The results of the survey demonstrate an increasingly globalized economy, the further growth of gap between the rich and the poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.
The survey data come as President Obama is trying to do his best to renew his administration’s emphasis on the country’s economy repeating in his speeches that his highest priority is to “rebuild ladders of opportunity” and reverse income inequality.
“As nonwhites approach a numerical majority in the U.S., one question is how public programs to lift the disadvantaged should be best focused – on the affirmative action that historically has tried to eliminate the racial barriers seen as the major impediment to economic equality, or simply on improving socioeconomic status for all, regardless of race,” writes CBS News.
Which is more, whites are more exposed to numerous hardships, based on several measures. Pessimism among that racial group rowards their future welfare has reached the highest point since at least 1987.
In the most recent AP-GfK poll, 63 percent of whites called the economy “poor.”
“I think it’s going to get worse,” shered her opinio Irene Salyers, 52, of Buchanan County, Va., a declining coal region in Appalachia.
The woman, who has recently married third time, now helps run a fruit and vegetable stand with her husnand but they hardly make both ends meet. They live mostly off government disability checks.
“If you do try to go apply for a job, they’re not hiring people, and they’re not paying that much to even go to work,” she said. Children, she said, have “nothing better to do than to get on drugs.”
The recent survey aslo found that marriage rates are in decline across all races, and the number of white mother-headed households living in poverty has risen to the level of black ones.
“It’s time that America comes to understand that many of the nation’s biggest disparities, from education and life expectancy to poverty, are increasingly due to economic class position,” said William Julius Wilson, a Harvard professor who specializes in race and poverty.
The professor went on, adding that despite growing economic difficulties, minorities are much more optimistic about the future prospects after Obama’s election, while struggling whites do not.
“There is the real possibility that white alienation will increase if steps are not taken to highlight and address inequality on a broad front,” Wilson said.
The survey demonstrates that nationwide the count of Americans with extremely low income remains stuck at a record number: 46.2 million, or 15 percent of the population, the data that can be partially explained by lingering high unemployment following the recession.
While poverty rates for blacks and Hispanics are nearly three times higher, by absolute numbers the predominant face of the poor is white, The Huffington Post claims.
More than 19 million whites are currently live below the poverty line of $23,021 for a family of four, accounting for more than 41 percent of the nation’s destitute, nearly double the number of poor blacks.