Yesterday, we found out that billionaires like Tea Party fan David Koch and Mayor Bloomberg are getting more billionaire-y. Now the U.S. Census reveals that one in five New York City residents lives in poverty. The NY Times reports, "From 2009 to 2010, 75,000 city residents were pushed into poverty, increasing the poor population to more than 1.6 million and raising the percentage of New Yorkers living below the official federal poverty line to 20.1 percent, the highest level since 2000. The 1.4-percentage-point annual increase in the poverty rate appeared to be the largest jump in nearly two decades."
The Wall Street Journal breaks down more stats: "Manhattan was the hardest hit: Median household income dropped by nearly 9% from the previous year, to $63,832, while mean income fell to $119,199 from $131,704. Only Staten Island saw an increase in median income." Also distressing: "One of the most startling developments in the ACS this year, experts said, is a rise of three percentage points in the childhood poverty level, which now stands at about 30% citywide and is even higher in the Bronx and in Brooklyn. A family of four making less than $22,314 a year—before the addition of any government assistance—is considered below the poverty line." This means nearly one in three children lives in poverty.
Conservative think group Manhattan Institute's senior fellow Steven Malanga told the Times, "The bailout of Wall Street just put off the day of reckoning," while anti-poverty group Community Service Survey president David Jones said, "Maybe because things looked so good for the well-educated and restaurants are packed, we figured that we missed this bullet. Projecting forward, I don’t think it’s getting better." But people are still buying $860 shoes! Doesn't that matter? Oh wait, a Republican Congressman who makes millions only has $200,000/year to feed his family. Shit is getting real.
Last week, the Census reported that 46.2 million Americans lives in poverty, the highest rate since 1983 (which, as it happens, is when Ronald Reagan was president).