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15 Shocking Poverty Statistics That Are Skyrocketing As The American Middle Class Continues To Be Slowly Wiped Out

The "America" that so many of us have taken for granted for so many decades is literally disintegrating right in front of our eyes.  Most Americans are still operating under the delusion that the United States will always be "the wealthiest nation" in the world and that our economy will always produce large numbers of high paying jobs and that the U.S. will always have a very large middle class.  But that is not what is happening.  The very foundations of the U.S. economy have rotted away and we now find ourselves on the verge of an economic collapse.  Already, millions upon millions of Americans are slipping out of the middle class and into the devastating grip of poverty.  Statistic after statistic proves that the middle class in the United States is shrinking month after month after month.  Meanwhile, millions of Americans are starting to wake up and are beginning to realize that we have very serious problems on our hands, but they have no idea what is causing our economic distress and they are unaware that most of our politicians have absolutely no idea how to fix the economic disaster that we have created.

On the mainstream news, the American people are treated to endless footage of leaders from both political parties proclaiming that the primary reason that we are in the midst of such an economic mess is because of what the other political party has done.

Republicans proclaim that we are experiencing all of this economic chaos because of the Democrats.

Democrats proclaim that we are experiencing all of this economic chaos because of the Republicans.

Even many readers of this column (who are generally more educated and more informed than most average Americans) leave comment after comment blaming either the Democrats of the Republicans for our current economic mess.  

But do you really want to know who is to blame for our economic problems?

Both of them.

This economic nightmare has taken literally decades to develop, and both Democrats and Republicans have contributed greatly to this disaster.

Both parties have absolutely refused to stand up to the Federal Reserve and the horrific economic policies that they have been shoving down our throats for decades.

Both parties have stood idly by as the U.S. trade deficit has absolutely exploded in size and the United States has become significantly poorer month after month after month.

Both parties have refused to do anything as month after month after month large numbers of factories and good paying jobs leave the United States.

Both parties have shoved the spending accelerator to the floor when they have been in power and now we have the largest national debt in the history of the world.

Both parties have done essentially nothing as the health care industry, which was once the envy of the world, has degenerated into a cesspool of corruption and greed and now seems designed to do little more than to provide pharmaceutical companies and health insurance crooks with obscene profits. 

If factories keep leaving the United States and jobs keep leaving the United States and the federal government keeps going into more debt and state governments keep going into more debt and local governments keep going into more debt, then things are going to keep getting worse

It does not take a genius to figure that out.

The United States is continually getting poorer and is continually going into more debt.

Can anyone out there explain how that is a formula for economic prosperity?

Seriously.

Can anyone explain how that would work?

Please leave a comment and explain that to all of us if you can.

The truth is that as wealth continues to leave the United States and as the U.S. gets even deeper into debt, more Americans are going to become poor.

It really is that simple.

The following are 15 shocking poverty statistics that are skyrocketing as the American middle class continues to be slowly wiped out....

#1 Approximately 45 million Americans were living in poverty in 2009.

#2 According to the Associated Press, experts believe that 2009 saw the largest single year increase in the U.S. poverty rate since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959.

#3 The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

#4 According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on a year-over-year basis, household participation in the food stamp program has increased 20.28%.

#5 The number of Americans on food stamps surpassed 41 million for the first time ever in June.

#6 As of June, the number of Americans on food stamps had set a new all-time record for 19 consecutive months.

#7 One out of every six Americans is now being served by at least one government anti-poverty program.

#8 More than 50 million Americans are now on Medicaid, the U.S. government health care program designed principally to help the poor.

#9 One out of every seven mortgages in the United States was either delinquent or in foreclosure during the first quarter of 2010.

#10 Nearly 10 million Americans now receive unemployment insurance, which is almost four times as many as were receiving it in 2007.

#11 The number of Americans receiving long-term unemployment benefits has risen over 60 percent in just the past year.

#12 According to one recent survey, 28% of all U.S. households have at least one member that is looking for a full-time job.

#13 Nationwide, bankruptcy filings rose 20 percent in the 12 month period ending June 30th.

#14 More than 25 percent of all Americans now have a credit score below 599.

