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Which America Do You Live In? – 21 Hard To Believe Facts About “Wealthy America” And “Poor America”

Luxury YachtsDid you know that 40 percent of all American workers make less than $20,000 a year before taxes?  And 65 percent of all American workers make less than $40,000 a year before taxes.  If you work on Wall Street, or have a cushy job with the federal government, or work for a big tech firm out on the west coast, life is probably pretty good for you right now.  But the truth is that most Americans are not living the high life.  In fact, most Americans are just trying to figure out how to survive from month to month.  For many Americans, making a choice between buying food for your family and paying the light bill is a common occurrence.  But if you don't live in that America, hearing that people actually live like that may sound very strange to you.  After all, if everyone around you has expensive cars, the latest electronic gadgets and million dollar homes, the notion that America is in the midst of a very serious "economic decline" may seem very bizarre to you.

On Wednesday, the Dow hit a brand new record high, and Wall Street celebrated.  Since the financial crisis of 2008, stocks have been on an unprecedented run.  The top performers in the market have not just made millions of dollars - they have made billions of dollars.  Luxury apartments in Manhattan and beachfront homes in the Hamptons are selling for absolutely astronomical prices, and it seems like life in the good parts of New York City is one gigantic endless party these days.

Meanwhile, life is quite good down in Washington D.C. as well.  The wealth is spread more evenly, but on average the D.C. region actually has the highest standard of living of any major U.S. city.  The reason for this is the obscene growth of the federal government.  Over the past couple of decades, the U.S. government has ballooned in size and so have government salaries.  During one recent year, the average federal employee living in the Washington D.C. area received total compensation worth more than $126,000.

Out in the San Francisco area, Internet money is flowing like wine right now.  As I wrote about yesterday, top employees of companies such as Facebook and Twitter can make millions of dollars a year.  And if you were lucky to get a piece of the ownership of one of those companies at a very early stage, you are essentially set for life.

And with the Twitter IPO coming up, Internet euphoria is once again reaching a fever pitch.  For example, just check out what a 56-year-old administrative assistant said this week about why she is going to buy Twitter stock...

“I’m just buying because everybody’s talking about Twitter,” she said. “I’m just gonna take a chance.”

Is that how we should make our investment decisions from now on?

Just buy a stock because everybody's talking about it?

That is the kind of insanity that is going on in "wealthy America" right now.

Unfortunately, the gap between "wealthy America" and "poor America" is greater than ever before.

If you live in "wealthy America", what you are about to hear next will probably sound very strange.

CNN recently profiled a 44-year-old overnight prison guard named Delores Gilmore.  She works really hard, but a lot of times she simply does not have enough money to pay all of her bills...

"The first of the month, I pay the rent," she said. "The next check, I pay my light bills. Sometimes I won't pay my rent and I pay the light bill from last month -- if they cut if it off. Then I pay the rent the end of the month."

Her life consists of going to work, taking care of her children, going to sleep, and then getting back up and repeating that same cycle once again...

"I'm not fooling anybody," she told me. "I don't have any friends. And that's sad. ... I go to work, come home, take them where they gotta go, if they gotta go somewhere, come back home, lay down, go to work.

"That's what I do. All day, that's what I do."

Sadly, the truth is that tens of millions of Americans can identify with what she is going through on a daily basis.  In millions of families, both the husband and the wife work multiple jobs and it is still not enough.

If we truly did have a free market capitalist system, the entire country would be a land of opportunity and things would be getting better for everybody.  Unfortunately, that is not the case at all.  The following are 21 facts about "wealthy America" and "poor America" that are hard to believe...

#1 The lowest earning 23,303,064 Americans combined make 36 percent less than the highest earning 2,915 Americans do.

#2 40 percent of all American workers (39.6 percent to be precise) make less than $20,000 a year.

#3 According to the Pew Research Center, the top 7 percent of all U.S. households own 63 percent of all the wealth in the country.

#4 On average, households in the top 7 percent have 24 times as much wealth as households in the bottom 93 percent.

#5 According to numbers that were just released this week, 49.7 million Americans are living in poverty.  That is a brand new all-time record high.

#6 In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

#7 Household incomes have actually been declining for five years in a row and total consumer credit has risen by a whopping 22 percent over the past three years.

#8 According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined.

#9 The homeownership rate in the United States is at an 18 year low.

#10 The six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have as much wealth as the bottom one-third of all Americans combined.

#11 18 percent of all food stamp dollars are spent at Wal-Mart.

#12 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.

#13 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.

#14 One recent study discovered that nearly half of all public students in the United States come from low income homes.

#15 In 1980, CEOs at S&P 500 companies made 42 times as much as their employees did on average.  Today, CEOs at S&P 500 companies make 354 times as much as their employees do on average.  In fact, there are many CEOs that make more than 1000 times what the average employees in their companies make.

#16 U.S. families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.

#17 At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.

#18 Today, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.

#19 Approximately one out of every five households in the United States is now on food stamps.

#20 The number of Americans on food stamps has grown from 17 million in the year 2000 to more than 47 million today.

#21 At this point, the poorest 50 percent of all Americans collectively own just 2.5 percent of all the wealth in the United States.

So which America do you live in?  Please feel free to tell us what is going on in your neck of the woods by posting a comment below...

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  • Rodster

    And after all those stats we are referred to as gloom and doomers. Where I live it’s poor America although I can’t complain as I can pay the bills and my apt is 3 blocks from the beach.

    • Nic

      For how long… Wait for the next crash!

    • Kim

      I hope it’s not a beach on the west coast. 5 million tons of garbage from Fukushima is heading your way. Such a tragedy,

  • K

    With one exception, agree with everything you have said. I live in a relatively poor area. Most people are barely getting by. The local food banks are struggling under the ever increasing demand. It is tough in this area. The only thing that helps, is the people are used to tough. What is the one thing I disagree with? Outside of D.C. there are plenty of federal jobs, that are anything but cushy. You are so fact based on every other topic. On this one, you seem to just lump everyone together.

    • ConcernedAmericaan

      I know of small towns where almost half the people are on assistance. That happened when jobs left and none ever arrived to replace them. Some people work service industry jobs which pay enough to make them choose which bill they will pay (since they can’t afford to pay them all). People can’t afford to go to the doctor, so they don’t. It isn’t unusal to read about people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s passing away when reading the local newspaper. People have duct taped their cars together. One family passed away because they had to heat their home with a fireplace which caused a house fire (they could not afford electric even though they worked). Many poor won’t even complain because they know the game is rigged. They know they will be told to work harder (when they already work 16 hour days), or be told to go to school (even though that causes debt with no guarantee of a high paying job). For those that believe they are superior to the poor, or more deserving than the poor, remember that Jesus came and lived in poverty and He has told Christians multiple times to have mercy on the poor. We are dangerously close to a Caste system in the USA nowadays, in my opinion.

      • Nic

        Here in Asia plenty of poor. But most live well. Plenty of food, water, and free health-care. USA is creating a new style of poor. Poor capitalist is worse than poor human. Here people are poor but always have shelter because poor help poor. Unlike USA where mentality is all for me and I will crush you and take everything from you. You are poor because people steal you. Government fatca fbar and Obama care are New laws to take your wealth and your worldwide savings. Nowhere to hide you money. Give it to me….

        • DiscouragedOne

          The problem is the jobs left the country, people can’t give what they don’t have…you can’t get blood from a stone. The more the government takes, the less jobs there will be and the worse it will get for us all.

      • JulietteofOhio

        I agree with you. I live in a very small village in Ohio and have watched it implode. This used to be a big farming area, but those jobs left as mega-agriculture took over. The nearest large town to us is ugly, dirty and violent with very few jobs above service level, plus you need a car and gasoline to get there. Around 60% of the population is on some kind of assistance and will probably remain dependent since there’s no way out. We have been blessed as both my husband and I continue to work. We wouldn’t be considered “well-off” anywhere else, but the fact that we can afford utilities and food puts us in the upper 5% of our area. So sad and so discouraging.

