One in every eight Americans lives on less than $10,000 a year if they are single, and on less than $20,000 a year for a family of four.
Under those guidelines 1 out of every 4 black people in America live under the poverty line.
Officially, 25% of blacks and 21% of Hispanics are currently living under the poverty line.
Now personally, I have to toss my hat down on that 21% of Hispanics live under the poverty line number. I think is way off.
The government must only be counting the ones that are here legally.
I’ll bet you $5,000 if you count every Mexican that crosses the Rio Grande into that figure it would be far greater than 21%.
Hell, no one makes that much money landscaping, picking fruit or being short order cooks.
Here is another number that will open your eyes a little.
That is, if you can grasp it.
The medium income for blacks is $30,858 a year. That is only 61% of the median for whites.
Now you could argue that people like Bill Gates and George Bush kinds skew the numbers for white people but damn… that is still terrible.
Now what kind of article would this be on poverty if I didn’t mention the difference between relative poverty and absolute poverty.
99% of American poor are not living in places with dirt floors right along side their livestock.
Now that is the kind of poverty that Bono is talking about.
Bob Geldof doesn't organize concerts to help the people of Cleveland.
This is relative poverty. Relative poverty still sucks but you make $10,000 a year in the US.
There are poor people in the world that only make 23 cents a day.
That is $83.95 a year.
Now granted they are wearing straw skirts and hunting with spears and blow darts but that is poverty.
In Africa there are actually people who walk around with 2 liter bottles on their feet for shoes.
I have yet to hear someone in a rap song talk about how they were so broke that they actually used Diet Coke 2 liters for shoes.
I have heard a lot of people talk about using a string for a belt and sowing fake logos on shirts but that is about the extent of it.
Another note is that this is the first year since George Bush has been president than the number of Americans in this country hasn’t INCREASED.
These numbers are essentially the same as last year.
The last time the number of Americans living under the poverty line declined was, yeah, you guessed it when Bill Clinton was president.
Since the religious right wants to blame everything bad that happens to America on God’s wrath, I guess we have to suffer George Bush for impeaching Clinton.
God picks our leaders after all. Just ask Katherine Harris. She’ll tell you all about it.
And then lastly, right in my backyard, Detroit. Michigan, 31.4% of people living in Detroit live under the poverty line.
If you’ve ever seen it then you would believe it. In fact, much like the Hispanic poverty numbers I would call Detroit’s into dispute.
There is no way in the world only 1/3rd of blacks in the city of Detroit live under the poverty line.
I would say by looking at the place it would be around half.