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« Social Security Reform Thursday: Week Thirty-Three -- African-Americans Need A Better Deal. | WILLisms.com | Quotational Therapy: Part 45 --Bush On Katrina. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 171 -- An Ownership Society Beckons.

A Profile Of Gulf Coast Evacuees-

The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health conducted interviews of 680 randomly selected evacuees, overwhelmingly from New Orleans, living temporarily in the Astrodome, Reliant Center, George R. Brown Convention Center, and five other Red Cross shelters in the greater Houston area.

Some interesting tidbits:

Forty-three percent of these evacuees plan to return to New Orleans, the survey found. But just as many -- 44 percent -- say they will settle somewhere else, while the remainder are unsure. Many of those who are planning to return say they will be looking to buy or rent somewhere other than where they lived. Overall, only one in four say they plan to move back into their old homes, the poll found.

....most of those who do not plan to go back to New Orleans are already living in their new hometown. Fully two in three of the 44 percent who won't return say they plan to permanently relocate in the Houston area, the city that now is home to about 125,000 New Orleans evacuees.

Even more interesting tidbits:

Seven in 10 currently do not have a savings or checking account. Just as many have no usable credit cards.

Seven in ten have no checking or savings account. Seven in ten.


...six in 10 evacuees had family incomes of less than $20,000 last year. Half have children under age 18. One in eight were unemployed when the storm hit.

None of this is especially shocking or surprising. It sort of reinforces what we already knew, that New Orleans was a decaying city prior to Katrina's fury.

But let's try to think straight about all of this for a minute. The big picture.


There's something called the "ownership society." And it's not a catch phrase. It's not an abstraction. It doesn't mean that the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. It means that every American owns something. Every American has assets.

Let's go back to that 7-in-10 factoid. If you are reading this blog, there is a very good chance that you have a checking and/or savings account. It is difficult to fathom that 7-in-10 members of a community could have no bank account.

But this fits right into yesterday's Social Security Reform Thursday. While African-Americans have made profound strides over the past century, far too many were left behind by the New Deal and Great Society spending sprees.

Social Security reform would promote the personal ownership of savings, of assets, and of wealth, not just for the "fatcats" or "Wall Street" but for everyone.


The cure for the diseased that ravaged pre-Katrina New Orleans, and currently ravages several communities in every region of the country, is a healthy dose of the Ownership Society agenda. Thank goodness we have a President who understands this.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: The U.S. Poverty Rate.

Posted by Will Franklin · 16 September 2005 09:55 AM