WyBETT
                             Wyomingites for a Better Economy Today and Tomorrow
WyBETT   Wyomingites for a Better Economy Today and Tomorrow
 
 N.M. Poverty Rate Jumps to 25.3%

NEW MEXICO POVERTY RATE JUMPS 20%

According to an Associated Press Article in the September 27, 1996 Albuquerque Journal, although the rest of the nation was experiencing a decline in the percentage of families living below the poverty rate, New Mexico recorded a whopping 20% increase in the poverty rate. The census report also stated that this points to a total of almost 25% of New Mexican families living below the poverty line, which is also the worst showing of any state in the Union.

The Journal article continued to point out the disparity between national and New Mexico incomes. They related, "Median household income for Americans was $34,076 in 1995, up 2.7 percent from the year before and the first real increase in six years, after adjusting for inflation, the Census Bureau said.

"In addition, the agency reported that the number of poor Americans dropped 1.6 million to 36.4 million from 1994 to 1995. That resulted in a decline in the share of Americans living in poverty from 14.5 percent to 13.8 percent. In New Mexico, the report said 25.3 percent of households were living in poverty. The poverty threshold for a family of four in l995 was $15,569."

This staggering increase in the number of New Mexicans in poverty came during the two years that the tribal casinos began operation. Although the gambling industry says the two items are not related, it has been reported in studies across the country that casinos expand the poverty rolls and increase the number of bankruptcies, so we should not be surprised to see New Mexico experience the same sad effects of commercial gambling. The gambling ads on the television promised that the casinos would be "GOOD FOR NEW MEXICO!!!" We are waiting for evidence of "good" but have seen plenty of evidence that the casinos are wrecking havoc on the New Mexico economy.