So, tell us something we didn’t know

I just read the other day that women, especially low-income women, are disproportionately affected by the downturn in the U. S. economy. To that I say, "D'oh." Tell me something I didn't already know. It's been said that behind every great man is a woman (though I say, beside, not behind!), so why is it that women, in general, are given such short shrift in all matters relating to finance and money?

  • Of the 37 million Americans who are living in poverty, more than 70% of them are women and children.
  • Minimum wage (and below) workers are predominantly (67%) comprised of women, and women working full time earn almost 25% less than their male counterparts, in all tiers of employment.
  • Eighty percent of families with only a single parent are headed by women.
  • By almost 40%, women are more likely than men to have a sub-prime mortgage loan, despite the fact that their FICO scores are generally higher than men's.
  • Foreclosures and evictions affect minorities, women and the elderly in disproportionate numbers.

What is also very worrying is the increase in unemployment rates. In October, the unemployment rate reached 6.5%, the highest it's been in more than 14 years. In nominal figures, that's a loss of 240,000 jobs. The Federal Reserve Bank predicts that it could go as high as 7.6% over the next year.

A very worrying phenomenon is that lower income wage earners, especially those without a degree or specialized skills, are at an increased risk for losing their job, such as it may be. As unemployment rates rise among degreed and skilled job holders, they will in turn be forced to accept a lower-paying job just to stay in the job market. So those individuals already in the lower-paying job will be edged out. And that is yet another example of trickle down economics gone awry.

While the recent "news" is sobering, it is effective in drawing attention to those vulnerable people whose voices are usually unheard. And the best part is that people (important and influential people) are listening, including the FDIC Chairman, Sheila Bair, and the President-elect, Barack Obama.

Already, there is a strong sentiment in Capitol Hill that the revised bail out plan should also benefit home owners whose property may be foreclosed upon soon (thank you, Ms. Bair). In addition, it's expected (hoped) that the incoming Democratic administration will offer up a new stimulus package that helps, specifically, the affected low-income wage earning women and elderly among us. The stimulus package should provide long term solutions, including investment in construction and increased cash benefits to social support programs that are depended upon many minorities, women and the elderly.

President-elect Obama also laid out his plans for the stimulus package, and while he didn't go into specifics, he did say that his priority will be to get Americans working, and he will attempt to create 2.5 million jobs through a kind of "New Deal" program whereby roads will be built or repaired, schools will be constructed or modernized, and we will work to develop alternative technologies that will reduce our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

While all this talk about the "new and improved" bailout plan sounds good, bear in mind, "talk is cheap," and we're all anxiously waiting for some administration to put their money where their mouth is. But by the time the bailout plan is actually put into action, it may be too little, too late for some people - specifically the individuals who are being foreclosed upon now, and struggling to pay their mounting debt while the risk of losing their job looms large. In fact, until that bailout plan is put into action, we really don't know how much help will be given to the vulnerable who need it most.

Fortunately, you don't have to wait for help from any bailout plan. Help is available to you right now. By contacting a DebtStoppers bankruptcy debt relief attorney, we can stop foreclosure proceedings and help to consolidate or eliminate your existing debt.

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