        • djc

          I also live in Ohio (in the snowbelt) and it is just as you say it is in regards to employment and jobs—-there are basically none that pay a living wage. My wife and I saw these problems coming and took action years ago to prevent us from being in a dire position but I don’t see how the community can recover, ever. The day NAFTA was signed was the day the death warrant was signed for the US. I hope the pigs at the NY Times are happy now.

        • DiscouragedOne

          Back to the real problem again, the jobs are gone, so how to solve that problem?

      • DiscouragedOne

        But it is the market that determines what jobs are worth, what the employers are willing to pay. Also, there is a limit to what can be paid. If I get work done on my house, there is a limit to what I can pay for it, if they charge too much, I simply won’t have it done. If burgers at mickey d’s go up to $5 a burger because they are paying high wages, people won’t buy the burgers, it is the way the market is, and I think that has to be considered. Remember, the jobs you want to pay $15 an hour for, well it isn’t the “rich” going to mickey d’s, it is mostly those who can’t afford $5 burgers, and if they can, they probably buy them elsewhere. If I am spending $5 on a burger, I am going to the gourmet deli for it, not mickey d’s. Fast food is not worth that kind of money. You may say they already make enough profit to pay higher salaries, but I say if they are forced to do that, we will have $5 burgers and less jobs because people won’t buy them. How can that be the answer?

        • ConcernedAmericaan

          As you said I would say, they DO make huge profits, which is enough to pay a living wage. Raising the prices would just be proof of greed, in my opinion. Perhaps the CEOs don’t need to make millions annually? Check out the CEO’s annual salary.

  • MeMadMax

    There is one and only one thing that obama said that I can agree with: “Wall Street is a casino”…

    Basically right, but he helped turn it that way…

    • Rodster

      Actually it was when the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed back in the late 90′s way before Obama’s time.

      • Ishmam

        You should consult Tom Woods on that claim. The partial “repeal” of Glass-Steagall had nothing to do with the GFC or the further corruption of Wall Street.

        Most of the blame can be pinned on the Fed’s inflationary mania.

        • Schul Diamond

          GTFO Moslem! You do not belong in Israel!!!! Israel is for the Jewish people.

      • MeMadMax

        The continuation with the same policies and him signing off on QE-Infinite make him just as much as an accomplice as the rest of them…

  • KYTim89

    The
    fact of the matter is that you do not have to be a Marxist to see that
    there is wealth inequality in America. However, how Progressives and
    Libertarians view the inequality is different. Progressives believe that
    the wealthy are the source of the problems, but Libertarians view the
    government as the reason for wealth inequality. Government policies in
    the last few decades has rendered the wealth gap to widedn to epic
    proportions. For example, Warren Buffet can sign up for Medicare and not see a bill for any procedure that he has done to him.

    • ConcernedAmericaan

      Some have had the wealthy steal from them. One does not have to be a Progressive to feel, or see, that there are some wealthy who have stolen the wealth of others. There are some wealthy that have not paid a fair wage for labor. Also, how does one explain those who work the least making the biggest paychecks (look to the top of the food chain to see those doing very little real work making huge salaries off of the labor of others). If hard work pays, the construction worker, mechanic, trucker, insert blue collar job title here, (those doing back-breaking work), should be the wealthiest people in society.

      May the working poor find comfort in James 5.

      • JulietteofOhio

        True this. Every time I read that Hillary Clinton “works hard”, I wonder at what. Bossing other people around? She’d fold in a second if she had to work like we do, then go home, cook dinner, do the laundry and clean house. Way, way beneath her and she’s never “worked” a day in her life unless you count trying to think up ways to cover for Bill and screw the American people. Same with Obammy and his need to golf to “relieve the stress from all of his work”. What work? It used to pay off to get married, stay married, get a job and keep the job. Not so much anymore.

        • TtT Engine

          Hillary has 4 American lives in Benghazi on her soul. “what difference does it make at this point” and her “Stand down” order. OB slept while Benghazi burned. Numb skull Biden and OB have Navy Seal Team 6 on their souls. Ralph Kramden aka C.C. our late night buffoon, is certainly not the answer. Assuming we are still standing in 16, we better get behind Allen West and Ted Cruz NOW. Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi will not last much longer. Please do not reply with stupidity that Allen West is a war criminal for not offering our enemy combatants milk and cookies and Hilal meals in order to get the information he needed to protect his men. Colonel Allen West knows the R/W/B is infested with communists and understands the many enemies of the U.S. and our Constitution. Christi Fidelis !

          • DiscouragedOne

            It would take a miracle for them to win, sad but true.

      • Bruce

        Poorly defined words such as “progressive”, Liberal, conservative, left and right only serve to confuse the masses. Think about it, who in their right mind is conservative or liberal on each and every issue. These labels are useless and serve NO purpose for the common man. They are nothing more than useless gobbledegock bull crap….

  • davidmpark

    Growing up, I was in an affluent area of Utah – so well off that Gary2 would be permanently protesting in the yard. My parents had high careers and my siblings got the best education. Problem was that I lived in a large home in a wealthy area; but I grew up poor. I was the family’s ‘mistake’.

    There are some differences in how my siblings were raised compared to me. The obvious being that my parents were more than happy to dote on them while all I got was the worst of ‘em. Won’t go into that: some things must be kept for private. Let’s just say I’m disowned without an inheritance and I’m perfectly fine with that.

    But the less obvious difference was that the siblings received a different education than I did. They got the training and abilities to make it in life through multiple opportunities in better society, while I lumbered with the standard public education (hence my stupidity). It wasn’t the quality of education, really. It was that I was intentionally held back and treated like some lower caste mongrel. Cast off.

    That is what I see repeating today. It’s not that others are old money; it’s that enough folks are intentionally shut out to cause these problems. And with this, the resources (the actual wealth that can be worked by the poor to improve their lives and rise up) has been locked up intentionally. A mentality shared by rich, well-off, and poor alike of “I’m doing better so long as my neighbor is hurting.”

    The poor can be trained and can gain the abilities they need to rise above this on their own – that’s the easy part. The problem is the raw materials are sealed off by unethical and evil individuals to intentionally keep people poor. And, if the poor use what resources they do have in a profitable way – they’re easily shut down under threat of loss at gunpoint by any number of people in different aspects and positions.

    I wish there was an easy solution, but I only see a multi-sided civil war on the horizon. This is the only outcome for such actions as these; all sides seem to crave war.

    • Libsare Ajoke

      gary, LOLOLOL

    • K

      The Lord often uses, what man may call a mistake. Always remember that.

      • davidmpark

        He’s far more wise than any of us could fathom…

        • Schul Diamond

          My snot is holier than Jeezer

          • Basil_Bullion

            HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

      • Schul Diamond

        YeshuisaNazi

      • Hambone

        I have two (out of seven) myself, and I quite agree. David’s situation was tragic. I love my “mistakes.” They are the best things that could have happened in my life.

    • glacialhills

      Harry?… Harry Potter??? is that you? Sorry, but my family and I are what you consider poor, But we still are able to walk in the woods,play games, go fishing and my kids are kind,well behaved, and thoughtful. I never even thought growing up that I would ever be wealthy monetarily,People that understand they will never be a Sam Walton aire and can be happy with the little things in life and not envy those with more will never be poor.

      • davidmpark

        The point was everyone in a free society must have the right to pursue their own wealth according to their ability and efforts. And I take it you’re new here; please read my many previous postings before trolling :)

  • e sutton

    What people fail to understand is that things are happening exactly as planned. People are being forced into poverty and hunger and are at the mercy of the one percent. There is no american dream anymore. It’s only an illusion. Watching the MSM only serves to confuse those already completely aghast at why they are falling thru the cracks.

