In Onondaga County, according to statistics provided by Dept. of Social Services Commissioner David Sutkowy, the following are racial statistics for people receiving services.
Racial Statistics White Black Hispanic
Medicaid 37,663 18,374 4,773
Food Stamps 30,062 19,728 4,740
Temporary Assistance 4,171 6,348 1,461
White, black and Hispanic are the three largest groups; smaller groups are Asian, Native American, Pacific Islanders, “unspecified,” “other” or “unknown.” And, yes, the distinction between those last three categories puzzles me, too, particularly because there are more “unspecified” people receiving Medicaid than Hispanics, that is, 5001 to 4773.
Please keep in mind that the discussion in this section is not about the dollar value of services; it is about the number of people approved to receive services, e.g., what is being reported is how many people get Food Stamps, not how much they get in Food Stamps.
The biggest group is white people getting medical insurance. Only half as many black people are getting medical insurance. More black people are getting Food Stamps than Medicaid. About fifty percent more white people than black people are getting help with the groceries. About twenty-five percent more black people than white people are getting Welfare.
The overall figures show that for every fourteen people receiving Temporary Assistance there are sixty people getting Food Stamps and seventy getting Medicaid. However, among white people, there are about forty thousand getting Medicaid, thirty thousand getting Food Stamps, but only four thousand getting Welfare. Among black people, about twenty thousand are getting Medicaid and Food Stamps, but six thousand are getting Welfare.
According to the Census Bureau, in Onondaga County 84% of the residents are white, 10% are black, and 3% are Hispanic. The racial ratio, therefore, is 27-3-1.
The ratio of human beings receiving assistance via Medicaid, Food Stamps, and Welfare is 5:4:1. Overall, for every person who is getting Welfare, four people are getting Food Stamps and five people are getting Medicaid. However, this ratio does not hold true when broken down by race. Among whites, the ratio is 10:8:1; among blacks 3:3:1, and among Hispanics 5:5:2.
Proportional to the overall ratio of people receiving services, twice as many whites have Medicaid and Food Stamps; blacks have proportionally less Medicaid and Food Stamps, and Hispanics have average Medicaid, slightly more Food Stamps, and twice as many people on Welfare. Of course, that “twice as many” is 1,461 people out of a county with 454,753 people. It’s an itsy bitsy figure; let’s focus on the big stuff.
Why are whites getting double their share of Medicaid and blacks only getting 3/5’s their share? Here are a few possibilities that occur to me:
- Whites are more unhealthy than blacks;
- Whites run to the doctor at the drop of a hat whereas blacks are more self-reliant and better at self-care;
- Whites seek salvation in medical care; blacks find salvation in church;
- When whites apply for Medicaid they are approved at a higher rate than when blacks apply.
Maybe we should go ask poor black people why they don’t have Medicaid, then go teach it to poor white people.
Proportionally, almost three times as many whites are getting Food Stamps as blacks. How is that possible? The only answer that comes to my mind is that the Dept. of Social Services is discriminating against blacks. I hope to God I’m wrong. The other possibility is that I’ve totally screwed up the interpretations of the figures. I would not mind being wrong.
You gotta see this one to believe it, direct from the DSS spread sheet:
Sex Food Stamps Temp Assist Medicaid
F 32,898 7,627 39,960
M 25,210 6,093 28,849
U 182 708
Honest to God, 708 U’s are getting Medicaid. Boy, I’d watch out for them, whether they’re unspecified or unknown. Even transgender people declare a sex, even if it’s not one they want, so I don’t know who these U’s are.
In every category there are more poor women receiving services than poor men. Throughout the world and the history of the human race, men have been the providers for women. In America in 1965 the birth control pill came on the market. This was followed more-or-less immediately by women becoming liberated and, now, poor. The last time I checked, the average woman’s income was only three-quarters the average man’s income—he gets a dollar, she gets 75 cents.
And, of course, it has become legally and socially acceptable not to get married anymore. Men and women have kids together then the man walks away and the women and children are left in poverty.
For every 40 women who receive Medicaid, only 29 men do. For every 33 women who receive Food Stamps, only 25 men do. For every 8 women who are on Welfare, only 6 men are.
So today’s lesson is that poor people are white and female. Next we’ll try to sort out the ages and locations of poor people.