The Have and Have-nots

From The Observer: 37 million poor hidden in the land of plenty

· 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.

1 comment:

Steven said...

The real problem, I think, is that the poverty line has usually been defined as some ridiculously low figure - $13k last I heard, and I don't know but that may have been for a family, not per adult. I'm not rich (by just about anyone's calculations really) but I can't imagine trying to live on that figure. I can just barely imagine trying to get by on double that.

Then the minimum wage is what it is, and the lack of health insurance and the high cost of living in many states, the skyrocketing cost of gasoline, heating oil, etc... I count my blessings. I really do.