Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Semantic Infiltration

The front page, above the fold, headline in my city's second tier paper, the Denver Post is this:

Child-poverty jump in Colo. leads nation

What the heck is 'child-poverty'? When I was child, a near ice age ago, I earned next to nothing and never had much more than a quarter in my pocket, when I was lucky. I guess I was a victim of child-poverty too then, right? What? Oh, it's not the income or wealth of the child that determines whether he or she is a victim of 'child-poverty' or not, it's the income and wealth of the parent. Oh! So the statistic is for plain old poverty or adult poverty of people with families. Gee, I wonder why they call it 'child-poverty' then? It couldn't be to tug at the heart strings of those weak minded sob sisters et al. who might become more emotionally involved if you mention 'the children'?

Of the 76,000 new families who don't make a lot of money, how many of them are illegal immigrants who theoretically can earn no money whatsoever in this country? I look for that statistic in vain. The article mentions immigrant families, but doesn't tell us the pertinent facts beyond that.


Here is the speculation in the article for the increase:

Experts say there are several reasons why Colorado could be faring worse than other parts of the country.

Among them: The state's discretionary expenditures on services — from highways to higher education to health care — ranks 44th nationwide. The state spends a little more than $4,000 a person, according to the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute.

New Mexico and Wyoming spend far more, $6,541 and $7,860 respectively, the report shows. Wyoming ranks second in the country, and New Mexico ranks seventh in overall per-capita spending. Both states have fewer children, as a percentage, living in poverty, and both states have improved their percentages since 2000.

Other factors could include Colorado's low graduation rate: Roughly 72 percent of the state's high school students finish. The situation often is referred to as the "Colorado paradox" because of the higher-than-average number of people in the state with advanced degrees.

In Jefferson County, for example, the number of people with less than a high school degree has pushed up since 2002 to 10 percent of the population. In Denver, only 51 percent of those in high school finish with a diploma.

Experts also point to the shifting nature of the state's demographics. The number of children living in single-parent families has increased 13 percent.

As a whole, however, it is difficult to truly pinpoint what makes Colorado different from other states, especially those also toiling with tough problems: rapid growth, an influx of new immigrants, high foreclosure rates and chronically poor education options for the urban core.

Let me see if I can agree with the article about what makes some families poor.

  1. Colorado's low graduation rate
  2. number of children living in single-parent families
  3. an influx of new immigrants
  4. chronically poor education options for the urban core.
Spending more on highways, not so much.


Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?