P.S. Poverty Remains a Pressing Problem
Nov 05, 2010
By Jenice R. Robinson
Depending on which headline you read, the Nov. 2 election outcome was a rejection of incumbents, a backlash against policies of the past two years, a vote for divided government, a mandate for a more conservative agenda, and even a harbinger for the 2012 election cycle.
Regardless of what the pundits read in the tea leaves, federal lawmakers owe it to the public to govern and develop viable policy solutions that will address the concerns of ordinary Americans. According to exit polls, the overwhelming majority of voters are concerned about the economy. It's no wonder feelings of financial insecurity are rampant given the persistently high unemployment rate, stagnating wages and increasing poverty.
Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Nov. 5 reveal that the national unemployment rate remains high at 9.6 percent. That's 14.8 million people actively looking for work who can't find a job. And if you factor in the number of people who are involuntarily working part-time, the combined number of unemployed and underemployed people soars to 24 million.
Data show that many Americans are worse off today than they were a year ago. David Cay Johnston, writing in an Oct. 25 piece for tax.com, noted that in 2009 average and median wages both declined. READ MORE>>