While we've previously established that the middle class is being annihilated
, but that El Paso County is faring fairly well
, now we bring you numbers that say the poor population in Colorado Springs grew by 87.5 percent between 2000 and 2008-2012. As well, 14 years ago, we had no census tracts, or neighborhoods, with a poverty level of at least 20 percent. Now we have seven, the largest change in percentage in the country.
It's part of a new trend across the country. (No, I'm not talking about the trend from 2009 to 2011, where 93 percent of averaged American households lost wealth
.) No, says the Brookings Institution
— which just dubbed Colorado's recreational weed industry a success
— this is a more insidious, neighborly trend.
"After two downturns and subsequent recoveries that failed to reach down the economic ladder, the number of people living below the federal poverty line ($23,492 for a family of four in 2012) remains stubbornly stuck at record levels," awesomely named researcher Elizabeth Kneebone
writes. "Today, more of those residents live in suburbs than in big cities or rural communities, a significant shift compared to 2000, when the urban poor still outnumbered suburban residents living in poverty.
"The challenges of poor neighborhoods — including worse health outcomes, higher crime rates, failing schools, and fewer job opportunities — make it that much harder for individuals and families to escape poverty and often perpetuate and entrench poverty across generations."
One Seattle "zillionaire," Nick Hanauer
, recently interested the Interwebs with a piece in POLITICO
saying this trend may lead to what he describes as the inevitable: revolution. And he's not kidding.
"But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. ...
"If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when."
Here's the breakdown: