Samuelson: We`re Missing the Real Story on Poverty - Newsweek Robert Samuelson - MSNBC.com Importing Poverty We can`t ignore the facts. Only an act of willful denial can separate immigration and poverty Web exclusive By Robert J. Samuelson Newsweek Updated: 2 hours, 35 minutes agoSept. 5, 2007 - The government last week released its annual statistical report on poverty and household income. As usual, weâ€”meaning the public, the media and politiciansâ€”missed a big part of the story. It is this: The stubborn persistence of poverty, at least as measured by the government, is increasingly a problem associated with immigration. As more poor Hispanics enter the country, poverty goes up. This is not complicated, but it is widely ignoredIf you want to see who`s practicing "willful denial" you should read Ed Rubenstein`s column today, More Hispanic Happy Talk From The WSJ Edit Page.More from Samuelson:
By default, our present policy is to import poor people. This imposes strains on local schools, public services and health care. From 2000 to 2006, 41 percent of the increase in people without health insurance occurred among Hispanics. Paradoxically, many Hispanics are advancing quite rapidly. But assimilationâ€”which should be our goalâ€”will be frustrated if we keep adding to the pool of poor. Newcomers will compete with earlier arrivals. In my view, though some economists disagree, competition from low-skilled Hispanics also hurts low-skilled blacks.