People envision New York City as a fountain of excess and wealth of luxury. While some from New York seem to always land on their feet, that’s not the same case for everyone. The fact is that unemployment and poverty are constant concerns for residents and for politicians in New York City. Politicians need to answer to this, they need to have a plan to get hopeless, jobless New Yorkers out of this rut they’ve been living in and they ignore poverty at their own individual peril. Some politicians have put forth ambitious plans while others have not been as detailed. Still the frugal New Yorker must wonder, “Is any of this real? Or are these poverty ‘solutions,’ little more than just lip service?”
Recent news out from the Fiscal Policy Institute (1) records some grim facts. According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, “poverty in New York City rose by 1.2 percent in 2009, from 20.1percent to 21.3 percent.” That means more than one in five New Yorkers are living below the national average and are certified in poverty. According to the Gotham Gazette (2) the definition “for a four person family (is an income) at slightly under $22,000 ($21,954).” Nationally the averages are a little bit better (14.3 percent in 2009) but poverty all over America is still on the rise.
Poverty, joblessness, and a lack of opportunity are three things which politicians in New York City need to be keenly aware of. People are fed up with no opportunities even to get the job to make the money to supply the life for themselves and their family. New Yorkers have also never been shy about sharing their disgust, their mistrust, and their rejection of political decisions which pose a negative impact on their lives.
According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette (3) the definition of “poor” for a single person in America meant $10,830 or less in income. While I am currently a New Yorker with a “job” so to speak, it has not been for the whole year that I’ve been working and this ‘job’ could disappear any day. My annual earning totals for last year anyway didn’t even come close to that $10,830 number. My earnings this year may crack that $10,830 mark but barely. I have no employment security; I could lose his job by no fault of my own even. So I’m very interested in what my local and state politicians have to say about jobs and dealing with poverty in New York City.
I recently wrote about that Paladino/Cuomo governor’s race in New York State and that just seems like something of a mud-slinging contest right now. Maybe if the candidates would get back to the issues at hand, then New Yorkers all over the state could make an educated judgment on who to vote for governor. I’m still a little vexed at the third term of the apparently already lame-duck billionaire Bloomberg at Gracie Mansion. What are the good mayor’s plans? Bloomberg took over in the wake of 9/11 and really calmed the mood down considerably. But now the once bustling, hard-charging New York state of mind has slowed to a muted crawl.
Unemployment is the key to getting your political aims in line with the wishes of New York City voters. Fixing unemployment adds jobs which will increase consumption, spurn on spending and get the economic wheels moving again.
If New York City politicians hope to get elected and wish to be kept in office, they had best heed these words.