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Reading, Pa., Knew It Was Poor. Now It Knows Just How Poor.
NYTimes ^ | Sept 26th 2011 | Sabrina Tavernisi

Posted on 09/27/2011 3:02:59 PM PDT by Cardhu

READING, Pa. — The exhausted mothers who come to the Second Street Learning Center here — a day care provider for mostly low-income families — speak of low wages, hard jobs and an economy gone bad.

Ashley Kelleher supports her family on the $900 a month she earns as a waitress at an International House of Pancakes. Louri Williams packs cakes and pies all night for $8 an hour, takes morning classes, and picks up her children in the afternoon. Teresa Santiago takes complaints from building supply customers for $10 an hour, not enough to cover her $1,900 in monthly bills.

These are common stories in Reading, a struggling city of 88,000 that has earned the unwelcome distinction of having the largest share of its residents living in poverty, barely edging out Flint, Mich., according to new Census Bureau data. The count includes only cities with populations of 65,000 or more, and has a margin of error that makes it difficult to declare a winner — or, perhaps more to the point, a loser.

Reading began the last decade at No. 32. But it broke into the top 10 in 2007, joining other places known for their high rates of poverty like Flint, Camden, N.J., and Brownsville, Tex., according to an analysis of the data for The New York Times by Andrew A. Beveridge, a demographer at Queens College.

Now it is No. 1, a ranking that the mothers at the day care center here say does not surprise them, given their first-hand knowledge of poverty-line wages, which for a parent and two children is now $18,530.

The city had been limping for most of the past decade, since the plants that sustained it — including Lucent Technologies and the Dana Corporation, a car parts manufacturer — withered.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: jobless; pa; poor

1 posted on 09/27/2011 3:03:05 PM PDT by Cardhu
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To: Cardhu

I bet not one of them pins it on the real culprit, unions.


2 posted on 09/27/2011 3:05:21 PM PDT by GatorGirl (Herman Cain 2012)
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To: GatorGirl

It being PA - you can take that to the bank.


3 posted on 09/27/2011 3:07:53 PM PDT by Cardhu
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To: Cardhu

Reading had a significant criminal Mexican population when I lived there in 1967-1968. I doubt that it has gotten any smaller.


4 posted on 09/27/2011 3:08:58 PM PDT by Graybeard58
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To: Cardhu

Reading had a lot of businesses that did contract work for the candy and snack business. They did not retool when the industry was switching from paper to plastic. And they do have a bunch of illegals as well.


5 posted on 09/27/2011 3:11:16 PM PDT by org.whodat (Just another heartless American, hated by Perry and his fellow democrats.)
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To: Graybeard58

The article states, “The city has had a large influx of Hispanics in the last decade”. Ergo, you are right.


6 posted on 09/27/2011 3:13:03 PM PDT by momtothree
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To: Graybeard58

I never lived in Reading but did live for 15 years in the Philadelphia area starting in the early seventies.


7 posted on 09/27/2011 3:19:29 PM PDT by Cardhu
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To: Cardhu

...poverty-line wages, which for a parent and two children is now $18,530.

^^
Here’s a hint, girls: Marry a man, first, and then have children. The kids and you will most likely fare much better.


8 posted on 09/27/2011 3:19:45 PM PDT by Bigg Red (Another Maryland girl for Palin in 2012)
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To: Cardhu
Teresa Santiago takes complaints from building supply customers for $10 an hour, not enough to cover her $1,900 in monthly bills.

Cost of living must be pretty high in Reading...

9 posted on 09/27/2011 3:20:57 PM PDT by JrsyJack (a healthy dose of buckshot will probably get you the last word in any argument.)
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To: JrsyJack

Depends how much she owes on Credit Cards.


10 posted on 09/27/2011 3:24:15 PM PDT by Cardhu
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To: Graybeard58

I grew up in the Reading area. I was terrified to go into the city in the 70’s and early 80’s because of a high crime rate due to Puerto Ricans and blacks. My dad went to Reading High School which became a terrible high school with all minorities.

Add the fact that Reading was a major industrial and manufacturing city with many leading companies that have since been shipped overseas or gone out of business, this is sad, but not surprising.


11 posted on 09/27/2011 3:28:13 PM PDT by No Socialist
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To: GatorGirl

What kind of union lets someone work for $8 an hour?


12 posted on 09/27/2011 3:34:00 PM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: No Socialist

Yes, it was Puerto Ricans, oh well, it was 44 years ago and I’m sure it’s much worse now.

I had just spent 4 years in Washington, D.C. when I moved to Reading and that made it look, not so bad by comparison.


13 posted on 09/27/2011 3:35:19 PM PDT by Graybeard58
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To: Cardhu

“for a parent and two children is now $18,530”

A big part of the problem is this is now normal/expected.


