Students talk poverty

Karla Gutierrez, Reporter

The Gadfly Cafe is an open group discussion that informs students, staff and faculty about everyday topics such as poverty. Bakersfield College philosophy teacher Reginald Williams gave a small lecture to start things off by stating the percentage of people who live in poverty in the United States that are based from 2015.

“The poverty rate is 13.5 percent of the population. 43 million Americans live at or below the poverty line,” stated Williams.

Williams went on to say that there is a poverty line for each annual income included in the household.

For example, if the household has one person, that is 15 thousand dollars of annual income a year. If there’s four people in the household, that would be 24 thousand dollars of annual income a year.

According to Williams, in the United States, the 20 wealthiest people hold the same amount of assets than those of the lower half of the population combined.

Additionally, 186 of the wealthiest people in the United States collectively hold about the same wealth as the entire Latino/Latina population combined.

Williams mentioned that in the top 400 richest people in the United States, only five of them are Latino/Latina and three of them are in the same family.

Furthermore, only two of them in that list are African-American.

Williams was open about giving the opportunity to everyone that was in the room to voice their opinions or questions.

Many topics were brought up, from education to politics, but the subject ultimately came back to poverty.