An American Tragedy

An American Tragedy

I want to mention very briefly–not discuss, not analyze–a few matters that we will be returning to in future issues of Dissent. They are central to our moment.

A few facts, perhaps known but worth repeating:

-Nearly one out of every four residents in New York lives on an income below the poverty line, which in 1987 was set by the federal government at $11,611 for a family of four. In 1988, 23.2 percent of the New York City population lived below the poverty line.

-A study by the National League of Cities discloses that poverty in America’s cities has grown more concentrated and persistent over the last two decades. The proportion of the poor living in metropolitan areas rose from 62 to 70 percent in 1985–an increase of 7.6 million people.