Extreme Poverty Is Now At Record Levels – 19 Statistics About The Poor That Will Absolutely Astound You

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a higher percentage of Americans is living in extreme poverty than they have ever measured before.  In 2010, we were told that the economy was recovering, but the truth is that the number of the “very poor” soared to heights never seen previously.  Back in 1993 and back in 2009, the rate of extreme poverty was just over 6 percent, and that represented the worst numbers on record.  But in 2010, the rate of extreme poverty hit a whopping 6.7 percent.  That means that one out of every 15 Americans is now considered to be “very poor”.  For many people, this is all very confusing because their guts are telling them that things are getting worse and yet the mainstream media keeps telling them that everything is just fine.  Hopefully this article will help people realize that the plight of the poorest of the poor continues to deteriorate all across the United States.  In addition, hopefully this article will inspire many of you to lend a hand to those that are truly in need.

Tonight, there are more than 20 million Americans that are living in extreme poverty.  This number increases a little bit more every single day.  The following statistics that were mentioned in an article in The Daily Mail should be very sobering for all of us….

About 20.5 million Americans, or 6.7 percent of the U.S. population, make up the poorest poor, defined as those at 50 per cent or less of the official poverty level.

Those living in deep poverty represent nearly half of the 46.2 million people scraping by below the poverty line. In 2010, the poorest poor meant an income of $5,570 or less for an individual and $11,157 for a family of four.

That 6.7 percent share is the highest in the 35 years that the Census Bureau has maintained such records, surpassing previous highs in 2009 and 1993 of just over 6 percent.

Sadly, the wealthy and the poor are being increasingly segregated all over the nation.  In some areas of the U.S. you would never even know that the economy was having trouble, and other areas resemble third world hellholes.  In most U.S. cities today, there are the “good neighborhoods” and there are the “bad neighborhoods”.

According to a recent Bloomberg article, the “very poor” are increasingly being pushed into these “bad neighborhoods”….

At least 2.2 million more Americans, a 33 percent jump since 2000, live in neighborhoods where the poverty rate is 40 percent or higher, according to a study released today by the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

Of course they don’t have much of a choice.  They can’t afford to live where most of the rest of us do.

Today, there are many Americans that openly look down on the poor, but that should never be the case.  We should love the poor and want to see them lifted up to a better place.  The truth is that with a few bad breaks any of us could end up in the ranks of the poor.  Compassion is a virtue that all of us should seek to develop.

Not only that, but the less poor people and the less unemployed people we have, the better it is for our economy.  When as many people as possible in a nation are working and doing something economically productive, that maximizes the level of true wealth that a nation is creating.

But today we are losing out on a massive amount of wealth.  We have tens of millions of people that are sitting at home on their couches.  Instead of creating something of economic value, the rest of us have to support them financially.  That is not what any of us should want.

It is absolutely imperative that we get as many Americans back to work as possible.  The more people that are doing something economically productive, the more wealth there will be for all of us.

That is why it is so alarming that the ranks of the “very poor” are increasing so dramatically.  When the number of poor people goes up, the entire society suffers.

So just how bad are things right now?

The following are 19 statistics about the poor that will absolutely astound you….

#1 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of “very poor” rose in 300 out of the 360 largest metropolitan areas during 2010.

#2 Last year, 2.6 million more Americans descended into poverty.  That was the largest increase that we have seen since the U.S. government began keeping statistics on this back in 1959.

#3 It isn’t just the ranks of the “very poor” that are rising.  The number of those just considered to be “poor” is rapidly increasing as well.  Back in the year 2000, 11.3% of all Americans were living in poverty.  Today, 15.1% of all Americans are living in poverty.

#4 The poverty rate for children living in the United States increased to 22% in 2010.

#5 There are 314 counties in the United States where at least 30% of the children are facing food insecurity.

#6 In Washington D.C., the “child food insecurity rate” is 32.3%.

#7 More than 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.

#8 One out of every six elderly Americans now lives below the federal poverty line.

#9 Today, there are over 45 million Americans on food stamps.

#10 According to the Wall Street Journal, nearly 15 percent of all Americans are now on food stamps.

#11 In 2010, 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States were on food stamps.

#12 The number of Americans on food stamps has increased 74% since 2007.

