January 12, 2014 |
Fifty years ago Wednesday, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered what may have been the last genuinely uplifting State of the Union speech we've had. "This administration, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America," he said. "We shall not rest until that war is won. The richest nation on Earth can afford to win it. We cannot afford to lose it. " Since LBJ's launch of the War on Poverty, the effort has become a whipping boy on the right and even the left.
January 5, 2014 |
California is home to both Silicon Valley and Hollywood, two of the world's greatest wealth-producing engines, and much of the state enjoys tremendous affluence. By some estimates, my own town of Palo Alto has the world's highest per capita concentration of billionaires. But California also has pockets of enormous poverty. The U.S. Census recently estimated that when both income and living costs are taken into account, 24% of Californians live in poverty, the highest poverty rate of any state.
November 6, 2013 |
An alternative way of measuring poverty shows that nearly 2.8 million more people are struggling across the country than officially calculated, the U.S. Census Bureau reports - and California has by far the biggest share of people in poverty, eclipsing states such as Mississippi and Louisiana. The alternative yardstick, known as the supplemental poverty measure, is different from the official poverty rate in a few key ways: It takes tax credits and other government benefits into account.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 30, 2013 |
Los Angeles has the highest poverty rate among California counties, according to a new analysis announced Monday that upends traditional views of rural and urban hardship by adding factors such as the soaring price of city housing. The measurement, developed by researchers with the Public Policy Institute of California and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, found that 2.6 million, or 27%, of Los Angeles County residents lived in poverty in 2011. The official poverty rate for the county, based on the U.S. Census' 2011 American Community Survey, is 18%. The new analysis set California's poverty rate at 22%, the highest in the nation, compared with the official rate of 16%. Counties such as Placer and Sacramento, with more moderate housing costs, have lower poverty rates than those of metropolitan areas, researchers said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 25, 2013 |
Sixteen-year-old Mary Sem worries about her family. She has overheard her mother crying over memories of loved ones she lost to the Khmer Rouge. Her father and older sisters struggle to cover rent and the perpetual bills. Her college dreams are hitched to helping them. If Mary got a degree and a good job, "my family would be able to pay the bills on time," the teen said one day after school in Long Beach. "They wouldn't need to worry about anything. " The Sems, who trace their roots to Cambodia, have little in common with the stereotype of Asian Americans as a "model minority" that is faring well economically.
September 19, 2013 |
New census data released Thursday painted a grim picture of the economic recovery in the United States. Still there were bright spots in California. Poverty levels and household incomes for 2012 remained below 2007 levels in many parts of the country and haven't changed much from the year before. The number of Americans living in poverty -- a record 46.5 million -- remained largely unchanged in 2012. And the data show that the share of households with incomes below $24,999 stands at 24.4%.