Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 2 comments
The number of Americans living below the poverty line rose to a record 46.2 million last year, according to the new Census numbers. The poverty line is set pretty low however, and since a third of Americans have no net worth, the real number in poverty, or at best only one bad turn away from it, is probably well in excess of 100 million. In fact since medical bills can wipe out a person with a couple of million in assets, who isn’t “poor” in American? Only the few at the top, and that’s the way they like it.
For last year, the median household income was $49,445, falling 2.3 percent from 2009 or a loss of about $1200 in buying power without allowance for inflation. This falling income is driving us steadily toward a downward spiral that is characteristic of a Republican Great Depression. Any “natural” tendencies of the economy to right itself are being skillfully countered by those who would benefit from the disaster. Tax cuts for the rich, government layoffs, wage cuts, cuts in spending, a generalized push for austerity are all the wrong things to do, and they know it.
Kids over 25 who are living with parents increased by over 2 million last year. The number of people doubling up in other living situations was also up sharply. The “good” news is that 20 million Americans were kept out of the poverty classification by Social Security payments and another 3.2 million by extended unemployment benefits.
Times are hard all over as income for the wealthiest 5% of households was down 1.2 percent to only $180,810. The bottom 20% of households, those making $20,000 or less, had their incomes fall 4 percent. The wealthy were down about 2200 dollars on average and the poor were down “only” about 800 dollars for those at the top of that quintile. Clearly the Obama Depression is hurting the job creators and pampering his base.
Those in extreme poverty who make less than half of the poverty line are the fastest growing group. Projections for those numbers if unemployment numbers remain high for the next ten years, as is considered the “new normal”, have been described as disturbing.
In fact, even those who you and I might see as “rich” are being robbed by the 0.3% at the top, but they haven’t figured it out yet. After all, it’s those greedy teachers and social security “welfare queens” that are taking it all. The people at the top are “making money” and that’s a good thing, right? E-e-even if the sharks have run out of middle class fish to eat, and now they’re circling m-m-me. Capitalism is always a good thing, right?
The United States has one of the highest rates of poverty in the developed world. The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) tracks economic conditions in 34 countries, and only Chile, Israel and Mexico have higher rates of poverty. Chile was by the way, the first developed country to adopt the Milton Friedman/Chicago School of Economics plan for privatization and non-regulation or unfettered capitalism. This was done after Henry Kissinger and company murdered Chile’s democratically elected government. This is the same economic plan that is being implemented here. Get used to it, or fight back, your choice. www.prairie2.com