Misery Persists in the Nation’s Third-Richest State

If you drive around the neighborhoods of Moorestown or Montclair, with their million-dollar homes and exquisitely manicured lawns, you might get the impression that New Jersey’s economy is dong just fine. And you’d be partially right. The economy is doing fine for CEOs, high-powered attorneys, and education profiteers. But just like the impression of New Jersey that an outsider gets from the opening scene of The Sopranos, this is a false and dangerous impression.

The real story is summarized by a subheadline in this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer:

Misery persists in the nation’s third-richest state

The article summarizes a report, “Poverty Benchmarks 2013”, released by the Poverty Research Institute. The report takes into account New Jersey’s high cost of living and concludes that almost one quarter of New Jersey’s citizens are living in poverty.

It should not be a surprise that our poverty rates have skyrocketed under Chris Christie’s reign. While he did not create poverty in the state, Christie’s policies have exacerbated the problem to an alarming extent.

Under Chris Christie, after school programs have been cut, requiring working parents to pay for expensive day care or quit their second jobs. Christie’s veto of a modest increase in minimum wage (which if passed, would still result in many thousands of working families living in poverty) is an embarrassment to decency. His obstinacy on embracing Obamacare is not only costing taxpayers, but is making it more difficult for those in poverty to avail themselves of basic medical care. His reduction of the budget for legal services to the poor makes it more difficult or even impossible for those ensnared by predatory lenders and other miscreants to bootstrap themselves out of poverty. The list of Christie’s thumbing his nose to the poor goes on and on. And of course, Christie’s record is punctuated by the fact that unemployment in the state is the worst in the region, hitting the poor and near-poor the hardest.

So while the AshBritt executives and the education profiteers join the ranks of the 1% in their cavernous homes, let’s not forget our fellow citizens who worry about being able to feed their kids with nutritious food, about the head of household who can’t get a job (or if she’s lucky, can get a minimum wage job that locks her family into poverty even more), or the undocumented young adult who can’t afford out-of-state tuition rates that would prepare him to become a taxpayer.

Clearly, Chris Christie doesn’t care about the majority of New Jerseyans. He figures he can be elected President without our 14 electoral votes, and cares more about Texas’ 38 electoral votes.

We won’t solve New Jersey’s poverty problem overnight. But just like a corporation fires an underperforming CEO to turn around a business, New Jersey can fire Chris Christie in November, and let Barbara Buono start to put the state back on the path to prosperity for all.

(Below the fold: How does your county rank on the poverty scale?)



credit: Philadelphia Inquirer

Misery Persists in the Nation’s Third-Richest State

If you drive around the neighborhoods of Moorestown or Montclair, with their million-dollar homes and exquisitely manicured lawns, you might get the impression that New Jersey’s economy is dong just fine. And you’d be partially right. The economy is doing fine for CEOs, high-powered attorneys, and education profiteers. But just like the impression of New Jersey that an outsider gets from the opening scene of The Sopranos, this is a false and dangerous impression.

The real story is summarized by a subheadline in this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer:

Misery persists in the nation’s third-richest state

The article summarizes a report, “Poverty Benchmarks 2013”, released by the Poverty Research Institute. The report takes into account New Jersey’s high cost of living and concludes that almost one quarter of New Jersey’s citizens are living in poverty.

It should not be a surprise that our poverty rates have skyrocketed under Chris Christie’s reign. While he did not create poverty in the state, Christie’s policies have exacerbated the problem to an alarming extent.

Under Chris Christie, after school programs have been cut, requiring working parent to pay for expensive day care or quit their second jobs. Christie’s veto of a modest increase in minimum wage (which if passed, would still result in many thousands of working families living in poverty) is an embarrassment to decency. His obstinacy on embracing Obamacare is not only costing taxpayers, but is making it more difficult for those in poverty to avail themselves of basic medical care. His reduction of the budget for legal services to the poor makes it more difficult or even impossible for those ensnared by predatory lenders and other miscreants to bootstrap themselves out of poverty. The list of Christie’s thumbing his nose to the poor goes on and on. And of course, Christie’s record is punctuated by the fact that unemployment in the state is the worst in the region, hitting the poor and near-poor the hardest.

So while the AshBritt executives and the education profiteers join the ranks of the 1% in their cavernous homes, let’s not forget our fellow citizens who worry about being able to feed their kids with nutritious food, about the head of household who can’t get a job (or if she’s lucky, can get a minimum wage job that locks her family into poverty even more), or the undocumented young adult who can’t afford out-of-state tuition rates that would prepare him to become a taxpayer.

Clearly, Chris Christie doesn’t care about the majority of New Jerseyans. He figures he can be elected President without our 14 electoral votes, and cares more about Texas’ 38 electoral votes.

We won’t solve New Jersey’s poverty problem overnight. But just like a corporation fires an underperforming CEO to turn around a business, New Jersey can fire Chris Christie in November, and let Barbara Buono start to put the state back on the path to prosperity for all.

(Below the fold: How does your county rank on the poverty scale?)



credit: Philadelphia Inquirer

Comments (6)

  1. toaonua

    …you’ve gone & picked on the Guv’s weight again by referencing an article that discusses households experiencing hunger and folks struggling to feed and house their kids! (Just kidding).

    Any Dems in Passaic, Essex, Hudson, Union, Middlesex, Ocean, Camden, Atlantic, Salem, Cumberland or Cape May Counties who’ve had the nerve to stand with and endorse the Guv should be forced spend a week working a food kitchen or homeless shelter and see what this administration’s policies and its “War on the Poor” have done to the less fortunate among us!

    Thanks, deciminyan, for posting this.

    Reply
  2. DSWright

    Wonder what ever happened to that slogan.

    Reply
  3. ken bank

    For this article to be published in his newspaper? If he did, he’ll get an earful about it from Christie!

    Reply
  4. rubybegone

    is also the highest taxed state in % of income …not being able to keep your income  makes a perfect formula for poverty …..  

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *