Andrew Gumbel writes about the widening poverty gap:
The number of Americans living in severe poverty has expanded dramatically under the Bush administration, with nearly 16 million people now living on an individual income of less than $5,000 (£2,500) a year or a family income of less than $10,000, according to an analysis of 2005 official census data.
The analysis, by the McClatchy group of newspapers, showed that the number of people living in extreme poverty had grown by 26 per cent since 2000. Poverty as a whole has worsened, too, but the number of severe poor is growing 56 per cent faster than the overall segment of the population characterised as poor – about 37 million people in all according to the census data. That represents more than 10 per cent of the US population, which recently surpassed the 300 million mark.
The widening of the income gap between haves and have-nots is nothing new in America – it has been going on steadily since the late 1970s. What is new, though, is the rapid increase in numbers at the bottom of the socio-economic pile. The numbers of severely poor have increased faster than any other segment of the population.
This is the same trend that came after Reagan came in power. I wonder why the Christian right empowers such Republicans with their large voting base, when it results in more hungry children. Perhaps, these Christians could look up to someone like Jesus, a man who taught people to put down the stones, end the violence, and help the poor, sick, and hungry.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a Democrat or a so-called “liberal”. I want nothing to do with their tax & spend agenda, which only seems to inflate and empower the corrupt government and worsen our problems.
We need to take matters into our own hands, and find non-governmental ways to end the problems facing us, our community, and the world, such as hunger and poverty.