Thursday, November 3, 2011


It's the Bear again, being a Bear-er of bad news, particularly the rise in the number of poor people.

And you wonder why there is an "Occupy Wall Street"?

Bear trundles out, perplexed and very sad.


Elisabeth said...

Only yesterday I was talking to my husband about what looks like an increase in poverty in America. From here in Australia, where things are not quite so bad, at least not for everyone, it looks grim. The divide between the haves and have nots continues to grow. No wonder the bear is sad.

The Blog Fodder said...

Pretty grim numbers. Reports always talk about Blacks and Hispanics, but if you do the numbers (% in poverty x percent of population) it is a white problem too. People seem to forget that. Poverty is non-racist and equal opportunity.

Jean said...

We have a bizarre situation here in the UK where those who know how to work the benefit system and have been on it for years can get more money than some of the workers who pay the taxes that pay their benefits.

Yesterday a lady who works in a post office for the legal minimum wage told me how every week she hands over more in cash in benefits than she gets in her pay packet to people who are in similar circumstances to her - a single parent trying to bring up a child.
They only thing she has that they haven't is that she has to get up at 6.30am every day to go to work instead of dragging herself out of bed at 11am to watch the TV all day.

That's not right either.

Furtheron said...

I worry that we are really heading soon for a complete polarization in society. The rich and the poor. There will be some point in life where you are considered, judged and determined one or the other and then the poor will be cast out. The Rich will builds bigger and bigger barricades around themselves, and I don't just mean physically to keep the poor out.

You can still I believe fit all the worlds population into France - so worryingly will the rich now start ethnic cleansing of areas of the poor - I mean large parts of countries etc. Unless you directly work and are under the patronage of a rich person you are cast out to the barren lands.

It is an awful vision of the future that I really really hope can be avoided.

potsoc said...

Yes we have a very sad situation and the current trend to the right augurs nothing good.

Diana said...

You know Bear I really try to always be positive despite the fact that my husband reminds me that we are just a paycheck away from living on the street. Sad but it is what it is.
Love Di ♥

Chatty Crone said...

1 in 15 are in poverty now - a family of 4 making less then 11K. Heard it on the news.

The jobs of government have gone up 12% while there is a 9% unemployment rate.


Rob-bear said...

® Elizabeth: I'm so glad you understand both the poverty issues and the Bear's feelings. Thanks.

® Blog Fodder: Yes, poverty is an "equal opportunity situation." Pretty scary. Thanks.

® Jean: Thanks very much. You're right.
I'm certain that there are people who have been unemployed (unemployable?) for so long that they no longer know how to work.

betty said...

My former pastor (we moved) preached from Revelation; he said something that has stuck with me since then. When it mentions "oil and wine" in one of the chapters, he referenced it to the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. That seems to be the way of the world these days (and confirms perhas we are in the last of the end times, which would not bother me at all). There will always be poor people, I just think there tends to be more these days. Such a sad situation indeed. I don't know what the answer is but I know Who the answer is for eternal hope.


Rob-bear said...

® Furtheron: It is an awful vision that you present. It reminds me of Margaret Atwoods's book The Handmaid's Tale. And it is happening, already. Back to Hooverville?

® Potsoc: Yes, Paul. It is a very difficult, frightening situation. And the people trapped in it think the "right" will save them. Which is, of course, wrong.

® Diana: Well, maybe not quite one pay check, but not likely too many more than that. I find that very frightening, nonetheless.

Rob-bear said...

® Chatty Crone: Yes, Sandie; things are pretty weird, and out of balance. And balance is not likely to be restored any time soon; the political rhetoric won't allow that to happen.

Rob-bear said...

® That corgi: Thanks for your insight, Betty.
I'm not convinced, for a variety of reasons, that we are living in end times. I am convinced that things are getting worse, and I expect them to get even worse than they are now.

The Blog Fodder said...

A very high percentage of all of us 99%ers are less than 6 months away from foodbank if something goes wrong.

Rob-bear said...