#13 We are told that the economy is recovering, but the number of Americans on food stamps has grown by another 8 percent over the past year.

#14 Right now, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

#15 It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point in their lives before they reach the age of 18.

#16 More than 50 million Americans are now on Medicaid.  Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, approximately one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.

#17 One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one government anti-poverty program.

#18 The number of Americans that are going to food pantries and soup kitchens has increased by 46% since 2006.

#19 It is estimated that up to half a million children may currently be homeless in the United States.

Sadly, we don’t hear much about this on the nightly news, do we?

This is because the mainstream media is very tightly controlled.

I came across a beautiful illustration of this recently.  If you do not believe that the news in America is scripted, just watch this video starting at the 1:15 mark.  Conan O’Brien does a beautiful job of demonstrating how news anchors all over the United States are often repeating the exact same words.

So don’t rely on the mainstream media to tell you everything.

In this day and age, it is absolutely imperative that we all think for ourselves.

It is also absolutely imperative that we have compassion on our brothers and sisters.

Winter is coming up, and if you see someone that does not have a coat, don’t be afraid to offer to give them one.

All over the United States (and all around the world), there are orphans that are desperately hurting.  As you celebrate the good things that you have during this time of the year, don’t forget to remember them.

We should not expect that “the government” will take care of everyone that is hurting.

The reality is that millions of people fall through the “safety net”.

Being generous and being compassionate are qualities that all of us should have.

Yes, times are going to get harder and an economic collapse is coming.

That just means that we should be more generous and more compassionate than we have ever been before.

The Proof Is In The Numbers: America Is Getting Poorer

How in the world can anyone claim that things are getting better?  Sometimes the numbers are so clear that they simply cannot be denied.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the United States fell from $51,726 in 2008 to $50,221 in 2009.  That was the second yearly decline in median household income in a row.  In other words, America is getting poorer.  Just let that statistic above sink in for a little bit.  In 2009, American families had roughly $1,500 less coming in than the year before.  Not that the cost of living has gone down either.  Have you been to the supermarket lately?  Things are getting ridiculous out there.  In fact, middle class American families are being squeezed as never before.  More mothers and fathers are scrambling to find second and third jobs just to pay the mortgage and to keep the lights on and to put food on the table.  This is not a time of prosperity in America.  We are in a state of serious decline and it is time to wake up and admit it.

When you stop and analyze the new Census data, something jumps out at you right away.  You quickly realize that these income declines are not limited to just a few regions of the country – they are literally happening from coast to coast.

The U.S. economy is in deep, deep trouble and the proof is in the numbers.  The following are 12 statistics that reveal just how far the standard of living in America is declining….

1According to the Census Bureau, median household income dropped in 34 U.S. states in 2009, and the only state where median household income actually increased was in North Dakota.

2 – The Census Bureau data also revealed that of the 52 largest metro areas in America, only the city of San Antonio did not see a decline in median household income in 2009.

3 – 35 percent of all U.S. households now live on $35,000 or less.

4 – According to the Census Bureau, the percentage of Americans living below the poverty line is the highest it has been in 15 years.

5 – The number of Americans enrolled in the food stamp program passed the 41 million mark for the first time ever in June.

6 – The number of Americans in the food stamp program increased a staggering 55 percent from December 2007 to June 2010.

7One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one anti-poverty program run by the federal government.

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

9 – In 2009, U.S. consumer spending experienced the biggest decline since 1942.

10 – As millions of young Americans struggled just to survive, marriages fell to a record low in 2009.  Today, only 52% of Americans 18 years or older are married. 

11 – The only group that saw their household income increase in 2009 was those making $180,000 or more.

12– According to the Huffington Post, the gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew in 2009 to its largest margin ever….

The top-earning 20 percent of Americans – those making more than $100,000 each year – received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent made by the bottom 20 percent of earners, those who fell below the poverty line, according to the new figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968.

Not that it is a bad thing to make money. 

Contrary to what our socialist friends may think, it is actually a very good thing to work hard and make money.

The point is that the game is rigged and the bottom 80 percent of us are being left behind.

The middle class is being systematically destroyed.  At the rate we are going, we will eventually have a very small group of ultra-wealthy Americans and a gigantic mountain of very poor Americans that are barely able to survive.

