An article on the Community Service Society report in the New York Timessuggests that New York is somehow out of step with the rest of country. However, the idea that poverty is not a problem elsewhere is quite misleading. First of all, official figures show that the poverty rate across the country has not significantly changed in the past generation, fluctuating between 12 and about 16 percent. The rate in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area is higher than that in other major cities, with the exception of Houston, where is it 28.1 percent.
In most major urban areas, however, including Los Angeles, Detroit, Washington and Boston, it remains over 20 percent. The poverty figures explode the myth of the rising prosperity in the 1990s. After nearly a decade of Wall Street boom and the enrichment of the top 10 to 20 percent of the population, the middle 50-60 percent is struggling to stay even and the bottom 20-25 percent is falling behind.
Furthermore, the poverty rate is defined arbitrarily at an income level that could more appropriately be termed “extreme poverty.” The government has never bothered to explain how a family of four can live on $16,000 a year when the cost of housing alone is generally at least half of this amount.
I work as a Construction Manager in New York and I feel like I'm scraping by...