News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: The poor; who are they?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The poor; who are they?

The following information comes from Doug Henwood's website. Henwood is self-avowed Marxist, yet he is not of the Stalinist style or authoritarian version. Why the information that he provides is important is because it comes from US govt. sources. He meticulously documents his works and he is always cognizant of the criticisms of his position. His work always directs itself at the most important points of the leaders of those who might wish to repress the poor and the working classes.
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". . . Do the poor resemble the cliche? No, as an hour spent with the Census Bureau's recently published annual povery report reveals. While almost two thirds (62.5%) of poor adults are women -- nonwhite urban single-mother families constitute a fraction of the American impoverished, 15.4%. Rural whites of all family types, account for 19.5% of the poor -- well above urban single moms. White suburbanites of all family types -- and they do come in all types -- account for an even larger share (24.1%), though you don't hear much about them.

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This is not to deny the existence of a cohort of urban teenage mothers with glum prospects; though they may account for only a fraction of the poor, their poverty rate is a scandalously high 45.8% overall -- 37.3% for whites, 54.5% for blacks, and 56.8% for Hispanics. But centering discussions of poverty on citydwelling nonwhite unmarried mothers disguises the fact that American society produces an enormous number of poor people, urban, suburban, and rural; working and unemployed; abled and disabled; young and old; and of every ethnic group. Any serious analysis of social hierarchies is quashed by the yahoo's model.

It's often said the poor don't work, but 40% of poor adults do work, though few of them do full time. But that doesn't mean the balance are leading lives of unearned idleness. Of the poor who can't work, 22% are disabled, 21% are retired (despite the alleged profligacy of Social Security), 31% (almost all women) have family responsibilities, 17% are in school, and 10% can't find work. The picture hardly comports with moral decay as the source of poverty; it points instead to scarce and crummy jobs, lousy income supports and education benefits, and the impossibility of child care."

More Henwood

2 comments:

Ali Rassa said...

I am writting a paper about social injustice and poverty in the U.S. The belief that companies have regarding their employees is disgraceful. take Wal-Mart for example. The employees are hired at 7.00/hr, have to punch out for their breaks and lunches. recieve no benefits, have a hard time making rent or buying food. Sam walton on his visits to the stores encouraged his employees to purchase stocks and benefit from the raising price of these stocks. One thing he for got to consider is how they can afford stocks when they can not even afford their living expenses.

the cynic librarian said...

I am glad you brought this up. I believe more than 25 percent of WalMart employees are eligible for food stamps. That means they are not getting a wage that can support them or their families. Who ends up paying? The taxpayers... you and me. It also means that the money going into the Walton family's pockets is not only made on the backs of its employees, but also on the backs of the taxpayers.