When people get hungry enough, they will do just about anything for some food. According to brand new research that was just released this week from Feeding America and the Urban Institute, there are millions of teenagers in America that live in “food insecure” households, and researchers were stunned to learn what some of these teens are willing to do to feed themselves. Some resort to shoplifting, others deal drugs, and there were a surprising number of participants in the study that actually admitted to trading sex for food. It wouldn’t be a shock to hear that these kinds of things are going on in an economically-depressed nation such as Venezuela, but this is the United States of America. We are supposed to be the wealthiest nation on the entire planet. Sadly, even while the stock market has been soaring in recent years, poverty in America has been on the rise. For those on the low end of the economic scale, things have gone from bad to worse since the end of the last recession, and millions of children are deeply suffering as a result.
Let’s start with some of the hard numbers. The following comes directly from the Urban Institute website…
An estimated 6.8 million people ages 10 to 17 are food insecure, meaning they don’t have reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food. Another 2.9 million are very food insecure, and roughly 4 million live in marginally food secure households, where the threat of running out of food is real.
Food insecurity takes a tremendous toll on teenagers. Poor nutrition—and the stress of hunger and poverty—can jeopardize their physical and mental health and development and their academic success. But despite the gravity and prevalence of teen food insecurity, we know very little about how these young people experience and cope with hunger.
The researchers already knew that lots of young people were hungry in America. But what surprised them were the lengths that many of these youngsters said that they would go to in order to get food…
Some of the youths said they or someone they know — mostly young men — have turned to shoplifting food, selling drugs or stealing items to sell.
The teens also reported knowing young women who have sold their bodies for food or had sex for money so they could buy food for their families.
Going to jail or failing a class in order to have to attend summer school were also some of the lengths teens went to.
Could you imagine your daughter or your granddaughter exchanging her body for food?
For most of us that is absolutely unthinkable, but the truth is that this is taking place on the streets of America every single day.
And this wasn’t just some blind random phone survey. The researchers conducted personal interviews with focus groups, and what these kids were willing to admit doing was absolutely astounding. Here is another excerpt directly out of the report…
- When faced with acute food insecurity, teens in all but two of the communities said that youth engage in criminal behavior, ranging from shoplifting food directly to selling drugs and stealing items to resell for cash. These behaviors were most common among young men in communities with the most limited job options.
- Teens in all 10 communities and in 13 of the 20 focus groups talked about some youth selling sex for money to pay for food. These themes arose most strongly in high-poverty communities where teens also described sexually coercive environments. Sexual exploitation most commonly took the form of transactional dating relationships with older adults.
- In a few communities, teens talked about going to jail or failing school (so they could attend summer classes and get school lunch) as viable strategies for ensuring regular meals.
Many of these young people understand that what they are doing is wrong. Just consider what some of them told the researchers…
A girl in Portland, Oregon told researchers: “It’s really like selling yourself. Like you’ll do whatever you need to do to get money or eat.”
Another comment from Portland: “You’re not even dating … they’ll be like … ‘I don’t really love him, but I’m going to do what I have to do.’”
Many prefer to rationalise what they are doing as dating of sorts. A boy in rural North Carolina said: “When you’re selling your body, it’s more in disguise. Like if I had sex with you, you have to buy me dinner tonight … that’s how girls deal with the struggle … That’s better than taking money because if they take money, they will be labeled a prostitute.”
When I read the information in this report, I was stunned. Yes, I write about our economic decline and the rise in poverty all the time, but I didn’t know that things were this bad.
And the researchers were surprised by what they were hearing as well. One of them said that the fact that girls are trading their bodies for food “was really shocking to me”, and she believes that things are “just getting worse over time”…
“I’ve been doing research in low-income communities for a long time, and I’ve written extensively about the experiences of women in high poverty communities and the risk of sexual exploitation, but this was new,” said Susan Popkin, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and lead author of the report, Impossible Choices.
“Even for me, who has been paying attention to this and has heard women tell their stories for a long time, the extent to which we were hearing about food being related to this vulnerability was new and shocking to me, and the level of desperation that it implies was really shocking to me. It’s a situation I think is just getting worse over time.”
