Archive for Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kansas poverty report reveals bleak data

December 22, 2011


Statistical highlights

• Kansas unemployment rate has risen from about 4 percent to 6.5 percent between July 2007 and July 2011.

• The Kansas median income — $46,299 — is 6.5 percent lower than the national average.

• The poverty rate for children in Kansas rose from 18 percent to 23.7 percent between 2009 and 2010 and now outpaces the national rate of 22 percent.

— Information also obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Kansas Association of Community Action Programs, or KACAP, released its annual poverty report Wednesday that painted a grim picture of statewide economic trends.

The poverty rate for Kansas children rose from 18 percent to nearly 24 percent between 2009 and 2010, and 20,000 more Kansans fell into poverty during the same time frame.

“It’s at least honest,” said Jesyca Rodenberg, spokeswoman for KACAP, about the 2012 Kansas Poverty Report. “We have problems with our infrastructure.”

The report, unveiled at a press conference at the state Capitol, highlighted a wide variety of economic indicators, such as poverty rates, unemployment numbers and income levels, all of which took a negative spiral during the past decade.

The report included a variety of policy recommendations, such as an increase in affordable housing and job training, aimed at lawmakers, said Tawny Stottlemire, KACAP executive director.

Stottlemire said she hopes “policymakers will use the data and the facts and not the myths and stereotypes” about poverty.

Despite the bleak data, Rodenberg said it should serve as a wake-up call promoting swift and bold action on behalf of struggling Kansans.

“We woke, we drank our coffee, and now it’s time to go to work,” she said.


Fossick 2 years, 3 months ago

Jaywawkfan1985: "If you are correct about police officer's in KS earning $38,000 on average (does that include Police Chiefs or just patrol officers???) than a single cop with 3 kids would be just below the poverty level..."

A) Seriously dude, grammar. B) $38k is the average, bottom of the rung, KCK cop's wage. Police Officers "A" make $45k, Police officers "Lateral" make $57k. Pretty sure the chief is in 6 figures. The point is (as the report says, see p.38), less than 3% of the people who work full time are poor. Police officers are 97% unlikely to be part of that 3%, however dangerous their jobs are. If you wish to argue against the report's numbers, I shan't complain. C) People who are poor are poor because they either don't work full time or because they are a single mom with kids - again, read the report. The political blame game, while predictable, is just as laughable.


Fossick 2 years, 3 months ago

Jafs: "If you're saying that poor people are being sufficiently helped, that's another discussion."

It certainly is another discussion, but that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying we cannot even begin to talk about it until we are honest with our measurements. And we are not being honest currently.

Jhawkinsf: "What Fossick is saying and what I would agree with is that once we include the value of those things, the poverty level is substantially lower than if those services are not included."

We have a bingo. If the (mythical) Jones family earns a salary less than the poverty level, but has expenses that are covered in large part by the government, that family is not "in poverty;" they simply have a low income. Poverty means that they do not have basic needs (food, shelter, heat, education) met - there are very few in America for whom that is the actual case.

Americans ought to be proud that we have the richest poor people in the world. Instead we mope around as if we are Tanzania or Rumania or someplace where poor people are actually starving, rather than merely being deprived of 3g phone service.


sunny 2 years, 3 months ago

You'll never convince me that Paris Hilton and Kim kardashian deserve the fame and riches they have. This can't be a serious comment. Of course they 'deserve' every red cent they have! You don't deserve to take it from them.

Libs hate rich people..


budwhysir 2 years, 3 months ago

I think that when the economy is on the decline, reports of poverty on the rise would be fairly easy to write and many of the points contained in a report like this could be skewed to read that poverty is on the rise while the whole issue is the economy... Now that I have opened that whole can of worms for everyone to throw a little mud my way, think I will sit back and have some coffee.


geekin_topekan 2 years, 3 months ago

While driving through western Kansas one winter early evening, the only radio I could get; Teen daughter: Dad, why don't we give more money to the poor?" Dad: "Honey, I know you are good hearted because you believe in Jesus, but giving money to the poor is a waste" Teen daughter: "But aren't things like the space program going away? WOn't that make more money available to the poor?" Dad: (laughing) "Honey, only 2 cents on the dollar would actually reach the poor even if the money saved were directed exclusively at programs offered to them. The only thing that we can do is show the poor how Jesus can help them to help themselves" Teen daughter: " Jesus has provided us, our family, with a good life. Would he work for the poor also?" Dad: "Honey, you are a good hearted person with a roof over your head, a stable home and family life and it comes from Jesus" Teen daughter: "So, all we can really do for the poor is to pray for them?" Dad: "It works for you doesn't it kiddo?" Teen: " I am going to pray for the poor and ask Jesus to help them to help themselves"

The Chinese and N. Korea have propaganda piped over the waves 24/7. So do we apparently.


Phoenixman 2 years, 3 months ago

President Johnson (Dem) started the "war on poverty" so I'm wondering how did the "war on poverty" end? Has there been a peace treaty or a ceasefire? Who is the occupying force and who are the insurgents? If the poor in America have things that people in other countries can only dream about, why is there a movement to make America more like those other countries? Why do the liberals want to "dumb down" and "reduce consumerism" to make us in the image of a third world nation?


