The rising rate of poverty in this county should be enough to make anybody and everybody enraged. As the pastor of an inner-city Baptist church and the executive director of an agency charged with reducing poverty, understand that I don’t use this word lightly or without forethought. However, I cannot think of another word that more succinctly describes how I feel. Consider the following highlights from the U.S. Census 2009 report (the nation’s official source on poverty estimates) released on 9.16.10:
Poverty in 2009 rose to 14.3 percent – up from 13.2 percent the previous year. Nearly 4 million more people now live below the poverty line. The poverty rate is the highest it’s been since 1994, and the 43.6 million people now living in poverty denote the largest number of poor people in this country since estimates were first published more than 50 years ago.