But aren’t we being told that things are getting better?
Aren’t we being told that our leaders “fixed” the economy?
Of course the truth is that America is mired in a long-term economic decline that stretches back for decades. With each passing year the middle class gets smaller as a percentage of the population, and poverty continues to grow. Last year the middle class became a minority of the population for the first time ever, and a lot of formerly middle class Americans are now among those that aren’t sure that they are going to have enough food to eat this month.
Hunger in America is a major crisis and it is growing. Just because you may live in a comfortable home in a wealthy neighborhood does not mean that this problem is not real.
Tonight there are millions of Americans that do not know where their next meal is going to come from, and they deserve our love and compassion.
Did you know that the number of Americans on welfare is higher than the number of Americans that have full-time jobs? Did you know that 1.2 million public school students in the U.S. are currently homeless? Anyone that uses the term “economic recovery” to describe what is happening in the United States today is being deeply insulting to the nearly 150 million Americans that are considered to be either “poor” or “low income” at this point. Yes, things are great in New York City, Washington D.C. and San Francisco, but almost everywhere else economic conditions continue to steadily get worse. The gap between the wealthy and the poor is at a level that America has never seen before, and this is beginning to create a “Robin Hood mentality” that could cause a tremendous amount of social chaos in the years ahead. Anger at the “haves” in America continues to rise at a very alarming pace, and the “have nots” are becoming increasingly desperate. At some point all of this anger is going to boil over, and you won’t want to be anywhere around major population centers when that happens. Despite unprecedented borrowing by the federal government in recent years, and despite unprecedented money printing by the Federal Reserve, poverty in the United States keeps getting worse with each passing year. The following are 29 incredible facts which prove that poverty in America is absolutely exploding…
1. What can you say about a nation that has more people getting handouts from the federal government than working full-time? According to the latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people receiving means-tested welfare benefits is greater than the number of full-time workers in the United States.
2. New numbers have just been released, and they show that the number of public school students in this country that are homeless is at an all-time record high. It is hard to believe, but right now 1.2 million students that attend public schools in America are homeless. That number has risen by 72 percent since the start of the last recession.
3. When I was growing up, it seemed like almost everyone was from a middle class home. But now that has all changed. One recent study discovered that nearly half of all public students in the United States come from low income homes.
4. How can anyone deny that we are a socialist nation when half the people are getting money from the federal government each month? According to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, 49.2 percent of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program.
5. Signs of increasing poverty are even showing up in the wealthiest areas of the nation. According to the New York Post, New York subways are being “overrun with homeless“.
6. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately one out of every six Americans is now living in poverty. The number of Americans living in poverty is now at a level not seen since the 1960s.
7. The gap between the rich and the poor in the United States is at an all-time record high. The wealthy may not consider this to be much of a problem, but those at the other end of the spectrum are very aware of this.
8. The “working poor” is one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population. At this point, approximately one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line.
9. According to numbers provided by Wal-Mart, more than half of their hourly workers make less than $25,000 a year.
10. A recent Businessweek article mentioned a study that discovered that 300 employees at one Wal-Mart in Wisconsin receive a combined total of nearly a million dollars a year in public assistance…
“A decent wage is their demand—a livable wage, of all things,” said Representative George Miller (D-Calif.). The problem with companies like Wal-Mart is their “unwillingness, not their inability, to pay that wage,” he said. “They hand off the difference to taxpayers.” Miller was referring to a congressional report (PDF) released in May that calculated how much Walmart workers rely on public assistance. The study found that the 300 employees at one Supercenter in Wisconsin required some $900,000 worth of public assistance a year.
11. The stock market may be doing great (for the moment), but incomes for average Americans continue to decline. In fact, median household income in the United States has fallen for five years in a row.
12. The quality of the jobs in America has been steadily dropping for years. At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.
13. According to a Gallup poll that was recently released, 20.0% of all Americans did not have enough money to buy food that they or their families needed at some point over the past year. That is just under the record of 20.4% that was set back in November 2008.
14. Young adults are particularly feeling the sting of poverty these days. American families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.
15. As I wrote about a few weeks ago, one out of every five households in the United States is on food stamps. Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.
