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21st Century Lesbian Trailer Trash

These are the mad musings of a middle aged woman, dyke, nurse, poet. I have a dog, a cat, a mobile home, and delusions of grandeur.

Location: California, United States

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Poverty in the Heartland

If you don't find this as disturbing as did I, then you need to be bitch slapped. This article was reprinted in the Guardian:

More than one in 10 [American] citizens live below the poverty line, and the gap between the haves and have-nots is widening.

Under President George W Bush an extra 5.4 million have slipped below the poverty line. Yet they are not a story of the unemployed or the destitute. Most have jobs. Many have two. Amos Lumpkins has work and his children go to school. But the economy, stripped of worker benefits like healthcare, is having trouble providing good wages.

There are 37 million Americans living below the poverty line. That figure has increased by five million since President George W. Bush came to power.

The United States has 269 billionaires, the highest number in the world.

Almost a quarter of all black Americans live below the poverty line; 22 per cent of Hispanics fall below it. But for whites the figure is just 8.6 per cent.

There are 46 million Americans without health insurance.

There are 82,000 homeless people in Los Angeles alone.

In 2004 the poorest community in America was Pine Ridge Indian reservation. Unemployment is over 80 per cent, 69 per cent of people live in poverty and male life expectancy is 57 years. In the Western hemisphere only Haiti has a lower number.

The richest town in America is Rancho Santa Fe in California. Average incomes are more than $100,000 a year; the average house price is $1.7m.

How is it that we continue to engineer more and more of our fellow citizens into this economic black hole? Are we really that greedy? Apparently so. We worship Donald Trump, a balding, not handsome man with questionable business practices because he is rich. We send Martha Stewart to jail for what looks to be insider trading. And when she gets out? Why, we give her another television show.

In the meantime, Jane and Joe Average, toiling away at honest, gainful employment, not only cannot afford healthcare for their children, they can't even feed their children without a handout. If you cannot tell me what is wrong with this picture, then go back to grade school and develop a conscience.

We cannot continue to gobble up all of the toys without looking at the long term consequences. If you want to see real terror within our borders, just continue to ignore the needs of what is rapidly becoming an underclass with no hope for the future.

For how long can we continue to blame the little guy for his lack of financial security? For how long do we allow government and big business to stay in cahoots in order to grab the whole pie instead of just a slice?

With Mexico pushing at our southern border, a smart Canada will lock herself up tighter than a virgin on prom night. And those of us over a certain age can look forward to retirement confined to our homes. That is, if we can afford to keep them.

Thanks to The Old Hippie's Groovy Blog for this link.

Kinja, the weblog guide


Blogger Kim said...

I can't see any of this evening out soon. People just don't want to see the truth.

btw.. I love the blogs you find, can spend ages just following interesting links!

10:59 AM PST  
Blogger Gina said...

Average incomes are more than $100,000 a year...it's only that low b/c they had to include the "help" I'm sure the REAL residents of that area make well over 300-500,000/year.

12:41 PM PST  
Blogger NursePam said...

Knowing Rancho Santa Fe fairly well Gina, I have to agree with you.

7:11 AM PST  
Blogger Pat Kirby said...

>There are 46 million Americans without health insurance.

Uh, yeah, that would be me.

While I am quite grateful to whatever powers that be that I wasn't born in Afghanistan or any such country, I'm always revolted by those who crow, "America is the greatest country in the world."

Really? Explain our poverty rate. Explain our infant mortality rate.

Until people are willing to open their eyes and acknowledge that, we are not the greatest country in the world, I don't know how any of this will get fixed.

3:00 PM PST  
Blogger NursePam said...

It freaks me out, being in healthcare, to know just how many of us do not have health insurance. In fact, in long term care, many of our nurses simply cannot afford it. It makes no sense whatsoever.

5:33 AM PST  

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