Poverty Has Skyrocketed Since UI Benefits Ran Out

On average, the economy might be in reasonably good shape right now. But averages can hide a lot. For example, here is the number of people living in poverty:

Before the pandemic, poverty was steadily declining, as you’d expect during an economic expansion. Then the pandemic hit, but thanks to the CARES Act poverty actually spiked downward to about 30 million people.

But since June, when the stimulus benefits ran out, poverty has grown and grown. It’s up by about 8 million people since its low point in June, and by about 5 million people compared to a trendline of where it would likely be if the economy had continued to expand. Either way, that’s a lot of people living in poverty who don’t have to be. Hopefully the bonus unemployment benefits in the relief bill currently being debated will get that number back down at the start of 2021.

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We just wrapped up a shorter-than-normal, urgent-as-ever fundraising drive and we came up about $45,000 short of our $300,000 goal.

That means we're going to have upwards of $350,000, maybe more, to raise in online donations between now and June 30, when our fiscal year ends and we have to get to break-even. And even though there's zero cushion to miss the mark, we won't be all that in your face about our fundraising again until June.

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Because the bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. The only investors who won’t let independent, investigative journalism down are the people who actually care about its future—you.

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