16. The number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the entire population of Spain.
17. According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”
18. We are told that we live in the “wealthiest nation” on the planet, and yet more than one out of every four children in the United States is enrolled in the food stamp program.
19. The average food stamp benefit breaks down to approximately $4 per person per day.
20. It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps before they reach the age of 18.
21. Today, approximately 17 million children in the United States are facing food insecurity. In other words, that means that “one in four children in the country is living without consistent access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy life.”
22. It may be hard to believe, but approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are currently living in homes that are considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.
23. The number of children living on $2.00 a day or less in the United States has grown to 2.8 million. That number has increased by 130 percent since 1996.
24. In Miami, 45 percent of all children are living in poverty.
25. In Cleveland, more than 50 percent of all children are living in poverty.
26. According to a recently released report, 60 percent of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.
27. According to a Feeding America hunger study, more than 37 million Americans are now being served by food pantries and soup kitchens.
28. The U.S. government has spent an astounding 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs over the past five years.
29. It has been reported that 4 out of every 5 adults in the United States “struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives”.
These poverty numbers keep getting worse year after year no matter what our politicians do.
So is there anyone out there that would still like to argue that we are in an “economic recovery”?
And as I mentioned above, the “have nots” are becoming increasingly angry at the “haves”. For example, just check out the following excerpt from a recent New York Post article…
The maniac who butchered a Brooklyn mom and her four young kids confessed that he did it because he was jealous of their way of life, a police source told The Post on Sunday.
“The family had too much. Their income (and) lifestyle was better than his,” the source said.
The bloody suspect was caught holding the kitchen knife he used during the Saturday night rampage inside the Sunset Park apartment where he had been staying with the victims, the source added.
Sadly, this was not an isolated incident. All over the western world, a “Robin Hood mentality” is growing. This is something that I am so concerned about that I made it a big part of my new book. At this point, even wealthy Hollywood-types such as actor Russell Brand are calling for a socialist-style “revolution” and a “massive redistribution of wealth“.
Perhaps Brand does not understand that what he is calling for would mean redistributing most of his own wealth away from him.
When the next major wave of the economic collapse strikes, I fear that all of this anger and frustration that are growing among the poor will boil over in some very frightening ways. I believe that we will see a huge spike in crime and that we will eventually see communities all over America looted and burning.
But I am not the only one that is thinking along these lines. A new National Geographic Channel movie entitled “American Blackout” attempts to portray the social chaos that could erupt in the event of an extended national power failure…
American Blackout, National Geographic Channel’s two-hour, edge-of-your-seat movie event imagines the story of a national power failure in the United States caused by a cyberattack — told in real time, over 10 days, by those who kept filming on cameras and phones. You’ll learn what it means to be absolutely powerless.
You can view a clip of the film that was made available by NatGeo for the SHTFplan.com community right here.
What would you do if something like that happened to you?
How would you handle desperate, hungry people at your fence asking for food?
And what if those people were armed and were not “asking nicely” for your food?
Don’t ignore what is happening in America right now. It is setting the stage for some very chaotic times.
Get ready while you still can.
Should we all quit working and jump on board the Obama gravy train? Of course I am being facetious, but when you are barely surviving does there come a point when it just becomes easier to give up and totally rely on the government? Today, the federal government runs nearly 80 different means-tested welfare programs, and many state and local governments have their own welfare programs on top of that. If you become an expert on those programs and you learn how to game the system, can you live more comfortably than someone that lives honestly and works as hard as they can and yet still makes less than 10 dollars an hour? Now, right from the outset of this article, let me make it abundantly clear that I do not believe that most people are abusing the system. As I have written about over and over, the number of Americans living in poverty is rapidly increasing because there are not enough jobs. There are not enough jobs because we are shipping millions of them out of the country to the other side of the globe, and we are also losing millions of jobs to technology. There have always been those that need our help, and because of the foolish decisions that we have made as a nation, the ranks of the poor will continue to expand. But it is also true that there are some people out there that are very brazenly abusing the system. For example, is it really fair for people on food stamps to buy prime rib and lobster while many working families barely survive? People like that are taking advantage of their fellow Americans, and they are making it harder for the people that really need the help to be able to get it.
