In 2008, when the banks and the brokerage firms went up in flames and our savings started circling the drain, I was dogged by the uneasy feeling that SOME ONE, SOMEWHERE, was making money off of this hand over fist. I mean, where did it all go? Those gains in retirement accounts and 401Ks couldn’t all have been “on paper,” could they? Even my son the economist couldn’t help me understand where it all went.
Now, I still don’t have any firm grasp on who made off with our millions and billions, but I do have more proof that there’s less money floating around out here for the rest of us poor slobs. According to an article in today’s New York times:
The number of people living in neighborhoods of extreme poverty grew substantially, by one third, over the past decade, according to a new report, erasing most of the gains from the 1990’s when concentrated poverty declined.
You heard right. The poor aren’t only getting poorer. There are now even more of them than there were ten years ago. And the kind of concentrated poverty they’re talking about is savage.
“It’s the toughest, most malignant poverty that we have in the United States,” said Peter Edelman, the director of the Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy at Georgetown University. “It’s bad outcomes reinforcing each other.”
(If you need proof, Nancy Nall for one has been keeping up with the relentless decline of Detroit.)
I can’t bring myself to check the Times’ source and find out how seniors fared in this study. I KNOW it’s bad news. I also seem to remember the Times running a story recently that showed suburban poverty is on the rise as well. And the whole situation frustrates the HELL out of me. Where’s the Complaint Department? What line should I get in to voice my concerns?
I’ve seen enough news footage to know that a serious percentage of the folks in the Occupy (Your Town Here) Movement are a bit unfocused (if not completely unhinged), but I appreciate their enthusiasm. No one seems to be listening.