The answer to this is not a “redistribution of wealth”. 

What middle class Americans actually need are good jobs with good benefits.

You know, the kind of jobs that the U.S. economy used to produce.

For the vast majority of Americans, all they have to offer in the marketplace is their labor.  If they cannot get someone to hire them for a wage that will enable them to take care of their families then they simply cannot make it without government assistance.

But what our leaders have done in the name of “globalism” is that they have essentially merged our economy with the economies of nations such as China where blue collar workers are paid about a dollar an hour to do the same jobs that American workers get paid 15 to 20 dollars an hour to do.

As a result, jobs and factories are fleeing the United States so rapidly it is hard to even describe.  The deindustrialization of America is happening right in front of our eyes, but the American people have become so dumbed down that most of them don’t even seem to have the capacity to understand what is going on. 

Quite a few advocates of “free trade” (which is not “free” or “fair” at all under our current system) have left comments on my columns telling me that the American people better just suck it up because this is how it is now and the world isn’t going back.  These advocates of the globalist system say that the American people just need to toughen up and learn to compete and need to just accept that the standard of living for workers across the globe is going to be equalized and that is all there is to it.

So are you ready to have the same standard of living as a Chinese sweatshop worker who works 12 hours a day for one dollar an hour?

That is where we are headed.

But things did not have to be this way.  We did not have to merge our economy with communist China and allow them to keep their currency devalued 40 percent lower than it should be so that they could dump massive amounts of cheap goods on our shores.  We did not have to elect politicians that believe that “globalism” is the answer to all of our problems.  We did not have to sign on to the WTO, NAFTA and all the other “free trade” agreements that are destroying the American middle class.

Labor is now a global commodity.  American workers are now part of the global labor force.  The bargaining power of the average American worker has dropped through the floor.  Now the monolithic predator corporations that dominate our economy don’t even have to deal with American workers if they don’t want to.

Very few of our politicians admitted that merging us into a one world economy would mean a dramatic decline in the standard of living of middle class Americans.

But that is exactly what is happening.

Meanwhile, the federal government, our state governments and our local governments keep going into massive amounts of new debt in an effort to keep paying the bills. 

There are some state governments, like Illinois, that are basically flat broke.  In fact, Illinois doesn’t even bother to pay many of their bills anymore.

Of course the federal government is the worst offender of them all.  The U.S. national debt is rapidly approaching 14 trillion dollars, and most of us have gotten so accustomed to it that we don’t even talk about it much anymore.

That is how bizarre things have gotten.

As America keeps getting poorer, and as U.S. taxpayers see their incomes continue to decline, how in the world are U.S. government finances going to turn around?

The truth is that our leaders should be in full blown crisis mode in an attempt to fix this thing.  Pieces of the U.S. economy are literally falling off all around us and our leaders are pushing the debt accelerator to the floor as we head toward a giant cliff.

But instead our politicians are prancing about the countryside telling us that everything is going to be just great as long as we cast our votes for them in the fall.

And the mainstream media keeps telling us that the “recession” is over and that soon the U.S. economy will be better than ever.

Is it any wonder that faith in the mainstream media is now at an all-time low?      

According to a new poll just released by Gallup, the number of Americans that have little to no trust in the mass media (57%) is at an all-time high.

A significant percentage of the American people is starting to wake up.

What about you?

Are you awake yet?

20 Signs That The Economic Collapse Has Already Begun For One Out Of Every Seven Americans

For most Americans, the economic collapse is something that is happening to someone else.  Most of us have become so isolated from each other and so self-involved that unless something is directly affecting us or a close family member than we really don’t feel it.  But even though most of us enjoy a much closer relationship with our television sets than we do with our neighbors at this point, it is quickly becoming undeniable that a fundamental shift is taking place in society.  Perhaps you noticed it when two or three foreclosure signs went up on your street.  Or perhaps it got your attention when that nice fellow down the street lost his job, and he and his family seemingly just disappeared from the neighborhood one day.  The Census Bureau made front page headlines all over the nation this week when they announced that one out of every seven Americans was living in poverty in 2009.  Every single day more Americans are getting sucked out of the middle class and into soul-crushing poverty.   

Unfortunately, most Americans don’t really care because it has not affected them yet.

