Thursday, December 15, 2011

An Economic Tragedy

From The Associated Press:

'Dismal' prospects: 1 in 2 Americans are now poor or low income 

Squeezed by rising living costs, a record number of Americans — nearly 1 in 2 — have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.

The latest census data depict a middle class that's shrinking as unemployment stays high and the government's safety net frays. The new numbers follow years of stagnating wages for the middle class that have hurt millions of workers and families.

"Safety net programs such as food stamps and tax credits kept poverty from rising even higher in 2010, but for many low-income families with work-related and medical expenses, they are considered too 'rich' to qualify," said Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan public policy professor who specializes in poverty.

"The reality is that prospects for the poor and the near poor are dismal," he said. "If Congress and the states make further cuts, we can expect the number of poor and low-income families to rise for the next several years." 

Read more here.

It's been a while since I've made any mention of political or social issues here, but I simply could not let this one slip under the radar.

In what world is it acceptable for nearly half of everyone in this county lives at or near the poverty line?  Where's our heart, our compassion?  What happened to, "Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..."?  What happened to our sense of innovation and revitalization?  Is this who we've become?  REALLY?  How much deeper into the abyss of economic drudgery will the childish and selfish tendencies of the Baby Boomers take us (They're the ones in charge right now, ya know.)?

I truly hope this all comes to a head soon.  I can guarantee this, it's going to be quite dangerous when it does.  In fact, it already is.


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