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A Discussion on Class Warfare A few weeks ago, I wrote a little confessional post on the blog about my life, sort of a "getting to know you" type of piece addressed to my friends in real life. Well, it turns out I made a mistake. I said, "Friends, you also know that I am not rich. Although my family has money, you know that I live on less than $35,000 a year, that I live in an apartment, and that I am currently in debt because of college." I understand that the wording of that particular passage may leave some readers with the impression that I am "barely making it," and I understand that for many in our community, $35K a year is a lot of money. I apologize for leaving anyone with the impression that I am out of touch with reality. According to this report (scroll down), 52.3% of people living in Alexandria make less than 30K a year, and only 14.6% have a bachelors degree. There is a serious rich/poor gap in our community, and this creates a social dynamic in which the "average" citizen feels disconnected from the decisions affecting his or her daily life. I definitely do not have all of the answers to this problem, but I know that a discussion is both healthy and necessary. The discussion breaks down, however, when we attempt to project the entire problem onto one person or one group of people. For some reason, many Central Louisianans prefer to play the blame game when it comes to the problem of poverty. The rich tend to believe that it's easy and painless to simply "lift yourself up by your bootstraps," and they offer little empathy for those who struggle daily to provide for their families. At the same time, those who "speak" for the poor like to stage the discussion from an emotional and untenable starting point: "You can't participate in this discussion because you don't know what reality is." This creates a barricade to discussion, and it alienates those who truly want to help.

Demographic Report
Center:5401 JACKSON ST 71303
Distance:5 miles
Population (2005)
Total%
2005 Population 57,502
Population (2010)
Total%
2010 Population 55,564
Sex (2005)
Total%
Male 26,99546.9%
Female 30,50753.1%
Age Distribution (2005)
Total%
0-4 4,2747.4%
5-9 4,0307.0%
10-19 8,35314.5%
20-29 8,21514.3%
30-39 6,93412.1%
40-49 7,96913.9%
50-59 6,52311.3%
60-64 2,5254.4%
65+ 8,67915.1%
Race Distribution (2005)
Total%
White 28,16349.0%
Black 27,36347.6%
American Indian 1920.3%
Asian 9431.6%
Pacific Islander 200.0%
Other 1570.3%
Multirace 6641.2%
Hispanic 8131.4%
2005 Total Households
Total%
Households 22,384
Families 14,27663.8%
2005 Household Income Distribution
Total%
<$10 K 4,28119.1%
$10-$20K 4,03718.0%
$20-$30K 3,41115.2%
$30-$40K 2,61011.7%
$40-$50K 1,8778.4%
$50-$60K 1,5436.9%
$60-$75K 1,4706.6%
$75-$100K 1,3175.9%
> $100K 1,8388.2%
2005 Household Net Worth
Total%
$0 or Less 3,04713.6%
$1-$5000 3,46715.5%
$5000-$10000 1,6047.2%
$10000-$25000 2,67311.9%
$25000-$50000 2,81412.6%
$50000-$100000 3,47415.5%
$100000-$250000 3,91517.5%
$250000-$500000 1,4736.6%
$500000 or More 7483.3%
2005 Labor Force Status
Total%
Labor Force 23,944
Employed 22,44193.7%
Unemployed 1,4205.9%
In Armed Forces 83
Not In Labor Force 20,480
2005 Total Number of Housing
Total%
Total Dwellings 25,274
Owner-Occupied Dwellings 12,01453.7%
Renter-Occupied Dwellings 10,37046.3%
Housing Units Occupied 22,38488.6%
2005 Education Attainment
Total%
Population Age 25+ 36,293
<>3,0108.3%
Grade 9-12 6,16417.0%
High School 9,69126.7%
Some College 7,79521.5%
Assoc Degree 1,4554.0%
Bach Degree 5,29214.6%
Grad Degree 2,8868.0%
2005 Size of Household
Total%
1 Person 7,21832.2%
2 Person 7,21532.2%
3 Person 3,60916.1%
4 Person 2,54011.3%
5 Person 1,1945.3%
6+ Person 3811.7%
Sex (2010)
Total%
Male 26,26547.3%
Female 29,29952.7%
Age Distribution (2010)
Total%
0-4 4,1967.6%
5-9 3,9697.1%
10-19 7,55113.6%
20-29 8,20414.8%
30-39 6,50811.7%
40-49 6,99312.6%
50-59 6,65612.0%
60-64 2,7595.0%
65+ 8,72815.7%
Race Distribution (2010)
Total%
White 28,10550.6%
Black 25,69146.2%
American Indian 1910.3%
Asian 9731.8%
Pacific Islander 200.0%
Other 1590.3%
Multirace 4230.8%
Hispanic 9691.7%
2010 Total Households
Total%
Households 22,114
Families 13,84362.6%
2010 Household Income Distribution
Total%
<$10 K 4,09018.5%
$10-$20K 3,61716.4%
$20-$30K 3,14014.2%
$30-$40K 2,48911.3%
$40-$50K 1,8518.4%
$50-$60K 1,5747.1%
$60-$75K 1,4866.7%
$75-$100K 1,4736.7%
> $100K 2,39410.8%
2010 Labor Force Status
Total%
Labor Force 23,166
Employed 21,69493.6%
Unemployed 1,3856.0%
In Armed Forces 87
Not In Labor Force 19,865
2010 Total Number of Housing
Total%
Total Dwellings 25,064
Owner-Occupied Dwellings 11,36251.4%
Renter-Occupied Dwellings 10,75248.6%
Housing Units Occupied 22,11488.2%
2010 Education Attainment
Total%
Population Age 25+ 35,587
<>2,8227.9%
Gr 9-12 5,78016.2%
High School 8,77924.7%
Some College 7,66921.6%
Assoc Degree 1,6734.7%
Bach Degree 6,05617.0%
Grad Degree 2,8087.9%
2010 Size of Household
Total%
1 Person 7,46833.8%
2 Person 7,49433.9%
3 Person 3,45515.6%
4 Person 2,33310.5%
5 Person 9904.5%
6+ Person 2511.1%
Source: Applied Geographic Solutions, Thousand Oaks. CA