® Blog Fodder: Sadly, true.
As the economy changes, people who used to donate food and money to food banks are now drawing on the resources of food banks.
Food bank organizers recognize this truth: more need, less donations.
Thanks for your thoughts.

Nancy said...

Good point - and they wonder why there is OWS??

ReformingGeek said...

Yes, the middle class is disappearing with most of us falling down rather than rising up.

It's scary out there, even for a bear.

Lins' lleisio said...

I find those gated communities that are quite popular in America highlight the issue for me.

How can neighbours cocoon themselves from the real world - they are in a cage of The Haves, but the Have Nots may one day rise up and it won't be a pretty sight. To keep equilibrium and social cohesion for ALL the gap should never become too great.

It's a worrying time.

Lydia said...

It is so scary. Many of us are just one paycheck (or pink slip) away from the quick slide into poverty. I am getting really worried about old age, something I never thought about in the past. I was going to say that children and the elderly are the most vulnerable, but everyone is vulnerable these days it seems.

Sad to be sad for the weekend, Bear. Try to cheer up and live quality hours that others cannot live right now.

Just Two Chicks said...

The poverty levels are growing, but I still don't feel the Occupy movement is going to change that. It's kind of like a bunch of people sitting around the television or in the stands of a football game, yelling and screaming at people to change and "Do it right!" "What's wrong with you guys?!?!" Well, okay, lets get out there and play the game ourselves, and offer options that will make everyone happy. NOW that's something Government cannot do... make everyone happy. SO, lets give the "have nots" what they need to get by, the ones who cannot possibly do it on their own, that is... and lets let the people who work their butts off for everything they have, rich or not, keep what they've earned, because they did indeed earn it, and lets get rid of the death penalty, and let the illegal immigrants become citizens, and let people marry who they want to marry, and recognize every injustice done, and create jobs for those who are stuck in poverty, and educate them so they can get out of it, and continue to go into other countries and do the same for them that we have been doing, and ... wow. Wouldn't it be wonderful, and yet... and yet, there would still be those who don't have what they want, who don't want what they have, and who feel they are deserving when in actuality, they are not. Yes, a change needs to come because the ones stricken by poverty, the ones who suffer, are the children born into it. They deserve to know that they actually do have a chance in life. They deserve to be taught how to be self sufficient, They deserve to feel safe, and free from hunger. Yet no one wants to start here... with the children. Occupy seems to run quite smoothly with everything in place. Wy not take that knowledge into the schools and after-school programs, volunteer, work with kids who need the extra tutoring time. I'm not quite sure why I feel so very strong about this, except that I come to this table with experience from both sides and while I would do anything for someone who cannot help themselves because I lived it for awhile, I have a major problem with people who, as you said in commenting to someone else, have forgotten how to work.

About Last Weekend said...

Interesting article, especially in contrast with the suburbs where nannies fill the playgrounds. Talking of playgrounds more and more fathers are turning up to our school to pick up kids at 3pm...nice to see but probably not a good sign economically...

Rob-bear said...

® Nancy: Exactly! Thanks.

® Reforming Geek: The mystery of the missing middle class is being solved. The manufacturing sector is going overseas. It used to be the core of middle-class employment.
And, yes, it is scary out there.

® Lins' lleisio: About those gated communities with the points on top of the gates. I've seen pictures of torn apart and used as multi-pointed spears.
Not a comforting sight for those inside.

Rob-bear said...

® Lydia: Yes, things are so uncertain. And everybody is questioning, particularly with a right-winged government in Canada. (Think George Bush the Younger, size small.) I'm beginning to worry about what our government might do to cut our retirement plans.
As for the weekend, well, put it this way.
I was feeling really down one time.
Friends said to me, "Bear cheer up; things could be worse."
So I cheered up.
Things got worse.
Thanks for your thoughts.

Rob-bear said...

® About Last Weekend: Insightful comment, Jody. Trapped in my human filing cabinet, I don't often get to parks and elementary school. (High school students, like those across the street from us, are another dimension entirely. You would understand; you have teens.)