But this year, millions more Americans will discover that the music has stopped playing and they are left without a seat at the table.

Meanwhile, neither political party has a workable solution.  They just like to point fingers and blame each other.

The Democrats blame Bush for all the poverty and advocate expanding programs for the poor.  Not that there is anything wrong with a safety net.  But the “safety net” was never meant to hold 50 million people on Medicaid and 40 million people on food stamps.  The number of Americans on food stamps has more than doubled since 2007.  So do we just double it again as things get even worse?

The truth is that welfare programs are only short-term solutions.  Unfortunately, the Democrats do not understand this.  What Americans really need are good jobs.

The Republicans are so boneheaded that they don’t even like to talk about poverty because they think it is a “liberal issue”.  Some conservative commentators have even been so brutally cold as to mock the “99ers” (those who have been unemployed so long that even their extended federal benefits have run out).

Instead of showing some compassion and being the party of the American worker (as they should be), the Republicans are often very uncompassionate and they allow the Democrats to be “the party of the poor” by default.

Both political parties need a big wakeup call.  There is a tsunami of poverty sweeping the United States, and somebody better wake up and do something about it.  More handouts will help people get by in the short-term, but there is no way that the federal government can financially support tens of millions more poor Americans.

How long is it going to be before the “safety net” simply collapses under the weight of all this poverty?

The path we are on is not sustainable.

The economy is falling apart, and somebody better wake up and do something before even more Americans find themselves drowning in poverty.

The following are 20 signs that the economic collapse has already begun for one out of every seven Americans…..

#1 The Census Bureau says that 43.6 million Americans are now living in poverty and according to them that is the highest number of poor Americans in 51 years of record-keeping.

#2 In the year 2000, 11.3 percent of Americans were living in poverty.  In 2008, 13.2 percent of Americans were living in poverty.  In 2009, 14.3 percent of Americans were living in poverty.  Needless to say the trend is moving in the wrong direction. 

#3 In 2009 alone, approximately 4 million more Americans joined the ranks of the poor.

#4 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.

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

#6 Today the United States has approximately 4 million fewer wage earners than it did in 2007.

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

#8 U.S. banks repossessed 25 percent more homes in August 2010 than they did in August 2009.

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

#10 There are now 50.7 million Americans who do not have health insurance.  One trip to the emergency room would be all it would take to bankrupt a significant percentage of them.

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

#12 There are now over 41 million Americans on food stamps.

#13 The number of Americans enrolled in the food stamp program increased a whopping 55 percent from December 2007 to June 2010.

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

#15 California’s poverty rate soared to 15.3 percent in 2009, which was the highest in 11 years.

#16 According to an analysis by Isabel Sawhill and Emily Monea of the Brookings Institution, 10 million more Americans (including 6 million more children) will slip into poverty over the next decade.

#17 According to a recently released Federal Reserve report, Americans experienced a $1.5 trillion loss in combined household net worth in the second quarter of 2010.

#18 Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.

#19 Median U.S. household income is down 5 percent from its peak of more than $52,000 in 1999.

#20 A study recently released by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College University found that Americans are $6.6 trillion short of what they need for retirement.

How anyone can look at those numbers and think that things are about to “get better” absolutely boggles the mind.

It is time to wake up.

Things are not going to get better.

Things are only going to get worse.

The United States is rapidly becoming a nation where poverty is absolutely rampant.

As poverty continues to spread, crime will not be far behind.

Meanwhile, the international community wants to impose a global tax on us so that they can “redistribute” even more of our wealth around the world.

The following was just reported by CNSNews.com….

A group of 60 nations will meet next week at the United Nations to push for a tax on foreign currency transactions as a way to generate revenue to meet global poverty-reduction goals, including “climate change” mitigation.

Well isn’t that great?  As American descends into poverty, the rest of the world is pushing for a global tax that will drain us of wealth even more.

It is just a tax on foreign currency transactions, but history has taught us that once taxers get their foot in the door they always go for more eventually.

Sadly, it is not just the United Nations that is discussing a global tax.  In fact, the IMF and the World Health Organization have both been very open about the fact that they want to impose global taxes of their own.

Not that we aren’t taxed enough already.  We already pay dozens of different kinds of taxes each year, and 2011 is already being dubbed as “the year of the tax increase“.

