|According to the Working Poor Families Project the number of Working Poor in our country skyrocketed, now to almost a third of all workers showing that wealth is still rewarded much more than work in a country whose priorities are just plain wrong:
new data from the U.S. census Bureau show that in 2009, there were more than 10 million low-income working families in the
United States.2 Between 2007 and 2009, the share of working families who are low-income-earning less than 200 percent of the official poverty threshold-increased from 28 percent to 30
percent. This now means that nearly 1 in 3 working families in the United States, despite their hard work, are struggling to
meet basic needs. The plight of these families now challenges a fundamental assumption that in america, work pays.
And despite what Republicans and Corporate Democrats would leave you to believe these are not lazy, unproductive members of our society. These are hardworking Americans who unlike their very rich counterparts who work to destroy our country with their greed, these are the folks that keep the economy pumping. Many of them are your neighbors but still lawmakers see fit to completely ignore them:
although low-income working families remain mostly invisible to policymakers, these families are comprised of workers who
form the backbone of our economy: working the cash registers, keeping our homes and businesses clean, preparing our food, and helping care for our children and elderly relatives. during
these grave economic times, policymakers must choose to invest in these low-income workers and their families. Such investments are vital for the United States to maintain a strong,
growing economy, and to "reduce the personal, social and economic costs imposed by low wages and poverty" in america.
Unfortunately as always some of the hardest hit are our nation's children. Even their plight seems lost upon the elitist Republican and Corporate Democrats who always seem to get what they want while the rest of us suffer. Yes, even the plights of children cannot end their greed and selfishness:
In 2009, there were about 45 million people living in low-income working families, including more than 22 million children. In just one year, from 2008 to 2009, the number of children in low-income working families increased by more than 700,000.
Children living in poverty tend to have worse
health and educational outcomes than children
growing up in more affluent families.9 For many
children, poverty persists into adolescence and
adulthood, and is associated with higher risks of
dropping out of school, teens having children and
lower earnings for young adults.
Some more key finding of this quite depressing study for those of us who really care about our country:
There were more than 10 million low-income working families in the United States,
an increase of nearly a quarter million from the previous year.
Forty-five million people, including 22 million children, lived in low-income working
families, an increase of 1.7 million people from 2008.
Forty-three percent of working families with at least one minority parent were lowincome,
nearly twice the proportion of white working
families (22 percent).
Income inequality continued to grow with the richest 20 percent of working families
taking home 47 percent of all income and earning 10 times that of low-income working
But of course this is all by design. I do not see any of the Mitch McConnells, Barack Obamas or anyone else in Congress or the Administrative Branch that have trouble not only buying presents for the folks they love this year, but merely putting food on the table after a long work week. It is no huge surprise that these folks have been left behind and few people will fight for them if it means sacrificing for our country's well being themselves. They have been purposely ingnored and left behind as they do the real work and the greediest and least patriotic among us squeeze them more and steal this country's wealth from those who earned it.
If you do not believe that, just look at the numbers as income inequality continues to rise in our country:
There is more bad news in these numbers: The richest 20 percent of working families now take home nearly half (47 percent) of all income, and income inequality is increasing each year. In 2009 those at the top of the economic ladder earned 10 times the income of those at the bottom.
This represents a 5 percent increase in income
inequality since 2007 and an 11 percent increase
since 2004 in terms of the share of income received by working families at opposite ends of the U.S. income distribution.
So what can be done?? First America needs to stand up for her working poor and quite simply start caring. That will force the elitists in our government to hear us and work to correct the situation. It is very hard to get millionaires to care about the plight of the working poor, let alone address the problem. You see, in their selfish worldview they are the only ones who should not sacrifice.
If they could wake up from their greed and lust to horde more of the money to the top, themselves they would find there are several things they could do to address the situation if they cared:
expanding the number of low-skilled adults who enroll in education and skills
development programs and successfully
obtain postsecondary credentials valued in
the labor market.
Improving wages, benefits and supports for
low-income working families and
stimulating the creation of significantly
more good jobs.
Regularly assessing the challenges faced by
america's working families and the
adequacy and success of government policies
that facilitate their drive for economic
advancement and security.
So this Christmastime while a very small and shrinking percentage of us will be celebrating with presents for our loved ones all of working America needs a real present. We need to matter again. This is only going to be achieved if we stand up for ourselves and start fighting the elitists in government who are stealing our livelihoods daily as hard as we fight against each other.
As one of these working poor I can tell you this. These folks are never going to give up anything willingly. They will fight to horde even more money to the top and make even more of us miserable. They care nothing about their country or anyone within if doing so will cut into their own greed. If working folks cannot get mad at the real culprits and start fighting for themselves once more then our country is indeed sliding down a road in which most Americans will never recover.
This Christmas I just pray our country on all levels starts caring about what truly makes America American once again. A real, expanding middle-class. With all the greed and idiocy rampant right now I will not hold my breath.