Monday, November 11, 2013

In The U.S. 49.7 Million Are Now Poor, And 80% of The Total Population Is Near Poverty


Are we looking at the Fall of The United States of America?

The current population in the United States is a little over 317,000,000 and in a story at Politicalblindspot.com by "PBSpot," "In The U.S. 49.7 Million Are Now Poor, And 80% of The Total Population Is Near Poverty," we learn how the Conservatives have taken us closer to the extinction of the Middle Class in America:


"If you live in the United States, there is a good chance that you are now living in poverty or near poverty. Nearly 50 million Americans, (49.7 Million), are living below the poverty line, with 80% of the entire U.S. population living near poverty or below it.

"That near poverty statistic is perhaps more startling than the 50 million Americans below the poverty line, because it translates to a full 80% of the population struggling with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on government assistance to help make ends meet.

"In September, the Associated Press pointed to survey data that told of an increasingly widening gap between rich and poor, as well as the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs that used to provide opportunities for the 'Working Class' to explain an increasing trend towards poverty in the U.S.

"But the numbers of those below the poverty line does not merely reflect the number of jobless Americans. Instead, according to a revised census measure released Wednesday, the number – 3 million higher than what the official government numbers imagine – are also due to out-of-pocket medical costs and work-related expenses.

"The new measure is generally 'considered more reliable by social scientists because it factors in living expenses as well as the effects of government aid, such as food stamps and tax credits,' according to Hope Yen reporting for the Associated Press.

"Some other findings revealed that food stamps helped 5 million people barely reach above the poverty line. That means that the actual poverty rate is even higher, as without such aid, poverty rate would rise from 16 percent to 17.6 percent.


"Latino and Asian Americans saw an increase in poverty, rising to 27.8 percent and 16.7 percent respectively, from 25.8 percent and 11.8 percent under official government numbers. African-Americans, however, saw a very small decrease, from 27.3 percent to 25.8 percent which the study documents is due to government assistance programs. Non-Hispanic whites too rose from 9.8 percent to 10.7 percent in poverty.

"'The primary reason that poverty remains so high,' Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan economist said, 'is that the benefits of a growing economy are no longer being shared by all workers as they were in the quarter-century following the end of World War II.'

"'Given current economic conditions,' he continued, 'poverty will not be substantially reduced unless government does more to help the working poor.'

"Meanwhile, the U.S. government seems to think that the answer is cutting more of those services which are helping to keep 80% of the population just barely above the poverty line, cutting Food Stamps since the beginning of the month. Democrats and Republicans are negotiating about just how much more of these programs should be cut, but neither party is arguing that they should not be touched."

(Article by Simeon Ari; photo via AP Photo)


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In an earlier story by Hope Yen and Micah Naziri that was also posted at Politicalblindspot.com, "Shocking Study: 4 out of 5 in USA Face Near-Poverty and Unemployment," the numbers are examined more closely:


"According to The Associated Press, four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

"Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor and loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend. The chart above depicts this cumulative economic insecurity by age.

"The findings come as President Barack Obama tries to renew his administration’s emphasis on the economy, saying in recent speeches that his highest priority is to 'rebuild ladders of opportunity' and reverse income inequality.

"Hardship is particularly on the rise among whites, based on several measures. Pessimism among that racial group about their families’ economic futures has climbed to the highest point since at least 1987. In the most recent AP-GfK poll, 63 percent of whites called the economy 'poor.'


"'I think it’s going to get worse,' said Irene Salyers, 52, of Buchanan County, Va., a declining coal region in Appalachia. Married and divorced three times, Salyers now helps run a fruit and vegetable stand with her boyfriend, but it doesn’t generate much income. They live mostly off government disability checks.

"'If you do try to go apply for a job, they’re not hiring people, and they’re not paying that much to even go to work,' she said. Children, she said, have 'nothing better to do than to get on drugs.'

"While racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to live in poverty, race disparities in the poverty rate have narrowed substantially since the 1970s, census data show. Economic insecurity among whites also is more pervasive than is shown in government data, engulfing more than 76 percent of white adults by the time they turn 60, according to a new economic gauge being published next year by the Oxford University Press.

"The gauge defines 'economic insecurity' as experiencing unemployment at some point in their working lives, or a year or more of reliance on government aid such as food stamps or income below 150 percent of the poverty line. Measured across all races, the risk of economic insecurity rises to 79 percent.


"'It’s time that America comes to understand that many of the nation’s biggest disparities, from education and life expectancy to poverty, are increasingly due to economic class position,' said William Julius Wilson, a Harvard professor who specializes in race and poverty.

"He noted that despite continuing economic difficulties, minorities have more optimism about the future after Obama’s election, while struggling whites do not.

"'There is the real possibility that white alienation will increase if steps are not taken to highlight and address inequality on a broad front,' Wilson said.

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"Sometimes termed 'the invisible poor' by demographers, lower-income whites are generally dispersed in suburbs as well as small rural towns, where more than 60 percent of the poor are white. Concentrated in Appalachia in the East, they are also numerous in the industrial Midwest and spread across America’s heartland, from Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma up through the Great Plains.


"More than 19 million whites fall below the poverty line of $23,021 for a family of four, accounting for more than 41 percent of the nation’s destitute, nearly double the number of poor blacks.

