Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy

Latest Episodes

Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace

The nest is full

Oct 11, 2019
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
This Is Uncomfortable

Why the annual poverty numbers matter

Marketplace Contributor Sep 12, 2012
Share Now on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Sarah Gardner: A new census report out today has the latest poverty figures. More than 46 million Americans were living in poverty in 2011. About the same as the year before — a surprise to many economists, who’d expected the poverty rate to go up.

From our Wealth and Poverty Desk, Shereen Marisol Meraji reports.


Shereen Marisol Meraji: The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is a mad house. Fork lift drivers zig-zag in and out of the warehouse balancing stacked pallets with cans of whole tomatoes and peaches. Michael Flood runs the place.

Michael Flood: Our distribution last year was up 80 percent compared to the pre-recession days.

And he says there’s no sign demand will go down. The poverty rate is holding steady at 15%, same as last year, according to the new Census data.

Sheldon Danziger: It’s the only time that we as a nation focus on the poor.

Sheldon Danziger directs the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan, he says it’s important to focus on the poverty numbers because they show that even during a recovery, rising economic tides don’t lift all boats. Danziger adds that:

Danziger: If deficit reduction frenzy leads to cutting the earned income tax credit, cutting back unemployment insurance, cutting back food stamps…

…Even more Americans could fall into poverty. Robert Rector from the Heritage Foundation agrees that we should focus on these statistics, but in a different way.

Robert Rector: I do think we should be very much talking about the growth of the welfare state and the growth of the people dependent on welfare.

Rector believes poverty is a drag on the economy because, he says, the government spends a trillion dollars on programs that benefit the poor and nothing is changing.

That debate is taking place back at the L.A. Regional food bank, too. Scott Wilderman is picking up food for his church’s pantry. He says it’s one thing for the church to help the poor but:

Scott Wilderman: Food stamps is socialism and we’re not a socialist country.

Inside, LaRonda Simes, who has a full-time job there, says without government child care subsidies:

LaRonda Simes: I will be in a shelter or somewhere because I wouldn’t be able to make rent or to make gas to come to work.

She says she’s been poor — and never wants to be there again.

I’m Shereen Marisol Meraji for Marketplace.

If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air.  But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.

Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.

When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.

Check Your Balance ™️
Check Your Balance ™️
Personal finance from Marketplace. Where the economy, your personal life and money meet.

Thank you to all the donors who made our fall drive a success!

It’s Investors like you that keep Marketplace going strong!