Poor Losers

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I was feeling pretty good about the weekend, after a successful event (the Fiesta de la Olla), and squaring away some family stuff. Pretty good until I opened the July/August issue of Mother Jones, and saw this list of issues affecting the poor:

1 in 4 U.S. jobs pay less than a poverty-level income.

It goes on and on, for a two-page spread. If you don’t have a hard copy, you can check it out at the MJ Web site:

During the 1980s, 13% of Americans age 40 to 50 spent at least one year below the poverty line; by the 1990s, 36% did.

Since 2000, the number of Americans living below the poverty line at any one time has steadily risen. Now 13% of all Americans—37 million—are officially poor.

Among households worth less than $13,500, their average net worth in 2001 was $0. By 2004, it was down to –$1,400.

It’s truly amazing, and saddening, to see this information. But, you know, anybody can pull themself up by their bootstraps, or whatever the republicans say:

Inner-city grocery stores sell milk for 43% more than suburban supermarkets.

Corn subsidies have helped the price of soda fall 30% since 1983. Meanwhile, the price of fruit has risen 50%.

63% of federal housing subsidies go to households earning more than $77,000. 18% go to households earning less than $16,500.

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