Friday, September 17, 2010

Reality Check: 1 in 7 Americans Lives in Poverty

If 1 in 7 people in the U.S. are poor, can America really still be considered the richest nation in the world? How does that even make sense? Check this out from the Associated Press:

The ranks of the working-age poor climbed to the highest level since the 1960s as the recession threw millions of people out of work last year, leaving one in seven living in poverty in the richest nation in the world.
The overall poverty rate climbed to 14.3 percent, or 43.6 million people, the Census Bureau said Thursday in its annual report on the economic well-being of U.S. households. The report covers 2009, President Obama's first year in office.
Of course, I'm sure the majority of the country will miss the real point here, and find some way to blame Obama for this--even though it's an inevitable. issue that he did not create and at the end of the day, simply could not control. The story continued:

Broken down by state, Mississippi had the highest share of poor people, at 23.1 percent, according to rough calculations by the Census Bureau. It was followed by Arizona, New Mexico, Arkansas and Georgia. On the other end of the scale, New Hampshire had the lowest share, at 7.8 percent.

Of course we knew Mississippi would be the poorest-- it always has been. But Georia also makes the cut, which is really not that surprising either, despite the "recession-proof" claims of wack ass Atlanta promoters and rappers. Actually, Atlanta operates in general under a hood of fantasy, with no real tangible connections to what is really going on in actuality.

I guess this is still the image that pops into most people's heads when they think about poverty.

But in actuality, this is more what poverty looks like in America these days.

My mom works in public schools and she is constantly telling me about how many kids come into her office (she's a nurse) looking for food. Or how many kids are only able to eat at school because they don't have food at home. Food stamps are oftentimes not enough to realistically feed a entire family for a whole month.

I've been through some experiences over the past week that really personally illustrated just how poor this country is. I don't know how people keep living in a state of delusion-- I suppose I could blame E! or MTV, but that would be too simplisitic. I don't know. It's getting scary.

Too many people are still running around with their heads in the sand. The sad thing is, I don't really see any solutions coming any time soon.