View Full Version : Right-Wing Poverty Myths and Racial Stereotypes Debunked

04-22-2013, 07:40 AM
Right-Wing Poverty Myths and Racial Stereotypes Debunked



MYTH 1: Nearly all the primary recipients of assistance through federal benefit programs are African-Americans.
Reality: 35.7 percent (http://www.fns.usda.gov/ora/MENU/Published/SNAP/FILES/Participation/2010Characteristics.pdf) of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, recipients and 43 percent (http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparebar.jsp?ind=158&cat=3&sub=42) of those on Medicaid—two of the largest public benefit programs—are white.

MYTH 2: The main reason why people living in poverty is laziness.
Reality: Approximately 56 percent (http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/cpstables/032011/pov/new24_100_01.htm) of those who did not work in 2010 did not work due to illness, disability, retirement, or an inability to find work.

MYTH 3: Entitlements are handouts.
Reality: 39 percent (http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/12/public_benefits.html) of Americans receive benefits they paid for through payroll taxes taken out of their own paychecks.

MYTH 4: More minorities live in poverty than any other group.
Reality: In 2010 31.6 million white Americans (http://halfinten.org/indicators/publications/2010report) lived in poverty, more than any other racial or ethnic group.

MYTH 5: Minorities who receive Social Security benefits do so for survival because they are too lazy to work.
Reality: 45 percent (http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/10/deficit_reduction.html) of all black beneficiaries and 58 percent (http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/10/deficit_reduction.html) of “other” beneficiaries (those who are neither black nor white) use the program for its survivor and disability benefits, not for its retirement benefits.

MYTH 6: Most beneficiaries of low-income public benefit programs do so out of laziness.
Reality: Among American households receiving food assistance under SNAP, 75 percent (http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=2226) have an elderly or disabled person or a child.