Monday, September 13, 2010

US Sees Record Surge in US Poverty in 2009

From HuffPo:

Census figures from 2009 are due to be released this week. The expectations of what the report will show are grim:

Interviews with six demographers who closely track poverty trends found wide consensus that 2009 figures are likely to show a significant rate increase to the range of 14.7 percent to 15 percent.

Should those estimates hold true, some 45 million people in this country, or more than 1 in 7, were poor last year. It would be the highest single-year increase since the government began calculating poverty figures in 1959. The previous high was in 1980 when the rate jumped 1.3 percentage points to 13 percent during the energy crisis.

Among the 18-64 working-age population, the demographers expect a rise beyond 12.4 percent, up from 11.7 percent. That would make it the highest since at least 1965, when another Democratic president, Lyndon B. Johnson, launched the war on poverty that expanded the federal government's role in social welfare programs from education to health care.

This is chilling:

Lawrence M. Mead, a New York University political science professor who is a conservative and wrote "The New Politics of Poverty: The Nonworking Poor in America," argued that the figures will have a minimal impact in November.

"Poverty is not as big an issue right now as middle-class unemployment. That's a lot more salient politically right now," he said.

Apparently it hasn't occurred to Lawrence Mead that the long-term, middle-class unemployed ARE the new poor.

cross posted at MainSt/

1 comment:

DissedBelief said...

Absolutely Chilling!! How do these politicians sleep at night? I listened to the Diane Rehm show on NPR today (apologies for possible misspelling). The discussion centered around what many in my circle have been complaining about since the W years. That is, the high cost of killing foreigners. Apparently, we currently have over 40,000 injured (many severely) service men and women from Iraq and Afghanistan. If Vietnam and its history is anything to go by, this means we will potentially have a compounded poverty generation entering the realm. This is not taking into account PTSD sufferers and other mental issues resulting from the trauma of killing. I'm disgusted with Obama and the Dems. No idea what they are thinking/planning or doing, but this was not the change I was expecting. By entering the Afghan arena, I feel Obama joined forces with the Republicans and their war mongering. The trillions of dollars lost in foreign lands, do absolutely no good here at home. Who feels safe living under a bridge?