"Still, while census figures provide an official measure of poverty, they’re only a temporary snapshot. The numbers don’t capture the makeup of those who cycle in and out of poverty at different points in their lives. They may be suburbanites, for example, or the working poor or the laid off.

"In 2011 that snapshot showed 12.6 percent of adults in their prime working-age years of 25-60 lived in poverty. But measured in terms of a person’s lifetime risk, a much higher number — 4 in 10 adults — falls into poverty for at least a year of their lives.

"The risks of poverty also have been increasing in recent decades, particularly among people ages 35-55, coinciding with widening income inequality. For instance, people ages 35-45 had a 17 percent risk of encountering poverty during the 1969-1989 time period; that risk increased to 23 percent during the 1989-2009 period. For those ages 45-55, the risk of poverty jumped from 11.8 percent to 17.7 percent.

"By race, nonwhites still have a higher risk of being economically insecure, at 90 percent. But compared with the official poverty rate, some of the biggest jumps under the newer measure are among whites, with more than 76 percent enduring periods of joblessness, life on welfare or near-poverty.


"By 2030, based on the current trend of widening income inequality, close to 85 percent of all working-age adults in the U.S. will experience bouts of economic insecurity.

"'Poverty is no longer an issue of "them", it’s an issue of "us',' says Mark Rank, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis who calculated the numbers. 'Only when poverty is thought of as a mainstream event, rather than a fringe experience that just affects blacks and Hispanics, can we really begin to build broader support for programs that lift people in need.'

"Rank’s analysis is supplemented with figures provided by Tom Hirschl, a professor at Cornell University; John Iceland, a sociology professor at Penn State University; the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute; the Census Bureau; and the Population Reference Bureau.

"Among the findings:

"— For the first time since 1975, the number of white single-mother households who were living in poverty with children surpassed or equaled black ones in the past decade, spurred by job losses and faster rates of out-of-wedlock births among whites. White single-mother families in poverty stood at nearly 1.5 million in 2011, comparable to the number for blacks. Hispanic single-mother families in poverty trailed at 1.2 million.


"— The share of children living in high-poverty neighborhoods — those with poverty rates of 30 percent or more — has increased to 1 in 10, putting them at higher risk of teen pregnancy or dropping out of school. Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 17 percent of the child population in such neighborhoods, up from 13 percent in 2000, even though the overall proportion of white children in the U.S. has been declining.

"The share of black children in high-poverty neighborhoods dropped sharply, from 43 percent to 37 percent, while the share of Latino children ticked higher, from 38 to 39 percent.

___


"Going back to the 1980s, never have whites been so pessimistic about their futures, according to the General Social Survey, which is conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago. Just 45 percent say their family will have a good chance of improving their economic position based on the way things are in America.

"The divide is especially evident among those whites who self-identify as working class: 49 percent say they think their children will do better than them, compared with 67 percent of non-whites who consider themselves working class.

"In November, Obama won the votes of just 36 percent of those noncollege whites, the worst performance of any Democratic nominee among that group since 1984.

"Some Democratic analysts have urged renewed efforts to bring working-class whites into the political fold, calling them a potential “decisive swing voter group” if minority and youth turnout level off in future elections.

"'They don’t trust big government, but it doesn’t mean they want no government,'says Republican pollster Ed Goeas, who agrees that working-class whites will remain an important electoral group. 'They feel that politicians are giving attention to other people and not them.'"
___

(AP Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta, News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius and AP writer Debra McCown in Buchanan County, Va., contributed to this report. Graphic by Micah Naziri.)


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And what has Conservatism wrought?  317,000,000 times 80 percent equals 253,600,000 "living near poverty or below it," and of that 253,000,000 there are 50,000,000 already below the poverty line.


As "... the benefits of a growing economy are no longer being shared by all workers as they were in the quarter-century following the end of World War II...(and) poverty will not be substantially reduced unless government does more to help the working poor," is anyone foolish enough to think that 1.) the Conservatives haven't caused this horrific mess, and 2.) they'll do whatever is in their power to continue the downslide until they plunge us into their dream of the New American Age of Feudalism?

Keep your eyes on the GOP fight against increasing the Minimum Wage, and also watch out for how the "Automatic Spending Cuts Would Bite More In 2014," in an article at the Hunfingtonpost.com by Andrew Taylor --> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/11/sequestration-2014_n_4253033.html.


It was suggested in an oped on the same subject at the New York Times, "Poverty In America Is Mainstream," that "...only when we begin to truly understand that poverty is an issue of us, rather than an issue of them."  Only when the Democratic Party starts attacking the whole concept of Conservatism and the criminality of their front group, the Republican Party, will the voters take notice and act.

It's still a question of whether or not GOP gerrymandering, voter intimidation, voter suppression, and voter fraud have put up an effective wall against the American voters.


The Conservatives have not only smashed the American Dream with their draconian policies, they have insured that we will never return to the days of the New Deal - not while they're dealing the political and economic cards, marked cards and stacked decks in a rigged game that can only be broken up if we refuse to play...by criminalizing Conservatism.



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"...words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think."

Lord Byron, Don Juan, III.lxxxviii.)



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