Friday, March 2, 2007

Deep Poverty

I often wonder when this thing called the United States is going to go totally haywire. It is our national myth that we are not susceptable to break down and chaos. However, I think a democracy is a very fragile system that depends on numerous factors. One of them is some equality of wealth and its implied sister, opportunity. The McClatchy Washington Bureau has completed a new study that reveals startling growth of the little discussed group of American people, the severly poor. Even those doing the research were shocked by their findings.

"A McClatchy Newspapers analysis of 2005 census figures, the latest available, found that nearly 16 million Americans are living in deep or severe poverty. A family of four with two children and an annual income of less than $9,903 - half the federal poverty line - was considered severely poor in 2005. So were individuals who made less than $5,080 a year.

The McClatchy analysis found that the number of severely poor Americans grew by 26 percent from 2000 to 2005. That's 56 percent faster than the overall poverty population grew in the same period. McClatchy's review also found statistically significant increases in the percentage of the population in severe poverty in 65 of 215 large U.S. counties, and similar increases in 28 states. The review also suggested that the rise in severely poor residents isn't confined to large urban counties but extends to suburban and rural areas."

16 million people. Signs like this keep appearing. As a people we should be shattered by this information. This news, to my knowledge, did not make one front page of any newspaper. I haven't seen it anywhere on the internet, except as a note on OneGoodMove. We have got to get Bush/Republicans out of office. The damage is just too great. We cannot bare this kind of "compassion."

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