Sep 10, 2013

The Rich and The Rest of Us

I have just finished reading a book called "The Rich and The Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto". It really opened my eyes to the widening of the wealth gap that is currently going on in the United States. Did you know that there are 150 Million people in the US living at or under the poverty level? How can that be in the " Land of Plenty"? In the last five years nearly one-third of middle class families have fallen into poverty. And the rich, well they are getting richer than ever. 

At the risk of sounding like a communist, I'm going to say that there has to be a better way. Children in the US should not be going to bed hungry. We have too many resources at our disposal for that to be happening. I don't know what the answer is or how to solve these problems. I just know that if we don't take care of our own citizens, we are headed for a downfall. History has repeated itself over and over again in this regard and the US seems to be heading into a downward spiral. I hope we can recover.

A few surprising factoids that you may not be aware of:

The wealthiest 1 percent of the nation controls 42 percent of the nations wealth

Income for people earning over $350,000 per year has increased 33 percent over the last 20 years

Income for the other 99 percent of Americans have been at a virtual stand still

The number of people living in poverty has grown by more that 10 million during the last five years (I have not verified this, its coming from data I looked up online)

There are over 1 million Veterans living below the poverty level

One in Seven homeless people in the US is a veteran

Those are all pretty depressing statistics. What do you think we can do to change things in the US? Can we do anything to make a difference? 

I know that this post is a little off topic, but I do believe it is relevant to almost anyone who is interested in simple living.