Wednesday, August 30, 2006

US Census : 1 in 8 Americans Living in Poverty

The GOP is actually playing this as a "good news" story. This is the first year since George W. Bush took office that the poverty rate did not increase, according to the US Census Bureau. Did you hear what I just said? Every year since this administration took office, the poverty rate in the United States of America has risen.

If you happen to be black, the poverty rate is nearly 25%. Good Lord, help us all.

It is important to point one of the parameters of this measurement. "poverty" is defined as living on an annual income of $10,000 as an individual, or $20,000 as a family. $20,000!!! I don't know where you are right now as you're reading this, but I'm in Chicago. I used to live in New York. There are areas in the United States where the functional poverty rate must be much higher than what is being reported here. In some places in the US a family can't survive on $20,000. They'd barely scrape by on $30,000.

According to the report, 37,000,000 Americans, or about 12.6%, live in poverty. However, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, this number is probably incorrect. Reuters reports that:

Official jobs figures may considerably underestimate the number of poor and uninsured Americans, according to a new study from the Center for Economic Policy Research.

The U.S. government's Current Population Survey (CPS) is so severely miscalibrated that it could exclude as many as 2.5 million adults who are out of work, the research found.

Great economic news from the Bush administration. Strong economy?

We report. You decide.

Coincidentally, the Jerusalem Post reports that 25% of Israelis live in poverty. What's wrong with this picture?

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