    In ten years, most of america will look like the flavillas in Brazil. Healthcare will be only for the very rich. Food will be prohibitively expensive. Every thought or word you think or say will be analyzed by minions working for the NSA, FBI, or CIA. Huge databases have already been built to pool this data. Your guns will be removed from your possession for “your protection”. Your children will be randomly pulled over, interrogated, and dragged from their cars if their is any hint of a minor traffic violation. Any job you have or care to apply for will be dependent upon a thorough search of any and all internet searches that raise any eyebrows by the illuminati.

    Think it can’t happen? It’s already begun. And it’s about to get worse. Plan accordingly.

    • ConcernedAmericaan

      Where can we go if we just want to live in peace and be left alone? Why aren’t like minds creating communities where we can all work together to live in peace?

      • Schul Diamond

        1.2 billion Muslims and Arabs need to be exterminated and 1.1 billion Christians have to revoke their religion and God’s chosen land will be in peace and there will be no more wars.

      • Hammerstrike

        Exactly, you all just want to kive in peace and be left alone, nature and human socities dynamics does not quiet work that way.

        • ConcernedAmericaan

          Yes, history seems to be full of aggressive people that could not stand to watch the peaceful farmers live in peace. I wonder why some people choose to be aggressive and dominate instead of joining the farming community and living in peace with them?

          • Hammerstrike

            Power, from a very young age we are taught that seeking power especially political power is evil or at least not worth it.
            We´ll hear that power corrupts but the truth is, the corrupt have been handed power by default.

            Be the boot, not the face.

            Keep calm and carry on being an alpha predator.

      • Bruce

        There will be no peace in the US no matter where you go. No community will be left alone and to it’s own. Unless and until we take OUR country back the PTB will control.

    • Nic

      It s called fatca and fbar.
      Look on line.

    • El Pollo de Oro

      E Sutton: Brazil, with its blend of extreme wealth on one hand and favela slums on the other, is a good analogy because that’s exactly the type of scenario The Banana Republic of America is heading for. Some preppers I’ve spoken to think the BRA is heading for Haiti-type squalor, but I see the country moving more in the direction of Latin American inequality. Adios, middle class. Hello, favelas.

    • Hammerstrike

      False.

      Even an open trade war with China or Iranian war (which the system do want, just without the current price tag) wouldn´t be needed.
      All that is needed to cause economic collapse is to announce that the debt ceiling will not be raised or that creditors cannot be paid, immediate wall street crash.

      Bernanke (not a christian name!) and his cronies have been sucking off world trade with their dollar printing schemes, precisely to keep the US economy from collapsing.

      Rather, to put it simply, the car cannot afford to slow down or even keep pace, a massive crash is the only alternative to accelerating.

    • Bruce

      Things will go that way for a period of time. However, eventually things will get bad enough that the people WILL revolt! We WILL take our country back…..

    • reeblite

      sadly it began back when the US created anti trust laws. the rich saw and learned how to circumvent the law by headquartering their corps. to places in europe, brussels, being one popular area. that’s when they turned the republican party into their secret weapon.

    • slz

      In a time not too distant, there will only be the very few elite wealthy and the huddled masses.
      Average America is in for a rude awakening, I fear.
      Alexis de’Tocqueville stated “Society will develop a new kind of servitude which covers the surface of society with a network of complicated rules, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate. It does not tyrannise but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.” ― Alexis de Tocqueville

  • James

    I live in an upper middle class area. It is right outside of Baltimore, I grew up in Baltimore when I was younger and am very fortunate that my parents were able to get me out of there when I was young. Here we are fortunate that there is a lot of federal funding. My parents both have federal government jobs but with the pay cut it has been hard. My sister is still in college and I just got a medium paying job months after I graduated in May. I had to take a small amount of loans even with them making a decent wage. Things are not good for all federal employees they have been under a pay freeze for 3 years now.

  • Duane Polega

    I would be interested to know if Delores has cable,a smart phone, or a car payment, all a lot less important than rent, food, or electricity. I don’t know but a lot of people have their priorities out of whack

    • tfb

      And car phone?!? Seriously? What is this 1982?

      • tfb

        misread car payment as phone, my bad.

      • jsmith

        No, its 1984!

    • tfb

      apparently last reply was removed.

      Read the article at cnn. Very depressing. The lady literally has nothing. And her time and energy is given to her employer and family.

      • Duane Polega

        CNN that’s where you get your news? LOL

        • tfb

          *facepalm*
          Thats where the story quote comes from.

    • marben

      I’m in the lower percentile. I don’t have cable nor a car payment. When the real estate crisis happened a few years ago, I learned to live on the bare necessities. If I don’t keep myself in the present moment (at this moment I’m OK), I can start to get really afraid. So I take whatever action I feel led to take & be grateful for the simple things of life. I have learned that stuff doesn’t make me happy.

  • grumpyhillbilly

    I live a stone throw of what is considered to be a wealthy Phila suburb. The amount of sheriff sales going on monthly is mind boggling. They are becoming the unnecessary professionals in the wealth transfer scam. My immediate neighborhood is a mixed of skilled blue collar and farmers. We’re still plugging along. However if you look close enough you can see the little things like homes needing repair.

  • mleblanc138

    Here in Orem, Utah and the other nearby towns, it’s both Wealthy America and Poor America combined under “LDS America.” I grew up in a working class area of Maryland and don’t think I had met a single millionaire until I got to Utah and ended up making some very wealthy friends. The only way something like that is even possible in my opinion is if both the “poor” person and wealthy person share a strong common bond, in this case it’s the LDS Church.

    • davidmpark

      If it hits the fan, the LDS Church will be the rally point: proper priesthoods, best organized, best equipped with multiple holding corporations and businesses and land holdings, and they encourage self-reliance for those able and provide for those who physically or mentally can’t. :)

      Amen on the common bond, brother!

    • Andrew Bulles

      Encouraging… Thanks.

    • Hammerstrike

      Church of Latter Day Saints? Best of lucks to to these guys, I hope they survive.

  • collinnyo145

    my Aunty Peyton got a year old Audi RS 5
    Convertible by working from the internet. he said J­a­m­2­0­.­ℂ­o­m

  • Patriot One

    Love the escape from America, but to where??? Where can you go and take your guns? What type of government will you be under. Can you speak the lingo? Oh, and do they take Obamacare? Just something to think about.

    • Nic

      Oh many countries. Cambodia, Thailand, Philippine. Vietnam. Burma…

      U move there and u become rich in 1 days. Life is 10 cheaper. Imagine I give you 10$ for each dollar you have…

    • saintmess

      Philippines. There are 7000+ islands you can live on. Cheap. $1 = $40+. Built a house for the price of a honda civic and close to the beach. :)

      • Patriot One

        Good luck with the bandits, pirates and rebels! That’s not to mention the wild life and disease. On a personal note my feet didn’t do to well in the jungle, silly me for wearing boots all the time.

      • ConcernedAmericaan

        Where does one work? Are Americans welcomed?

  • markthetruth

    Line :

    “Out in the San Francisco area, Internet money is flowing like wine right now.”
    What a Panic there would be if if there was a Wine Shortage.

    the end…

    • davidmpark

      Nice one!

  • maby

    very well said , poverty is spreading all over , despite is hard to find a job and the salaries are precarious the cost of living is higher every passing day, the mortgages and insurance cias collect all the money and nothing is left over to spend elsewhere , if you get lucky to have a federal job you are not aware of the most people struggling to pay necessities, that’s the reason why people are frustrated .

  • Tatiana Covington

    Everyone is up against the Gaussian normal distribution. It *forces* inequality as a physical and mathematical reality. That is how things are. It is part of how the universe works and how physical laws operate.

    There is nothing to be done about the fact that some are unlucky, improvident, and just plain stupid.

    • jaxon64

      True Tatiana, it is an inevitability because of the fact that brain is higher valued over brawn –especially in a techno society with electronic money. Also wealth begets more wealth–hence the old axiom, “it takes money to make money.”
      There was an excellent example to prevent this in the Old Testament of the Bible–the 7 year and 50 year “do overs”. I know you’re an atheist but the idea is simple and brilliant in that it prevents long-term wealth consolidation and also financial servitude- yet at the same time allows for the more gifted and talented to still strive for success and better lives.

