Report: Poor People Pretty Much Fucked

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Vol 39 Issue 48

Christmas Pageant Enters Pre-Production

SAGINAW, MI—With the holiday season in full swing, the St. John's Lutheran Church Annual Christmas Pageant went into pre-production Monday. "We just hired a set builder and a location scout, and I'm looking for leads on a Mary Magdalene, because Mrs. Halverson is out with the gout this year," said church deacon Paul Verriter. "Now, all we need to do is wait for Pastor Dave [Genzler] to give his final notes on the script, and we're off and running." Verriter said he needs Genzler's approval before he can hire a team of writers to punch up the arrival of the shepherds.

Stick Shift Bragged About

NEW YORK—Sources say Gary Baumgarten, an accountant in the bursar's office at Barnard College, introduced his stick shift into the conversation again Monday. "Traffic was murder over the Verrazano Bridge this morning," Baumgarten said. "Especially driving that five-speed. But a stick is the only way to go. Of course." Later that day, Baumgarten touted his stick shift during conversations about San Francisco, taxi drivers, and the drive-thru at Taco Bell.

Baby Boring

TAMARAC, FL—Michelle, the three-week-old daughter of area residents Sue and Allen McKay, is "unbelievably boring," sources close to the couple said Monday. "Sue's always raving about how amazing Michelle is," friend Elena Jacobs said. "But then you meet her, and she barely moves. Who knows? Maybe Michelle is an incredibly charming and engaging little mastermind during the 20 minutes each day that she's awake and not crying." Jacobs added that Michelle must have been born with her mother's eyes and her father's total lack of personality.

Drunken Episode A Repeat

PARMA, OH—Sunday's episode involving drunken house-party guest Philip Welz was a repeat, guests reported. "I couldn't bear to watch it again," Robert Joffe said. "Sure, some parts, like when Phil pees in front of everyone, or when he pretends to have sex with the pets, are sort of entertaining the second time around, but on the whole, it was pretty tough to sit through twice." Joffe left the party early in order to avoid the episode's final moments, when Welz pukes on himself and passes out.

Neurosurgeon Heckled From Observation Deck

HOUSTON—Dr. Martin Kenneth Rinjipur, a neurosurgeon at Methodist Hospital, was heckled from the observation deck Monday after removing a cancerous tumor from a patient's occipital lobe. "You call that closing an incision?" the unidentified man shouted. "I could make a cleaner suture with 15 centimeters of frayed chromic gut and a pair of barbecue tongs. Go back to Johns Hopkins." Rinjipur did his best to act like he had not heard the comments.

Chicago Out Of Names For Subdivisions

CHICAGO—According to city planners, Chicago has run out of new names for its subdivisions. "It was bound to happen sooner or later," Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley said at a Monday press conference in front of City Hall. "Oak Dale Springs, Whispering Pines, Stonewood Creek... We have used every tree, body of water, and living thing in the almanac. You don't have to drive all the way out to Kevin Acres to know we need a new naming system." Daley announced that, beginning in 2004, all new housing developments in the Chicago area will be numbered with a positive integer.
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Report: Poor People Pretty Much Fucked

WASHINGTON—According to the results of an intensive two-year study, Americans living below the poverty line are "pretty much fucked," Center for Social and Economic Research executive director Jameson Park announced Monday.

Report: Poor People Pretty Much Fucked

"Although poor people have never had it particularly sweet, America has long been considered the land of opportunity, where upward class mobility is hard work's reward," Park said. "However, our study shows that limited access to quality education and a shortage of employment opportunities in depressed areas all but ensure that, once fucked, an individual tends to stay fucked."

According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, 34.6 million Americans were living below the poverty line in 2002.

"Not only are the down-and-out fucked, but the number of down-and-out fucks is growing," Park said. "Conditions of disadvantage are often passed from one generation to the next, making it especially difficult for young people to emerge from the cycle of poverty."

"Man, my heart goes out to those poor fuckers," Park added.

America's increasingly rigid class system worsens the situation for the poor.

"After analyzing the economic performance of U.S. households over the past several decades, we concluded that class mobility, while steady in the '70s and '80s, declined in the '90s," Park said. "About 40 percent of families ended the decade in the same economic strata in which they began it. That's up from about 35 percent in the '80s. That's good news for those sittin' pretty, but it spells 'fuck you' to the poor."

Americans like 12-year-old Tamara Agguire (far right) of Ponca City, OK, are pretty much fucked.

As a result, Park said, there are more poor people, and those poor people are much more screwed than poor people were a decade or two ago.

"As the split between the upper and lower classes grows, and the middle class continues to shrink, we're moving closer and closer to what can only be called a 'no way out, dude. Sorry, you're fucked'-type situation," Park said. "Not only are the poor fucked at the moment, but any chance they once had of changing their miserable lives is pretty much gone, too. Essentially, they're fucked for all time."

The CSER study identified four major poverty groups within the U.S. The first two groups—one composed of disenfranchised blue-collar workers, the other made up of members of poor rural populations—have been adversely affected by the nation's gradual shift to a technology-based, global economy. Researchers have dubbed disenfranchised blue-collar workers the Factory Fucked, while members of poor rural populations are called the Farm Fucked. Park characterized the individuals in these two groups as "fucked from the get-go."

The other two rapidly expanding groups of poor fucks are the suburban poor, whose members can't afford the rising cost of such basic necessities as healthcare, and the urban underclass, whose members are found in the nation's troubled inner cities. Researchers termed these groups the Recently Fucked and the Utterly Fucked, respectively.

Economist Harold Knoep said there's little reason for sympathy.

"In a healthy capitalist economy, some people are going to be out-competed," Knoep said. "I'm sorry, but some of those fuck-ups have fucked themselves. I am not condoning an anarchic 'fuck or be fucked' ethos, but I can hardly get behind a welfare state that punishes the unfucked by fucking all equally."

While he expressed concern for the nation's poor, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) said increased funding for social programs isn't the answer.

"Nobody's saying poor people aren't fucked," Hastert said. "But what about all the people in this great nation who are not fucked? If the financial resources of the economically stable are diverted—through some well-intentioned but fiscally irresponsible social-service program—to the people who are fucked, where does that leave those who were sailin' along fine? Fucked."

Ed Cranston, an under-employed, Detroit-area machinist who made $14,000 last year, said he was not surprised by the report.

"They say I'm fucked?" Cranston asked. "Shit, man, tell me something I don't know."

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