“You have to pick and choose what you want to do,” Hanson said. “It’s either eat that day or pay a bill.”
– Jonathan Hanson, a former Atlanta real estate agent who lost his business and now supports his wife and child off their savings, selling their possessions to keep food on the table.
From a recent article on the growing problem of poverty in America.
There haven’t been this many Americans living in poverty since 1993, according to the Census Bureau.
More than 15% of the population is now considered poor. The rate is 22% for children, meaning at least one of every five U.S. kids is living in poverty. Far too many people are suffering, and even the current numbers are considered low by some who see the standards as out of date, and poorly reflecting the true number of poor in our country. As much of our citizens’ wealth has stagnated for decades. In 1988, the income of an average American taxpayer was $33,400, adjusted for inflation. Fast forward 20 years, and not much had changed: The average income was still just $33,000 in 2008, according to IRS data. Globalization and a growing stock market has much to do with the increasing wealth of the already rich, and de-unionization has been the biggest reason behind blue-collar work’s pay stagnation. And as for the crooks on Wall Street, who repeatedly ignore federal regulations and only have to endurer slaps on the wrist, they are allowed to pay relatively small fines for abusing their investors and lining their own pockets. That article, by Amitai Etzioni, ends in a particularly appropriate statement about the environment these problems create:
…a strong Wall Street, a weak political class and an exhausted public.
Some days one cannot but wonder whether one should join Occupy Wall Street, the tea party or both.