Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 6 No. 3 | Fall 1984 (Seattle) /// Issue of 24 /// Master# 57 of 73

8 THE WASHINGTON ECONOMY DRAWING BY TIM BRAUN • The number of families living in poverty is growing and has reached the highest level since 1965. announced that the poverty rate nationwide has reached its highest level in 18 years, and the rate of children’s poverty has reached a record high of 25%. One outof every four of our children is poor. These are a few of the signs that the current cyclical upturn is, in reality, leaving millions of Americans behind. And the situation is particularly bad in Washington State: • Joblessness remains high — eighteen months into the “recovery” the state's unemployment rate is still nearly 10%. More than 200,000 Washingtonians who are actively seeking work are unable to find it. The figures do not include the thousands of unemployed who have given up looking for work. Recovering from the “Recovery” • The new jobs being created in the state are fewer in number and lower in pay than the jobs that are disappearing. Real wages of working people have declined and are continuing to decline. hard for us,” says Hogner, who works for State Chore Services in South Bend to support her family. “I love my work,” she continues, “but the pay isn’t so good. I mean, our average income for the five of us over the last four years, has been only, $3,000 to $5,000 a year.” This summer she had to drop one of her clients after her doctor ordered her to go on stress-related medication. As far as Hogner can tell, the economy’s “recovery” hasn’t reached South Bend. “We existed without welfare for so many years" she sighs, “and then all of a sudden having to go crying for welfare, well, that puts a great depression on me." Her neighbor, Al Thierry, a 56-year-old unemployed ironworker agrees. Thierry, who likes kids and has been working with a community-run day camp this summer, says he’s one of the luckier ones in South Bend, though he has been out of work since October, 1982. He scoffs at the recent flurry of optimistic reports about the economic comeback. “Take a look at the headlines — Reagan says, Economy best in 33 years! Now I think he’s talking about the best economy under a Republican administration. You know, under Hoover, a depression, under Reagan only a recession.” In northern Pacific County, 25% of the families live below the poverty level. One has to wonder whose recovery this is. The figures released by the Reagan administration in August to substantiate the rosy predictions for the economy came on the heels of another less cheerful report. The U.S. Bureau of Census I 1I h g h o a a d d t l s a a o i j d m o b o e, t f f h I i d h n o a g w d g n a o i a g n t i gr t l h , m eisltuemr binerthyiasrdw. orld. ONuowr loI vweowrkendtowband,attimtheescgaortwhaashrd, ,where all it ever does is rain, Don’t you feel like you’re a rider on a downbound train. Bruce Springsteen. “Downbound Train”, 1984 OB ( ha nr ids ttihniar tHe eong. nSehre iasnad mheort hf aemr iol yf ltihvreeien dS oa uugt hhtBeer sn, da, gWeas sshi ixn, gnt oi nne, ha arsubr ae le nc odme vma sutnaitteyd obfy 1t h, 6e4r0e ci ne nnt odret hc lei rnne Pi na ct hi fei ct iCmobuenrt yi n, dauns tarrye. aS itnhcaet o1f9m80i l, l usnheumt dpolwo ynms . e“nI tt’ shlaosoakvi ne rgapgreedt t2y0b%a di nt ot hmeec. oTui mn teys, fhoalvl oewb ienegnwr eaavlel ys Clinton St. Quarterly