Poverty in the US and South Dakota hits record highs

from the SD Peace and Justice Center:

The poverty rate in the United States is at 15.1%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage report.  This means that 46.2 million people in the United States are in poverty, the largest number since the government began tracking poverty in the 1950s.  In addition, the poverty rate for children is 22% and has only been higher three times since the mid-1960s.  49.9 million individuals in the U.S. lack health insurance.  Senator Bernie Sanders wrote a very interesting opinion piece on the subject, and mentions the fact that the top 1% of Americans earn more than the bottom 50%.

The Argue Endorser also did an extensive story about poverty and the economy in South Dakota;

Figures released Tuesday show that 13.7 percent of South Dakotans are living below the federal poverty level. That puts the state marginally below national poverty levels of 14.2 percent but above neighboring states of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and Nebraska.

When over 10% of your population is living in poverty, you have to scratch your head a bit and wonder how long this recession is going to last. South Dakotans have always been known to be modest when it comes to income, and these numbers show that it only takes a little down tick to go from lower middle-class to flat out broke real quick. As MC from Dakota War College commented the other day on this site:

I find it odd….
The county is building a homeless shelter,
The city is building an events center.

Yeah, what ironic times we live in? Huh?



#1 ydkm on 09.14.11 at 9:24 am

“The county is building a homeless shelter, The city is building an events center”. Nailed that one on the head. The county is legally responsible for the indigent but I can’t say I supported building a homeless shelter. Minnehaha County would have made better financial sense supporting Salvation Army, St. Francis House, etc., with monetary subsidies rather than the expense they are going to incur maintaining their own facility for the homeless. Other agencies already involved, didn’t need to reinvent their own. The news just keeps getting worse about the economy and poverty levels. And the EC train by this mayor keeps chugging along. Is he clueless or what? This isn’t the time for building an EC in Sioux Falls. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have one but just not now.

#2 Detroit Lewis on 09.14.11 at 9:45 am

I have watched this water park slide from the beginning. It is kinda silly. I will give credit to Tim Stenga though, he shows up to every council meeting and says the same thing every week, “People are hurting, this is not the time to build a new EC.” Whether he knows it or not, his marketing plan is more effective then the mayors.

#3 Pathloss on 09.14.11 at 3:31 pm

First priority is replacing Huether with democracy. He awarded EC contracts before there was a location or vote. Public projects must be competitive bidding.

Poverty numbers are worse than stated considering those who’ve stopped looking for work, those who moved back home, and 55+ who would like to work but are forced to live on retirement accounts and social security.

#4 scott on 09.14.11 at 7:07 pm

funny how when the argus does the “poor people” stories, they never bother to interview any business “leaders” or politicians them to say how good the poor really have it.

#5 l3wis on 09.15.11 at 7:33 am

Or what those leader’s ideas are to get us back working again.