Unfortunately, we are rapidly becoming an “entitlement society”. Close to half the country lives in a home that receives some sort of monetary benefits from the federal government each month at this point.
In particular, the food stamp program has experienced explosive growth in recent years. Since Obama has been president, the number of Americans on food stamps has grown by more than 49 percent, and more than 11,000 people a day have enrolled in the food stamp program since Obama entered the White House.
And if you can believe it, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the entire population of Spain.
Will we all eventually be on food stamps?
Actually, the truth is that there are millions upon millions of hard working American families that are desperately trying to make it on their own and that don’t want to become financial dependents of the federal government. Unfortunately, it can be a little disheartening when you are barely making it from month to month and yet you see others using government benefit cards to buy luxury items.
The other day my wife came across a discussion on Facebook that really caught her attention. I thought that I would share with you all the post that got that discussion going. As far as I can determine, this woman shared what she believed she actually saw at her local grocery store, but I have no way of determining if this story is true or not. But I have seen quite a few similar stories of food stamp abuse in the past. Either way, I think the following story will be good to help spark a conversation about whether our current system is broken or not. All of the names have been removed so as to protect the identity of the woman that originally posted this on Facebook…
Okay…so, I’m going to go on a rant for a minute…just to get it off my chest…
**** & I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things because we were getting low…sooo, we pick up our 40% off chicken and buy one get two free items and proceed to checkout.
There is a woman ahead of us with a child about 4 years old. The woman, I couldn’t help but notice….had beautiful fingernails, clearly professionally done…and I also noticed her brand new IPHONE…which she was talking on, and I think that is rude while you are being checked out. Her little girl was commenting on the TWO live lobsters in a bag on the checkout, asked if it was going to hurt when they get cooked, her mom brushed her off…at that time I took a look at what else she had on the counter…A HUGE roast, sirloin tips, shrimp, beef ribs and pork ribs…only the prime cuts… I thought to myself….mmmmmm someone is having a yummy dinner and must have a great job as I could not afford these things (not that I’d get my nails done anyway)….
So…the cashier gives her a total and what does she pull out of her wallet but a BENEFIT card!!!!!!! I had all I could do to contain myself…
Sometimes people need help, and I’m okay with that, and those who need it should get it….BUT…if you can afford the latest IPHONE and fancy nails then why in the world are the taxpayers paying for your LOBSTER?!!!! If she really needed help and food, she should have been buying the “sale” items…40% off chicken, buy one get one free cheese ravioli…you know, like the rest of us working class have to buy!
It especially makes me mad because there ARE PEOPLE WHO NEED HELP and can’t get it…My son and his girlfriend and brand new baby aren’t eligible for an ounce of help…they tried, she works days and he works nights so that they don’t have to pay for day-care, they use inexpensive diapers and try to save money anyway they can, they struggle to make ends meet and to pay for their straight talk phones and to boot are paying off college loans…but they supposedly make too much…c’mon, really, he works at McDonalds and she works in a nursing home…lets be real here…those are the type that SHOULD get help…UGHHHH Our system is broken and something needs to be done about it!!!
There, that’s my rant…kudo’s to you if you managed to read the whole thing as I know it was an awful long rant….Gotta go work now, 😉 Thanks for listening.
In response to her story, dozens of people posted comments. Quite a few people said that they had seen similar things where they lived.
And the truth is that food stamps are accepted just about wherever you look these days. Just check out this shocking article: “Obama’s food-stamp nation: ‘We accept EBT’ signs are everywhere“.
So is this kind of thing fair?
If not, what can be done about it?
What everybody can agree upon is that the number of food stamp recipients is absolutely exploding. The following is from a recent CNS news article…
When Obama entered office in January 2009 there were 31,939,110 Americans receiving food stamps. As of November 2012—the most recent data available—there were 47,692,896 Americans enrolled, an increase of 49.3 percent.
But this didn’t just start under Obama. Back in the year 2000, there were just 17 million Americans on food stamps.
30 million more have been added to the program since then.
And of course food stamps is not the only federal welfare program that is being abused.
According to the Wall Street Journal, there has been a tremendous amount of abuse in the free cell phone program as well.
The U.S. government spent about $2.2 billion last year to provide phones to low-income Americans, but a Wall Street Journal review of the program shows that a large number of those who received the phones haven’t proved they are eligible to receive them.
The Lifeline program—begun in 1984 to ensure that poor people aren’t cut off from jobs, families and emergency services—is funded by charges that appear on the monthly bills of every landline and wireless-phone customer. Payouts under the program have shot up from $819 million in 2008, as more wireless carriers have persuaded regulators to let them offer the service.
A lot of people refer to those free cell phones as “Obamaphones”, but the truth is that the program has been going on for a long time. It just has accelerated greatly under Obama.
So what is the solution to all of this?
Well, what we really need are a lot more jobs, but in the State of the Union address last night Obama simply rehashed a lot of the same tired proposals that he and our former presidents have been promoting for years.
If we continue to do the same things that we have been doing, we are going to continue to get the same results.
There is a reason why the percentage of the civilian labor force in the United States that is employed has been steadily declining every single year since 2006. We keep pursuing foolish policies, and those policies are steadily destroying our economy.
Sadly, many of our politicians appear to be engaged in some form of “doublethink”. The things that they tell us will solve our problems are actually the things that are making our problems even worse.
For example, Barack Obama says that we need even more “free trade agreements” and that we need to integrate our economy into the emerging one world economic system even more deeply.
But as I have shown in article after article, the “free trade” agenda of the global elite has resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of U.S. businesses and millions of good paying U.S. jobs.
For much more on this, please see the following article: “55 Reasons Why You Should Buy Products That Are Made In America“.
And of course Obama once promised that he would never “rest” until he had fixed our employment problems, but that hasn’t exactly been the truth either. The following is from a recent article by Dan Gainor…
Back in 2009, the president promised never to “rest” until the job situation was fixed. Nearly four years later, he’s done a lot of resting.
According to The Weekly Standard, Pres. Obama has had 83 vacation days overall and Factcheck.org says he took 26 of those in 2009. That means the president has taken at least 57 vacation days since his vow not to “rest.”
But hey, he needs his rest. Life is rough. U.S. taxpayers only spend about a billion dollars a year on the Obamas. How is he supposed to scrape by on such limited resources?
Meanwhile, Americans are still incredibly pessimistic about the economy. The following is what one recent survey found…
- Eight in 10 Americans are skeptical that career and employment opportunities will be better for the next generation.
- More than half of Americans say the economy will not fully recover from the 2007-2009 recession for another six years; 29% believe the economy will never fully recover.
- 73% of Americans were directly impacted by the recession: individuals surveyed had either lost a job themselves or a family member/close relative had been out work because of the economic downturn.
- The majority of survey participants said college would become unaffordable for most young Americans.
- 56% reported having fewer savings than before the recession.
- More than half of those who were laid off or lost a job said they cut back on medical treatment or doctor visits.
- 40% of Americans have borrowed money from family or friends.
- Nearly 25% of participants said they have sought professional help for stress or depression.
And as you can see from the charts in this article, U.S. businesses remain very pessimistic about the future of the economy as well.
Unfortunately, those that are pessimistic about the economy have very good reasons to be so.
And as bad as things are right now, they are going to be getting much, much worse.
That means that millions more Americans are going to be wanting to sign up for food stamps and other welfare programs.
But what will happen someday when the safety net breaks and all of those welfare programs start getting cut back dramatically?
What kind of riots will we see in major U.S. cities when the international community insists that the U.S. implement its own version of “austerity” in response to a massive debt crisis?
Will we eventually end up just like Greece and Spain or even worse?
