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Study Shows 3 Pivotal Life Choices, Not Racism, Keep People In Poverty

Study Shows 3 Pivotal Life Choices, Not Racism, Keep People In Poverty

A recent study shows that racism is not what is keeping people, specifically non-white Americans, in poverty — it’s personal decisions. Specifically, it’s dropping out of high school, not working full-time, and having kids before marriage. With these three factors present, the non-white poverty rate skyrockets to over 50 percent.

However, graduating high school, getting a full-time job, and having kids after marriage — a formula called the success sequence — drops the poverty rate down to 4 percent for blacks and 3 percent for Hispanics and whites, according to a 2022 study by the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for Family Studies.

The study shows that 95 percent of black and Hispanic adults aged 32-38 who followed the success sequence are not in poverty. Contrast those numbers to those who had kids before they married and had no diploma or full-time job: 73 percent of those black people and 54 percent of those Hispanics ended up in poverty.

The stats fly in the face of the argument that non-white people are irreparably limited by their sociological pressures and the color of their skin. Determining to graduate high school, get a full-time job, and not have kids before marriage has led to 80 percent of blacks and 86 percent of Hispanics, even those in adverse circumstances, to move into the middle- or higher-income bracket by their 30s.

Ninety-four percent of young adults from lower-income families who followed the sequence are not poor by their 30s, and 95 percent of young adults who followed the three steps, but were from non-intact families, are not poor by their 30s. The study concludes that a whopping 97 percent of Millennials who follow the success sequence are not in poverty by the time they reach their prime adult years.

Democrats and the corporate press would have people believe that financial disparities are a product of racism, but the study shows that when people finish high school, get a job, and marry before having children, those disparities essentially disappear.

As Bryan Caplan, a professor of economics at George Mason University, said, “[C]ausation is obvious. ‘Dropping out, idleness, and single parenthood make you poor’ is on par with ‘burning money makes you poor.’ The demand for further proof of the obvious is a thinly-veiled veto of unpalatable truths.”

Beth Whitehead is an intern at The Federalist and a journalism major at Patrick Henry College where she fondly excuses the excess amount of coffee she drinks as an occupational hazard.

Author Beth Whitehead profile


Study Shows 3 Pivotal Life Choices, Not Racism, Keep People In Poverty

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