Sunday, August 12, 2018

Why are America’s poor people so patriotic?

A researcher with evidently Leftist thinking was puzzled by the fact that poor Americans tend to be very patriotic.  He thought they should be rebellious. So he went out and did a bunch of interviews with poor people and asked them why they were patriotic.  Below is the gist of what he found.  Following his findings, I offer some comments:

Why are America’s poor so patriotic? Specifically, what attributes do they ascribe to the United States? How do they think those attributes shape their lives? What are the limitations that they see in other countries that make the United States superior to those countries? And, crucially, how do these Americans reconcile—if they in fact do—their own difficult situation with their positive view of the country? This is a book about what sociologists would call the “narratives” of patriotism among the poor: the conceptual threads, images, stories, and visions that the economically worst-off Americans articulate about their country. It is about their stories and perspectives. It is an effort to investigate, hear, and understand firsthand the logic and reasoning of this particular segment of the American population—a segment that our wealthy and extremely powerful society seems to have forgotten in many ways or to have left behind with little consideration.

Two questions: Why do America’s poor think so highly of their country? How do they reconcile their economic difficulties with their appreciation of their country?

Why are poor Americans so patriotic? The interviews yielded three overarching narratives. First, the people I met shared a firm belief in their country’s promise of hope for every one of its citizens and, indeed, every human being on earth. The American social contract offers to each person deliverance from the ills that have plagued humanity throughout history to this very day. There is something universal and even transcendental about the United States, even if its own history has had troubled moments, with race above all. America’s spirit thus brims with generosity and a readiness to do the right thing in the world. It is an optimistic place, always oriented toward a better future. It is, not coincidentally, also God’s country: from its inception, it has been thought to hold a special place in God’s plans. One need only look at other countries to appreciate the greatness of the United States: most of the interviewees felt that even in the most advanced countries on earth ruthless and arbitrary punishment reigns, and backwardness and poverty deprive their citizens of the essentials for life. America, then, offers incredible hope and, with that, a sense of dignity that no other country can offer. To someone who struggles to end the day fed, clothed, and sheltered, this sense of hope has extraordinary importance.

The second narrative depicted America as the land of milk and honey. The interviewees saw in the United States great wealth, much of it accessible in the form of public goods and services. There are parks, public libraries with free Internet access, electricity, and potable water everywhere. America’s roads, I was told, are paved in gold. The availability of government benefits and private charities helps a great deal. One does not starve in America unless one chooses to. Such abundance of riches makes suffering from very limited resources more bearable. Inequality is not a problem, for anyone can still make it in America: all one has to do is try. Someone is always ready to help, if one is determined to succeed. Indeed, everyone from all over the world wishes to come to this wealthy and beautiful country. With these beliefs in mind, many of the interviewees expressed a sense of contentment. Again, as they told me countless times, all one has to do is look at the deprivations afflicting the poor in other countries. Opportunities are much more limited, people are barely surviving, and economies are depressed. America, then, is the place to be, especially if one has no money.

The third narrative was about freedom. Only in the United States can one truly determine one’s physical and mental existence. This is the basis of the country—its origins and history. One may not have money, but in America one has freedom—and this is the most precious of things. The ability to own guns is central: Guns represent liberty, for the country began with a violent revolution against tyranny. Guns are needed for hunting, too, which is key for feeding oneself and one’s family—something again of great importance if one lacks other resources. We should always remember that such liberty has come at great cost. Generations have served in the military, and this must be honored. In Alabama, the civil rights struggle was especially present in the interviewees’ minds. No other country on earth, I was told, can boast such commitment to freedom. Deprived of much else, such freedom is of the utmost importance to America’s poor. I encountered a fierce and almost instinctive attachment to it. This narrative took on Confederate flavors in Alabama and libertarian tones in Montana.

These were three grand narratives. In many conversations, after discussing these ideas, I pressed the interviewees to reflect on their own situation and life trajectories and asked them directly if they saw no tension between their steadfast belief in America and their own personal situations. Surely, America may be a great, unique country, but did this not contradict their own life experiences? How did they reconcile their love of country with their poverty—their struggles and difficulties?

