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Communications Bureau, City of Rochester

Communications Bureau, City of Rochester

If you’re a poor kid in Monroe County, you’re kind of screwed.

That’s according to a study from two Harvard researchers that shows where you grow up matters enormously when it comes to your income later in life.

The New York Times puts it this way:

Consider Monroe County, N.Y….

It’s among the worst counties in the U.S. in helping poor children up the income ladder. It ranks 241st out of 2,478 counties, better than only about 10 percent of counties. It is relatively worse for poor boys than it is for poor girls.

So, what can we do about this?

Across the country, the researchers found five factors associated with strong upward mobility: less segregation by income and race, lower levels of income inequality, better schools, lower rates of violent crime, and a larger share of two-parent households.

“The broader lesson of our analysis,” Mr. Chetty and Mr. Hendren write, “is that social mobility should be tackled at a local level.”

The governor created an anti-poverty panel made up of the usual suspects, a roster of who’s who in Rochester. This panel should take a good, hard look at this research. Not only will be it be tough to come up with actionable solutions, it will be tough to get community buy-in, particularly if it calls for more integrated housing and schools.



New York Times

New York Times


Links of the Day:


– Some law enforcement experts are rethinking the use of force. This comes after fatal shootings of both police officers and suspects, and a call to reexamine zero-tolerance policies. Is there another way these incidents could have been handled?

– There are so many New York lawmakers in trouble, there’s now a searchable database.

– Some state lawmakers, including Assemblyman Joe Morelle, have taxpayer-funded vehicles.

12 Responses to Don’t Be Poor in Rochester

  1. May 5, 2015 at 6:19 pm Tom Belknap responds:

    IOW, schools, schools, schools.

  2. May 5, 2015 at 8:27 pm cris zaffuto responds:

    If we continue to tell people they will grow up and stay poor the rest of their lives thats just what’s going to happen. Lets encourage our children to be resilient no matter what their parents do. I’m so tired off hearing people who don’t live in the city assume that every young person is a criminal and a poor. As well that their parents don’t care about anything. That maybe some cases but I believe it is not the majority. We adults need to advocate for children who don’t have anyone to do it for them

  3. May 5, 2015 at 9:44 pm rochester_veteran responds:

    Rachel, what’s the agenda of the “study” you’re promoting? Since LBJ launched his War on Poverty, more people have become dependent on tax payer paid benefits and more African-American kids are being born to single mother families, than ever before, at a rate of 72%, condemned to poverty via soft bigotry of the left.


  4. May 5, 2015 at 10:44 pm Animule responds:

    Study is complete garbage. Out of wedlock birth rate within the city of Rochester is something like 73% which is about triple what it is outside of the city. Combine that with the ridiculously high absenteeism rate for students (note to Rachel – here’s a story idea, take the absenteeism rate for the RCSD and compare it to a school district like Pittsford and Fairport and you would find maybe a ten fold difference or more) and you explain the majority of poverty. You would think the left’s constant search for new victims would get old, but it’s an all encompassing obsession with the left. You can get out of poverty or avoid it by taking responsibility for your own actions. The land of personal responsibility doesn’t exist for the left, or for left leaning journalists like Rachel Barnhart.

  5. Enought already!!! The “poor” are living the life they know. They are provided housing ( section 8 ), they are provided food ( food stamps and pantries ) and they are prided entertainment ( EBT cards ). I am sure there are some who were born into this life that will choose to go to school and better themselves. I am sure there are those who are satisfied with their situation. I am sure there are those that are unhappy with their situation and turn to drugs, crime and violence. Welcome to the reality of life. You CANT continue to provide everything everyone needs and expect the situation to change. The solution is simple….take away the incentive to irresponsible behavior. Obviously, this will never happen. The welfare state is here forever. OK, what can be done? The first step would be to acknowledge the REAL issue….the breakdown of the family structure. These “leaders” need to call out and recognize that a civilized structure and behaviors are not dependent on income. You can be poor and go to school. You can be poor and have a mommy and a daddy. You can be poor and clean your house. You can be poor and clean your yard. You can be poor and have your children in the house when the streetlights come on. You can be poor and go to your parent teachers conference with your child. What we get are “leaders” preaching that all these poor are a result of racism. Guess what……this becomes the theme for why they are poor. It is all the fault of whites.

  6. May 6, 2015 at 7:54 am rochester_veteran responds:

    On my drive into work this morning, I got stuck behind and then across the street from two First Student school buses, waiting for students (and tying up traffic) that never came out. I drive though that neighborhood (19th Ward) everyday and this happens frequently and says it all about the situation. How are those kids going to have any chance of making a go of it in life if their parent(s) don’t give a damn enough to get up and get their kids out the front door to a waiting bus?

  7. May 6, 2015 at 11:35 am Monkeytoe responds:

    First, isn’t ranking 241st out of 2,478 in the top 10%?

    the study lists 5 things that they say “help” the poor – better schools, less income inequality, less segregation based on income, less violence, and more 2 parent households.

    Unfortunately, those things don’t have to do so much with poverty (except income inequality and segregation based on income), but more to do with a community’s values.

    For instance, better schools would result from a) discipline of children at home, b) parent’s/community valuing education, and c) community/parent’s backing the school administration/teachers instead of always fighting same for their kid. Pouring more money into schools will not result in better outcomes for these kids. And, even if we started sending all of these kids to the suburban schools, they would still do poorly. There would be a small increase in good outcomes, but not enough to justify it.