      • Tatiana Covington

        However, one has the RIGHT to amass wealth and consolidate it… whether others like it or not. They’re on their own.

        • JT

          Not if the government confiscates it as in Venezuela. Be sure to welcome the 10s of millions off new citizens formerly illegals who will elect governments who will take your wealth and rightfully so.

    • DiscouragedOne

      I know people who are not any of those things and just can’t find a job, you can’t say this is the whole problem, the problem is we don’t have enough jobs in this country anymore, and that is a fact.

  • Jodi

    I’m one of the ones that makes under 20,000 a year. Luckily, I’m married. With our combined income we survive.

    • Kent Harris

      My heart goes out to you. Keep your eyes on the Lord. Your husband loves you.

  • Makati1

    I live in the Philippines after 64 years and 14 generations in the US. I would be the lower class because I retired and lost most in a divorce. So, I moved to where it is cheaper and I will not freeze to death or likely starve.

    • Nic

      I didn’t wait 1 year, and gave up my green card immediately. Asia is the best place for now.

      • Schul Diamond

        The Jewish people have to reside in the Chosen homeland before the barbaric Palestinians increase their antisemitism on the innocent Jewish Israelis.

        • HomerSimpson

          Dude…you have some serious issues with your brain. GTFO hillbilly

    • Tashekia Johnson

      @ Makati1, I’m so sorry to hear that. that’s so awful. The government doesn’t care. they only cater to the upper class.

  • Nic

    I live in Asia. If I move to USA I would have to pay tax on my 2000$ salary and tax on everything I make outside of the banana Republic. Lot of $$$.

    Being outside of USA, not a USA person, I keep all the tax for my self which is well enough to live comfortably as I don’t have to report my worldwide income to irs or else. It s all legal.

    US citizen, us person, green card holders are just milk cows for the devil usa machinery which will crunch all of you in debt enslavement and their big war machinery (drones, prism,….) . You have no idea what you are doing. You are finished, zombies will walk down your streets to steal and rape your daughters while usa government will continue to spit in the face of other countries.

    Fatcat+fbar+Obama care + etc= the total destruction of USA and its usa person (2014)
    You voted for this idiot of Obama, now you pay the consequences of your foolishness.

    Get out of USA before July 2014, after this date the USA government will seize all your money, saving,… and your soul. They will stop you at any USA immigration and put your directly to jail.

    Cut all links with the USA, ditch your passport if you can. Marry a Mexican, whatever…

    It can only be worse, so get OUT!!!

    • Schul Diamond

      that n1gger obama is reducing his support for Israel. Those n1ggers are dumbfks

  • Schul Diamond

    arabs are not semites they are bediouns (and savages)…..ameriva is sufferingg bcause your baboon president is not supporting the Chosen Land.
    6 million innocent died in the Shoah. Americans stand up against the Arabs and even if you have to leave your mother dying on the battlefield, you are fighting to protect the world from Arab turrirsm. The Jewish people in Israel are being stigmatised by the arabs. do something americans! Israel is the Chosen Land.

  • Schul Diamond

    Please help the Jewish Israelis in defending themselves against antisemitism from the Palestinians. Write to your politicians in increasing military and financial aid to Israel. G*d will bless you for supporting Israel. Christians you must unite and exterminate the Muslim, arabs and n1ggers in your countries.

  • Schul Diamond

    SIX MILLION Jewish people died in the Shoah and 1.4 million died in the concentration camps after the war was ended. prevent another Holocaust and get rid of Arabs in the Holy Land Israel.

  • XSANDIEGOCA

    Listening to the new Mayor of New York, De Blasio, last night on talk radio. His victory speech was a stemwinder that could have been taken right out of the streets of Ancient Rome, promising Bread for the Masses. He made what can only be described as a naked appeal to spreading the wealth, leaving no New Yorker behind! The crowd cheered hysterically. Pay attention, Folks. The disgraced John Edwards was not off base when he talked of the two Americas. On one hand, the Plenty. On the other, Scratch and Sniff where the sense is that no matter how hard you work it will not be enough, ever. Now we have embarked on Socialized Medicine where it is assumed the young millionaires in San Francisco will sign up for very expensive plans they neither want nor need. I find the assumptions of Obama Care faulty, filled with holes. Next up, Immigration Reform whereby the Elites seek to legalize another 20-30MM impoverished compaesinos, who will bring in another 20-30MM. The impact on the lower classes already struggling to survive will be severe. The Fast Food Industry is heavily promoting this. Think about it, Folks. Talk of Hard Work and Self Sufficiency is all very well but I see it drowned out by the ancient siren call of Spreading the Wealth. You have to have GROWTH. You have to have a Society where the common man can rise on his own toil. We do not have that. I see Stormy Weather…

    • Nic

      Yes, why we should pay a percentage on Health care. Gov when guys pay nothing and eat high cholesterol junk food to the point they end to hospitals.
      Why should I pay for you? I have no kids, why should I pay the education of your kids?

      Now they want take my $$$ that I saved for my retirement.
      USA I screw you, I m out!
      Bye bye IRS, fbar, fatca, Obama care,….

    • 2Gary2

      yes we need to tax the rich and spread the wealthy. Thank God for men like De Blasio.

      • kfilly

        Let’s see. They spent over $360 million on the website for Obamacare. That does not include any of the additional expenses associated witg Obamacare. The population of the US is approximately 312 million people. Wouldn’t it have been better for the gubernment just to give each citizen a million dollars to use for healthcare instead of the monstrosity of law that no one can comply with because of its complexity?

        • sabretooth

          If the government gave each citizen just $5 it would total one billion five hundred and sixty million dollars. Giving each citizen one million dollars would be trillions. Your math is a little off.

    • DiscouragedOne

      Again we get back to the problem, the jobs are gone.

  • smallergovnow

    Interesting stats Michael. But seems you are furthering the divide America theme of Obammy. The rich versus poor is a symptom, not the cause…

  • jox

    This is why Gary is asking to tax the rich. It’s not socialism, only a small compensation in a system that is strongly biased towards the wealthy. It’s necessary to change the rules so the system is more fair, and to effectively open opportunities to the poor , specially through education.

    • Mark Caldwell

      We don’t have a free market system, we have crony capitalism. We have a revolving door between D.C. and Wall Str. That’s the problem, if we did have an actual free market system and an actual border to the South, there would be prosperity aplenty. The collectivist authoritarians act as though the crony capitalist corporatocracy is ‘capitalism’, demonize it and demand gov monopoly on force(civilian disarmament) and then top down control over everything, healthcare, manufacturing, and punitive taxation. Once taxes get to 40% the economy, no matter what form or type, begins to devolve and crumble.

      I hate the way a crony capitalist system is paving the way to a totalitarian forced wealth redistribution system of Marxist socialism.

      No one has a right to my money. NO ONE. local taxes, yes, state taxes sure, but sin taxes, and inheritance taxation etc is evil. The idea that someone is getting a free lunch off my dime is infuriating.

      • 2Gary2

        hey tea bagger-you do not succeed in a vacuum. You are a typical selfish conservative.

        Capitalism will always always devolve into crony capitalism. That is its fatal flaw.

        • ConcernedAmericaan

          Humans are flawed. Therefore, every system created by humans is flawed (Capitalism, Socialism, Fascism, Communism). There is no perfect solution, and one size does not fit all.

          Poverty, prostitution, one profession being valued more than another, social stratification, greed, those that feel they are superior and more deserving, exists everywhere in the world. There is no system or tax that solves it or ends it.

          Considering that most politicians are wealthy, I doubt they will ever make laws that take their own wealth. If one believes the government and wealthy are corrupt, why would one ask corrupt people to attempt to solve any problem?

