A Dual Economy
A View Of What's To Come
I grew up in Northwestern Pennsylvania. A place that would probably be considered part of today's Rust Belt. I watched the steel mills, etc that may have been the backbone of the middle class leave,and retail and low-wage service jobs come to take their place. Seeing this might explain why I have such a distrust of Corporate America and the "%1".
The fact that the poverty rate in Youngstown, Ohio is close to %50 should be a real wake up call to residents of that city and it's surrounding communities, which includes my hometown of Farrell, PA,
For one, the face of poverty may be the face in the mirror. A person who's working, and working hard, may not be as well-off as they think. A lot of those who are below the poverty line are likely the "working poor", and not the "welfare queens" that the right likes to make the poor, especially the urban poor, out to be.
Second, how many of those people that are above the poverty line are just on the edge? One layoff, one medical crisis, or even one auto repair may be enough to put a person below the poverty line.
But what to do about it? Like it or not, jobs are the only way. These can't be the jobs at McDonald's, Wal-Mart, etc; those jobs are not going to bring a person above the poverty line.
These jobs aren't going to come from top-down stimulus either. We can't expect lowering taxes on the corporations and the wealthy to do the job. We tried that, and it may be what got Youngstown, and America as a whole, into the situation it's in. We need to stimulate from the bottom-up, through ideas like a living minimum wage.
One thing I do find hope in is that more Americans are waking up to the reality of class. There's an "Occupy Youngstown" , and news like this should have people out on the streets. Of course, a lot of them are too busy listening to the voices of the "%1" like Beck and Limbaugh telling them that the %99 are lazy college students, or deadbeats looking for a handout.
And the sad thing is, enough of them believe that.
Heads You Win. . .
- Youngstown (OH) leads nation with poverty rate of 49.7%
Youngstown has the highest concentrated poverty rate among core cities in the United States’ 100 largest metropolitan areas.