Posts Tagged ‘The Price of Poverty in Ky.’

The Price of Poverty in Kentucky

Friday, June 14th, 2013

In the gripping new book “The Unwinding,” George Packer explores what he describes as an American democracy beset by a sense of crisis. Packer is a staff writer at The New Yorker and one of the nation’s finest political journalists. His “The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq” was named one of the best books of 2005. In “The Unwinding,” Packer examines the seismic shifts in American life that have created a country of economic winners and losers.

My colleague Renee Shaw and I have been exploring similar issues here in the Commonwealth, where we’re increasingly becoming a state of haves and have-nots. You can see the results of our reporting on The Price of Poverty in Kentucky 2, airing Monday at 8 p.m. on KET, and live on our website at It’s a follow-up to a program we aired in January. Here’s a promo for Monday night’s program:

In his New York Times review of Packer’s book, columnist David Brooks writes that the unwinding refers to “large transformations, which have each been the subject of an enormous amount of research and analysis. The first is the stagnation of middle-class wages and widening inequality.”

In our new program, we found Kentucky’s “working poor” and middle-class income earners struggling to make ends meet. In Owingsville in Bath County, where a local factory has closed, hundreds of people are on a waiting list for care at a free clinic, and a local social service center keeps busy distributing vouchers for clothes and food. Take a look:

In Louisville, a journalist with The Courier-Journal focuses her writing on how the economic meltdown changed the financial realities for many households in Jefferson and surrounding counties. We also asked professors, advocates, activists, and the president of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce to weigh in on whether raising the minimum wage is the answer to helping the working poor.

Poverty is a complex problem with no easy answer. You can explore it with us Monday night at 8 on The Price of Poverty in Kentucky 2. And, if you have a thought or comment about poverty in the Commonwealth, please share it with me here, on Facebook, or Twitter, or by calling the KET Viewer Reaction Line at (800) 926-7765.

Talking About Poverty in Kentucky

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

On a day set aside to honor the work and sacrifice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the second inauguration of President Barack Obama, I hope you got a chance to tune in last night for “The Price of Poverty in Kentucky.”

Both Renee Shaw and I thought the conversation surrounding one of the most important issues facing the state and the nation was timely, interesting, and thought provoking.

Our guests were phenomenal. During the program, you heard from:
-Terry Brooks, Ph.D., executive director of the Kentucky Youth Advocates
-Attica Scott, Louisville Metro councilwoman
-Eric Schansberg, an economics professor at Indiana University-Southeast and member of the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Board of Scholars
-Reid Livingston, Kentucky state director for Save the Children USA
-Courtney Trent, early steps to school success coordinator for Save the Children USA
-Gerry Roll, executive director of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky
-James P. Ziliak, Ph.D., founding director of the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research and a UK Gatton Endowed Chair of Economics
-Michelle Tooley, Ph.D., religion, social ethics and public policy professor at Berea College.

During the discussion, Terry Brooks talked about the picture of poverty in Kentucky.

I asked Councilwoman Scott why we can’t end or put a stop to poverty.

Toward the conclusion of the program, there was a robust discussion on how best to tackle the issue and the steps needed to reduce poverty in Kentucky’s urban and rural areas.

The Price of Poverty

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Tonight at 8 pm ET, KET presents a special report,  “The Price of Poverty in Kentucky.”

In honor of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday and the second inauguration of President Barack Obama, Renee Shaw and I will look at the causes and possible solutions to the overwhelming and horrendous problem of poverty in the commonwealth.  Statistics show that some 800,000 Kentuckians are living in poverty, right now.

Our eight panelists on ‘The Price of Poverty’ will discuss the root causes of poverty in our Appalachian counties as well as the urban regions of the state and why those in poverty seem to struggle with determining which public,  government, and private programs can help them.  Our guests will look at what kind of progress can continue to be made in terms of earnings income, education, and better health outcomes for those who live in poverty every day.

Recently, I talked with Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and asked him about the fact that 1 in 4 children live in poverty in our state and whether he believed progress was being made in the war on poverty in Kentucky. This is an “after the show” clip made after his recent appearance on “One to One.”

“The Price of Poverty in Kentucky” is dedicated to the memory of Dr. J. Blaine Hudson, dean of the college of arts and sciences at the University of Louisville, who died recently.

600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951