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View Diary: Black People on Welfare: Let's Not Sugarcoat It (97 comments)

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  •  Good point, I should have explained that better... (5+ / 0-)

    This was my logic (and others are free to disagree). Round 18% up to 20%; round 32% down to 30%. There is a 10% difference in the college attainment rates of Blacks and Whites. Yet they are almost 3 times as likely (27% vs. 10%) to live in poverty.

    Let's look at it another way. 70% of White Americans do not have a college degree; 80% of Black Americans do not have a college degree. Overall, the majority of Americans, regardless of race, are not college graduates. So college really can't be the "great equalizer" when only a minority of the population actually goes that route...

    •  you still have the math wrong (0+ / 0-)

      32% of whites with college degrees is 78% greater than the 18% of blacks with college degrees (32-18)/18.  In other words, whites are 78% more likely than blacks to have a college degree.  And that's a big difference.

      As noted in the previous comment, you also need to take into account the type of degree, as science and engineering degrees pay much better than social science or arts degrees.

      •  Thank you both (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I was also trying, ever so delicately, to expose the "tech colleges", "vocational training colleges" etc. that, from what I've seen are places that will take anyone, run up their debt and dump them out, degree or no.  Also, those folks target poorer communities as a whole with promises of "you don't have to take "extra junk" that won't get you a job" etc.  Some people use those to show "upward mobility" when the truth is that, once upon a time, a university degree was the ticket to the middle class.  Now, it's a ticket to debt and a bad job market.  

        ~Arianna_Editrix-- I willingly accept Cassandra’s fate, To speak the truth, altho’ believ’d too late

        by Arianna Editrix on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 09:35:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  78%? (0+ / 0-)

        That 78% figure is relative to the portion of the whole (the 18%). It's noteworthy...depending on the conversation. But I personally feel it's more beneficial to look at the whole population. And that reveals:

        The majority of White Americans do not have a college degree; yet are able to escape poverty at a higher rate (90% vs. our 70%). With our education levels, we "should" be at 80%. This difference isn't so significant. Until you revisit the welfare statistics...where 37% of all welfare recipients are Black; in spite of being a much smaller share of the overall population. So small gains in Black Americans rising out of the poverty area results in big gains in decreasing our share of the US welfare pie.

        This sort of dips into another subject (higher education), but the choice of a college major/degree program should not really be an issue when talking about poverty levels. The current federal poverty level for a family of 3 is $19,790. You can increase that figure by 25% to get the general cutoff maximum income level for food stamps (varies from area to area). That's about $12/hr of full-time work. Most college graduates, including liberal/fine arts and social science grads who work full-time make at least that much.

        •  I agree with your point, but 78% higher is correct (0+ / 0-)

          when you look at the relative proportions of whites vs blacks that have college degrees.

          I was responding to this:

          Black Americans have a 'in the ballpark range' regarding the percentage of college graduates to White Americans (18% vs. 32%),
          and then this
          Round 18% up to 20%; round 32% down to 30%. There is a 10% difference in the college attainment rates of Blacks and Whites. Yet they are almost 3 times as likely (27% vs. 10%) to live in poverty.
          In the latter case you recognize that 27% is nearly three times more than 10% (that is, nearly 200% greater), not 17% more.  Do you see that 32% = 1.78 times 18% ?  That is 77% more.

          If you now instead want to contrast the proportion without college degrees, then the proportion of blacks without college degrees exceeds that of whites by 20.6%

          Anyhow, I wholeheartedly agree with the content of your diary.  Thanks for raising these issues and providing those links.  I'm just a stickler for getting the numbers right.

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