An epidemic is happening among us.
We are not talking about a disease, but the extreme poverty hitting a large population in the most powerful country in the world—the United States of America.
Costs of housing and energy are skyrocketing while today’s wages simply aren’t keeping up with the cost of living. Rent payments fall behind, utility bills go unpaid and food becomes a luxury. The spiral toward hunger and homelessness does not take long for an increasing number of families facing this situation.
It is getting harder to find a job where the pay matches today’s cost of living. Wages are at a standstill, yet the cost of housing just keeps getting higher.
This situation has left countless Americans living below the poverty level.
Working poor families are being pushed over the edge. They are in a financial tailspin and depend on charities to help put food on their table so they can make ends meet.
These days it seems the poor are falling further and further behind. Rich people pretend to ignore this ordeal as they use poor and low middle class manpower to pile up their own wealth.
More and more parents who abide by the rules of the working world still can’t afford to feed their children or themselves.
About 40 percent of people requesting emergency food and utility assistance are employed. The leading causes of hunger are low-paying jobs, followed by unemployment, underemployment and the high cost of housing.
Wages have not been increased for 10 years in a row. Today’s value of the minimum wage is 29 percent lower than it was in 1979.
As a result, one out of five American children goes hungry.
Studies show the average age of a homeless person in the United States is 10 years old. Every passing day more and more people face the threat of one emergency or unexpected bill away from being out on the street.
In the meantime, the government is allotting more and more millions of dollars to pay for the cost of the war in Iraq and other countries and for military projects.
Many charity organizations, including those dealing with poverty as well as cancer, leukemia and other incurable diseases keep sending address labels, stickers, notepads and other items in exchange for donations to support their cause.
Even though these donations are voluntary, many people feel that government and those wasting their money on such things as paying thousands of dollars for a unique bottle of wine, or a gold and diamond cellular phone, should be the ones to contribute the most.
The gap between the rich and the poor keeps stretching and shamefully creating a social void.
We’re losing ground!
Richard is a zoologist, graphic designer and writer. Worked for several publications in Chicago and local newspapers. Active member of the United States Humane Society and other charitable associations advocating for animal and human rights. Apolitical, agnostic and all other possible A’s. Likes animals, nature and technology (in good hands). Dislikes stupidity, ignorance, all kinds of powers, any religion, all privileges and social prejudice.
Editor: Jamie Morgan
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