Community Action agencies across the nation began this year commemorating 50 years of effective services to and advocacy on behalf of millions of low-income, vulnerable people and families.
On December 14, 2013, President Obama had the following remarks.
“The idea that so many children are born into poverty in the wealthiest nation on Earth is heartbreaking enough. But the idea that a child may never be able to escape that poverty because she lacks a decent education or health care, or a community that views her future as their own, that should offend all of us and it should compel us to action…the combined threads of increased inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American Dream, our way of life, and what we stand for around the globe.”
Recent troubling trends include: Twenty years ago, the average CEO made 20-50 times the income of the average worker.
Today’s average CEO makes 273 times more than the average worker.
• From 2009-2011, the bottom 93% OF us households LOST $600 billion in wealth.
The top 7% gained $5.6 trillion. Income inequality is at the highest level since the Great Depression.
Recent positive trends:
• New research by Columbia University shows that the War on Poverty safety net programs helped reduce poverty from 26% in 1967 to 16% in 2012
• Analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that federal support programs for low-income families reduce poverty and have long-term positive effects.