Now, here is a challenging thought.
In the United States, 64 per cent of people living in poverty have full-time jobs.
I was a bit hard-put to believe this. But apparently, it's correct. And in some cases, it's a couple of part-time jobs, which may add up to more than a full-time job.
Moreover, I know people in that category.
Now, more news. Among young families (meaning families under 30), 37 per cent are living in"economic distress." Meaning "poverty." That's up from about 25 per cent through the first decade of this century. For elderly families the poverty rate is about 5.7 per cent.
Back in the 1970s, the poverty rate for younger families was only slightly higher for families headed by someone aged 65 or older.
But now, having six young families in poverty compared to one elderly family in poverty, is the new norm. It means a huge social change.
First, there was a major shift back in the 1980s, with more money allocated to older citizens. Then, with welfare reform in the 1990s, there was less money to help poor families, which often have only one parent-wage earner (usually a woman). It's those latter families, and high-school dropouts, for whom there are no jobs, even for those who want to work.
The proverbial pigeons have come home to roost. And they're creating a mess, as pigeons usually do.
The change emphasizes the class distinctions (some say "class warfare") in the U.S.
Until meaningful and sustainable employment can be found for a lot of Americans, many will be locked in poverty. And when people are locked in poverty, they cannot spend money on houses, appliances, cars, and the like. That is spending the economy needs to see in order for real economic grown to take place.
"Buddy, can you spare me a job?"
Note: These are American figures, so this is not directly applicable to Canada. But I wonder if the numbers would be significantly different in the "true north strong and free."