Poverty Up, Income Down

The Census Bureau released the 2002 Poverty Report yesterday. In a nutshell, says the NYT,

The number of Americans living in poverty increased by 1.7 million last year, and the median household income declined by 1.1 percent, the Census Bureau reported today. The worsening economic conditions fell heaviest on Midwesterners and nonwhites.

It was the second straight year of adverse changes in both poverty and income, the first two-year downturn since the early 1990’s.

Things are tough all over right now, but toughest in manufacturing-intensive areas (things are fine if you’re one of the richest 400 people in the country, though).

At first glance, it seems tough to blame Bush for this–the manufacturing decline has been ongoing for decades. On the other hand, Bush’s naked grab for Pennsylvania voters via unwise steel tariffs–tariffs that drove up the cost of steel–harmed domestic manufacturing that relies upon steel as an input, thereby costing the US economy 30,000-50,000 manufacturing jobs.