Wednesday, August 30, 2006
1 in 8 Americans live in Poverty
If you believe that "the BushCo economy is great for the Middle class & the working poor" then by all means, feel free to shove these harsh facts up your delusional ass (via CNN): "The nation's poverty rate last yr remained unchanged, but that's little comfort because the level is still very high. According to the US Census Bureau, 37 million Americans are now living below the poverty line, defined as having an annual income below/ around $10,000 for an individual or $20,000 for a family of 4. That's more than the entire population of Calif. That translates to this: In the world's biggest economy 1 in 8 Americans and almost 1 in 4 blacks lived in poverty last yr. 2005 was the first yr since Bush took office in 2001 that the poverty rate did not radically increase from the previous yr, yet the story is remarkably consistent: stubborn poverty levels, rising number of uninsured, and income growth that is stagnant at best. Median household income in '05 rose by 1.1%, its first increase since 1999 YET real median earnings of men and women working full time all yr declined. That's right. For men and women, earnings after inflation fell. More women are working full time. More evidence it takes 2 workers to support a single household. Census data also show the number of people w/o health insurance grew to 46.6 million in this country. That translates to this: 15.9% of the population had no health insurance, up from 15.6% in 2004 and the 5th increase in a row. And the number of uninsured children rose. People are not getting the kind of health insurance thru the workplace that they previously did. So most of the increase in our uninsured population is coming from people w/o job-based coverage and from children and families losing coverage from the family worker. That translates to this: Some 17.6% of children under 18 and one in 5 of those under 6 were in poverty, higher than for any other age group. And before anyone wants to attribute these crappy numbers to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Census Bureau says all evidence indicates no-- since both happened so late in '05. And the last time the US saw a decline in poverty was in 2000, the final yr of Bill Clinton's presidency, when it fell to 11.3%.