Poverty Rates on the Rise

Nicklesberg/Getty Images, R. (2012, September 23). Go figure – Bloomberg blames city’s poor for

getting poorer while Hizzonor gets richer Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/

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Poverty rates have skyrocketed across America, especially in New York City, and a recovery plan is not yet apparent.

This picture shows a man digging into a trashcan. He has bags that are presumably his settled around him. We do not see his face, just his hand reaching far down into the trash can, possibly in search of something. He is on the street that at this time is not too busy, but we do see people walking around him going about their business. There is what looks to be the entrance to a subway station across the street behind him. He looks thin and his hands seem dry and brittle. His hunched over posture makes him look tired, and run down.

If we dissect this picture, many would come to the conclusion that this is a poor, possibly homeless man looking for nourishment or a way to make some extra money. We can see the clear contrast between the man in the foreground reaching into the garbage, and the other faceless people walking down the street. They don’t stop at the sight of the trashcan and have the same thought process as he does, for if they did, they might be waiting behind them for their turn. The idea of digging around in a public trashcan would disgust most; but the people in the street don’t even seem to be phased, suggesting it’s a normality, and a common sight to be seen.

This picture was taken in New York City, where the percentage of people living in poverty has risen to 21%. That is the highest its been in a decade. This picture, although only one person out of many, shows us what it is, or could be like for that 21%. New York City is not an easy place to make it, and now has one of the highest poverty rates in America. Many are like the man shown here, everyday digging through garbage bags to find anything from food, to recyclables. They will use whatever they can get to make something for themselves, or to ensure survival. This rise in poverty has much to do with the recession that began in 2008. Although the government has tried, they have not been able to salvage the old economic culture. It is clear that, instead of trying to put back the pieces, we must create a new economic climate. At this time the richer are getting richer and the poorer are getting poorer, there needs to be that middle ground again; which requires job creation. The recent census showed that more than 1.7 million new Yorkers live below the poverty line. While big businesses have had success, it isn’t doing anything for the creation of living-wage jobs. The city is experiencing more and more people fighting to feed themselves and their families. This picture, and the idea of digging in a garbage can as a way of survival, should send a message to the policy makers; there needs to be change.

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