A whopping 4 out of 5 Americans struggle with poverty, driving them to welfare programs to subsidize their income, according to the Associated Press. The Great Recession has toppled the American dream for many and increased the gap between the rich and the poor.
As the bottom continues to fall out of the economy, and good middle class jobs are replaced with low wage jobs, one of the most striking demographic changes is the growing number of whites who’ve fallen into poverty or are in danger of falling below the poverty line:
While racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to live in poverty, race disparities in the poverty rate have narrowed substantially since the 1970s, census data show. Economic insecurity among whites also is more pervasive than is shown in the government’s poverty data, engulfing more than 76 percent of white adults by the time they turn 60…\
Although the right wing enjoys drawing caricatures of black Welfare Queens, data indicates that the new face of poverty is increasingly white.
Again, from AP:
While poverty rates for blacks and Hispanics are nearly three times higher, by absolute numbers the predominant face of the poor is white.
More than 19 million whites fall below the poverty line of $23,021 for a family of four, accounting for more than 41 percent of the nation’s destitute, nearly double the number of poor blacks.
In all, a record 46.2 million Americans fall below the poverty line, which is $23,021 for a family of four.
What will the whitening of poverty mean for America? More racial tension of more collective class action?