But most Americans don’t have any more to give.  Most Americans can barely make it from month to month.  More Americans than ever are slipping into poverty. 

What a mess we have on our hands.

Do any of you have any suggestions for how we should go about fixing all of this?

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.

More Than 1 In 5 American Children Are Now Living Below The Poverty Line

Perhaps the greatest victims of the economic nightmare that is unfolding right in front of our eyes are our children.  The overall economic numbers are really bad, but when you examine the impact that this economy is having on children things get really horrifying.  Today, 1 in 5 American children live in poverty and 1 in 4 American children are on food stamps.  Experts tell us that about 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point before they reach the age of 18.  Up to half a million American children are homeless even as you read this.  And yet we continue to insist that we are the wealthiest nation in the world.  Well, if we are so wealthy, then why are so many millions of our children suffering so desperately? 

Part of the reason is because an increasing number of parents can’t find work.  According to a U.S. Labor Department report, the average duration of unemployment in the United States hit 34.4 weeks in May, which was a big increase from 33 weeks during April.  To give you some perspective how incredibly bad that is, the average duration of unemployment was only 16.5 weeks in December 2007.

The truth is that when U.S. workers lose their jobs they are finding it exceedingly difficult to find new ones.

In fact, 45.9% of those currently unemployed in America have been out of work longer than six months.  That is the highest percentage since the Labor Department began keeping track of this statistic back in 1948.

So is there much hope that things will turn around soon?

No, not really.

In fact, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says that unemployment is likely to remain “high for a while”.

That means a lot of children are going to continue to suffer.

According to one shocking new study, 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010. 

That means that more than 1 in 5 American children are now living in poverty.

That is a national disgrace.

Not only that, but the same report estimates that up to 500,000 children may currently be homeless in the United States.

Perhaps we should all think about that while we are enjoying our nice dinners tonight.

But most of us don’t think that it is our job to do anything about it.  Most of us have been trained that it is the job of the government to fix people’s problems.

We have created a monolithic welfare state and record numbers of Americans are now dependent on it.

In fact, for the first time ever, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps.

40.2 million Americans received food stamps in March, which was a whopping 21 percent increase from a year earlier.

But it is bad enough that 1 out of every 8 Americans is on food stamps.  What is far more tragic is that one out of every four U.S. children is now on food stamps.  In fact, as mentioned previously, experts tell us that half of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point before they turn 18.

So is anyone still not convinced that the U.S. economic system is broken?

So who is doing well these days?

The wealthy.

In 2009, the number of millionaires in the United States rose 16 percent to 7.8 million.

Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.

The rich are getting richer as the poor are getting poorer.  According to the United Nations, the United States has the highest level of income inequality of all of the highly industrialized nations.

The poor are left with an increasingly smaller slice of the pie to divide among themselves.  In fact, those in the bottom 40 percent now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.

But the truth is that as the U.S. economy continues to fall apart, we are all going to experience some very difficult times.

In particular, when the U.S. economy finally completely implodes, it is those who are almost entirely dependent on the “system” that will suffer the most pain.  The vast majority of Americans live month to month, don’t grow any of their own food and could only last a couple of weeks on the food that they currently have in their homes.  So what will happen to those people when the system fails?

And in case you think that this kind of talk is fearmongering, perhaps you should start listening to what some of the top financial analysts around the world are saying. 

For example, Anthony Fry, the senior managing director at Evercore Partners, recently told CNBC that things are getting so bad out there that he is “considering investing in barbed wire and guns”.

Yes, things are really getting that bad.

Years ago the old timers would warn us that someday we would see Americans standing in bread lines.

Well, today food stamps are the new bread lines, and 40 million Americans a month find themselves dependent on the U.S. government for the food that they need to survive.

If that doesn’t send a chill down your spine perhaps you should check your pulse.

When a government has to feed 40 million people a month that means that the system is badly broken.

How many tens of millions of people have to be on food stamps before we can all agree that we are in a complete and total economic nightmare?

If you know of family or friends that are hurting, please consider helping them out.  The truth is that in the end we are all in this together.  The government is not going to save us.  The collapsing U.S. economy is not going to save us.  But if we all roll up our sleeves and work together perhaps we can make it through the difficult years that are coming.

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