          • DiscouragedOne

            I agree with you to a point, but when it comes to jobs you are leaving something out, it is what the market will bear. A job that requires minimal skills like flipping burgers is easy to fill, versus a job that requires specialized skills like a computer programmer, yet even as that becomes a more common skill, they also make less money, it is what the market will bear, always has been, always will be. How exactly do you think that will change? I would not hold my breath on that one. The problem is our jobs left the country, when I was a teenager, I could get a job in a day, now kids can’t get them in months, the jobs are gone…that is the problem.

          • ConcernedAmericaan

            Yes, we do have a lack of good jobs. Also, many “special skill”

    • 2Gary2

      Thanks for the comment

    • ConcernedAmericaan

      The game is rigged. Since the wealthy and their buddies make all the rules, the game will always be rigged. Anyone that tries to change it will be put in jail or discredited. The system being rigged is how people that work the least make the most money. If the game was fair, blue collar workers (people that do real labor) would be the wealthiest in society. Most blue collar jobs should also add a stress pay, danger pay, future medical pay, etc. to the paychecks of those doing the real labor. The working class is the only reason wealth exists.

  • Kim

    The irony in all this is that neither wealth nor poverty necessarily defines happiness (or unhappiness). I think of the disaster many wealthy people make of their lives. Wealth can be destroyed over night. Look what happened to Bernie Madoff’s clients. I’ve known rich people that worry constantly over their possessions.

    • ConcernedAmericaan

      Poor people don’t have to worry if someone loves them for their money, title, or status.

      • Tashekia Johnson

        exactly! it’s funny I hear rich people say that they have 200 close friends and I think no one can be liked that much. here’s a real test lose all the wealth and that 200 will go down so fast it will not be funny. everyone’s your friend when you have money!

    • Tashekia Johnson

      I agree :-) some of them think they will always have wealth. wealth is not guaranteed. it can be gone tomorrow.

  • shakey

    Why is it we always leave out the government from these rich/poor lists? It’s amazing that government can stand back and take over 50% of capital every week while we point fingers at each other. What would our incomes look like if we filled out a new W-4 and entered a 99 code on the number of exemptions ($0 withholding)?

    • ConcernedAmericaan

      Keep the 99% busy fighting with each other (and pointing fingers) so the 1% can continue to get away with anything they want to.

  • Rufus T Fireflyadelin

    I got my share of the pie and you 99% suckers got the crumbs. Life is good and just. Just make sure you know your place, or else we will send you to a nice “work camp”

    • Mark Caldwell

      Agreed, I got mine and will not tolerate the socialist collectivists trying to confiscate it to hand out to the degenerates and unwashed, useless eaters. It wounds me deeply to think that someone else is eating off of my dime, or talking on a gubbament socialist payed cell phone off of my dime.

      I hate the Free Stuff Army and I’m taking every precaution to isolate and protect my money. I don’t plan on letting it be confiscated during a bank holiday when the US can’t pay it’s bills and the easy money stops.

      The orphanage needs to work those kids in the field if they want them fed, don’t come asking me for a advice, much less money.

      99% is a mass of illiterate, uncultured degenerates. Always willing to vote for the politico who promises them the world, or a free phone, or a free apartment, well, NOTHING IS FREE. And we shouldn’t be the ones paying for it all.

  • Joe D

    Try living in Konnekticut for a while…..The poverty line is at about $100k per year! The taxation is absurd, the cost of living is ridiculuous and the sick/lazy/stupid all vote. I can’t wait to retire and get the hell out of here!

  • jaded

    thanks for sharing. this is how i plan to live. on my way to minimalism. Feels good man…

  • piccadillybabe

    Just today in the news was something pretty unbelievable that happened in Surprise, AZ. A young family’s house burned down while they were away and the fire department came and put out the fire and then charged the family $20,000 for doing so. In the itemized bill they received, the firefighters (4 or 5 of them) were paid $150/hr to fight the fire which took a couple of hours to put out. Surprise is apparently unincorporated and do not have a fire department so a fire department from a neighboring municipality had to step in. Insurance does not cover that bill. I guess this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what is coming down the pike to home owners who pay their taxes and get absolutely no services in return.

    • ConcernedAmericaan

      Don’t forget about the hurricane victims that had to pay a mortgage on a house they couldn’t live in because they didn’t have flood insurance; and their regular insurance didn’t cover the flooding which was a result of a hurricane.

      Ever wonder why buying insurance is mandatory in some states? What if people decided to have a 401k type account for themselves instead of buying insurance that might not cover the disaster that happens to them? I would love to own a business and then have a law that forced everyone in the state to buy my product.

      • piccadillybabe

        To add salt to already festering wounds in this country, we have the ACA of which is mandatory and from the looks of it, it will not be serving anyone but the medical industrial complex and the insurance companies. They have all kinds of toxic vaccines just ready for anything that ails you.

  • Daystrom2012

    The only hope for America and the world is the second coming of Christ. Unfortunately for those who have to go the through the 7 years of hell on earth it won’t be much of a picnic. So, if you think it’s bad now you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Woe, woe, woe to the inhabiters of the earth… Revelation 8:13(kjv)

    • Boo-urns

      Fantasies and pipe dreams. Ain’t happening.

  • piccadillybabe

    I forgot to mention in my recent post about the Surprise, AZ home fire that the home was not saved. It was burned to the ground and the home owners were charged $20,000 just for the fire fighters to appear and spray water on an already unsalvagable situation. These home owners were young with a baby and now have no home, insurance will not cover the loss and they have to pay the fire department $20,000. Talk about corruption!

  • Wally

    The world better start worrying about Fukushima. One of the top Nuke scientists said recently that if Japan got a 7.0 or higher quake that it would completely melt down. Everyone in Japan would be exposed and evacuations of the western US would be necessary. Millions would die. This is huge. An economic collapse is the least of our problems right at this point.

    • Wally

      A 7.0 quake by the way is a 95% certainty to happen. Japan has quakes all the time.

  • Pennyson349

    A fairly good article except for the disingenuous rant about federal employees in the middle of it. I guess you figure that if you surround it with truth the little bit of Bull$hit in the middle will slip right through. How do you figure cost of living in D.C. compares to that of the Average reader of this article? Or did you even bother?

    • Hammerstrike

      Yes, please tell us more on how terribly oppressed you federal employees are.

      So oppressed that you are better paid than the average workers of this country for, as Obamacare showed so well, not even 1/10 of the work.

    • quercus454

      The DC area and the surrounding counties are some of the wealthiest in the country. What that means is that the DC crowd is getting rich and those that cater to them are also doing well.
      It used to be that government employees traded job security for more competitive private sector wages. That isn’t the case today. Most federal employees enjoy comparable if not higher wages then the private sector. Plus they have the government perks of healthcare, retirement and job security.

  • DJohn1

    I think people need to go back to the basics.
    Housing–get the cheapest you can. Learn how to repair everything you can by yourself. Keep the payments to 25% of your monthly net income. learn to install drywall and carpet. Cosmetically houses that need these two items are cheap on today’s market. Foreclosures are houses that have to sell for 2/3rds of the value of the last mortgage held by the bank. That is often housing at 50% off the real value of the property.

    Car–research records of repair and which ones are good used cars and which ones are lemons. Aim for a car that is easy to repair and maintain if you have to by yourself. Under no circumstances should the car cost you more than 25% of your net income per month. I suggest if you do not have a big family go look at double cab trucks.
    Coupons–keep a list of grocery items you might need and what coupons you can save money with.
    Keep a slush fund of at least 10% of what you earn net and do not touch it. Hard to do, but it is doable.

    Here is how to figure your net income. A month is based on 4.5 weeks. Every third month there is usually a half week in there. Figure you net based on what you make in 4 weeks. Figure your bills on the 4.5 week month. That is conservative but works better than the other way around.
    The real trick is to pay cash for everything. It is hard to do. It means keeping track of every penny.
    I guarantee that something will go wrong. That is where the slush fund comes in to play. IF you are lucky, the slush fund will see you through the hard times ahead. If not, nothing will anyway.
    My own philosophy is to tithe on anything left at the end of the week. Don’t know if it is biblical or not. Do know that is my real income after I pay all my bills and taxes. Gross Income is meaningless. It is basically what the governments (City, State, and Federal plus county) taxes allow you to live on after they take their cut. That is approximately 30-40% of what you make gross. Used to be less than 15% when we had responsible government.

