The poverty level as defined by the federal government is based on total income received and in 2012 was set at $11,170 (total yearly income) for an individual $23,050 for a family of four. Most Americans (58.5%) will spend at least one year below the poverty line at some point between ages 25 and 75.
Our economic infrastructure is in shambles. The U.S. dollar is slowly losing its status as the reserve currency of the world. Our nation is gradually growing poorer.
Government statistics often show a slight amount of economic growth. Yet, these figures are more propaganda than fact, as they do not account for inflation. When inflation is accounted for, our economic growth has been negative since the middle of the last decade. Our GDP has not grown (in fact it has decreased) since 2005.
We have been piling up staggering amounts of debt in order to maintain our vastly inflated standard of living. 40 years ago the total amount of debt in the United States (government, business and consumer) was less than 2 trillion dollars. Today our debt has reached 55 trillion dollars.
The US census reports that nearly 100 million Americans (1/3 of our populace) are classified as living in poverty. We have entered the worst economic conditions in nearly fifty years, and world leaders just beginning to admit that we are in the midst of another Great Depression as our economy balances precariously on the cusp of another earth-shaking collapse of the financial system.
- According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4 percent of all children that live in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1 percent of all children that live in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6 percent of all children that live in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6 percent of all children that live in Detroit are living in poverty.
- The unemployment rate in the U.S. was above 8% for 40 months in a row.
It was recently reported that the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8% for the first time in four years1, but these statistics are horribly skewed. They do not consider someone who has been unemployed for 12+ months, or who hasn’t been to interviews or hasn’t been looking at job adverts as “unemployed” because they aren’t “actively looking for employment.”
The U-6 unemployment rate remained unchanged last month at 14.7%2
- The wealthiest 1% of all Americans own more wealth than the bottom 95% combined and they are paying more than their fair share of taxes on it as well. IRS data shows that in 2007 (the most recent data available) the top 1% of taxpayers paid 40.4% of the total income taxes collected by the federal government.5
- Household net worth fell from the third quarter of 2007 to the first quarter of 2009 by $17.5 trillion or 26.5%, which is the equivalent to more than one year’s GDP.6
- In 2011, the number of Americans living in poverty rose to 15.1% (an increase of 2.6% since 2008)9 and the number of Americans on food stamps has risen by 14 million since Obama became president.9 It now sits at a record high of 46.7 million, which is more than the entire populations of many large nations.
1. NPR, Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.8 Percent; 114,000 Jobs Added To Payrolls
2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Alternative measures of labor underutilization
3. InfoWar.com, 100 Million Poor People In America And 39 Other Facts About Poverty That Will Blow Your Mind
4. PortalSeven.com, Unemployment Rate – U6
5. Tax Foundation, Tax Burden of Top 1% Now Exceeds That of Bottom 95%
6. U.S. Government Printing Office, Budget of the U. S. Government Fiscal Year 2011
7. The Washington Post, David S. Broder, Ditching health reform will only dig us into a deeper deficit
8. Wikipedia, Wealth in the United States
9. PolitiFact.com, A scorecard on the economy under Barack Obama
10. Wikipedia, Poverty in the United States
11. Wikipedia, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program