Poverty Plagues Obama’s America, Press Based in Booming Cities ShrugsSubmitted by Michael Nystrom on Tue, 04/09/2013 - 09:59
by Stuart Stevens Apr 9, 2013 | The Daily Beast
A small, thriving minority now dominates the national conversation, even as more and more Americans struggle to get by, writes Stuart Stevens.
For a moment, let's forget about who is president and just look across the country.
Thousands of job seekers wait in line at Kennedy-King College to attend a job fair hosted by the city of Chicago on November 9, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty)
Today, 21 and a half million Americans are unemployed or underemployed—about twice as many as six years ago, according to NPR. Work-force participation, a fancy term for the number of Americans either working or looking for work, has dropped to “the lowest level since the malaise of the late 1970’s,” an era when far fewer women were working, according to MSNBC.
Yes, the unemployment rate dropped last month—but only because so many people simply gave up looking for work. The dirty little secret is that after only four weeks of not looking for a job, an unemployed worker stops being counted. So far as the jobless numbers are concerned, that person ceases to exist. But, of course, they do exist and continue to be counted in other, troubling statistics:
More than 16 million Americans have been added to the food stamps rolls since Barack Obama was first elected—a 46 percent increase and greater than the population of Ohio. More than 50 million Americans now live in poverty. That’s one in six Americans, and one in five American children.