14 posted on 09/27/2011 3:52:06 PM PDT by Gil4 (Sometimes it's not low self-esteem - it's just accurate self-assessment.)
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To: Cardhu

“for a parent and two children is now $18,530”

A big part of the problem is this is now normal/expected.


15 posted on 09/27/2011 3:52:06 PM PDT by Gil4 (Sometimes it's not low self-esteem - it's just accurate self-assessment.)
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To: Cardhu

This is a city run by Democrats for HOW MANY DECADES???


16 posted on 09/27/2011 3:53:49 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Election 2012: THE RAPTURE OF THE DEMOCRATS)
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To: Cardhu

I take it that every one of these women is an unmarried mother. No husband/father is, or could be expected to be involved. Might it be that such a social order is not sustainable?


17 posted on 09/27/2011 3:55:41 PM PDT by Elsiejay
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To: Bigg Red

“Here’s a hint, girls: Marry a man, first, and then have children. The kids and you will most likely fare much better.”

Common sense vs. “Rappers shouting “I gots My EBT!”
“My EBT” by rapper Mr.EBT:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fi8I19ZAqLw

Rap songs with lyrics saying “All ya’ hafta do is f**k, and nine months later ya gettin the big bucks!!”
“It’s Free Swipe Yo EBT” By Chapter


18 posted on 09/27/2011 4:03:37 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Election 2012: THE RAPTURE OF THE DEMOCRATS)
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To: GatorGirl
Apparently not one of them has a husband either.
19 posted on 09/27/2011 4:05:55 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Cardhu
Several years ago, Buffalo was pronounced the third-poorest large city in the U.S.. I pointed out to enraged liberals that our poor hadn't gotten any poorer; the middle class had left leaving a higher percentage of the population below the poverty line.

They did not like my explanation of statistics at all.

20 posted on 09/27/2011 4:10:24 PM PDT by BfloGuy (Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas.)
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To: ilovesarah2012

Uhhh...

Did you miss the “plants closed” part?

The unions drove the decent-paying jobs out of the area so all that’s left are the low paying ones.


21 posted on 09/27/2011 4:16:28 PM PDT by GatorGirl (Herman Cain 2012)
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To: No Socialist

Reading PA. Just another sad story out of the Rust Belt.

My hometown is 25 miles south of Youngstown OH which was the big city to us, much nicer than Pittsburgh. The steel mills were booming and the men in our family were welders, machinists or steelworkers. Solid working class folks with money in the bank. Churchgoers, lodge members, fishermen & hunters, parents, all solid and respectable.

That’s all gone now, and so is once-booming Youngstown. But you can’t go home again. That’s why I live in South Carolina. Made a daily wage until I retired.

“Why should I travel? I’m already here.”


22 posted on 09/27/2011 4:24:11 PM PDT by elcid1970 ("Deport all Muslims. Nuke Mecca now. Death to Islam means freedom for all mankind.")
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To: Cardhu

“a parent and two children”....You made your bed, honey.


23 posted on 09/27/2011 5:04:43 PM PDT by radioone ("2012 can't come soon enough")
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To: GatorGirl

That explains all the bad motel reviews I was reading on line yesterday. I was looking to reserve a room in the Reading, PA area for a trip in November and have never come across such awful customer reviews. I ended up making a reservation in West Chester, PA.


24 posted on 09/27/2011 5:05:24 PM PDT by Qout
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Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: sergeantdave

What the hell are you talking about.


26 posted on 09/27/2011 5:37:52 PM PDT by Cardhu
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To: Cardhu

“What the hell are you talking about.”

Back at ya - What the hell are you talking about.


27 posted on 09/27/2011 6:14:26 PM PDT by sergeantdave
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To: Cardhu

Still waiting.

What the hell are you talking about.


28 posted on 09/27/2011 6:35:45 PM PDT by sergeantdave
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To: elcid1970

Well said sir.

I got out of Cleveland shortly after Mayor Kucinich took her into bankruptcy.

I’ve visited some of those areas in eastern Pa. A lot of the buildings look like they hasn’t changed since the 1930s.


29 posted on 09/27/2011 6:39:30 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: Cardhu

There’s nothing in my FR history showing that I posted anything to you. I also checked my Safari history, and there’s not a thing showing a reply to you. So I’m puzzled by your post.

I’m thinking there might be a hacker who got into FR.

What did I alledgedly say to you? Give me an exact time, please. I can do some back-tracking.


30 posted on 09/27/2011 6:57:07 PM PDT by sergeantdave
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To: sergeantdave

You have mail.


31 posted on 09/28/2011 4:10:19 AM PDT by Cardhu
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To: JrsyJack

teresa has 4 kids(4 baby daddys btw),she doesn’t count the two older ones since she cant make money off them now.most of the $1900 is for “gettin’ my hair did,nails,da club,etc


32 posted on 10/19/2011 6:43:04 PM PDT by truth is this
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