Senseless Data

Rob has mentioned it, but the new Census Bureau report, issued today, is chock full o’ nuts the latest facts about the state of US citizens.

[B]etween 2007 and 2008, real median income was statistically unchanged for households maintained by a person 65 years old and over but declined for households maintained by people of all other age group categories. Additionally, the poverty rate increased for children under 18 and for people 18 to 64 but remained statistically unchanged for people 65 and over…[T]he elderly represented 12.6 percent of the overall population but only 9.2 percent of the poor population.”

You know what that means, don’t you? That means the next old person I see yelling about me keeping my hands of their health care is gonna get it. Especially if said oldster is fat. Oh, yeah, it’s on. I am reeeeeallllly sick of that. Every damn year I have to give up another treat in order to maintain my weight. More walking, more yoga, more humpin’ it so I don’t get overly lardy. And I have to do it while worrying every minute about ending up bankrupt because of possible illnesses – which, when you’re a mom, you can do at Olympics level at all times while performing at least 5 other tasks.

Native- and foreign-born households, including those maintained by a naturalized citizen, had declines in real median income between 2007 and 2008.6 Income remained statistically unchanged for households maintained by a noncitizen.”

I hope they’re yelling “SUCK IT!” in Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Urdu, Farsi, Swedish, Russian, Greek, Luxembourgish, Bengali, Magyar, and Tagalog all at once. Especially Spanish since, let’s face it, they’ve taken quite a bit of abuse these past couple of years. There shouldn’t be anyone left who doesn’t believe that we’ve fashioned a nation that is completely reliant on immigrant labor. Let’s stop pretending we could bear to send them all home.

Real median earnings of both men and women who worked full-time, year-round declined in 2008, following increases in 2007. Men’s earnings declined by 1.0 percent to $46,367 and women’s declined by 1.9 percent to $35,745. The 2008 female-to-male earnings ratio, 0.77, was not statistically different from the 2007 ratio.”

Plus ca change, n’est-ce pas? I’m proud to be worth approximately three-quarters of a man! Hey, it’s better than three-fifths, right? This is so many different kinds of wrong that to examine it cursorily is well nigh impossible. Apparently, being born with all your reproductive material automatically makes you inferior to someone who continues to make more (and more and more) of it daily. Even though that someone can do absolutely nothing with it alone. If anyone can explain that sensibly, I’m ready to listen.

The poverty rate and the number of families in poverty were 10.3 percent and 8.1 million in 2008—up from 9.8 percent and 7.6 million in 2007 (Table 4). For married-couple families, both the poverty rate and the number in poverty increased to 5.5 percent and 3.3 million in 2008—up from 4.9 percent and 2.8 million in 2007—while the poverty rate and the number in poverty showed no statistical change in 2008 for female-householder-with-no-husband-present families (28.7 percent and 4.2 million) and male-householder-with-no-wife-present families (13.8 percent and 723,000).”

Where’s the Defense of Marriage Act for these people? Why don’t the people who worry that, somewhere, a couple of gays might be enjoying wedded bliss get out and help these people? Can the happiness of same-sex couples prove more of a threat than the ravaging stress of poverty on a marriage? While you’ll note, I’m sure, that woman-led families are impoverished at more than double the percentage of male-led families, the fact that more and more married couples are poor is startling. Try worrying about feeding and clothing your kids, paying for shelter, paying for health care, and keeping your head above water, while simultaneously doing all the quotidian things everyone has to do and see if it wouldn’t strain even the strongest of marriages. Why doesn’t somebody write an op-ed about that?

Children represented 24.6 percent of the overall population but 35.3 percent of the poor population and 36.8 percent of the population with income below 50 percent of their poverty thresholds.”

That’s the poorest of the poor, by the way. More than a third of the poorest of the poor are children. Do I need to go off on that one, or are you ready to do it yourself? I’ve demonstrated how, quite screedily. (That’s not a word, but if William Shakespeare can contribute 10,000 new words to the English language, surely I can proffer “screedily” to posterity.) If, as I believe, it contradicts American values to let people go bankrupt simply because they get sick, certainly we cannot tolerate this shameful statistic. Don’t worry, there are plenty more data to get wound up about in the report. You should check it out, get into a swivet for yourself.


  1. IBXer

    September 11, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Real median earnings of both men and women who worked full-time, year-round declined in 2008, following increases in 2007. Men’s earnings declined by 1.0 percent to $46,367 and women’s declined by 1.9 percent to $35,745. The 2008 female-to-male earnings ratio, 0.77, was not statistically different from the 2007 ratio.”

    It will get worse when the Obamataxplan roles out.

  2. bob durivage

    September 15, 2009 at 3:34 am

    How many of the poorest of the poor children are not an only child? How many have two siblings? Three?..Can we rationally hope for better days with increasing population , dwindling resources, and coal-filled skies? You can’t discuss any solution to any major problem without including population growth. Am I wrong? Then why arek’t we talking about it? Snip snip.

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