Posts tagged class divide
Posts tagged class divide
While it’s no surprise that nearly 50 million Americans live below the poverty line, new statistics from the US Census show that almost 100 million others are counted as low-income citizens, making half of the population of America officially poor.
The latest figures out of the US Census Bureau show that in addition to the 49.1 million Americans who fall below the official poverty line, those that rake in enough to be between that level and the income equitable to double it fall into a new “low-income” category, which counts an additional 97.3 million people. Altogether, that clump of nearly 150 million Americans living in dire economic standing accounts for around 48 percent of the US population.
American officials have deemed the current poverty line to be at around $22,000 for a family of four, but the new category just about doubles that figure to $45,000 and places those that fall between the numbers as low-income. The Associated Press reports that for families that fit in that range, often half of the household income is spent on child-care costs and housing bills.
Taking into account medical, commuting and other living costs, the number of people living below 200 percent of the poverty level has been drastically changed and not for the better. Before those factors were taken into consideration, the US Census reported in September that only one-in-three Americans qualified as poor or low-income.
As RT reported earlier this year, the number of Americans living below half, or 50 percent of the poverty level, is equally as alarming. Around 20.5 million Americans — or 6.7 percent — have personal incomes that place them in that bracket, which equates to annual incomes of less than $5,570 for an individual or $11,157 for a family of four. In Washington DC, which is part of the wealthiest metropolitan region per-capital in the country, one-in-ten residents are grouped into that category.
Don’t fret though. It isn’t all doom and gloom! Some Americans are in fact seeing a turn for the better. While half of the country might be considered poor now, some citizens recently saw pay raises in the last year that were to the tune of 40 percent. Unfortunately, they probably didn’t necessarily need that bump. According to the Guardian, the top CEOs in America saw pay hikes between 27 and 40 percent last year. The paper adds that the highest paid exec in the US racked up more than $145.2 million last year, and the median value of their profits on stock options jumped 70 percent.
Affluent Students Have an Advantage and the Gap Is Widening | NYTimes.com
Low-income students with above-average scores on eighth grade tests have a college graduation rate of 26 percent — lower than more affluent students with worse test scores. Thirty years ago, there was a 31 percentage point difference in the share of affluent and poor students who earned a college degree. Now the gap is 45 points. The gap has also grown in college entrance rates and spending per child on tutors, sports, music and other enrichment activities. Related Article »===
Confirms what we already knew, but still noteworthy. Our system does not reward the “smartest” and “most industrious” but simply the most wealthy. Even when a rich student and a poor student get the exact same test scores, the rich student is 6 times more likely to complete college than than the poor student.
And the poor student is more likely to be burdened with debt in the form of student loans, thus keeping them poor. Essentially, every time the not-rich move a step up the ladder, the wealthy saw out a rung.
Video of a man who is currently homeless. He graduated from Dartmouth. He has a PhD in physics and an MS in electrical engineering. He paid his own way through school and sacrificed to support his family.
Just your daily reminder that unemployed and/or homeless people are not all the same. They’re not indisputably lazy or uneducated or entitled. They’re real people. Before you judge, remember you don’t know their circumstances. You don’t know how they got there.
People in poor, non-white neighborhoods breathe more hazardous particles
Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Fresno are among the metropolitan areas with unhealthful levels of fine particles.
I noted recently that more than one in three Chicago children are living in poverty, according to newly published census data. But a closer look at those figures shows that “one in three” hides a striking inequality.
Fewer than one in 11 white kids here are living in poverty—compared with more than one in two black kids.
This is a good report and resource on social mobility in the US.
Highlights (taken from the summary) include:
- Children from low-income families have only a 1 percent chance of reaching the top 5 percent of the income distribution, versus children of the rich who have about a 22 percent chance.
- Children born to the middle quintile of parental family income ($42,000 to $54,300) had about the same chance of ending up in a lower quintile than their parents (39.5 percent) as they did of moving to a higher quintile (36.5 percent). Their chances of attaining the top five percentiles of the income distribution were just 1.8 percent.
- Education, race, health and state of residence are four key channels by which economic status is transmitted from parent to child.
- African American children who are born in the bottom quartile are nearly twice as likely to remain there as adults than are white children whose parents had identical incomes, and are four times less likely to attain the top quartile.
- The difference in mobility for Blacks and whites persists even after controlling for a host of parental background factors, children’s education and health, as well as whether the household was female-headed or receiving public assistance.
- After controlling for a host of parental background variables, upward mobility varied by region of origin, and is highest (in percentage terms) for those who grew up in the South Atlantic and East South Central regions, and lowest for those raised in the West South Central and Mountain regions.
- By international standards, the United States has an unusually low level of intergenerational mobility: our parents’ income is highly predictive of our incomes as adults. Intergenerational mobility in the United States is lower than in France, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Norway and Denmark. Among high-income countries for which comparable estimates are available, only the United Kingdom had a lower rate of mobility than the United States.
“They’re drowning in it.”
I can’t emphasize this enough. My childhood best friend relies on government assistance to help her go to school, raise her daughter, feed both of them, and provide medical care. It’s a constant juggle for her to get by. She’s the hardest working woman I know and she slings pizzas for a meager living all week long.