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Good News! Extreme Poverty is Down in the Bay Area

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[Map Credit: Brookings Institute, via Mercury News]

Like parking, it's never too early to argue about poverty. Not a moment too soon- considering the riots in Oakland and the 99% gatherings taking place in every village and hamlet- the Mercury News takes a look at new poverty stats in the Bay Area. To give it some perspective, the official U.S. Census line in the sand for poverty is one person making $11,000 a year, which in some circles is the cost of owning a car for a year or one woman's annual shoe budget:

On the surface, the Bay Area has fared better. Concentrated poverty in the region has dropped by 1.5 percent since 2000, when the East Bay and San Francisco had eight neighborhoods where more than 40 percent of residents were poor.Covering similar turf at the New York Times today, we learn that people who earn under $11,000 a year get all kinds of benefits- so really, folks, it's not a bad as it seems! That's such a relief, unless you make $12,000, in which case you're apparently up that metaphorical creek. Kudos to both papers for managing to convey the soul-crushing aspects of poverty along with the "good news."
· Bay Area's Five Poorest Neighborhoods Show Up in Study [Silicon Valley Mercury News]
· Experts Say Bleak Account of Poverty Missed the Mark