A new report before the "official" report on poverty in the U.S. is released gives a heads-up on what we can expect to be revealed. Yes, poverty is on track to reach levels not since before Lyndon Johnson's "war on poverty" in 1964.
Peter Edelman, director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy spells out in this report exactly what's pushing the poverty rate ever higher; globalization, automation, outsourcing, immigration, and less unionization.
The Associated Press surveyed more than a dozen economists, think tanks and academics, both nonpartisan and those with known liberal or conservative leanings, and found a broad consensus: The official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, climbing as high as 15.7 percent. Several predicted a more modest gain, but even a 0.1 percentage point increase would put poverty at the highest level since 1965.
[...] Millions could fall through the cracks as government aid from unemployment insurance, Medicaid, welfare and food stamps diminishes.
"The issues aren't just with public benefits. We have some deep problems in the economy," said Peter Edelman, director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy.
He pointed to the recent recession but also longer-term changes in the economy such as globalization, automation, outsourcing, immigration, and less unionization that have pushed median household income lower. Even after strong economic growth in the 1990s, poverty never fell below a 1973 low of 11.1 percent. That low point came after President Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty, launched in 1964, that created Medicaid, Medicare and other social welfare programs.
One item not mentioned as an issue in the economy is the absolute greed of the wealthy corporations and CEOs. Take for example the Caterpillar Corporation seeking steep concessions from its workers even when business is booming.
Then there are the corporate raiders whose greed, and cruelty, know no bounds. Take Mitt Romney's Bain Capital, for example:
I don't think it's my imagination that the wealthier these greedy corporations become, the deeper into poverty the rest of us fall.