Thursday, July 31, 2008

On Poverty

Poverty in D.C.

Something I didn't know, and somehow ran across looking up the annual average rainfall for Nevada...yes, the men who moil for gold do strange things in the land of the midnight sun...but the strangest I ever did see, was that night on the marge of Lac la Barge...

But I digress. I truly do think the heat is baking my brain cells sometimes. Augusto is back in Guatemala. I'm working alone for a time, talking to myself now, and self 1 is not being very nice to self 2. He keeps calling me "retardo" and "dickweed". It was 98 degrees today. The heat index, based on the level of the pools of liquid sweat in my shoes, had to have been 108. I gauge the heat and humidity levels by the "squish" "squish" sound when I walk.

But I digress.

The federal poverty level (income) for a household of one person is $10,600 per year. Add $3,600 per person in the household. A family of three is considered at the poverty level with an annual income of $17,600.

The numbers I knew. I thought it was around $15k or $20k or so. What surprised me is the number of people below the poverty line in the U.S. Almost 37 MILLION! About 25 million are white, 9 million are black, the rest are "other" or overlapping multi-racial duplicates. These are 2005 figures. Back in 1975, it was around 25 million.

THIRTY SEVEN MILLION PEOPLE in the U.S....out of 260 million total...that's 14%...amazing...sad...

And that doesn't even take into account all of the homeless people...almost 1 million in any given week...around 3 million "experience" homelessness at least temporarily during a given year...

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