Friday, February 23, 2007

What Do You Want From Life?

Well, you can't have that, but if you're an American citizen you can ...expect to live in some type of poverty at some point in your life. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Or get worse. This report on poverty from McClatchy Newspapers lays it out in gory detail.

From about 1998 to 2001, I saw a decrease in the amount of homeless people pushing carts. The freeway exits were clear of people holding signs and begging for money. Nobody asked me for change. Now, it's almost an everyday occurrence and the stats themselves are disturbing. Severe poverty is on the rise.

One of the most disturbing points was the extreme poverty in our nation's capital. How our representatives can drive around, oblivious to te devastation around them, and then go vote on legislation that increases the chances of poverty and decreases the chances to escape, I will never understand. I guess by staying in their social enclave, hobnobbing with the political elite, the poor of the world don't exist. They also avoid the evidence of increasing poor within their own districts.
The McClatchy analysis found that the number of severely poor Americans grew by 26 percent from 2000 to 2005. That's 56 percent faster than the overall poverty population grew in the same period. McClatchy's review also found statistically significant increases in the percentage of the population in severe poverty in 65 of 215 large U.S. counties, and similar increases in 28 states. The review also suggested that the rise in severely poor residents isn't confined to large urban counties but extends to suburban and rural areas.

The plight of the severely poor is a distressing sidebar to an unusual economic expansion. Worker productivity has increased dramatically since the brief recession of 2001, but wages and job growth have lagged behind. At the same time, the share of national income going to corporate profits has dwarfed the amount going to wages and salaries. That helps explain why the median household income of working-age families, adjusted for inflation, has fallen for five straight years.

These and other factors have helped push 43 percent of the nation's 37 million poor people into deep poverty - the highest rate since at least 1975.
Keep on outsourcing those jobs so the corporations can save money for their shareholders, who won't be able to afford the stock in a few years. They will have had to sell it in order to pay for their health care, their variable rate mortgage or to send one of their children to college. The shortsightedness of those who have, is staggering.

It's interesting to note that when the politicians talk about poverty, how "those people" just need to work more and that their new requirements will improve the abuse, the news always runs to the ghetto. They find the most obese black woman, with either missing or gold capped teeth, fake fingernails and five kids hanging off of her, very little command of the English language, and ask her what she thinks. The public goes along with this farce and screams to have their taxes cut because they don't want to support "those people". Meanwhile, back in the real world.
Nearly two out of three people (10.3 million) in severe poverty are white, but blacks (4.3 million) and Hispanics of any race (3.7 million) make up disproportionate shares. Blacks are nearly three times as likely as non-Hispanic whites to be in deep poverty, while Hispanics are roughly twice as likely.
Keep slicing those "benefits" in an effort to make "those people" go away. The poor of the Appalachians and those down on the farm, really appreciate it.

No comments:

Post a Comment