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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Extreme Poverty Is Now At Record Levels - Does Anyone Care?

Of all subjects upon which I speak, none is more personal than the plight of the poor and average American.  Why?  I feel extremely fortunate in that I had opportunities and the system worked for me.  But when I look around and see so many people struggling it breaks my heart.

This is America - we should be better than this.  Where are all the "conservative Christians" on this?  Doesn't the Bible say the meek shall inherit the Earth (What, are you just waiting and letting them suffer until they 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.

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 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".

Courtesy of Michael Snyder of Economic Collapse , 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.

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

As my readers know I do not believe in formalized religion or their notion of god, but I do believe in mankind and believe in a quote attributed to Jesus "Whatever you do unto the least of my brethren, you do unto me".


  1. It is not just the poor that I am bothered about but those in the middle class that used to be pretty solid, the economic driver of our economy, now just one missed paycheck away from poverty. From what I can see unreported inflation has meant that one had to have raises, or returns on investment far above average just to stay in the same position, and speaking of which, poverty levels have been adjusted upward by a laughable CPI, $21 grand a year for a family of four? I would consider myself to be in poverty living alone if I made less than 30. Seriously, I have the equivalent income of a guy making $53,000 and while I am not in poverty I also can't buy a house, can't get my relatively small credit card balances down, have not been on a vacation since the mid eighties, never eat out, go to on average one movie per year, have not bought clothes since I had to because of a fire in 2001, and there is nothing left over after buying fuel, food, and paying bills.

    Those were all things I used to more or less take for granted, and my Dad was able to provide with his one income and a stepmother working half time in the late sixties.

    One more bout of inflation reporting stripped of all items actually rising in cost, then millions more will start checking out OWS as they find they too are in poverty.

  2. Great comment above!

  3. Heart wrenching story. Thank you for reminding me that I can do more for others. Janice

  4. Where do we go from here? How do we make change?