Posts Tagged ‘poverty’

Poverty2013 RealHousehold2013

The current “recovery” rolls on but nothing is really changing—at least for the vast majority of people.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 45.3 million people living at or below the poverty line in 2013, for the third consecutive year, did not represent a statistically significant change from the previous year’s estimate. And median household income in the United States in 2013 was $51,939, not statistically significant from what it was in 2012 ($51,759). This is the second consecutive year that the annual change was not statistically significant.

However, both numbers are significantly different from what they were before the onset of the current crises. Real median household income in 2013 was 8.0 percent lower than in 2007, while the number of people living in poverty has risen 21.5 percent since 2007.

What’s that they say about insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. . .

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As of 2011, close to half (48 percent) of all public school students were poor (according to the Southern Education Foundation), and this year (according to the Pew Research Center), students of color will account for the majority of public school students for the first time in U.S. history.

However, as you can see from the map above, America’s public schools remain highly segregated.

In every state but New Mexico and Hawaii, the average white student attends a school that is majority white.This is unsurprising for large swaths of the Northwest, Great Plains, Upper Midwest, and Northeast, which are home to very few kids of color. But even in diverse states like Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York, few white children attend diverse schools.

In Chicago, for example, the overall student population is about 25 percent white, 31 percent black, and 37 percent Latino, but 96 percent of black students attend majority non-white schools and 67 percent of white students attend majority white schools.

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According to David Nicklaus,

St. Louis is not only one of the most segregated large metro areas in the U.S., it also has an unusually large economic gap between black and white. The unemployment rate for African-Americans here is about three times as high as the rate for whites.

According to census figures from 2012, 47 percent of the metro area’s African-American men between ages 16 and 24 are unemployed. The comparable figure for young white men is 16 percent.

Those figures should be just as shocking as the images of armed police confronting unarmed demonstrators, yet we take them for granted.

In Ferguson city itself (according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey), the overall unemployment rate is 13.2 percent: 8.4 percent for whites, almost twice that (16 percent) for African Americans.

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More than 4 out of 5 voters back Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposal to raise the minimum wage from the current $8.25 an hour to $13 over the next three years. (There’s also a statewide ballot in November to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour.)

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Just to put things into perspective, according to the Living Wage Calculator, the current minimum wage is less than the poverty wage for an adult with 2 children. And the proposal to raise the minimum wage next year to $9.50 an hour is still a dollar an hour less than a living wage for an adult with no children.

So, of course, the vast majority of people in Chicago support raising the minimum wage. It’s the least that can be done.