Tuesday, August 30, 2005

We Are Poorer

As if the news coming out of Iraq and the Gulf Coast isn't bad enough, we have just been served another helping from the karmic can of whoop-ass with the latest report on poverty in America from the Census Bureau.

WASHINGTON — Even with a robust economy that was adding jobs last year, the number of Americans who fell into poverty rose to 37 million — up 1.1 million from 2003 — according to Census Bureau figures released Tuesday.

It marks the fourth straight increase in the government's annual poverty measure.

The Census Bureau also said household income remained flat, and that the number of people without health insurance edged up by about 800,000 to 45.8 million people.

Overall, the nation's poverty rate rose to 12.7 percent of the population last year. Of the 37 million living below the poverty level, close to a third were children.

The last decline in overall poverty was in 2000, during the Clinton administration
, when 31.1 million people lived under the threshold.

Since then, the number of people in poverty has increased steadily from 32.9 million in 2001, when the economy slipped into recession, to 35.8 million in 2003.
[Emphasis added]

Although I'm not an economist (nor do I play one on tv; I haven't even stayed recently in a Holiday Inn), I suspect that even with the increase in jobs, the fact that wages haven't increased is a key factor, as is the fact that there has been a rise in the number of people without health insurance.

What haunts me is that figure indicating nearly 12 million children are considered to among the officially-defined poor category. Here. In America, the land of opportunity and dreams.

And these figures are reflective of a four year trend, with the last evidence of the decline in poverty coming in 2000, the last year of Clinton's presidency.

Odd that.

This maladministration has provided us with yet another bit of proof that it cannot, and willfully so, do anything right.


Blogger dave said...

More good news!

Consumers can expect retail gas prices to rise to $4 a gallon in the near future, Ben Brockwell, director of pricing at the Oil Price Information Service, said Wednesday. "There's no question gas will hit $4 a gallon," he said. "The question is how high will it go and how long will it last?"

That'll help!

8:51 AM  

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