Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Musings 62--Four straight years of more poor folks!

While Hurricane Katrina has done her part to blast away at the US economy, it is time to take notice of a little reported story about the poverty level in the United States of America.

The government released the figures on poor folks for 2005. (See link.) The news is not good. There are well over a million more people that are certifiable poor this year than last year. As a matter of fact, the poor rolls have been swelling for the last four years. It seems that the Bush economy is helping everyone but the poor. They are getting farther and farther behind.

Ironically, the last time we had four years of consecutive increase in the number of poor was under the leadership of Bush the Elder. What does that say about the apple falling under a Bush? Ok, it was a tree but I am sure that you get the point.

The poverty rate is now dangerously close to 13 percent. Now I am not a mathematician, but I can multiply a little bit. Twenty years ago there were fewer people in the United States than there are today. So 13 percent now is a bunch more people than then. Let us do some math: Thirty years ago there were about 250 million people in the USA. That means that at today's rate 32 million were poverty level. Today there are about 300 million folks in the USA. At the same rate, that means there are 39 million living in poverty. Most of the seven million difference are people who have fallen out of the middle class. Mr. President's economic polices do not bode well for the guys in the middle. The ground is fast falling away under their feet.

The rich are doing quite well--thank you very much! CEO's still get large bonuses and stock options from large corporations. The largest recipients of social welfare today is not a poor unwed mother living down the street with six kids. It is, however, the large corporations that get benefits and tax breaks that only the poor can dream about.

Basically, what this report proves is that the middle class is a dying breed. Real family income for those in the lowest bracket went down 5 percent while the top braket increased by 40%. If we continue at this rate, by the end of Mr. President's second term we could well have two classes of people in this country--the working poor and the affluent rich.

In the New Testament, Jesus said that we would have the poor with us always. I just didn't know he was talking specifically about me.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Web Counters
Website Counters