The Truth About Poverty

The poor, according to former labor secretary Robert Reich, “are regarded as people who are somehow different, either because they’re assumed to be Latin Americans or African Americans, or they are just assumed to be somewhat different. What a lot of people don’t realize is that your chance, if you are just a typical American, of falling into poverty sometime during your 30 or 40 years of working life is almost one out of three, and the poverty rate keeps on going up.”

Watch the full conversation, where Reich explains why, economically, America is almost two separate countries.


  • Allison

    I’m up & just watched your conversation with Robert Reich. I’m one of the people that was talked about in regard to falling into proverty. This has been a long & extremely embarassing & pain slide that began when I became a widow at 44. I went back to school to take the opportinity to update my computer skills and came out realizing that I was no longer in San Francisco but in Las Cruces near the border. I found a job, not being able to use my new skills, in retail that didn’t pay much, back then I was at minimum wage $5.75 per hr. so obviously I had to continue selling my stock & pay capital gains.
    I left & became a certified nursing assistant & started working sometimes 16 hr. shifts, back then at $6.10 per hr. I moved to Colorado & worked 2 full time jobs while there & was finally able to NOT sell stock finally. A few years later I moved to Las Vegas & would at times continue to work 2 full time jobs & finally felt able to breath so I gave up one of them finally. After 7 yrs. of working at the same hospital for just under 7 yrs. I lost my job at just a few weeks shy of age 61.
    With my work being so physical, I was 48 when I became a cna, no one will ever hire me to work in this field again. I’m one of THOSE people & am extremely terrified. I’ve done the right thing & now find myself on unemployment & back to selling my stock. I’m too young to draw down social security, there are many people like me hidden away. Directly across from me is an unemployed middle aged teacher, who’s younger than me, who is now faced with raising her 2 grandchildren. She’s like me, hidden away, we don’t socialize with our neighbor’s anymore or even each other, what could we possibly talk about without depressing each other?

  • Elvin

    Allison, I can feel your concern and worry throughout this letter, but I want you to know that you can and will make it through this difficult time in you life. You must put all of your trust in God because He is the only one that knows exactly what you are going through. He will provide a way for you to maintain your mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial status in life. Matt. 6:33 says ” But, seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” I truly believe that when a person puts God and his Church first in their lives, God will not only give you what you need to survive, but also give your more than you can image. Keep the faith, what He has brought you to, allows Him to bring you through.!!

Last modified: October 17, 2011 at 3:15 pm