Please share this article with as many people as you can, and please feel free to leave your thoughts on this article above by posting a comment below…
There are two very different Americas today. In one, the stock market is soaring, high end homes are selling briskly, big banks and hedge funds are rolling in money as if the last financial crisis never even happened, and life is really, really good. In the other America, good jobs are incredibly scarce, incomes are declining, and poverty is skyrocketing to levels that we have never seen before. The gap between the wealthy and the poor in America is getting wider with each passing day. In fact, it is my contention that the U.S. has an even larger gap between the rich and the poor than Downton Abbey does. If you have never seen Downton Abbey, you really should. It is one of the most extraordinary shows to appear on television in years. It is a drama set in the UK which follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants throughout the early part of the 20th Century. It can be a bit jarring to watch servants wait on their masters hand and foot and refer to them by such titles as “Lord” and “Lady”, but the truth is that in many ways there is more inequality today than there was back then. As far as people living in the worst areas of cities such as Detroit and Cleveland are concerned, the socialites that live on Fifth Avenue in New York City or in multi-million dollar homes out in the Hamptons might as well be from another planet. If you have lots of money, America is still a really great place to live. If you barely have any money, America can be really cold and cruel. Sadly, our politicians continue to pursue policies that make things even better for those working for the establishment in places such as Washington D.C. and Manhattan, and worse for all the rest of us. This has especially been true over the course of the past four years. If nothing is done, the gaping chasm between the rich and the poor will continue to get even worse, and in the end that will have some really severe consequences for our society.
So is the answer to raise taxes and “redistribute” more money to the poor? Of course not. Today, we are already paying dozens of different kinds of taxes every year and the government is handing out more money to people than ever before. But poverty just continues to explode.
What the poor in the U.S. desperately need are good jobs, but we continue to ship millions of good jobs out of the country and Barack Obama continues to pursue policies that are killing the U.S. economy.
There is not much help on the horizon for the poor or the middle class in America, and that should be distressing for all of us.
But things in the wealthy parts of America are going absolutely wonderfully right now. Let’s take a few moments and contrast what life is like in the two Americas right now…
In the “good America”, stocks are absolutely soaring. In fact, the S&P 500 closed above 1,500 on Friday for the very first time in more than five years.
In the “bad America”, poverty statistics just continue to get worse. According to a newly released report, 60 percent of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.
In the “good America”, hedge funds are rolling in the profits. The Dow just had its best January since January of 1994, and many analysts are projecting that 2013 will be a banner year for the markets.
In the “bad America”, median household income has fallen for four years in a row, and millions of families are really struggling to find a way to pay the bills each month.
In the “good America”, expensive homes are selling at a pace that we have not seen in years. Just check out what is happening in the Hamptons. According to the National Association of Realtors, sales of homes worth at least a million dollars were 51 percent higher in November 2012 than they were in November 2011.
In the “bad America”, there are hordes of young adults that cannot find jobs and cannot take care of themselves. Shockingly, U.S. families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.
In the “good America”, the “too big to fail” banks are partying like it was 2005 again. For example, revenues at Goldman Sachs increased by about 30 percent in 2012 and Goldman stock has soared by more than 40 percent over the past 12 months.
In the “bad America”, poverty is exploding and government dependence has become a way of life. If you can believe it, the number of Americans on food stamps has grown from about 17 million in the year 2000 to more than 47 million today.
In the “good America”, those working for the establishment will do just about anything to make a buck. For instance, Goldman Sachs made 400 million dollars driving up food prices in 2012 while hundreds of millions around the world existed on the edge of starvation.
In the “bad America”, millions of families are wondering how they will make it until next month. If you can believe it, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless. This is the first time that has ever happened in our history.
In the “good America”, everyone has a good ride. In fact, sales of luxury German-made vehicles set new all-time records in 2012.
In the “bad America”, those that have lost everything are shunned and ostracized. In fact, many communities all over America are actually making feeding the homeless illegal.
The fact that there is poverty in America should not alarm you. Every country in the world has poverty. What should alarm you is how rapidly it is growing. Even though the Obama administration tells us that we are in an “economic recovery”, things just continue to get worse. The wealthy elitists in Washington D.C. and New York City may be doing wonderfully, but the truth is that the middle class continues to shrink and just about every poverty statistic that you can think of continues to rise.
If you are convinced that we do not have a “wealth gap” problem in the United States today, just check out the following statistics. Most of them are from one of my previous articles entitled “The Middle Class In America Is Being Wiped Out – Here Are 60 Facts That Prove It“…
-According to the Economic Policy Institute, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans households on average have 288 times the amount of wealth that the average middle class American family does.
-In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.
-According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined.