I discovered that, in a sense, there is no contradiction or puzzle. The interviewees listed four separate reasons. First, everyone deserves what he or she gets: failure is one’s fault, not society’s. Why blame America for one’s bad choices? Second, the future looks brighter already: better things are coming soon, and there is no reason to lose faith in the country. Third, America is founded on the principle that we are all worth the same. Money is only one, and not the most important, metric: in the most fundamental of ways, because of the American social contract, a homeless person is worth as much as the president. There is nothing, in fact, to reconcile. Finally, some of the interviewees recognized that they indeed lack accurate knowledge of other countries: America is all they know, and it is impossible to entertain alternative possibilities.

Upon reflection, after returning from my travels and spending time analyzing what I heard, it became clear to me that all these themes are tied together by one underlying idea: a belief that while one belongs to America, America also belongs to each American. The Americans I met saw themselves reflected in their country: their images, and those of their ancestors who built the country, are reflected in the Pledge of Allegiance, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the American flag. America is a country of, for, and by the people. Struggling and facing innumerable personal challenges do not diminish one’s faith in the United States; in fact, in the case of the interviewees, they provide grounds for further strength and commitment to the country.


Those findings are perfectly sound but they lack psychological sophistication. The process he overlooks is that identifying with your country makes your country's characteristics yours.  Your country's successes are your successes.  "We" have done great things.  And the more the individual is having an undistinguished life, the more it is a comfort for the individual to feel that he and his fellow citizens collectively have done great things.

Humans are group animals to a significant degree so identifying with your group and feeling part of a collective is an entirely normal and natural thing to do. And that is why most people worldwide are patriotic.  The American Left are not patriotic but that is because they have anger issues.  Just listen to them talk about President Trump.  They are boiling over with anger and Trump causes it all to spill out, often in highly irrational ways. -- JR


Trump’s Latest Immigration Proposal Is Going To Save Taxpayers $57.4 BILLION

There is much weeping and gnashing of teeth from the political left over an upcoming proposal what will save American taxpayers billions of dollars as well a serve as a deterrent to illegal immigration.

The Trump administration is working on a proposal that would make it harder for legal immigrants to obtain citizenship or acquire green cards if they’ve used public welfare programs, including Obamacare, according to a new report.

A draft of the plan described to NBC News shows the administration could prevent immigrants living legally in the U.S. who have used Obamacare, children’s health insurance and food stamps, among other benefits, from obtaining citizenship.

Using Social Security Insurance already made it harder for immigrants to get legal status.

White House senior adviser Stephen Miller is spearheading the proposal, which NBC said would not need approval from Congress.

NBC News published a “leaked” draft of the proposal and liberals are already yowling like scalded cats with piercing shrieks of “racism” filling the air.

According to NBC:

Details of the rulemaking proposal are still being finalized, but based on a recent draft seen last week and described to NBC News, immigrants living legally in the U.S. who have ever used or whose household members have ever used Obamacare, children’s health insurance, food stamps and other benefits could be hindered from obtaining legal status in the U.S.

Immigration lawyers and advocates and public health researchers say it would be the biggest change to the legal immigration system in decades and estimate that more than 20 million immigrants could be affected. They say it would fall particularly hard on immigrants working jobs that don’t pay enough to support their families.

Or to put it in layman’s terms: those affected will primarily be low or unskilled workers.

The establishment media stories that are already decrying the changes even before they have even been announced conveniently omit the benefits in terms of savings to productive citizens.

Breitbart cuts through the BS by trumpeting the savings, “Trump’s Welfare Ban for Immigrants Would Be $57.4B Tax Cut for Americans”:

Such a plan would be a boon for American taxpayers, who currently spend about $57.4 billion a year on paying for the welfare, crime, and schooling costs of the country’s mass importation of 1.5 million new, mostly low skilled legal immigrants every year. In the last decade, the U.S. has imported more than 10 million foreign nationals and is on track to import the same amount in the coming decade if legal immigration controls are not implemented.

The National Academies of Science released a report two years ago, noting that state and local American taxpayers are billed about $1,600 each year per immigrant to pay for their welfare, where immigrant households consume 33 percent more cash welfare than American citizen households.

Trump’s seeking to end the “public charge” that mass legal immigration from mostly the poor and developing world would translate to an annual tax cut for American taxpayers.

Illegal and legal immigrant-headed households use nearly 60 percent more taxpayer-funded food stamps than households headed by native born Americans, a study conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) revealed in 2016.



EU caves on demands to buy more US natural gas in bid to stave off trade war

The EU has caved in to demands to buy more US gas in a bid to cool trade tensions with the world’s largest economy.