    Less violence is a community issue. there are plenty of poor cities/areas in the world (that are much, much, much poorer in real terms) without as much violence as inner city Rochester. does “poverty” play a role? Of course. but a bigger role is played by the community that a) hates the police, b) won’t cooperate with the police, c) has a “value” of “no snitching”, d) idolizes gangsters.

    the 2-parent thing also goes to community values and not poverty. Again, being poor does not make you more fertile. there are plenty of poorer cities/areas in the world with less instances of women having multiple children by multiple different fathers or single-mothers. Again, this goes to the community value system. When something is seen as “good” and accepted by society, you will get more of it. So, valuing “parenthood” and believing being a single mother is “good” and acceptable means you get more of it.

    the issues in inner-city Rochester cannot be solved by the gov’t. Only the community itself can solve the problems by changing its warped value system.

    • May 7, 2015 at 12:53 pm Orielly responds:

      I have yet to hear anyone propose the get tough approach to these “problems”. No politician has the guts I guess. They will be called a racist I assume.

      I just find it impossible to rationalize that a child who does not attend school or even get to school on time, on a daily basis in the BURBS is reason enough to take that child away from the custodial parent and give them to the parent seeking custody. Thats called abuse by the court and you can and people do lose custody of the child when they can’t get the kid to school regularly, every day. .

      BUT in the city if a child doesn’t attend school regularly, (and there are 1000s of them) no one, no government leader ever talks or threatens to take the child away from the abusing Parent?
      Really, you want to solve the child school attendance problem in the city? Have the guts to take the children away .. and do it. Until that happens, nothing will change. All the SUPER’s visits to the homes with TV news cameras in tow, and all the advertising campaigns haven’t solved this thing yet.. but hey lets keep doing that.

      The Poor in the city are the result of no personal initiative which itself is the result the government give away plans. The more we give the less things change. Actual poverty is way overstated. When all the give away plans, (special housing, food stamps, food link, Free winter coats, free bike, free breakfast lunch and dinner at school, free meals at the Holidays, free Christmas gifts etc) when its all added up its hard for the poor to not make the equivalent of 40K a year.

      This ‘Love” and understanding thing… ain’t working. ITs time for a little tough love across the entire spectrum as it relates to government and charitable giving etc to ‘”help” the poor.

  8. May 6, 2015 at 5:45 pm Some Guy responds:

    The very first thing I question when I see a headline like that is whether or not the same issues poor people see in such counties are also seen by non-poor people. Take the mouse, move the default 25% income percentile to 50%, and (or even 75%, which, in Monroe County is a household income of ~$85K, and the NYT, laughably, calls “rich”), and this is what the NYT comment is for the [i][b]50%ile[/b][/i]:

    “Monroe County is very bad for children in rich families. It is better than only about 5 percent of counties.”

    The region’s economy does not “punish” poor people, it is so imbalanced that it punishes people at ALL income levels who do anything mildly productive for their fellow man without resorting to theft (aka, most government and non-profits). This entire race and class obsession that the region’s media has been on as of late, whose fingerprints trace directly back to the extremely high-paid executives of those non-profits and their near singular political profile.

    The likes of Jennifer Leonhard, John Urban, Norm Silverstein, and Fran Weisberg have been using the tax code and government to extort the people of this region of the legitimate fruits of their labor for most of their ‘professional’ lives, if only there was some Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with access to a NYT byline who could write about “non-profit” corporations abusing the tax code the way Jennifer Leonhard’s husband writes about for-profit corporations abusing the tax code.

    This region is so larded up with extremely high-paid government and government-funded non-profit and nebulous quasi-public executives who have zero interest in doing anything by exacerbating this region’s absolutely atrocious excuse for an economy. 92% of millenials in this region would move out of the region for a job in a heartbeat, per a recent study. The true level of taxation is government spending, and what governments spend in this region is criminal theft, they are stealing from the productive by ensuring the non-productive have a lesser standard of living than is commensurate, and because of that, they create enormous disincentives for a whole lot of people to do anything productive. Everyone’s standard of living goes up when anyone who wants to work has a job. The minimum wage and the massive subsidies offered to keep people out of the workforce, keeps poor people from ever gaining the skills to get a better job, and deprives employers of a labor pool of people who would do work that improves their own, and everyone else’s standard of living.

    America is going to collapse economically from these sorts of anti-free enterprise policies imposed by government force, and all of the financial Ponzi schemes created by Washington, Albany, right down to the Brooks’ administration, to enrich their friends and enslave the working taxpayer, will collapse with them. The rule of law has ceased to be respected by the 1% [b]of the 1%[/b] (and the scores of millions who comprise their “Free $%& Army”), and if it fails to protect us from them, they should be concerned that they are creating the circumstances where one day nor will it protect them from us.

    ZeroHedge has some superb commentary on this story:


    • May 6, 2015 at 10:20 pm rochester_veteran responds:

      This entire race and class obsession that the region’s media has been on as of late, whose fingerprints trace directly back to the extremely high-paid executives of those non-profits and their near singular political profile.

      The likes of Jennifer Leonhard, John Urban, Norm Silverstein, and Fran Weisberg have been using the tax code and government to extort the people of this region of the legitimate fruits of their labor for most of their ‘professional’ lives, if only there was some Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with access to a NYT byline who could write about “non-profit” corporations abusing the tax code the way Jennifer Leonhard’s husband writes about for-profit corporations abusing the tax code.

      Some Guy, good points here on the “poverty pimps”! For sure, Jennifer Leonard has her husband, David Cay Johnston, covering for Rochester non-profit malfeasance and claiming his academic position at Syracuse as cover. Jennifer Leonard scratches David Cay Johnston’s back while he scratches hers!

      • May 6, 2015 at 10:30 pm rochester_veteran responds:

        Ironic point here. When has Jennifer Leonard and David Cay Johnston ever lived in poverty in the “hood”? You ever lived off of North Street, Jennifer Leonard? How about you, David Cay Johnston, ever live off of Chili Ave and a block off of Thurston Rd? I did! You have no idea of the problems your ideology is reaping upon people!

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