Quote of the Day, May 25, 2012
The median job in this country pays now about $34,000/year, if you have it full time and you have it all year. That’s half the jobs in the U.S. pay less than $34,000/year. A quarter of the jobs pay less than the poverty line for a family of four, $22,000/year. That’s amazing in this wealthy country that so many jobs pay so little. And, in real terms taking inflation into account, the wage for the median job only went up, according to the Economic Policy Institution, only 7% in 40 years. Less than a 5th of a percent a year– Peter Edelman, excerpted from May 24, 2012 interview with Karen Dolan, Policy Director for the Economic Hardship Reporting Project
Georgetown University Law professor, Peter Edelman is the author of the new book, So Rich So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America. Edelman has been, among many distinguished positions in his long career of public service, Legislative Assistant to Senator Robert F. Kennedy and the Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) under President Bill Clinton. He famously resigned his HHS post in principled opposition to the “welfare reform” bill that was passed during President Clinton’s administration in 1996. This “welfare reform” changed the safety net entitlement of cash assistance to poor people, mothers and families into a state-level block grant program which drastically reduced the availability of assistance to those in need.
Peter and Karen had a long chat about Peter’s life work and his new book. The full interview will be published here next week. You don’t want to miss it! Learn more about what this lifelong expert, activist, academic and hero of the U.S. anti-poverty movements has to say about the past present and future of economic hardship in America.