#15 One out of every five children in the United States is now living in poverty.

As millions more Americans continue to climb on to the "safety net", how long is it going to be before it breaks?

The reality is that the system can only support so many people.  We are now at a point where our anti-poverty programs are clearly unsustainable in the long-term, but nobody has a solution for how we are going to get all of these people off of these programs or how we are going to provide good jobs for all of them.

The cost of every U.S. government anti-poverty program is absolutely soaring.  Meanwhile, the U.S. government is already running a budget deficit that is approaching 1.5 trillion dollars every year.  If you cannot understand that we have a very serious problem on our hands then you are probably not awake.

The U.S. economic system is dying.  Blaming the other political party is not a solution.  Running around the country offering "hope" and "change" and giving people a vague sense that things will get "better" soon is not going to cut it either.

The American people need very real economic solutions to very real economic problems. 

But nearly all of our politicians are way too busy either trying to get elected or trying to stay in office to tackle the very serious problems which are destroying our economy.

Unfortunately, the American people love to watch our politicians play politics.  They love to watch the little ping-pong ball of blame go back and forth.  They love to pick sides and to cheer for their "team".

None of that is doing any good.  Right now millions of Americans are getting sucked into poverty each year and neither major political party is doing anything real to address the very real economic problems that are causing that to happen. 

But most Americans have become so "dumbed down" that they don't even understand what the real problems are anymore.

All most Americans seem to want these days is to watch a good show.

So send in the clowns.

There are certainly enough of them in Washington D.C. to keep Americans entertained for quite a long time.

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  • Stanley Hartstein

    The myriad articles written about the Global economic disaster in general and that of the United States in particular remind me of the Seven Blind Men of India. Everyone sees only part of the problem but not the big picture. One reason is that the big picture is enormous and is composed of many dysfunctional parts. One of these parts is: much of what has come out of Washington is motivated by what is good for the privileged and influential few at the expense of what is for the common good. Now we are witnessing what happens when you undermine your base. Ultimately those at the top will feel it too.
    It is time to block all – or most- of the cheap imports so that the middle class can have a livelihood. It is time to limit the amount of paper assets created by Wall Street so that more money can be invested in real businesses. It is time to educate and accredit more health providers so that health care would be within reach of most people. These are only a few examples if what I mean about looking primarily at what is best for the most people.

    • dasdiuhaid

      lol stfu fgt

  • Karen

    I sure hope a new party that knows what to do to restore strength and dignity to American society, and does it, will arise and be successful.

    But I see too little consensus among ordinary Americans on what needs to be done to feel that it will happen.

    And it’s not encouraging that some of the craziest extremists have fire in the belly and great certainty about what they think should be done, whereas those most likely to actually have good ideas that would be acceptable to a majority of Americans seem to lack that confidence and certainty.

  • Unsympathetic

    Why, exactly, will taxing the “rich” not work? You morons had 16 years in control of both houses of Congress (1993-2007) to prove that your Laffer Curve wasn’t just a figment of Bruce Bartlett’s imagination.

    Epic fail.

    Republican economic leadership has added no jobs, and increased the average wage exactly zero.

    You had your chance – but you failed. Well, you failed to implement a sustainable economy for the country, but you didn’t fail. The entire point of the Republican party is to take the fruits of middle class productivity and shovel it at the top 0.5% of the country.. and in that respect, they actually succeed brilliantly.

    Ronald Reagan raised taxes multiple times; why is that now “no solution?”

    Raise the taxes on the top 0.5% to end the Gilded Age we currently live in. Make no mistake: the Bush tax cuts are yet another attack on the middle class.. the upper class stopped paying SS taxes due to the cuts.

    I have never been able to figure out why Republicans convince poor people to vote for them. Each person who quotes bizarre unsubstantiated Beck “dogma” … is having their money stolen by the same elitists to further class warfare at that very moment! It’s ridiculous.

