The Poverty Numbers Are Out- And They Are Terrible

So while congress was busy losing $1.3 billion debating whether or not to raise the debt celling, and voting for yet another pointless anti-abortion restriction that had no chance of becoming law, the poverty rate magically slid back to pre-1965 levels. All the gains of the great society are now gone, and we are now at a 46 year high as the poverty rate will apparently hit 15.7% by november (a number which is still probably an underestimate for the level of suffering provided the loose definition of what is “poverty”). Great job Congress!

These people will be the least important subject for either party’s campaign this fall. The interests of the middle class are barely of a concern in this brave new world of plutocrat-owned elections, so it is absurd to think that our immorally puny safety net will be discussed much on the campaign trail. Needless to say however, if Obama wants to see another four years in office, it might be time to start giving a shit about these people. Regardless of what someone thinks about our uppity-mooslem Kenyan usurper, I’m pretty sure that they would also like an extension for their unemployment benefits rather than a tax cut for their asshole boss.

Let this also be a lesson about the goal of governance for the modern conservative. The fact that they represent only the interests of the super-rich is really not much of a insight at this point, but we have to kick the addiction to this “trickle-down” ethos that the GOP and the Blue Dogs have been pushing on us for the last thirty years. The path that we have taken in embracing this idiotic economic theory has resulted in skyrocketing poverty, income inequality, and such a drastic loss of opportunity that joining the military is literally the only option for most of these people to have a stable income:

Fritz says she grew up wealthy in the Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch, but fortunes turned after her parents lost a significant amount of money in the housing bust. Stuck in a half-million dollar house, her parents began living off food stamps and Fritz’s college money evaporated. She tried joining the Army but was injured during basic training.

Now she’s living on disability, with an infant daughter and a boyfriend, Garrett Goudeseune, 25, who can’t find work as a landscaper. They are struggling to pay their $650 rent on his unemployment checks and don’t know how they would get by without the extra help as they hope for the job market to improve.

A population of poor people literally serving the distantly made decisions of the increasingly elite class of people in the government is simply anti-democratic. Welcome to our horrible future.


About stefanbc

I am an attorney who works mainly in criminal defense, child welfare, and medical marijuana advocacy. I live in Long Beach with my wife and four pets. View all posts by stefanbc

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