Poverty has been increasing in all age brackets and racial groups since the recession. Disparities that existed before between rich and poor and between racial groups are getting worse. It especially impacts children.
40% of African American children, 30% of Native American children, 25% of Hispanic children, 20% of Asian Americans, and 10% of white children are in poverty. Recognizing that 85% of our population is white, that 10% number is very large. Why so much poverty?!
Our economy is recovering, but most of the gains are going to the top 1% in America. We desperately need to recover an economy that works for all.
That economy is fueled by the spending of the working and middle class. The engine of our economy is and has always been fueled from the “middle out,” never via a “trickle down.” This is where our attention must go.
We must also understand and acknowledge that our state has some of the worst racial disparities in the nation. Minnesota is ranked as one of the best states for overall quality of life, yet it is the second-worst state for African Americans. We cannot rest easy with this reality.
The stress and lack of hope in long-term poverty defeats the soul, closes down the heart, and damages the brain. Poverty must be addressed.
- A livable wage is the straightest shot into the heart of poverty.
- Access to good health care, stable housing, and nutritious food are basic rights.
- Opportunities for jobs and educational skills open doors.