  • Irene

    Why is this happening? Really! Look at the “world leaders” and then look again behind them (more like behind a curtain)and you will see the REAL handlers. They have names: Soros, Rockefeller, Rothchild, etc. and it isn’t about money (gads, they have most of the money in the world now anyway!). It is about ultimate control of every single man, woman and child – after reaching the target population of 500 million. You read that right – 500 million. This isn’t a conspiracy theory or anything like it. In Georgia, USA, there is a huge monument in a dozen languages that states clearly what the New World Order is and what they plan.

    Middle Class? Ever fish? Know how you dangle the bait and wiggle it until the fish just can’t stand it and grabs it? The prosperity of the “middle class” was the bait – and switch- and it’s being pulled on the Chinese, Japenese, and Southeast Asia now. The NWO “leaders” have no intention of allowing a “middle class” to survive anywhere because it doesn’t fit into their plans.

    And guess how they intend to reach that magic 500 million population? Try eugenics through the use of pharmaceuticals, vaccination, arial spraying, wars, manipulated crop failures throug manipulated weather, etc. They really do believe they are the “masters of the universe” and we are just here to be their thralls. Welcome to the Brave New World!

  • Tina

    Seems like everyone has a solution to the problem and everyone else is NOT listening. Washington certainly isn’t listening to Americans so why should anyone else? Maybe the politician’s are SO afraid of wall street, they WONT do anything for fear of retribution? If the banksters stay in control, what will become of the little man? I don’t see a peaceful outcome from someone whose life has been defined by comfort and ease and then dwindling down to abject poverty and want. Maybe all those F.E.M.A. alarmists are right, maybe all those coffins along the roads really ARE for US.

  • http://allgoodfun.net/ John

    The solution is easy — like any business in trouble, but back on outgoings. The USA has to let other people cop the consequences of their overbreeding and internal squabbles. Get the hell out of Iraq and Afganistan. Stop trying to feed the starving – they only breed more and there are more starving – now including US citizens. People die – its no big deal! Everyone dies — loses their body – screw up, and it happens sooner. Get real!

  • http://adovationz.co.nz/catalogww.htm Digby

    Until the States (and the rest of the west) starts exporting more than they import we will continue our downhill slide into poverty.

    Whether it is done by tariffs or lowering the dollar, or even dropping wages and other assets to match Asia, I am not sure.

    But it needs to happen and quickly.

    Yes and the democrats and republicans need to stop blaming each other.

  • lalaland

    “As millions more Americans continue to climb on to the “safety net”, how long is it going to be before it breaks?

    The reality is that the system can only support so many people. We are now at a point where our anti-poverty programs are clearly unsustainable in the long-term, but nobody has a solution for how we are going to get all of these people off of these programs or how we are going to provide good jobs for all of them.”

    BULLSH*T.

    The reason Americans are getting poorer and poorer is the rich are getting richer and richer. The rich benefit from outsourcing jobs, from international trade, from selling Chinese crap to Americans, from all the Wall Street shenanigans that cost millions of jobs and wages to be lost. Then the taxpayers bailed out the banks the rich had already looted. The income of the Rich, it’s worth noting, has skyrocketed; in fact ALL the income gains from the past 10 years went to people making $75k or more.

    Taxes for the rich have been lowered over and over again since the 40′s. The reason we are in debt is because we were told that through the magic of trickle-down economics lowering the taxes on the rich would benefit all of us. In fact, it benefited only the rich (surprise, surprise). The rich have been claiming in one variation or another that the US can’t afford Social Security, or Medicare, or Food Stamps or whatever, but in fact it can’t afford to let the rich keep as much money as they currently are, period.

    Why does a hedge fund manager pay less in taxes than I do? Why does a millionaire living off his capital gains, contributing NOTHING to the economy pay less in taxes than I do? Because they got politicians elected to MAKE THAT HAPPEN. The poor, on the other hand, are notoriously inefficient lobbyists, so they haven’t been able to get the same payouts.

    Your 15 facts are indeed horrendous, and it’s 30 years of trickle-down, conservative economics trickery, lies, and distortions that got us there. The problem now is that the poor can’t spend enough to support the rich’s lavish lifestyles. It’s not that the poor are draining the rich, as those who rail against raising taxes on the top 2% wail about day in and day out.

