Hey unemployed, worried that everyone else is rich but you? Worry no more! It seems that the poverty line has been getting lower and lower like a limbo stick. It's just a question on how low it can go!
Census: US poverty rate swells to nearly 1 in 6
WASHINGTON (AP) — The ranks of America's poor swelled to almost 1 in 6 people last year, reaching a new high as long-term unemployment left millions of Americans struggling and out of work. The number of uninsured edged up to 49.9 million, the biggest in more than two decades.
The Census Bureau's annual report released Tuesday offers a snapshot of the economic well-being of U.S. households for 2010, when joblessness hovered above 9 percent for a second year. It comes at a politically sensitive time for President Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack H. Obama, who has acknowledged in the midst of a re-election fight that the unemployment rate could persist at high levels through next year.
The overall poverty rate climbed to 15.1 percent, or 46.2 million, up from 14.3 percent in 2009. The official poverty level is an annual income of $22,314 for a family of four.
Reflecting the lingering impact of the recession, the U.S. poverty rate from 2007-2010 has now risen faster than any three-year period since the early 1980s, when a crippling energy crisis amid government cutbacks contributed to inflation, spiraling interest rates and unemployment.
Measured by total numbers, the 46 million now living in poverty is the largest on record dating back to when the census began tracking poverty in 1959. Based on percentages, it tied the poverty level in 1993 and was the highest since 1983.
Broken down by state, Mississippi had the highest share of poor people, at 22.7 percent, according to calculations by the Census Bureau. It was followed by Louisiana, the District of Columbia, Georgia, New Mexico and Arizona. On the other end of the scale, New Hampshire had the lowest share, at 6.6 percent.
The share of Americans without health coverage rose from 16.1 percent to 16.3 percent — or 49.9 million people — after the Census Bureau made revisions to numbers of the uninsured. That is due mostly to continued losses of employer-provided health insurance in the weakened economy.
Congress passed a health overhaul last year to deal with rising numbers of the uninsured. While the main provisions do not take effect until 2014, one aspect taking effect in late 2010 allowed young adults until age 26 to be covered under their parents' health insurance.
Brett O'Hara, chief of the Health and Disability Statistics branch at the Census Bureau, noted that the uninsured rate for adults ages 18 to 24 declined last year — from 29.3 percent to 27.2 percent. It was the only age group which posted a decrease. "For the change in uninsured, the law change certainly could be a factor," he said.
The median — or midpoint — household income was $49,445, down 2.3 percent from 2009.
The latest numbers, which cover Obama's second year in office, offer political fodder for both parties as Obama seeks to push a new $447 billion plan for creating jobs and stimulating the economy. The plan includes a proposed payroll tax cut and an extension of unemployment benefits.
Obama is urging Congress to pay for the new spending largely by increasing taxes on the wealthy, which Republicans have rejected emphatically.
On Tuesday, the Census Bureau noted the impact of government safety-net programs on the poor. It estimated that new unemployment benefits passed in 2009, which gave workers up to 99 weeks of payments after a layoff, and did not run out for most people until this year, lifted 3.2 million above the poverty line. Social Security kept about 20.3 million, seniors as well as working-age adults receiving disability payments, out of poverty.
And before I get ahead of myself I must say that I do realize that the American standard of poverty is ridiculously high compared to third world countries. It's sort of one of those things where your mother tells you that there's people less fortunate than you and that's why you must eat your veggies. There's definitely people in the rest of the world that are worse off. Though I have no idea why Fox has to spell it "poverty". Fox News needs to spell it "poverty". Why yes, they do have a flat-screen TV. So what.
Do people realize that official poverty level is an annual income of $22,314 for a family of four. Trying feeding a family of 4 on 22k a year. That gets broken down to $347.29 a week after taxes are taken. Then you have to factor in rent. Yeah, there's no way you can house a family for that much unless you are living in a shack in an economically depressed area and then good luck getting to work from there.. if you even have work.
Water is usually included in rent but with Gas and electric plus phone and cable/internet, you're going to be running an extra $100-200 a month.
That image is just beyond fucked. I mean, oh man, they have a fridge - must mean that they aren't suffering crippling poverty.
Then there's the threat of health concerns. Dental is a non-starter. If you've ever got medical covered by your job, then you're lucky. It's something like Kaiser and you have a $10 copay. Otherwise you just don't go tot he doctor at all.. ever.
This is why in my city there's a shit ton of homeless people at just about every corner. At least it's not like some cities where the popular solution talked about is banning panhandling. Or to be humane about it, they allow it if you've purchased a license.
Yes. You read that correctly. You need to actually purchase to license to beg. But that's all because of the urban legends and rumors of hobos talking about how beggers make 40k a year "All tax free!" hanging around all day in the sun begging for quarters.
Those terrible panhandlers! They work the street all day and then drive home to their mansions! Is what they actually believe. I don't know why, but that is the theory. It's all about those welfare queens and panhandler princes.
Or maybe it's just a case of the grass always being fucking greener on the other side. They act as if every homeless person is some sort of hyper-competent career beggar who doesn't actually scare the living shit out of white middle class people.
It's sad that this is a super common opinion in middle class suburban and rural America because there are stories about a beggar who lives in a deluxe condo plastered all over the news constantly. But no way are any of those beggars just mentally ill veterans or even worse.
The problem is that most homeless people stay homeless because they're too nice to be thieves. True story, often the cops won't arrest homeless people because that would simply mean that they would have a bed and a roof over their head not made of cardboard for the night.
The will beat the shit out of them though.
And heaven forbid that the homeless guy actually finds some means of entertainment. In Tampa there was controversy because the newspaper reported on a guy that was begging on the street while listening to music on his headphones and had a cell phone. You know, because if you can afford a $10 mp3 player and a $25 prepaid cell phone, you simply can't be poor.
It's just one more step in showing how America is regressing into Elizabethan England, but only with shittier opinions about poetry. Debtors prisons, the lower classes sending money to their imprisoned relatives to buy niceties and now begging licenses, I guess. I'm curious on if the Bishop will outlaw playhouses within the city limits next.
On a final note let's just keep this resonating in your brains..
• In America today, people in the highest income group level, the top 20 percent, live, on average, at least 6.5 years longer than those in the lowest income group. Let me repeat that. If you are poor in America you will live 6.5 years less than if you are wealthy or upper-middle class.So yeah.. "poverty" indeed. Fuuuck.
• In America today, adult men and women who have graduated from college can expect to live at least 5 years longer than people who have not finished high school.