Poverty is Still a Dirty Word in America

Editor’s Note: Politicians, the media and the public have largely ignored the crisis of poverty in the United States, possibly because the poor don’t have an active political lobby to represent their interests, writes NAM contributor Earl Ofari Hutchinson.

The figure on real poverty in America is far worse than the Census Bureau recently reported. It found that nearly 40 million Americans are living in official poverty (less than $22,000 for a family of four). This is an 11-year high.

The Bureau figure does not take into account the number of persons tossed into poverty in the past year, the worst year so far of the recession. It also undercounts real unemployment. Officially, nearly 10 percent of Americans are unemployed. Economists say that if seasonal and discouraged workers are counted the real unemployment figure exceeds 16 percent. As always, blacks and Hispanics have by far the highest poverty rate.

Despite the massive economic hardship, “poverty” is still a dirty word. Politicians, much of the media and the public have largely ignored the crisis.

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One Response to “Poverty is Still a Dirty Word in America”

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