Fossick 2 years, 3 months ago

Jafs: "That's sort of a funny question. If they weren't poor, then they wouldn't qualify for "anti-poverty" programs, etc."

But it's a necessary question. The problem with our current measurement of anti-poverty programs is that, no matter how good those programs are, they do nothing for our poverty numbers. For example, the report notes that poverty among the elderly is ~7%, and this is because of Social Security. Which is half true: poverty among the elderly is %7 because Social Security is counted as income for the purposes of poverty measurement. But we give many poor just as much in services as the elderly get in SocSec. Why is it not similarly counted?

Imagine a program for the poor whereby we give each poor person a home, medical care, food, entertainment - everything they could want. Would that person still be poor? Most people would say no. According to our stats, yes, because they don't have income. It's ludicrous. We spend trillions of dollars providing goods and services for the poor and yet by our measurements they are all still as "poor" as if we did nothing.


Timothy Eugene 2 years, 3 months ago

How much of this data includes the vast number of children of illegal immigrants that the liberal Democrats have wholeheartedly welcomed into the state?


Agnostick 2 years, 3 months ago

its_just_math (anonymous) replies…

I know the feeling pace......from 4/5/6/7 years ago.

Merry Christmas (and keep MSNBC tuned in on your TV).

Veiwer warning

December 22, 2011 at 8:19 p.m.



pace 2 years, 3 months ago

Reading the trashy comments on this discussion sickens me. I am ashamed that most of the trash teas are probably from Kansas. Shame, also stupid, given the information available in the article and to any person who isn't foxified.


its_just_math 2 years, 3 months ago

voevodo says:

its_just_math, "Please do not use the sacred title of Jesus Christ ("The Anointed One") as a term of political abuse. It is offensive to Christians, especially at this holy time of year. I will recommend that postings that contain this phrase be removed."

And to you, please refrain from calling anyone opposing The Anointed One "teabaggers" as it is a sexually vulgar reference and I will recommend that posting that contain this word be removed.


tange 2 years, 3 months ago

Gee, John, how 'bout a safety net, for starters.


jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

Dick Cheney and a bunch of oil executives got together and decided what our oil policy should be. Should I trust their conclusions or should I cynically conclude that they had a vested interest in a predetermined outcome?
The same is true here.


bunnyhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Hey folks! This is the mythical land of Kansas! Where the rich are rich because they deserve it and the poor are poor because they deserve it for being so darned poor. We're fast creating a state where Charles Dickens would feel right at home!!!! Keep voting for the GOP and your children and grandchildren can become deserving poor folks, too!!!!! God Help Us, Everyone!!!!!


voevoda 2 years, 3 months ago

More and more Kansas children are living in poverty, and the Brownback administration's primary goal is to cut tax rates for the very wealthy?


Fossick 2 years, 3 months ago

Wait a minute. An "association" of poverty advocates released a report saying that poverty is getting worse and that we have to spend a bunch more money* to fight it? I'm so surprised.

As soon as they start counting the value of current anti-poverty measures (food stamps, education, housing subsidies, school lunches, medicaid) as part of family income, then poverty measures based solely on income will be meaningful. Until then, it's simply lobbying.

  • Yes, I did read the report, thanks.

mloburgio 2 years, 3 months ago

Kansas ranks 50th in progress on insuring children A new report on availability of health insurance for children in Kansas could serve as inspiration for Gov. Sam Brownback. He very publicly expressed reluctance to assist uninsured Kansans by returning a $31 million federal grant rather than advance planning for a computer network intended to help families purchase or be provided coverage required by U.S. law.


Flap Doodle 2 years, 3 months ago

How's that hopenchange working out for you?


its_just_math 2 years, 3 months ago

I thought the other day JW reported that the state economy was improving?

Well, anyhoo, fact is, poverty is on the rise nationwide under our Wealth Redistributorerer in Chief. Pretty much all economic numbers suck now under The Anointed One (but shhhhh, don't say it out loud).


Mixolydian 2 years, 3 months ago

Say what you will about Brownback, but the data described mostly covers the Sibelius administration. All this article tells us is, wow, the economy really started to stink back in 07/08. Not exactly breaking news to anyone.

Kind of a pointless article in that regard, but at least it ended with a wierd quote, "“We woke, we drank our coffee, and now it’s time to go to work,”

Hey, children are suffering let's do something about it....hold on, hold on, let me have my coffee first.


ljreader 2 years, 3 months ago

We import poverty. This is to be expected.


Bob Forer 2 years, 3 months ago

Another feather in Brownback's cap.

He tell's us he is concerned about unborn children. That's a lie. In reality, he only cares about the issue because he believes its the fast track to both re-election and heaven. And when they are born? Well, be wary, little ones, as our governor couldn't care less about your welfare, as evidenced by thousands of additional children who slipped into poverty during Brownback's first year in office. The guy is a piggish charlatan.


JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 3 months ago

There is a cultural revolution underway in this state led by governor Brownback and the Koch brothers. Like Newt Gingrich, they blame the poor for their lot in life and praise the virtues of the wealthy. The reality is that The only difference between rich folk and poor folk is the amount of money they have. Poor people often work a lot harder for less pay under more dangerous conditions. Brownback and the Kochs are heartless sobs that need to be run out of Kansas. The sooner that happens, the better off we will all be.


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