Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies

Monday, March 30, 2009

1 In 50 Children Homeless in America Now!

Did I get your attention? Of course I did. That’s the point.

Here’s another example of why you just can’t be too skeptical. Do you remember this question from Kevin Chappell of Ebony at last week’s presidential press conference?

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. A recent report found that, as a result of the economic downturn, 1 in 50 children are now homeless in America. With shelters at full capacity, tent cities are sprouting up across the country.

In passing your stimulus package, you said that help was on the way. But what would you say to these families, especially children, who are sleeping under bridges and in tents across the country? [E.A.]

Mickey Kaus at Slate has provided an analysis of this "fact." The depth and breadth of the disinformation used in the report from the National Center on Family Homelessness rivals the agitprop of the former Soviet Union’s Politbureau. James Tarantino’s expose of this expose is required reading.

Advocacy groups that produce reports like this one from the National Center of Family Homelessness have extremely vested interests. Their funding grows geometrically with the number of “homeless” families. Why do we continue to perpetuate these agencies that have no incentive to solve the problem they’ve ostensibly been charged with addressing?