    • piccadillybabe

      Don’t get too smart for your britches or they will become suspicious that you are some kind of terrorist trying to beat the system. They prefer us dumbed down, numbed out and unable to pick up a screw driver. Just sayin…..

    • quercus454

      That sounds good if you have enough income to support such a purchase. Currently there are not enough good paying jobs to qualify buyers to purchase a house.

      Say you and your spouse are each working part time. 30 hrs a week at 10 bucks/hr. Your gross before taxes is 600/week. You both have jobs in different directions, both commute 35 miles each way. Both of you have an older car that averages 17 mpg. Both your jobs require you to work 6 days. That is 4 gallons/day for each car for a total of 8. Currently in my location gas is $3.50/gallon. That is 28 dollars a day just to drive to work and back. Weekly fuel costs are $168.00. Nearly one third of your weekly gross is gone. Now start figuring in the other living expenses and what the government takes.
      There is no margin for saving and no bank or property owner will sell to you. In fact it would be hard in many areas to qualify to rent a house.

      • DJohn1

        I would say something has to give. The 17 mpg car is a given. So is the commute. So are the wages.
        What is left? The place where you live is too far from where you work. 70 miles a day is too far. It is also approximately 35 minutes to and 35 minutes from work. That adds up to an hour and ten minutes each day in non-productive work going to and from work which you are not getting paid for. The 70 miles is wear and tear on the car will eventually break down leaving you in a bind.
        The only guy I know of that did this successfully lived on a farm with a barn. He bought three cars that were the same model year and make. He kept one on the road, one overhauling in the garage and one for parts. All of these were old cars which is the only way he was able to do it. He traveled 35 miles each day one way to his employment. The trick there was he was an accountant making good money. He was also a skilled mechanic. I think got about 300,000 miles off each vehicle and eventually bought a new set and started over.
        The problem is that no matter what you make, you have to set your lifestyle to cover the expenses and leave you some money left over to live with. Better in theory than in practice.

  • djc

    The smart people figured this out years ago. Why be a corporate slave when you can live very well like your 54 year old friend? He’s flying under the radar which is the best way to live plus he’s 100% legit. very smart man.

  • Das

    You point is…….?

  • A Nonymouse

    If common sense, meaning a frugal life, reigned during the 70′s and 80′s instead of spending out of control, most people would not be in such a desperate economic condition. They would be strapped, and maybe things wouldn’t be fabulous, but they probably would not be desperate. This doesn’t include everyone situation as stuff happens in life, but the vast majority of people, myself included, can really cause problems to ourselves with the wrong mind set. The bottom line is **No one owes you anything.** **If someone helps you out, they either own you, or they have their own agenda in mind. Period.** This is especially true of government/agencies.

    During the consumer years, we went against the spending mindset and lived a frugal life. Neither one of us wanted debt. We reduced our expenditures know that it was the same as cash, used and improved our skill base (with the side benefit of improving the quality of our lives, a fact, not an opinion), and have a good standard of living without debt.

    We still live this lifestyle, as most of our adult children. Thrift and economy living in the northeast is absolutely essential.

    Over the years, when friends and acquaintances mention financial struggles, I mention some of the
    economic strategies that have kept us above water. Unfortunately, the real problem is that there are just a few financial strategies that give large savings right away. Most other strategies are “nickel and dime” savings, or with inflation, “dollar here and there” savings.

    Believing if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a meal, but teaching that man how to fish will feed him for a lifetime, I have encouraged others to try some of these strategies. Almost always, the response is, “I can’t/won’t do that!”

    A mindset is important, and if one is determined enough, some improvements and self determination and reliance can be made. Something is better than nothing.

  • Hammerstrike

    Stop global laming! Repent now, least ye BURN!!!

  • nakruma of Ghana

    gary wants to confiscate all of your wealth, he is a communist sympathizer

  • Hammerstrike

    These ungrateful Palestinians doesn´t realize that they are being occupied and even colonised for their own good, what dark-hearted, vile people they are for rejecting the benevolent and enlightened rule of the israelis.

    Palestine doesn´t even really exist, all arabs living in the Gaza Strip and West Bank are really illegal immigrants from Egypt and Jordan, who only came after the israelis made the area prosperous.
    Everyone else but israel have just revised history, invented the history that arabs had lived there Before israeli settlers out of pure antisemitism.

    Anyone criticizing israel (which represent all joos, whenever they like it or not) is an anti-semite, never mind that arabs are semites too!

  • Misha

    My family falls at 7.3% as I am disabled and my husband works construction which is close to minimum wage but weather dependent so ends up being part time over the long haul. I was finally approved for disability; but, now that means I rely on the government for HALF our income every month. I am lucky to be able to pay my rent and utilities and still have enough for tv and internet. But I know how to budget my money – why is it so difficult for the government to do the same… Sad state of affairs to be sure.

    • quercus454

      Your lucky your husband is till finding work in construction. In most of the Southwest, there is very little. In my town of 100,000 there has been maybe 5 new houses built in the last 3 years. Commercial is almost as bad. By what I have found, 90% of the work is being done by illegal aliens.

  • 2Gary2

    Bill Gross, the billionaire manager of the world’s biggest bond fund, is feeling guilty. His own wealth, he acknowledges
    in a remarkable new
    letter to investors, has ballooned “at the expense of labor.”
    The time has come, he’s urging his fellow ultra rich, to “share some of
    your good fortune by paying higher taxes.”

    The rich are maybe starting to understand they will have to spread the wealth is they want peace and safety.

    • ConcernedAmericaan

      Has he felt guilty enough to actually spread his own wealth? Has he followed the “sell everything you have and give it to the poor” approach? Has he walked the talk? Has he led by example? If so, please point us to the line where I can get a share of the billions he is distributing. Or, please point us to the poor neighborhoods he is visiting to hand out his money door to door.

    • DungeonMaster68

      The real problem with this idea, is that relying on “government” to handle such a redistribution does not work. Government simply squanders the money and engagres in “crony” capitalism, transferring the bulk of the higher tax revenues to their buddies in the large corportions. The average citizen ultimately sees no benefit from this.

  • 2Gary2

    Michael–hopefully you are starting to see that we need to tax the rich very hard like they do in Scandinavia and spread the wealth. There is no other solution as things are so bad. We need to literally take from the rich and simply give it to the poor.

    call it what ever ism you want.

  • Brent

    What kind of wealth do these rich people have or that they are invested in as indicated in points 3, 4, 6 or 8? If it is not in something tangible like precious metals, jewels or land their wealth is worth squat anyway because it is nothing more than paper.

  • 2Gary2

    The sheer level of tea bag selfishness is amazing.

    • laughingtoday

      conservatives donate far more to charity than libs. democrats are the bulk of all felons

  • 2Gary2

    “If you want to live the American Dream,” said Kate Picket, one of the researchers, “you’d better go to Denmark or Finland.”

    Their rates of economic
    mobility are much higher. They achieve this with higher tax rates and
    better social services. Norway, for example, provides 10 weeks of paid paternity leave. College and health care are free in Denmark.
    When these tools exist and are available to everyone, it matters less
    how rich you are at birth. You have the same tools for success as
    everyone else.

    Fast-food workers in the
    United States have been protesting for a higher minimum wage. The
    federal minimum is $7.25 per hour, which is worth less than the minimum
    wage was in the late 1960s, when you adjust for inflation.

    Australia, meanwhile, manages to pay all of its workers $15 per hour — and the economy, fast-food and otherwise, hasn’t collapsed. The country also maintains a lower level of income inequality.

