• America! 80 Percent of Adults Face Near-Poverty

    May 6, 2015

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: #99Percent, Economy, Post-Constitution America


    As the handful of multi-millionaires running for president threaten to pretend to make “economic disparity” a campaign meme, and then forget they ever heard of it once in power, four out of five adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives. Here’s the new American dream.

    The Numbers

    Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to a widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.

    The survey defines “economic insecurity” as a year or more of periodic joblessness, 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.

    The findings come even as Obama is claiming in recent speeches his highest priority (it has only been seven years+ so no hurry) is to “rebuild ladders of opportunity” and reverse income inequality.

    No Longer a Race Thing

    Poverty is often defined — by many whites — as a minority problem.

    While minorities are still more likely to live in poverty, race disparities have narrowed substantially since the 1970s. Economic insecurity among whites also is more pervasive than is shown in the government’s poverty 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. Pessimism among whites about their families’ economic futures has climbed to the highest point since at least 1987.

    More than 19 million whites now 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.

    Sometimes termed “the invisible poor,” lower-income whites generally are dispersed in suburbs and small rural towns, instead of being concentrated in urban areas more common to people of color. As an example, Buchanan County, in southwest Virginia, is among the nation’s most destitute based on median income, with poverty at 24 percent. The county is 99 percent white.

    America is indeed becoming a more equal place, but through a gross process of leveling down, not growing up.

    Boiling Frogs

    The issue of denial is the key to a tiny one percent of Americans getting away with this in what, overall, is still a very wealthy society.

    People think because they and their neighbors have a TV, they are fine. Or they are divided into antagonistic groups by race, with one believing the other has all the money and power, while the other sees their urban neighbors as lazy welfare cheats. It does work well to keep people divided, fighting with one another, and thus ignoring that narrow band of upper, upper class folks who really do hold all the cards.

    Inside that 80 percent of America slipping into poverty, people pay little attention to the quality of the food they can afford, the (lack of) healthcare, their poor schools and potted roads, the lack of forward opportunities for them and their kids and so forth. Short-sighted viewpoints, coupled with clever politicians who make each election about guns, gays and abortion, mask the obvious, even from the people boiling like froggies.

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  • Recent Comments

    • RICH BAUER said...


      “The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out… without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.”

      H.L. Menken

      05/6/15 10:47 AM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...


      Indeed. : In US, all men are Negated EQUAL?
      – Lower 20%

      05/6/15 11:34 AM | Comment Link

    • Chuck Nasmith said...


      Chelsea Manning joined the military to move up and get educated. What an education. Freedom isn’t free. One of my favorite signs regarding the class differences is “Eat the Rich”. Wage Peace and Justice…

      05/6/15 1:21 PM | Comment Link

    • Four out of Five Adults are Facing Economic Insecurity or Near-Poverty in America | The Contrary Perspective said...


      […] Peter Van Buren […]

      05/6/15 2:15 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      As a native Southern Californian (1944 to 1973) I know very well that Southern California may revert to a bare desert setting. Those who service the surrealistic green landscapes of the well off are in a world of hurt now.

      05/6/15 5:59 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...


      “Those who service the surrealistic green landscapes of the well off are in a world of hurt now.”

      Water, water everywhere…and so are the rest of us.


      05/6/15 6:31 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...


      Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign seems to be eager to talk about any political issue except the Keystone XL oil pipeline: a major wedge issue for Democrats.
      What would Hillary do? She won’t say:

      The Clinton campaign refused to say whether or not Hillary opposed or supported Keystone XL in a Bloomberg poll of all the major presidential hopefuls. Clinton’s spokeswoman was happy to tout the former secretary of state’s position on global warming science and regulating carbon dioxide emissions, but refused to answer the poll’s question on Keystone.

      “The Democratic hopeful has studiously avoided taking a position on the issue, which splits two of her party’s key constituencies: environmentalists and labor. Her campaign ignored this question on Bloomberg’s list,” Bloomberg’s poll noted.

      That’s Hillary. Conniving but fooling no one.

      05/6/15 6:35 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Rich- Conniving yes but perhaps fooling many instead of no one. There are plenty of “on ones” who demand to be fooled. Millions of clueless females want a president with female plumbing to perhaps assuage their lives as frustrated women. No one dare ask them if they would have married Bill Cinton knowing his wandering pecker ways. These are dangerously arrested development females but they vote so they may get their way.

      05/6/15 7:56 PM | Comment Link

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