The Impoverishing Effects of Anti-Poverty Measures

I grew up in a quaint little northern Virginia town. Not big, not small, not rich, not poor – just a regular town in a southern state. Prior to the anti-poverty measures, we had huge colonial homes lining the streets of the historic district. After the anti-poverty measures, we have a ghetto in the heart of town that’s quickly expanding out, threatening to drown us all.

So let me just come right out and say it: Blacks and Latinos who can’t—or won’t—work and take care of themselves like normal people are crippling my town, and many other towns just like it, all throughout America.

I know already what some are going to say: “This is an alt-right racist article!” “He just hates black people!” “Here’s another example of white privilege!” And on and on. Though whatever you may have to say at the end, all I ask is that you listen to this story, and maybe consider how commonplace this story is all throughout America. These anti-poverty measures are choking the life out of us. And I’m very concerned for our future.

My mother grew up here in this town on Blue Avenue, living with her mother and father, and about seven brothers and sisters, in a huge colonial house built right around the turn of the 20th century. Maybe before; I can’t guarantee the dates, only to say the houses are old-world colonial, with the big pillars and 10′ ceilings et al.

Blue Avenue runs from Main Street, all the way up to Route 55, so for about a mile, maybe a bit more. Both sides of the street are lined with huge colonial homes, which had really big and beautiful back yards.

Over the years, of course, these properties have changed hands many times. Though right around the 1990s, I distinctly remember my mother and father talking about how they—the proverbial, spooky “they,” maybe—were turning one of those gorgeous Blue Ave corner homes into two separate apartments.

This would be the first of a few. The largest of the old homes were turned into two and three-apartment complexes, though they still looked great and we had an excellent class of people living there, caring for the properties.

Fast forward a few years later, and here come those pesky anti-poverty measures!

I don’t know the exact date, but the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in accordance with Section 8 of the Housing Act of 1937 (commonly just known as “Section 8”), started a housing choice voucher program in the ’70s, which was really turned up to 11 when Obama took office in ’08. Basically, this voucher, one of many moronic government anti-poverty measures, allowed people who couldn’t afford housing to no longer be confined to housing projects and designated Section 8 zones. Now they could go out into the world, waving their vouchers in a landlord’s face like cookies in front of a hungry fat kid.

Be a landlord/homeowner in the economy in the past decade. You can agree with someone employed to sign a two-year lease, e.g., and charge $600/month, without any real security that this person has any sort of security, and therefore unsure of how well your property will meet a return on its value. Or: You can start accepting these Section 8 HUD housing vouchers, wherein government guarantees the money goes directly to you, and instead of charging $600, you can now charge $900 and make even more!

Best of all, this money’s guaranteed. And charging 50, 100, or even 200% more is not going to harm all of those black people applying for Section 8 housing. They’re still only going to be paying the minimum required to live, which in the area about which I’m speaking is literally only $50/month.

Now, I’m not trying to make this a race thing; I’m really not. But to be fair, you could colloquially match “Section 8 housing” with “black,” if only because a third of all black households in metro areas are Section 8. (Not including other rent-assist programs.) This rate is 2.2 times higher than whites. So for every white person getting housing assistance, there’s over two blacks getting it.

All races are equ–

Anyway…

What the greedy, grubby property owners on Blue Ave did was turn once-great colonial properties into a ghetto! Now where an apartment might be worth $500/month tops, they’re charging twice that for it. Anti-poverty measures have made it to where the regular working person cannot afford to live!

Say you have a regular job and make maybe $12/14 per hour. Factor that income in after taxes of course. And you get an apartment that costs you $900/month. That’s $10,800/year. Now factor in the insane cost of groceries, which is going to set you back $100/week at a minimum, and Internet, utilities, car payments and insurance, probably credit payments for your furniture and/or other items, phone plans, student loans, etc. Forget it if you have pets or kids!

You can’t afford to live!

America’s anti-poverty measures have basically killed the working class in favor of taking care of people who refuse to take care of themselves.

