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Sobering IndeedPosted Wednesday, September 14, 2011, at 8:07 AM
According to the Census Bureau, 16.6 percent of Americans live below the poverty line. That means that sixteen out of every one hundred adults has food insecurity and doesn't have enough to eat, and sixteen out of every one hundred cannot afford the fuel to keep themselves warm in the winter.
That's the highest of any industrialized nation. The number of those who do not have health insurance has soared from 26.6 million to 49.9 million since George W. Bush took office in 2000.
Children fared worse in the report. According to statistics released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a little over one out of five, or 21.6 percent, of all children live below the poverty level. Turkey with 24 percent and Mexico with 23.5 percent were the only nations with higher childhood poverty rates. Denmark had 3.3 percent, Finland 5 percent and Hungary has 7.2 percent, to name a few.
Yet, before we go one iota further and start calling and emailing Washington, as I nearly did, let's look at the other side of the moon here.
According to the Heritage Foundation, some people defined as poor, not only had the basics like indoor plumbing, but 80 percent of our nation's poor also have air-conditioning, compared to 36 percent in 1970.
92 percent have a microwave, and nearly 75 percent have a mode of transportation other than a donkey, a mule or a bus pass, and 31 percent have more than one truck and car, which is more than I can say about myself.
Although the OECD reported that over one-fifth of all children live in poverty, the Heritage Foundation indicated that 96 percent of poor parents stated that neither they nor their children were hungry during any time that year and that 83 percent of poor families said they had enough to eat.
While it would have been better had those numbers been 100 percent free and clear, the disparity in stats does lead to some wonderment. Has the marker of poverty been raised or is some fancy-footed two-step shuffling being done by some politicians eager to make other politicians look bad? With a national unemployment rate hovering at around 9 percent, only time will reveal the true meaning the less than holy motives of many inWashington.
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