Poverty Meltdown Crushing Families in Record Numbers

National Politics

New Orleans Childern of the Gulf American PovertyYou can’t put lipstick on this pig.  There is no way to spin the Census Bureau numbers as anything but tragic or keep the phrases “lost decade” or “lost generation” out of the story of the avalanche income slide that is burying families in poverty in this Great Recession.  The coming argument over support for jobs is now moving past ironic to simply cynical.

I’m betting many of you lack the courage to get through the whole depressing litany of statistics whole sharpness cuts like a knife.  Here are some of the bullet points:

  • Another 2.6 million people became poor in 2010 compared to the year before.
  • 46.2 million people are now “officially” living below the poverty line (the highest # in 52 years since the Bureau began counting)
  • Median family incomes felt backwards to the same levels as 15 years ago in 1996-97
  • The gap between the rich and poor continued to increase with the recession only trimming household income for the top 10th by 1.5% but hammering the bottom 10th by 12%.
  • 15.1% of Americans live below poverty, the highest total since 1993 at $22,314 for a family of four.
  • Minorities were crippled by the poverty rate with African-Americans up to 27%, Hispanics up to 26%.
  • 10 million people are estimated to have joined the ranks of the poor in the last 5 years
  • 48 million people did not get even one week of work in 2010.
  • Median income felt for young workers by 9%.
  • 25-34 year olds showed a 25% jump in living at their parents home
  • The poverty level for a single household was $11, 344
  • Uninsured Americans increased to almost 50 million people
  • States with the highest percentage of poor people were (1) Mississippi (2) Louisiana (3) Georgia (4) New Mexico and (5) Arizona.  All Republican led I believe.

Let me know when we are finally willing to acknowledge that poverty is now a huge crisis and central issue for Americans.  Then let’s see if we can get a message to Congress and the White House, ok?