Charles M. Blow, the New York Times op-ed columnist, talks about a new book, The Coming Jobs War, to underscore the importance of job creation — good-job creation — in the U.S. in order for the country to remain globally competitive.
There are now 46.2 million poor Americans.
Of those, 2.6 million fell into poverty last year.
At 15.1 percent, the poverty rate is at its highest since 1993.
Bloody, bloody, bloody.
But even those numbers somewhat obscure the true historic nature of the crisis and the effect that the recession, falling wages and chronic joblessness have had on those living in poverty. If you remove children and the elderly and just look at working-age adults — those 18 to 64 — the picture is even more bleak. The percentage of that group that is in poverty is the highest recorded since President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a "war on poverty" during his first State of the Union address in January 1964.
And it's not that most of these people don't have jobs. It's that they don't have good jobs that pay enough to push them out of poverty. Three out of four of those below the poverty line work: half have full-time jobs, a quarter work part time. Only a quarter do not work at all.
Read Charles M. Blow's entire column at the New York Times.