June 18, 2013
Truthdiggers of the Week: Indiana University Poverty Researchers
Posted on Jan 13, 2012
Here’s a sobering dose of reality: Poverty in America has risen to the 27 percent mark in the last half-decade and, perhaps worse, the prospects for our nation’s poorest won’t necessarily get better as the economy picks up. It’s not news many want to hear, but we’re glad a group of researchers at Indiana University were gutsy enough to release it. That’s why we’re making the academic team from IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs—steered by one of its deans, John Graham, no less—our Truthdiggers of the Week.
With great recessions come great responsibilities for those who have the ability to inform the public or correct the situation. And although leaders on Wall Street and in the White House may have let us down repeatedly since Americans were suddenly obliged to learn about the dangers of subprime mortgages and other feats of sketchy financial wizardry, we need to hear even the worst news served straight up. Without an accurate read on our prospects, we’re liable to take more chances in the future while missing the lessons of the recent past.
Enter Graham and his cohorts, who flexed their scholarly abilities for their study, “At Risk: America’s Poor During and After the Great Recession.” They offer a forceful correction to any airy-fairy gloss jobs about the last six years or about what the upcoming months are likely to bring.
In other words, these interrelated phenomena of diminishing opportunities and increasing numbers of jobless competitors dictate the daily realities of a growing percentage of the population. Contrast this picture with the refrain repeated by the likes of Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke that the recession might have, maybe, sort of ended already.
Nothing like top-notch scholarship to give the lie to that reality-defying line, which some on Capitol Hill seem to believe will take if they just keep saying it. Thus, we directed Truthdig readers to the Indiana University study, released Wednesday, and do so again for this week’s Truthdigger feature, for the sake of all our futures.
Read the full text of the study here.
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