-The six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have as much wealth as the bottom one-third of all Americans combined.
-At this point, the poorest 50 percent of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.
-The United States now ranks 93rd in the world in income inequality.
-The average CEO now makes approximately 350 times as much as the average American worker makes.
-Today, corporate profits as a percentage of U.S. GDP are at an all-time high, but wages as a percentage of U.S. GDP are near an all-time low.
Sometimes, when the “good America” and the “bad America” collide, the results are quite humorous.
For example, a 23-year-old homeless Brazilian man and his friends recently decided to “move in” to a 7,522 square foot house down in Florida that is valued at $2.1 million. The following is from a recent article in the Orlando Sentinel…
Bank of America has filed to evict nine squatters from a $2.5-million mansion in a posh Boca Raton neighborhood.
In a filing in Palm Beach County court that names 23-year-old Andre De Palma Barbosa and eight other unknown people, the bank claims rightful ownership of the home – despite Barbosa’s attempt to stake his claim on the foreclosed waterside property by using an obscure Florida real estate law.
Barbosa has been invoking a state law called “adverse possession,” which allows someone to move into a property and claim the title – if they can stay there seven years.
A signed copy of that note is also posted in the home’s front window.
Yeah, they will be able to get him and his friends out of there eventually, but in future years I fear that the conflicts between the rich and the poor will not be so nice.
Already, a very ominous “Robin Hood mentality” is building among the poor in this country. Many wealthy people don’t even realize that it is happening. But someday when desperate “flash mobs” are roaming through their neighborhoods looking to do a little “creative redistribution”, then they will get it.
Our society is starting to come apart at the seams, and there is an incredible amount of tension between the rich and the poor. This is unfortunate, but instead of calming things down many of our politicians are actually exploiting this tension.
When our economy crashes, the class warfare of today may actually turn into real war in the streets. Desperate people do desperate things, and when people are hungry and they can’t feed their families, many of them will not be afraid to go over to the wealthy neighborhoods and take what they want.
A lot of people don’t want to see them, but dark clouds are building. According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans are more negative about where America will be five years from now than they have ever been before. Most people know that we are on the edge of something really bad, even if they can’t really explain it.
It is time to get ready for what is coming. Even though the stock market is soaring right now, that could change at any moment. All of the long-term economic and societal trends are pointing to some really bad things in the years ahead, and sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that everything is going to be okay somehow is not going to help.
So what do you think about all of this?
Do you think that the U.S. has an even larger gap between the rich and the poor than Downton Abbey does?
Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…
Every single day more Americans fall into poverty. This should deeply alarm you no matter what political party you belong to and no matter what your personal economic philosophy is. Right now, approximately 100 million Americans are either “poor” or “near poor”. For a lot of people “poverty” can be a nebulous concept, so let’s define it. The poverty level as defined by the federal government in 2010 was $11,139 for an individual and $22,314 for a family of four. Could you take care of a family of four on less than $2000 a month? Millions upon millions of families are experiencing a tremendous amount of pain in this economy, and no matter what “solutions” we think are correct, the reality is that we all should have compassion on them. Sadly, things are about to get even worse. The next major economic downturn is rapidly approaching, and when it hits the statistics posted below are going to look even more horrendous.
When it comes to poverty, most Americans immediately want to get into debates about tax rates and wealth redistribution and things like that.
But the truth is that they are missing the main point.
The way we slice up the pie is not going to solve our problems, because the pie is constantly getting smaller.
Our economic infrastructure is being absolutely gutted, the U.S. dollar is slowly losing its status as the reserve currency of the world and we are steadily getting poorer as a nation.
Don’t be fooled by the government statistics that show a very small amount of “economic growth”. Those figures do not account for inflation.
After accounting for inflation, our economic growth has actually been negative all the way back into the middle of the last decade.
According to numbers compiled by John Williams of shadowstats.com, our “real GDP” has continually been negative since 2005.
So that means we are getting poorer as a nation.
Meanwhile, we have been piling up astounding amounts of debt.
40 years ago the total amount of debt in the United States (government, business and consumer) was less than 2 trillion dollars.
Today it is nearly 55 trillion dollars.
So we have a massive problem.