    Rich people: you’ve had a good run. You had 30 years of incredibly low tax rates, but you ran the economy into the ground, and it’s time to pay the goddamn bill.

    There is ONE party that will vote NOT to extend the Bush tax cuts, not two. One party favored regulating wall street, not two. One party put in place ALL those social programs that are currently keeping millions of Americans heads above water, not two.

    Democratic politicians don’t have clean hands when it comes to screwing the American middle class, but their misdeeds PALE in comparison to what the Republicans, with their freshwater economics gods and business elite moneymen have wrought.

    God forbid we can grow our way back to a measly 2.5% growth – the Republicans and the Rich will STILL say it’s the wrong time to raise taxes, I guarantee it.

    • dave green

      LaLaLand, I realize your post is 3 years old but I have a couple points. You said the rich have had taxes cut over and over for 40 years? So my first question is JFK Was elected in 1960? I am not sure I was born in 1959, but I do know the top tax rate was 90% at the time. JFK cut the tax to 65% so it was a Democrat who started the tax cut so why you blaming the Republicans. The economy grew and unemployment dropped from 6.5% to 6%. Also us steel began building steel mills over seas so tax cuts and jobs going over seas began with a Democrat.
      Second, the Republicans pretty much rolled over on the Bush tax cuts and this budget just passed increased taxes. So just wait, soon all your dreams will come true

  • Duke

    1. Fire all career politicians.
    2. Fire all the rest who don’t vote to cut gov’t bureaucracy by 50% from today’s level.
    3. Fire all the rest who don’t vote a budget that cuts the deficit EVERY YEAR.

    Back to basics, and hold our politicians accountable. It’s up to us people, they’ve stolen us blind in broad daylight and Nov is our last chance to take control back from thieving politicos of both parties.

  • Paul

    Lobbyists have sucked the life out of this country and our government is too damn big. Reduce government ‘immediately’ by 50% or more. Repeal health care. Close the boarders, no more BS.. Add prayer back to our schools. Let parents be parents, spank their kids when they deserve it. Today parents are so afraid of being reported for abuse that our children are running amuck. The list goes on and on..

    What to reduce the deficit – FIX TAX. No matter who you are, your company, etc… you pay the same tax. No loop holes! Eliminate the IRS – no longer needed. Stop given everything away for free, charge countries for military support or any other endeavors. Another area of concern is price inflation (homes, gas, food prices). Cost of living is outrageous – all because of our government and lobbyists..

    This year the most encouraging thing was the Tea Party movement. Final people are realizing our elected officials are in this for themselves. The everyday citizen is feed-up with all the BS coming out of DC.. Vote the SOBs out in November – Democrat or Republican.

    Taking a step back, I no longer worry about me surviving, but rather my children. At the rate we’re declining our children will feel the full effects of our misguided government. Unless more people start standing up and protesting. We want our country back – the idiots need to leave.

  • GoneWithTheWInd

    Taxing the rich will not work, exactly, for the following reasons. Believe it or not the rich don’t have enough money to pay off even 1/10th the debt. So even if we took everything from them it wouldn’t get us out of this mess. Then too the rich can leave. They can go to a country that won’t tax them so much and they will take their money and productivity with them. And of course it is the rich, for the most part, that employee people. When they leave those jobs will leave as well. I have never worked for a poor guy, have you?

  • Tom

    Let the rich leave. we would be better off. They do not build the economy, they take from it. Ignorant people have been brain washed to believe we need to kiss up to them Sad.

    Wake up, the rich pay next to nothing. They write ot off. THey take millions in salaries that you pay for.