Gas and soybeans topped President Donald Trump’s list of goods he wanted the EU to buy more of during discussions in July with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The shopping list formed part of Mr Trump’s strategy of using tariffs to lever concessions from trading partners.

The plans to purchase more US gas were unveiled ahead of crunch trade talks set to take place on August 20. The summit is aimed at halting the escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of imports imposed by the US and EU in recent months.



MSNBC Gets LAMBASTED By Candace Owens When They Begin Attacking Trump

It's a marvellously eloquent performance by Candace Owens.  Log on the the original of this article and enjoy listening to her on video

Conservative commentator Candace Owens made mincemeat out of an MSNBC host and guest on Tuesday during an epic debate on race in America.

During a segment on MSNBC’s “The Beat,” Owens not only clashed with Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson, she was also forced to defend herself against anchor Ari Melber, who repeatedly cut her off and acted as if she was limited in what she could speak about.

Melber kicked off the segment with a video of Pat Buchanan from 18 years ago, and claimed that Trump also wants to “take back the culture” from minority communities. Owens unleashed on the MSNBC talking heads for making such a baseless claim.

She also argued that she didn’t appreciate only being brought on the network to fight back against another black person.

“I think the fact that every time I’m brought here, I’m being asked to dispute another black person. The black community is broken up in general. I don’t want to partake in that.  This weekend where 71 black people were shot in Chicago, 13 of them killed, and we’re not talking about that.”

Melber cut her off, asking if she had a “problem” with appearing on the show with Dyson.

Owens responded by saying she was going to “respectfully decline tearing apart the black community for the sake of television,” adding that she wants to discuss real issues and ideas to help the black community and reduce crime in Chicago.

Dyson jumped in and peddled usual liberal talking points, saying that President Donald Trump is racist and has only further exacerbated bigotry in America.

Owens attempted to respond to Dyson’s long-winded, self-serving response, but Melber cut her off again and let the professor continue his tirade.

When she was finally able to speak without Melber and Dyson talking over her, Owens noted how a mob of intolerant liberals “attacked” her and conservative speaker Charlie Kirk in Portland on Sunday when they were trying to get breakfast. The left-wing group poured water on Kirk, hurled obscenities, and used whistles and megaphones to shout in their faces after they had been forced out of the restaurant.

Melber said the “incident” she was referring to “is not necessarily this topic.”

Owens was done playing games at that point, charging that the “topic” has become the policy of many Democrats. She noted how Rep. Maxine Waters urged people to confront and harass Trump officials in supporters, and said is exactly what the left-wing mob did to her and Kirk when they were trying to eat breakfast at a public place in broad daylight.

Candace Owens: "I normally stay calm but yesterday I was fed up. Fed up with the violent Democrats using black people to push lies. Fed up with them refusing to acknowledge that we are finally winning. I will continue to defend @realDonaldTrump & the black community until we are ALL awakened.

Melber strongly implied numerous times during the heated debate that Owens — an African-American woman — was in the wrong for criticizing Democrats for failing to take any action to help black communities across America.

When she spoke about liberals mistreating her and literally forcing her out of a restaurant, the panel didn’t even bat an eye.

Despite repeated attempts from Melber to give Dyson cover and more air time, Owens took advantage of her time and made mincemeat out MSNBC for implying that she didn’t have to right to speak about race in America.

She ripped them to pieces, and Melber did his best to stop the verbal beat down she gave them.



The most common ancestries in every US state

I like this map because it shows something that a lot of people are unaware of:  That there is more German ancestry among Americans than English.  For most of the 19th century Germans were migrating to the New World for its better opportunities.  And during the war of independence, many of the "British" troops were in fact Hessians and other Germans who simply stayed on when the war was over.  The troops were German because George III was also Elector of Hanover and later King of Hanover.  The English themselves were originally Germans, however, so there was little cultural clash.  To this day, Germans in English-speaking lands tend to blend in seamlessly

Americans come from all over the world, and have countless stories about where they and their families come from.

The US Census Bureau's American Community Survey asks millions of Americans every year several questions about their economic, social, and demographic situations. One of those questions asks respondents to report their families' ancestries, from Italian to German to Mexican.

Using that self-reported ancestry data from the Minnesota Population Center's 2016 American Community Survey Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, we were able to find the most commonly self-reported ancestries in each state.

Here's the most common self-reported ancestry in each state and DC:



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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