Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty

To honor Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty I have read several blogs about the issue and have been touched by some personal stories, Global Poverty Facts and Stats and this MSNBC article which summarizes a report by The Working Poor Families Project which might change your perceptions of the poverty line in the US.

"The report defines a low-income working family as those earning less than twice the Census definition of poverty. In 2006, the most recent year for available data, a family of four earning $41,228 or less qualified as a low-income family. The number of jobs with pay below the poverty threshold increased to 29.4 million, or 22 percent of all jobs, in 2006 from 24.7 million, or 19 percent of all jobs, in 2002."

This obviously means there is a problem with the rise of poverty in the US.

"This was a time when we had solid and robust economic growth," said Brandon Roberts, co-author of the report.

"The number of low-income families rose to nearly 9.6 million, or 28 percent of the total population, in 2006 from 9.2 million, or roughly 27 percent, in 2002, according to the report. The number of children in low-income families rose by roughly 800,000 during the same period, climbing to 21 million from 20.2 million."

And it is not as if these people are not working. "72 percent of low-income families work, with adults in low-income working families working, on average, 2,552 hours per year in 2006, the equivalent of one and one-quarter full-time jobs."

So how does this relate to medication non-adherence? If patients are finding it difficult to pay for food and clothing for their family, medications are very low on their priority list. I wonder what the cross reference of the people in low income working families to those who are uninsured?

So take today (scratch that, everyday) to remember how fortunate you are, even if you have lost a lot of money in the stock market. Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day, and at least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.

Go make a donation to your local foodbank or donate to Heifer International which provides you the opportunity to donate small amounts of money towards larger purchases of livestock to transform entire communities in 53 countries and 28 US states.

Please do something if you can. Thank you.

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