Friday, November 04, 2005

The Great Divide

Continues to astonish me that the cost of living increases yet wages are frozen or have gone down (for women) and not one politician will step forward to propose living wage legislation. In my city of Fargo N.D. USA where the minimum wage is just above $5.00 like everywhere else, if you are not a professional, a "good" paying wage might be $8.00 hour and over period of time if you are lucky you could work yourself up to perhaps $9.50 or $10.00- a SUPERVISOR wage in many instances. The director of the Churches United for Homeless shelter here told me he did a study throughout the region along with the U.S. Census statistics and found that to make a living wage here you'd need to earn $9.50 an hour. And that's just a livin' folks- nothing extra. Nothing outrages me more. We value our workers less and less, labor unions continue to break up or dissolve, the rich are getting richer on the backs of humble, hard working Americans who have no concept of the American dream. Yet no politicians- not even the Democrats- call this a "sexy constituent" because nobody addresses it any longer- except for Ralph Nader whom even the Dem's dislike. Says alot about how much they really care about the little guy.

I don't mean to depress you with all this. Because as I always say, it has to get worse before it gets better. And it WILL get better. The tide is high. The current is evident everywhere you look. Civil suit with Walmart. Walmart scrutiny on effects on labor (drive wages down) . Hurricane Katrina showing the world the face of America's poorest. Nothing gets me in more of a Norma Rae moment then this--well, this and crimes against children and the perpetrators going to jail less than drug possession. The trend of poverty may very well be this Administrations downfall if they continue to cut social programs, spend our money elsewhere and create huge deficits, and continue turn their eyes.

Poverty continues to INCREASE in this country and throughout the world at an alarming rate. As the gap grows wider (chasm) between the rich and the poor. The number of millionaires and billionaires continue to increase so rapidly the editors of Forbes can't keep up with their 500 list.

Poverty Overview (source link above)

There were 37.0 million people in poverty (12.7 percent) in 2004, up from 35.9 million (12.5 percent) in 2003.
There were 7.9 million families in poverty in 2004, up from 7.6 million in 2003. The poverty rate for families remained unchanged at 10.2 percent. The poverty rate and the number in poverty showed no change for the different type of families.
As defined by the Office of Management and Budget and updated for inflation using the Consumer Price Index, the average poverty threshold for a family of four in 2004 was an income of $19,307; for a family of three, $15,067; for a family of two, $12,334; and for unrelated individuals, $9,645.

No comments: