the federal government - including well-paid civil servants and an array of contractors and "consultants," many of whom have gotten rich from housing programs, "poverty" studies, energy research grants, and the like...

This is borne out from a jobs report May 5, 2010 from WJHL TV; "First quarter unemployment rates jumped more than a full percent from a year ago in the Tri-Cities region, measuring just a little over ten percent for January to March...However, one area of our economy is growing: government jobs increased in the Tri-Cities during the three month period." Who is likely to be poor in Virginia according to VDSS?

The "typical" or modal Virginian below the poverty line is a white female head of household, age 25 to 34, with less than a high school education, with children, who works. The fact that more Virginians in poverty are white than nonwhite and more are working than not working contradicts a common image of poverty.

The Virginia Department of Social Services also reports poverty is far higher in rural Virginia than urban areas. Most blacks in poverty are there because they do not work, while most whites in poverty do work. The Progressives one would expect would be the champions of the working poor are silent on this, but instead are obsessed with race issues (poor whites they seem to be held in contempt) and environmental issues.

Why so much emphasis on urban minorities rather than the far more common poor rural whites? Whites tend to be conservative and Christian, thus are the political enemies of affluent Progressives because their vote can't be bought for liberal/Progressive causes. Virginia has a vast number of social programs, but the funds only create lucrative jobs for state workers, contractors, and consultants. I'd estimate less than 10 cents on the dollar gets to those that really need it.

Rural whites in most cases do work, but are under-employed and under-paid. Creating government jobs for the politically connected or in many cases for those imported into the region to get those jobs does nothing to address this core issue. To address that problem means taking on the business and social structure, a political non-starter in Virginia and Tennessee.

This is a situation that benefits the business community and they fight like hell to keep the system the way it is. What is the political solution to this mess? Economic development based on marketing the lowest wage scales in the state doesn't address the issue either. Simply put, big government Progressives have joined forces with conservative local business leaders to create and maintain the social apartheid system.

So in th end poor white people are marginalized by class from affluent whites while the often same white liberals and Progressives shun them over race and culture.