You’re actually a tax-paying, hard-working American. You’re contributing to a system. You’re doing everything you’re supposed to do. Still and all, you cannot afford to live, because these anti-poverty measures have f*cked you without lubrication.

Now, the liberals will screech out some shit about raising the minimum wage and giving people a “living wage,” but that doesn’t solve the issue. Property owners are going to jack up the rates even more, because Section 8 will require people to pay more for their own lives—imagine that—and you end up with artificial inflation.

We see the same thing with college loans. Once government guarantees a loan, colleges charge more.

Sure, there’s a lot to be said about the greedy bastards at the top, but this isn’t a case where feeling the Bern and wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt and instituting socialism is going to help. In fact, a more socialist government would just make it orders of magnitude worse, because what we’re dealing with here is basically an example of corporate welfare, and having more government giving more guarantees is going to make these places double in rent again!

I went and looked at an apartment earlier this week. I need a new place to live, and I can remember how beautiful these places were when I was a kid. Upon entering the apartment, I had to remove a sheriff’s eviction notice from the door. And what was once a gorgeous place was trash! The hardwood floors were in such bad shape that they painted them some maroon color. The doors were barely on the hinges and wouldn’t shut properly. The stove was trash. The exhaust vents didn’t work. The hot water in the bathroom didn’t turn on. The previous residents had left nasty beds and sofas and boxes all throughout the apartment.

Doors wouldn’t shut at all lol

These people were paying $50/month and couldn’t swing it! And they lived horribly.

I’m sorry, but there’s no excuse for that. You cannot cite racism! There were multiple people living here. You mean to tell me that at least two of them couldn’t work, pay that $50/month, and have ample money left over? They couldn’t treat the place better?

This is what anti-poverty measures give us: People who don’t give a shit about maintaining decent property. It’s why housing projects have to be blown up and rebuilt every two decades; the people living in them just don’t give a shit. These people don’t care about this sort of housing, because they don’t have to care. Government hands it to them, because it’d be “racist” not to do so, and they end up turning every area into which they move into a ghetto, riddled with ugly properties and more crime.

The entire south end of Blue Ave is now Section 8 housing. Every single family that lives there is black. Every single family that lives there pays a minuscule amount of rent. The properties are all horrible looking, stink, and shit barely works. Yet the average asking price for one of these places is $900/month.

That’s what you have to pay if you’re actually a self-reliant human being.

If you have bastard children and sit around all day playing lotto scratchers and avoiding anything that even remotely resembles personal responsibility, you literally only have to pony up 5% of the rent.

Like I said, some people are going to cry racism over this, but it is what it is. It isn’t the white working families doing this. It’s minorities using their HUD housing vouchers, along with greedy property owners who don’t care about historic homes, who are ruining these properties and making it impossible for a working person to afford to live.

All of these so-called anti-poverty measures have opposite effects.

I can afford to live there. I make close to $50k/year. I’d be okay paying $900/month plus other bills. So I’m not citing any sort of hardship. But that’s me. I was lucky enough to have a decent IQ genetically and to be intelligent enough to make my way in the world.

What about people working in fast food, as janitors, as drivers, etc, who are just bringing in about 20k/year? They can’t afford it. They’re also in limbo: Earning too much for welfare, yet not enough to live.

So we basically have two categories of people who do well with their own places:

  1. People who got lucky and earn a lot of money.
  2. People who don’t do jack shit, are negative value to society, yet get it all free via handouts.

This is why a lot of people in my town are living two or even three entire families per one property. It’s the only way they can afford to live.

The lack of personal responsibility among an entire community is killing America. We can talk about illegal immigration and schools and all of these things, but this is also one of our larger problems in the nation.

It’s choking the life out of my town, and maybe yours too.

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About the Author

Brian Hendrix
Brian is a regular contributor to Halsey News. He has more than 20 years experience in Media and Publishing. He can be reached at brian@halseynews.com or on Twitter @kekkitchen