Our economic pie is shrinking and millions of Americans have been falling out of the middle class. Meanwhile, we have been piling up staggering amounts of debt in order to maintain our vastly inflated standard of living. As our economic problems get even worse, those trends are going to accelerate even more.
So don’t look down on the poor. You might be joining them a lot sooner than you might think.
The following are 40 facts about poverty in America that will blow your mind….
#1 In the United States today, somewhere around 100 million Americans are considered to be either “poor” or “near poor”.
#2 It is being projected that when the final numbers come out later this year that the U.S. poverty rate will be the highest that it has been in almost 50 years.
#3 Approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.
#4 Today, one out of every four workers in the United States brings home wages that are at or below the poverty level.
#5 According to the Wall Street Journal, 49.1 percent of all Americans live in a home where at least one person receives financial benefits from the government. Back in 1983, that number was below 30 percent.
#6 It is projected that about half of all American adults will spend at least some time living below the poverty line before they turn 65.
#7 Today, there are approximately 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing. That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.
#8 During 2010, 2.6 million more Americans fell into poverty. That was the largest increase that we have seen since the U.S. government began keeping statistics on this back in 1959.
#9 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of “very poor” rose in 300 out of the 360 largest metropolitan areas during 2010.
#10 Since Barack Obama became president, the number of Americans living in poverty has risen by 6 million and the number of Americans on food stamps has risen by 14 million.
#11 Right now, one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one out of every four American children is on food stamps.
#12 It is projected that half of all American children will be on food stamps at least once before they turn 18 years of age.
#13 The poverty rate for children living in the United States is 22 percent, although when the new numbers are released in the fall that number is expected to go even higher.
#14 One university study estimates that child poverty costs the U.S. economy 500 billion dollars a year.
#15 Households that are led by a single mother have a 31.6% poverty rate.
#16 In 2010, 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States were on food stamps.
#17 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.
#18 Since 2007, the number of children living in poverty in the state of California has increased by 30 percent.
#19 Child homelessness in the United States has risen by 33 percent since 2007.
#20 There are 314 counties in the United States where at least 30% of the children are facing food insecurity.
#21 More than 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.
#22 A higher percentage of Americans is living in extreme poverty (6.7 percent) than has ever been measured before.
#23 If you can believe it, 37 percent of all U.S. households that are led by someone under the age of 35 have a net worth of zero or less than zero.
#24 A lot of younger Americans have found that they cannot make it on their own in this economy. Today, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents.
#25 Today, one out of every six elderly Americans lives below the federal poverty line.
#26 Amazingly, the wealthiest 1 percent of all Americans own more wealth than the bottom 95 percent combined.
#27 The six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have a net worth that is roughly equal to the bottom 30 percent of all Americans combined.
#28 At this point, the poorest 50% of all Americans now control just 2.5% of all of the wealth in this country.
#29 Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs. Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.
#30 Right now, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.
#31 Half of all American workers earn $505 or less per week.
#32 In 1970, 65 percent of all Americans lived in “middle class neighborhoods”. By 2007, only 44 percent of all Americans lived in “middle class neighborhoods”.
#33 Federal housing assistance outlays increased by a whopping 42 percent between 2006 and 2010.
#34 Approximately 50 million Americans do not have any health insurance at all right now.
#35 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, approximately one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.
#36 It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
#37 Back in 1990, the federal government accounted for 32 percent of all health care spending in America. Today, that figure is up to 45 percent and it is projected to surpass 50 percent very shortly.
#38 Overall, the amount of money that the federal government gives directly to the American people has risen by 32 percent since Barack Obama entered the White House.
#39 It was recently reported that 1.5 million American families live on less than two dollars a day (before counting government benefits).
#40 The unemployment rate in the U.S. has been above 8 percent for 40 months in a row, and 42 percent of all unemployed Americans have been out of work for at least half a year.
Recently, I wrote a long article about why there will never be enough jobs in the United States ever again.
That means that a whole lot of Americans are not going to be able to take care of themselves.
As our economy gets even worse, there is going to be a tremendous need for more love, compassion and generosity all over the country.
Don’t be afraid to lend a helping hand, because someday you may need one yourself.