There’s a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation that shows child poverty increased between 2010 and 2011 even as the economy was allegedly recovering from the recession, but who cares, kids don’t read blogs anyway, right? Ha, we joke, because that’s what we do when we are sad! Remember how corporate profits reached all-time highs in 2011? They did not give any of that money to the poor children, it turns out. Anyway, yr Wonkette went ahead and did some Excel magic with this and other readily-available data and noticed something very interesting! So what did we “find?”
In short, we found that children living in states with GOP-controlled legislatures tended to be worse off overall than their levels of economic poverty would indicate, while the opposite was true for the majority of Democrat-controlled states. Go Team! This almost makes up for the Democrats having been such shameless Wall Street whores for the last 20 years. Almost!
Let us Define our Parameters. The Casey Foundation’s report breaks down child welfare into five categories: Overall, Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family & Community. Yr Wonkette simply subtracted each state’s economic well-being rank from its overall rank; negative numbers meant that a state had a lower overall child welfare rank than its economic rank. Does this matter, you may ask, if you are our Doktor Zoom? Yes, of course it does! Think of it this way: if State X has a ranking of 15th in child poverty but 5th in overall child welfare, they’re out-performing their economic conditions as defined in this study, maybe by producing better health outcomes for kids, better education opportunities, or better communities. For an example that goes the other way, look at Nebraska, ranked 8th overall in overall welfare, but 4th economic well-being. Nebraska’s lower rankings in education (17th), health (10th), and family & community (15th) drag them down.
Altogether, 24 states had an overall ranking lower than their economic ranking; of those, 75% had GOP-controlled legislatures, 17% were Democratic, and 8% were divided. 5 states showed zero difference between their overall rank and their poverty rank, all of which were GOP-controlled. Finally, 21 states were positive; of those, 57% were Democratic-controlled, 29% GOP-controlled, and 15% divided. We guess the upshot is that money isn’t everything, but only if you’re living in a Democratic state. If not, your best bet is to be born rich. Best of luck with that!
Finally, something to bear in mind: Our analytic method was slipshod and superficial in the vein of Reinhart-Rogoff, which is to say that it doesn’t actually prove anything; hell, it might even have some data entry errors, but maybe it’s convincing enough to help you win an argument with an idiot, or a member of Congress.