Sunday, November 06, 2005

In this Defender article, they and the Reporter explore the economic phenemonen that has sent many working class Chicagoans reeling-inflation in consumer goods coupled with rising heating costs.

The gap between what Chicagoans get paid and what they need---referred to by many as a "living wage"---spans all races, professions and education levels. But Asian, black and Latino families in Chicago were much more likely to feel the pinch than white families.
With the country slowly staggering out of an economic recession, there is a short supply of higher-paying jobs, even for college graduates.

According to a researcher in Washington state, as of 1999, 46% of Chicago's "four person households" were not "self-sufficient."
Furthermore, a Reporter analysis of 2004 wage estimates from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that wages for nearly half of those earning below the citywide average---about $40,720---have not risen as fast as inflation since 2000.

They do not equate insufficiency with public assistance, but, rather, an inability to meet monthly financial obligations on a regular basis. Adverse effects from inflation are ususally associated, often inaccurately, with businesses and wealthy invested-not the struggling urban underclass. So, one wonders if the changing of the guards at the fed will do anything to alleviate this burden, or if social problems and mismanagement thereof on the state and local level are to blame.


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