As the formal Klan rally in Tampa otherwise known as the Republican National Committee Conference is underway, I thought this would be a good time to get some facts out regarding poverty in this country. To listen to the GOP during the debates and stump speeches, as well as “True the Vote” rhetoric, the impoverished are the enemies of the country. They insinuate that those who are poor are all on welfare, draining the resources of the middle-class and all are minorities to, coincidently enough. Some are even quoted as saying that President Obama stole the 2008 elections with his “food stamp army”, a statement that I’m sure made Newt Gingrich proud. But as we all know, facts have a liberal bias, and here are some facts for you all regarding poverty and the impoverished in this nation.
More than 15% of our population (43.2 million American men, women and children) live in poverty per US Census Bureau, 2010). Research shows that it is very difficult for people born into poverty to achieve an education and earn a living wage.
One in four working households in America (10.6 million families) spend more than half their pre-tax income on housing. There is no community in America where minimum wage earners can reasonably afford to pay rent. In February 2012 the National Low Income Housing Coalition conducted a study of housing across the United States and found that no city had rentals priced low enough where a minimum wage earner could live comfortably. In 86% of the counties surveyed, even those who earned twice the minimum wage still did not earn enough to pay rent and other basic needs.
Nationally, the average welfare check for one parent and two children is $478.00 per month. Twenty years ago it was $408.00 per month. The national average for a baby born to a family already on welfare is $60.00. The average disability check is $600.00 a month. Less than 2% of the Federal Budget is allocated for welfare.
The rates for hunger in this country continue to be high for an industrialized nation. Many people think hunger doesn’t exist because of obesity. The fact is 46 million Americans suffer food insecurity and one-third of this group experience chronic hunger. A person on food stamps receives $3.00 per day. Healthy food is too expensive to be paid for by what’s allotted for with food stamps.
The impoverished do work hard. Despite how hard they work they are unable to get out of poverty. According to National Labor statistics, two-thirds of people living in poverty are working 1.7 jobs.
Youth living in poverty are the least likely to become educated in our nation. Many students living in poverty have low academic achievements and schools struggle to address their needs. Families living in poverty often experience education “stress” and see it as a place where they do not belong. A college education can help people break the barriers of poverty and escape its hardship; yet today, it is less likely a person in poverty will attain a college education than it was in the 1940’s.
Many people in poverty have internalized their poverty as a personal deficiency. They see no hope for anything but an insufficient welfare or disability check. Further, by law, no person can receive a welfare check unless they are employed and even then, for no more than five years period. After five years, they can never received another welfare check. These people often engage in activities that barely pay enough to keep food on the table and often result in incarceration. Nearly 80% of people in prison cannot read at an 8th grade level/ Poverty affects education success, health, relationships and most of all the ability for humans to develop to their full potential.
The overwhelming majority of people in poverty are whites, not minorities. Whites make up the majority of those collecting food stamps, unemployment, welfare, disability, any government assistance. And what’s more, most of these see themselves as Christian fundamentalists and tend to vote Republican, if able to get to the polls, let alone get a valid ID.
As mentioned earlier, 15% of the nation is impoverished yet only 2% of the Federal Budget is earmarked for their needs. And under current GOP plans, they want to slash all programs to assist these people even more. Slashing of food stamps, housing assistance, disability, welfare, education, and healthcare to make it even worse for those impoverished. This is the GOP’s war on the impoverished. They blame them for many of our problems, attack what little exists to assistance them and in doing so, increases their numbers. GOP budget cuts and refusal to address serious job creation measures continue to shrink the middle-class. When people leave the middle-class, it’s because they move down to the impoverished class.
Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society addressed his War on Poverty. Federal money and assistance was directed to end the generational poverty of American families. And guess what, it worked and poverty levels went down. Then came Ronald Reagan and the GOP propaganda of Welfare moms, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, and slashing and even eliminating services to assist those who need assistance. What has the result been, an ever-increasing number of impoverished in this nation.
The GOP has declared war on the impoverished and because of that war, their numbers are increasing. Very few people have the ability to make it to the 1% unless they are already a part of a 1% family, or have been given government assistance of some type to supplement their initiative and drive to do better. It takes money to make money. Even then, the numbers are few. But guess what, even though very few will have the opportunity of being in the 1%, all of us, even the 1% can end up being impoverished for reasons beyond their control. A bad economy, a serious health condition, any number of reasons.
The United States once led the world in upward mobility, now we’re nowhere near the top. European nations are doing better in upward mobility than Americans. Maybe we should look at some European ways Reince Priebus.
The facts are undeniable unless you have your head so far up your ass you fail to recognize it. Poverty is a cancer that destroys nations. Our cancer is being left untreated and it’s growing with the help of the GOP. Time to eradicate this cancer by eradicating the GOP from office in November.