  • Marc

    The issue of class is almost as contentious & forbidden as is the race issue. One hears politicians [IE: Pres Obama] speak like there’s only one class – the ‘middle-class’ – as if no other classes exist. However there are 2 main categories of classes – each w at least 2 main sub-divisions… they are the Haves [w the ‘power Elites’ & the upper-middle class Technocrats]; and the Have little / Have-nots [w the working ‘stiffs’ / working poor & the ‘permanently’ impoverished under-class]. The de-construction of the US’ manufacturing base & the whole-sale ‘out-sourcing’ of those jobs has all but effectively dismantled the ‘blue-collar’ [& even many ‘white-collar’] based middle-class.
    Whenever someone in the public discourse starts elaborating too much on this topic you can hear mainstream [Corp controlled] politicians [IE: John McCain] to CNBC, to [Corp controlled] media pundits [IE: Sean Hannity] cry foul – ‘you’re promoting class warfare’; – as if the Corp-Gov collusion [public-private partnership IE: GATT by Reagan-Bush & NAFTA by Clinton] to ship the manufacturing base & jobs; while assaulting organized labor isn’t effectively protracted warfare on the working class.
    Michael Moore wrote a book titled ‘Stupid White Men’. I haven’t read the book but I suspect one of his main premises was that if so many whites didn’t allow their prejudices to blind them, they might see that most of them have more in common with most Blacks & Browns than w the [white] power elites. I have little doubt that most of these elites are mainly racists [or at least race-baiters], BUT… the only ones that they truly see & respect as equals are their elite peers. Why else were they so eager to systematically ship working class whites’ jobs overseas wholesale [betrayal], when they saw that they could enrich themselves further [even though they were already FILTHY Rich]. A recent study shows that over the past few years, the best paid Corp CEOs are those who threw the most workers out of work. This proves their utter contempt for working [so-called middle] class whites, however they continually play the race-card via race-baiting Corp controlled politicians & Corp controlled MSNM media [IE: FOX Noise] to misdirect whites anger toward Blacks & Browns who are more exploited / powerless than themselves.
    These tactics work because the very soul of America has been infected w racism [& xenophobia], militarism, & elitism [corporatism] from the very beginning [These issues of racism, militarism, & unchecked materialism {IE: Wall St’s motto ‘Greed is Good’} - were at the heart of MLK’s iconic but oft suppressed speech against the Vietnam War made on April 4th 1967- one year to the day before his assassination]. Take FOX Noise [so-called News] whose shtick is US patriotism [even though its owner is a native Aussie who is married to a woman from Communist China] w all the bells & whistles – the Flag – Red White & Blue – rah rah rah. FOX w its notorious race baiters [IE: Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly, Immus, Mark Furman, (& even Limbaugh {Limp-balls} & Coulter), etc]; who cheer-lead for US imperialism / militarism [hyping up Bush-Cheney-ites ‘War on Terror’ {Islam} – illegal invasion of Iraq- all based on lies {Note: Bush & Cheney & most Neo-cons- used a variety of ploys & tactics to avoid serving in Vietnam} & defending Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld policy of torture]; also cheer-leads for unchecked corporatism – in the name of helping so-called ‘small’ [but in reality ‘BIG’] business & the [vanishing due to Corp policies] middle-class. Yet FOX Noise is one the most popular so-called news programs in the US.
    No wonder they resist a ‘Real’ analysis of the class issue… it might lead to a wholesale revolt against the Haves of the US [& the World for that matter] by the Have-little / Have-nots. And Technocrats should beware of the betrayal of the blue-collar-middle class by the power elites, for which they’ve so often participated in. Should such a revolt occur they will likely be sacrificed as a buffer between the Have-little / Have-nots & the power elites. These elites often cloak themselves in the mantle of patriotism – but what kind of patriot is it that systematically attacks the foundations of the middle-class by shipping their jobs overseas for greater profits; avoids paying their fair share of taxes by keeping their ill-gotten gains in off-shore bank accounts; profits from the misery of the people [the best paid CEOs put the most people out of work – the Banksters fought laws giving people the chance to renegotiate their mortgages so they could stay in their homes – after the Wall St Banksters caused the housing bubble in the first place, etc]; force workers to work in unsafe conditions under threat of being fired [BP, Massey Energy, etc]; blackmails the Gov & then robs the national treasury [w the Wall St Bankster ‘Bail-outs']; avoids serving themselves &/or ‘pulls strings’ to keep their kit & kin from serving while eagerly sending the poor & working class off to fight & die in their wars for profit based on lies; etc, etc, etc…

  • learnmile

    I just wanna thank you for sharing your information and your site or blog this is simple but nice article I’ve ever seen i like it i learn something today.

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