    We are so F’ed up in the USA thanks to conservative BS.

    • ConcernedAmericaan

      Some parts of Europe include tips in the price of the food. This is nice since some people refuse to tip at all, or do not tip an appropriate amount, even after receiving excellent service. Some people are excellent at providing service and hospitality, but they can not financially afford to stay in those jobs. Why don’t we encourage people to be good at what they are good at by paying people wages they can live on, regardless of profession. The doctor and janitor are both valuable to society. The teacher and waiter are both valuable to society. The scientist and artist are both valuable to society. So, why does society pay so much better to some professions while forcing another person in a different profession to live in poverty? Is the giraffe more valuable than the elephant? Is the snake more valuable than the horse?

      • 2Gary2

        here is the deal-these low wage companies are unwilling to pay a living wage. They are very certainly able to its just selfish unwillingness so they need to be forced to pay.

        • DiscouragedOne

          And then the common men who go to mickey d’s will not be able to afford the $5 burger and stop going, so more will be out of a job. Do you propose you can force the prices they charge as well? If so, you are truly delusional.

      • DiscouragedOne

        I think it is because there is a much larger pool of workers available for low-skilled jobs, much less competition, so they pay less. The real problem is the jobs left the country, you can’t go work at the factory and make a decent living anymore. Mickey d’s jobs were never meant to be sustaining families, they were meant for teenagers and college students.

    • El Pollo de Oro

      One of the smartest things that Denmark, Sweden and Norway have done is stay off the euro (Finland is on the euro, though). Iceland and Switzerland have also been smart enough to stay off the euro.

  • 2Gary2

    You want a simple way to fix it? See “balancing inequality” on youtube
    if you want a real answer. Capping what you can inherit would neuter
    excessive greed, and reward contribution to your species instead of
    encouraging it’s destruction! Thanks for seeking sustainability for the
    future. Watch “balancing inequality” on youtube!

    • garysucks

      you are one sick individual

  • George Jetson

    There are a lot of things that cause people to end up poor – bad choices, bad company, risky behavior, drugs, alcohol, divorce, being involved in crime, not handling money wisely, just to mention a few. It isn’t all because of the economy.

    But, having said that, it’s also true that our government is militating against American businesses that would be creating jobs, if it were not for the EPA and other anti-business entities.

    If our government would get out of the way, we could have LOTS of jobs created building the Keystone XL pipeline. This would provide jobs and needed oil for our nation. They have done study after study, but still they will not let Canada deliver cheap oil to our doorstep.

    Our corrupt government is the biggest obstacle to the prosperity of Americans. Stop going to war against everybody and quit making it hard for businesses to operate in this country.

    Our corrupt government wants to open the flood gates of illegal immigrants, who will come in and compete for cheap labor, and they will also want all the freebies that our corrupt government will be happy to give them for the promise of their votes.

    I honestly don’t see anything, barring a miracle, which could save this country with the corrupt leadership we have. And with voter fraud becoming more prevalent, I don’t see how a good honest person could ever win an election.

    • sabretooth

      I am tired of hearing about the Keystone pipeline bringing “cheap Oil” to the U.S. and jobs. The purpose of the pipeline was to bring heated tar sands (not oil) from Canada to the refineries in Texas. Once the sands were refined into oil, the plan was to ship the oil to China, benefiting Canada, who does not have the refining capacity. The U.S. was not going to get this cheap oil. Constructing the pipeline would have created jobs, but once the pipeline was finished, the jobs would be done. It takes comparatively few workers to tend a pipeline once it is completed. The Keystone Pipeline myths continue to be spread around by low information individuals and politicians looking for an issue.

  • francis

    In my 60′s, so been around awhile, when I was growing up there were plenty of manufacturing jobs out there, one could get out of high school and get a decent paying job, but sadly a lot of those jobs are outsourced due to greed, why pay a American worker a decent wage, when you can pay some third world worker 50 cents a hour. Technology and automation is something that one cannot do anything about, and you can blame the unions, regulations for a lot of it either…corporate greed is the reason

    • francis

      meant to say you cannot blame the unions etc..

      • El Pollo de Oro

        The globalists are so greedy that when they decide non-union minimum wage workers in Guatemala are making too much, they’ll look for a country that’s even poorer to exploit. So like I said, I have zero sympathy for some corporate CEO who becomes a victim of kidnappers in a Third World horror movie. The greedy son of a bitch made his bed of nails, let him lie in it it and bleed all over the shantytown slums of Guatemala City.

    • ConcernedAmericaan

      Some employers even offered job training so student loan debt for college wasn’t necessary. One person working was able to support a whole family, pay all the bills and provide food and clothes, save some, and send the kids to college if they wanted to go. Some employers even paid a retirement and 100% of medical/dental benefits. Almost every American could afford to own a home.

      Amazing how much things have changed in such a short time.

      • Nic

        That s correct. Even airlines paid all Training to their cadets pilot.

        Now some guys pay their boss to fly 6 months just to get some hours and will never find a paid job because all airlines ask pilots to fly.

        This world is becoming a joke where Injustice became the norms.

        Even robin wood would be chocked….

    • El Pollo de Oro

      Francis: Ross Perot tried to warn us about the evils of NAFTA (No American Factories Taking Applications) and globalism, but everyone from Al Gore to Rush “Pillhead” Limbaugh (who called Perot a racist) didn’t want to hear it. But Perot was right about that “giant sucking sound.” Globalism is a bottom bit of misery. There have been corporatists who outsourced American jobs to México, then left México for Guatemala or Honduras when they decided that minimum wage workers in México were overpaid. So when a corporate CEO is kidnapped for ransom by thugs in a Third World hellhole, screw him. Globalists encouraged Third World conditions, so let them have a taste of Third World crime.

      • quercus454

        The people at the top like the way it is. They engineered it. Patriots like Ross and Pat were attacked because they spoke truth to power. Today we are seeing the effects of globalism, outsourcing, in-sourcing, free trade and uncontrolled immigration. The loss of income by workers has led to not only a tax revenue decline and higher social service costs, but the break down of family. When both parents have to work to even attempt to make ends meet, the loss of parental guidance on their children takes a toll. The social fabric of the country and it’s cohesiveness is being destroyed. In many areas, neighbors do not know their neighbors. Trust is a rare commodity in most urban areas.

        The elite in this country, both political and economic like people scrounging to survive. It keeps them distracted and busy. Any free time they have is used for the family or to find a distraction from life. The masses have little time to discuss politics, current events or organize.

        A low information populace and manipulation is the key to the top retaining power.

    • DiscouragedOne

      All of the above are the reason, unions and regulations are factors…and greed.

    • Thomas Brown

      We could automate the upper class. Yes that’s right, richie-robots who are more efficient at creating jobs and getting the money back into the economy.

  • ConcernedAmericaan

    “The rich just happen to be playing by the rules our imperial leaders have subscribed.”

    Yes, buying those that make the rules sure do make following the rules a lot easier; since the rules can have loopholes, and exemptions built in for those that paid for the rules.

  • hungry4food

    How the hell can the Government subsidize 3/4th of the public for their healthcare premiums and neutralize the debt ?

  • ConcernedAmericaan

    When one studies history, it is interesting to watch the same names and families pop up over and over again.

  • Fred Flint

    Clearly something is going on and I was hoping to hear some solutions in your article. People look to Government for some kind of forced re-distribution but other countries that have followed this path ended up with an even wider gap. My conclusion is that the more Government we have the more money is sucked out of the wealth making economy and is instead spent on political favoritism. I am a long time federal employee and did not consider myself particularly wealthy until the last 10 to 15 years. Now that I am close to retirement I fear that the average tax payer cannot possibly sustain my retirement, there are just to many of us.

  • 2Gary2

    HuffPost QuickRead…
    Insurance Must Cover Mental Health, Substance Abuse Just Like Physical Illness: Kathleen Sebelius »

    Thank you Jesus-finally socialized medicine is coming to America

    • garyisapos

      you are mentally ill

      • 2Gary2

        ok hoss

        • DiscouragedOne

          Great, just what we need, another Chumley.

