As explained by the Urban Institute, the jobs crisis is a significant contributor to these statistics. Approximately one in five non-elderly families experienced unemployment in 2010. Poverty increased with the number of weeks of unemployment. The poverty rate of the long-term unemployed was more than twice the rate of those with no unemployment in 2010.
Meanwhile the rich continue to get richer while most of us are just getting by. According to Mother Jones, a huge share of the nation's economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an average of $27 million per household while the average income for the bottom 90 is $31,244. And while millions of Americans struggle to find a job or keep their home, corporate profits are boomin'.
For so many, the American Dream has become a dream deferred. Those who fear our current economic catastrophe may have apocalyptic consequences are pondering the question voiced by poet Langston Hughes:
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?