Quite why the Mail is running this I’m not sure

Struggling to survive on the Mississippi Delta: Inside the lives of some of America’s poorest
Persistent poverty has plagued the Mississippi Delta for decades
In most Delta counties the poverty rate is 40 per cent, while nationally its 15
Most residents, like Otibehia Allen, barely make ends meet even with two jobs

Otibehia is working 30 hours a week combined at her two jobs and also supporting 5 children as a single mother.

We would rather expect a certain amount of economic struggle in that situation, no?

She’s also in the top 15% of all income earners globally, yes adjusted for purchasing power, as an individual.

She’d almost certainly be receiving something close to that again in food stamps ($925 a month is maximum possible for family size), there would be a few thousand in EITC and so on. Figure income at double her earnings. Global top 3% as an individual.

Even if we allocate income individually, to each of the children, that’s top 25% globally.

That is, this isn’t poverty. It’s inequality. Poverty doesn’t exist in the US, absent serious addiction or mental health problems.

39 thoughts on “Quite why the Mail is running this I’m not sure”

  1. ‘It’s not easy raising five children alone,’ Allen said, fighting back tears. ‘No, you didn’t ask me to have them, true. So, I chose to. So that means I’m responsible for these people.’

    Looks a hell of a lot like the taxpayer is, honey.

  2. I am amazed that she said this
    ” ‘No, you didn’t ask me to have them, true. So, I chose to. So that means I’m responsible for these people.’”
    Although I am amazed she knows the word.

  3. “Mississippi’s congressional delegation in 1967, led by Democratic Sens. James Eastland and John Stennis and Rep. Jamie Whitten, resisted federal funding for food programs and for Head Start, a preschool program that many conservatives saw as a threat to the state’s white, segregationist power structure because it educated poor black children.”

    If these are the educated ones, gawd help the rest!

  4. They probably ran it to enable normal middle class people feel rather smug that, thanks to them, irresponsible people like Otibehia Allen don’t die of their own stupidity.

  5. People like Otibehia Allen would prove an interesting case study of the attitude of the left.

    On opposition, they would cry for millions more to be spent on her.

    In power, they would sterilise her at the age of 10.

  6. “The Mississippi Delta has 30 to 40 per cent unemployment”

    Yet they decided to lead with someone who has not just one, but two jobs. Can you imagine a story about homelessness leading with someone who owns two homes?

  7. Single motherhood? Five children? Yet another example of the dysfunctional Afro family structure that contributes to blacks sinking to the bottom of any society they join.

  8. I must say that all this is rather depressing, first the woman herself and her fondness for popping out fatherless babbies, secondly the Daily Mail‘s erratic leftwards swerving, and thirdly the notion that I should be concerned.

    The ancient Fuller dictum springs unbidden into my bonce:

    LUCKILY THIS HAS NOTHING WHATEVER TO DO WITH ME

    A handy mantra I offer to others in these leprous and tedious times.

  9. Thomas Fuller
    But, but…society is to blame…we whites are all guilty of racism…replace capitalism with something nicer and fluffier…etc

  10. One caption confuses Medicare and Medicaid, a’blieve. Mercy!

    Odd that they don’t give a map to show where the Mississippi delta is.

  11. I don’t know. There used to be a lot of groups in the US who, for one reason or another, were not eligible for or would not claim welfare payments. In the 1960s there were whole communities that had just fallen off the grid, and the people had no inclination to participate in normal life. They were living in extreme poverty. I don’t know if that’s still the case now.

  12. There was something about pensioner poverty on the radio a few days ago and they were talking to one person saying how unafordable life was “on eight thousand a year”. Just as I was thinking “that’s twice what you get on the dole!!!!” the interviewer started going through her outgoings. “…and council tax…” “oh, we don’t pay that, we get housing and council tax benefit”

    So, your income isn’t 8 grand, it’s 12 grand!!!! Which is more than my actual ****ing job!!!!

  13. I found interesting the papers position relative to the politicians and people’s views.

    The lady works two jobs. She’s clearly not afraid of hard work in return for money.

    The governor says he wants more jobs and less aid.

    The paper then starts banging on about healthcare .

    Wut?

    Yes, I saw the part about her getting a raise that made her ineligible, but more jobs and better paid ones with a single employer would carry benefits including health, yeah?

    So why the mismatch between what those quoted said and the story’s focus?

  14. re: JuliaM

    Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society program was deliberately designed to break up poor families and made them dependant of the government. Specifically, poor black families. Of course, this will make them reliably Democratic voters as well.

  15. Somehow this looks a lot like Africa. I wonder why?

    $20? Jeepers, why doesn’t she get a bike? Oops, she is one.

  16. It’s interesting that everyone in the article is black, when some of the least well off people in the US are whites in the south

  17. Several elephants in the room. I will no doubt be branded a racist by Lena Dunham for pointing them out: First, where’s the husband or, more likely, where’s the Dad(s)? Second, where’s the child support payments? Sorry, I shouldn’t have gone there, but then again I’m white and unwoke.

  18. jgh on a tablet on a bus

    I live very comfortably on 10k a year with no kids. My zero hours work gives me the freedom to say; no, I want to sit in the garden this week.

  19. @jgh

    It’s posts like that, on a day with decent weather and the outdoors bursting and warbling with life, that make me want to take very early retirement.

  20. ‘Most residents, like Otibehia Allen, barely make ends meet even with two jobs’

    Then why aren’t most residents fucking DEAD?

    ‘In most Delta counties the poverty rate is 40 per cent, while nationally its 15’

    If the poverty rate in most Delta counties was 15 per cent, the Daily Mail would be happy. Even giddy?

    ‘Mississippi is also one of 19 states that rejected Medicare expansion’

    Which has what to do with anything??? What is this stupid article about? The Medicare expansion was an Obama trap; red states rejected it.

    A quick geography lesson: the Mississippi delta is in Louisiana.

    ‘she grew up among the cotton and soybean fields of the Mississippi Delta’

    A rural, agricultural area. Hence, ‘poverty rate’ as measured by income is bogus.

    ‘Otibehia Allen struggles to raise her five children as a single mother in one of the poorest communities in the nation’

    Doesn’t look like she’s struggling to me. Looks like she’s doing just fine. She and her kids look well fed and well dressed. Show her picture to the poor of Calcutta and they’d be envious.

    ‘Persistent poverty has plagued the Mississippi Delta for decades, suffering from neglect partly because state leaders are not willing to invest money into the community’

    Bullshit. The state is not the source of the economy. What will be the nature of this state investment? Farm collectives?

    ‘Fifty years ago, Democratic Sens. Robert F. Kennedy of New York and Joe Clark of Pennsylvania toured the Delta and saw ramshackle houses and starving children.’

    Fifty years and $20,000,000,000,000 later, there is NO FUCKING DIFFERENCE! The money was wasted. Get the damn government out of the charity business; it just wastes money. It is vote buying on a grand scale.

    The people of the Miss’ippi delta would be better off long term if the government just left them alone. Everything you see in these pictures is government caused. The solution? MOAR GOVERNMENT!

  21. “A quick geography lesson: the Mississippi delta is in Louisiana.”

    A quick geography lesson – the delta of the Mississippi river is in Louisiana. The “Mississippi delta” is in the great state of Mississippi, as every patriotic American knows.

    Though Christ knows which one the DM means, hence my wonder at their not providing a map.

  22. The photo of those two white men looks like a scene from “The Walking Dead”.

    Anyway, a long Mail article, lots of photos but NOT ONE reference to how much so-and-so’s house is worth. Poor effort.

  23. I would find it much more interesting to learn about how JGH manages his financial affairs. I suspect it would be far more educational for DM readers too.

  24. Bloke in North Dorset

    MBE,

    “@jgh

    It’s posts like that, on a day with decent weather and the outdoors bursting and warbling with life, that make me want to take very early retirement.”

    My youngest brother dying 6 weeks before his 40th made me decide I’d stop work as soon as I reasonably could. jgh’s attitude to work is admirable as well.

  25. > I’d stop work as soon as I could

    I’ve seen too many people retire and do nothing with their lives for that to appeal. Maybe I’ll feel differently about it when the time comes, but retirement looks suspiciously like enforced boredom.

    That’s just as well, as I don’t anticipate ever being able to afford to retire.

  26. @Andrew M
    Our goal is to retire from what we have had to do to be able to retire at 50ish.
    Doesn’t mean to say we wont get involved in stuff that is of interest to us but maybe not lucrative from a financial perspective.
    Also, top tip – pick up cheap hobbies!

  27. At 50ish I’ll be scraping together uni fees for the kids, while still paying off the mortgage. One is tempted to let the kids fend for themselves…

  28. Bloke in North Dorset

    “> I’d stop work as soon as I could

    I’ve seen too many people retire and do nothing with their lives for that to appeal. Maybe I’ll feel differently about it when the time comes, but retirement looks suspiciously like enforced boredom.”

    Last week stayed with a friend in Nefyn. Golf, sailing, kayaking, body boarding and walking. Yesterday sorting out washing, garden etc and a bike ride. Today fixing boat and maybe a quick sail and short run.

    Tomorrow, golf and a bike ride. Thursday volunteering at National Sailing Academy as a mark layer. Friday and Saturday golf and bike rides. Sunday sailing.

    Winter can be a bit boring but I’ll probably rewrite the wife’s web site and content management system and if I can find one take on a short work project. I do need to think about a winter hobby that doesn’t require decent weather or sitting at a computer.

    In all that I read and generally faff about.

  29. MC: you’re lucky, I’ve been putting together figures for my tax return, I usually do it just now, three months after year-end

    Income: £720pm
    Outgoings:
    House £250pm
    Utilities £56pm
    ctax £66pm
    phone/web/it/etc £42pm
    food £110pm
    transport £160pm
    misc £60pm
    Total: £744pm

    Yes, I ran a deficit last year, but my endownment pays out this year, so the ‘house’ outgoings will drop to £125pm from next year, and then drop to zero in five years’ time (actually, I’ll probably budget something like £25pm as repairs/reserves). If I could get rid of the car, transport would drop significantly as well, but every job I’ve been offered in the past six years has needed a car.

    And, yes, the significant omission from the outgoings is anything related to children.

  30. BiND: exactly. I want to stop having to rely on a job to stay alive so I have more time to get *my* work done, the stuff I want to do. Fiddling around writing computer code, doing genealogical and historio-geographical research, doing stuff with the parish council.

  31. Gamecock has been retired for 8 years. I don’t know how I ever had time for work.

    A taunt from a girl friend, “HOW MANY TOYS DO YOU HAVE?”, got me curious. Rather than counting toys (impossible), I made a list of categories of toys. The list came to 42. Some were singular, many had many “toys” in the category.

    “I’ve seen too many people retire and do nothing with their lives for that to appeal.”

    My advice to those people? DON’T RETIRE. If you don’t have anything you want to do, keep working. I have too much to do, but, yes, there are people who don’t.

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