  • “V”

    And what will happen when QE tapers or (Gasp) finally ends? I guess when and if the wall street trough is finally empty we will find out.

  • that guy

    Like you said, it’s all relative. Your friend sounds very happy and that’s great for him, but that doesn’t mean everyone should want to live like that. What if your bills (house, car, tv, eating out etc) total $5k a month, but you make $15k a month? Not such a big problem anymore is it?

    There are people who make great money who do not blow it all, but save (and prep) and also enjoy life in a manner which they have been blessed to. It’s all relative….

    • DiscouragedOne

      I agree, and since I was a poor at times in my life, I can say that I think it was more a matter of not having so much to lose, or be responsible for…there is less pressure in that way, yet there is not much security either (not that any of us really have security). Even those who have learned to live with less and be happy are at the mercy of our overlords, all of us are.

  • JJ

    Be careful about posting content like this Michael. Those here who worship the wealthy will accuse you of class warfare and compare you to Gary2.

  • Zenithod

    You just described a lady I know. Happily retired, no debt, minimal assets other
    than her small basic home. She has just
    enough income to get along, shops at dollar stores & thrift shops, and uses
    cheap public transportation to get around.
    Happy as a lark though. Simpler
    is probably better.

    • DiscouragedOne

      And this is what a lot of people don’t realize about wealthy people. We make a decent income but are very far from “rich”, yet one thing I have learned since I have been poor and am now middle class, that is with wealth comes responsibility, the more you have the more you are responsible for. Those who want to confiscate wealth don’t seem to want to be responsible for anything. Those who want a job and can’t find one, God bless them, I am not talking about them.

      • Zenithod

        I’m not sure I get the relevancy of your comment. The lady I am speaking of is way past retirement age and could not really work. She put in her time her whole life, never collected any government assistance, but also never accumulated great wealth. She did plan for her future sufficiently enough that she could own her home outright, collect social security and have a small nest egg to fall back on should she need it. I agree with most of what you have to say, except to the responsibility point. You can collect some wealth and still live simply. It is a great temptation to have lots of toys and things that require your constant attention, but it is a choice to do this. Some of the wealthiest people I know own small homes, drive old cars, and live simple lives. This lifestyle actually allowed them to accumulate wealth for their later years.

  • Tashekia Johnson

    can’t worry about what this fraudulent government doesn’t do. the continue to divide the upper class from the lower class and treating the lower class like garbage. if you’re successful in this economy all power to you. but by the ways things are going we all are probably going to be in the same boat.

  • Fortitude

    Just what does this man do? If one is not making and doing, life gets dull and boring rather quickly.

  • Sematary

    I have never been in the “1%”. Never will be as far as I can tell. I have been homeless. I am now “lower” middle class, and that is with my wife and I both working 2 jobs. The income disparity in this nation is disgusting and Congress is the architect of this disparity, with the wealthy writing the laws that Congress fails to read before passing. But, in my 50 plus years on this planet, I have found a way to not be “poor” even if that only means that I’m living a relatively “comfortable” life on the outskirts of the middle class. What IS middle class anyway? I would have to think that you would need to be making somewhere in the $150,000 to $200K range to be that family with the nice 3000 square foot McHome and the pool and the two new cars in the garage.. I’m not close to that range. I can’t afford those things but they are, after all, just things. I have a home. I pay my mortgage. I own a car – so does my wife. Hers paid for. Mine 2 payments from being so. Hopefully, I’ll never be homeless again but one way to ensure that is to not get into debt again – ever. After December my ONLY debt will be my home. There is NO REASON that people have to live “poor” if they are willing to do what it takes to make that happen. Relocate, if necessary. Sacrifice and go to school while working (I did). Even now, I still believe my possible career path could take me to that elusive “middle class” status. But I don’t want the status. I don’t need the McHome or the new cars. I just want to make sure that I don’t have to worry about how much I spend for my food, my heat, my electricity. Those are the truly important “things” we need in life. The rest is gravy.

  • DiscouragedOne

    He should be paying half of that renter’s wi-fi bill, I call that taking advantage.

  • Uncle Flipper

    I pitched in ten bucks so we can get a turkey for Thanksgiving. At least we weren’t hit with 195 MPH winds for 5 hours straight. Since America, and most in it, served the flesh and the devil, we deserve everything coming our way. And then some.

  • JT

    Go ahead fool put money into a 401K or IRA. Maybe buy a second or third home. Invest in everything with your SS # attached to it. With 40 million illegals in your country now soon to be 100 million you will lose everything. These new citizens will vote Demonrat Party and they will eventually outright confiscate what I described above. You only have yourself to blame for being so cowardly and letting the third world poor break into your country. You let it happen sso now live with it.

  • Ebby

    I am fortunate to make $10 an hour and have a full time factory job… unfortunately I also help support four other people who live with me- two of them children ages 4 and 7.
    The only other person who works in our household is my friend who is a waitress and barely makes $100 every two weeks… if she’s lucky.
    We survive on foodstamps and very frugal spending.
    It is disheartening to think that the financial system will only continue to decline.
    We are barely scraping by as it is, not even including all of the debt we owe.
    Scary!

    • ConcernedAmericaan

      Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  • KaD

    I’ve worked ten months out of the past four years since my layoff on August 19, 2009. I had no money for Halloween candy for the kids, and had to choose between shampoo or vitamins; I had enough for one but not both. Unless I get a job soon I won’t have to file an income tax return. I have over six year experience in my field as a paralegal, even went back to school. I did everything right but nothing actually goes right. I’m not living anymore, just existing. I’d rather be dead.

    • DiscouragedOne

      That is really sad, I hope you find a job soon.

  • Herbert_Philbrick

    Let’s not forget that the Founding Fathers left We, The People with more power than the filthy rich, the filthy government and the just plain filthy… combined…
    .
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government,…”

  • DungeonMaster68

    The people in this country that are whining about being “poor” and just “existing” have no clue what it is like to really be “poor”. Just ask the people that live in Sub-Sahara Africa, Haiti or the ones just blasted by the tthe typhoon in the Phillipenes…they are the people in this world that actually understand the meaning of the word poor. Having to scrounge to find clean drinking water and squat over a creek to take a crap…that is poor. Needing to wait until the first of the month for your EBT card to re-charge so you can go shopping at Walmart for groceries is not. Be thankful for all that you have just by winning the lottery of citizenship, and being born in America.

    • Thomas Brown

      That’s nice, but we’re talking about America’s problems. Talking about poverty in other countries doesn’t make America any less FUBAR.

  • Dreama

    Totally agree with your post. You have to be smart with whatever money you have. Heck, I use candles at night while watching tv. I buy my jeans at the thrift store, saves me about 20 to 30 dollars and I get name brands!!! I can make a chicken soup with veggies and lots of chicken for under 10.00 and it last 3 days. I have a landline, no mobile phone plan. I love looking for bargains. It’s like a game for me. Most people, do not know how to manage money. I am not an expert, just know how to stretch a buck. My parents were depression babies, so I guess I learned from them though I never felt under privileged. Well, maybe once when mom would not give me a dime for a snocone. Anywho…material items have never made me happy. I go on long walks and read for enjoyment. Sometimes I will have a treat day….usually ice cream and maybe a burger. The best things in life are free kiddos. Peace..

  • GSOB

    ‘For today and its blessings, I owe the world an attitude of gratitude.’

  • Inflation Weary Californian

    In my area, Sacramento CA, sewer rates are DOUBLING, the local electric utility (SMUD) rate is going up by almost 50% over the next few years, the Sacramento City Water rate is going up by 20% a year, flood insurance is QUINTUPLING, sales taxes have increased to nearly 9%, income taxes have been raised on middle income folks, and property taxes are rising, along with brand-new flood protection property taxes. Its relentless and scary with no relief or end in sight…

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