Poverty Party

September 14, 2011

(Illustration found here).

Being poor is getting further down and dirty.
In an age where money is getting scarce for those on the bottom rung of the economic ladder, the prospects for any kind of decent future are quickly sucking down the financial drain.
On Tuesday, the US Census Bureau released it annual poverty outlook — Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage: 2010 — and it seems to dovetail real nicely with all other bad economic news.
Highlights of the report via The Big Picture:

Real median household income in the United States in 2010 was $49,445, a 2.3 percent decline from the 2009 median.
Since 2007, the year before the most recent recession, real median household income has declined 6.4 percent and is 7.1 percent below the median household income peak that occurred prior to the 2001 recession in 1999.
In spring 2011, 5.9 million young adults age 25-34 (14.2 percent) resided in their parents’ household, compared with 4.7 million (11.8 percent) before the recession, an increase of 2.4 percentage points.
It is difficult to precisely assess the impact of doubling up on overall poverty rates.
Young adults age 25-34, living with their parents, had an official poverty rate of 8.4 percent, but if their poverty status were determined using their own income, 45.3 percent had an income below the poverty threshold for a single person under age 65.
Based on the Gini Index, the change in income inequality between 2009 and 2010 was not statistically significant, while the changes in shares of aggregate household income by quintiles showed a slight shift to more inequality.
The Gini index was 0.469 in 2010. (The Gini index is a measure of household income inequality; zero represents perfect income equality and 1 perfect inequality.)

In  words beyond the financial/economic goobly-gook, it’s getting shitty at the bottom.

The poverty rate rose for the third consecutive year to 15.1 percent.
The 46.2 million Americans living in poverty is the highest since the Census began recording the statistic 52 years ago.
Average income took a dramatic hit, declining 6.4 percent since 2007 — the last year before the recession.
And the last decade has been the shits — The current median income is 7.1 percent below the peak of median household income that was reached in 1999.

However, the asshole side of life sees all this as nothing.
The right-wing nit-twit group, The Heritage Foundation, released its view of poverty earlier this year and GOPers and Fox News took way note — the opening line in the so-called study: Poor persons in the United States have far higher living standards than the public imagines.
Another view of that bullshit via the Washington Post:

“I think it’s important to bring up the fact that many of the poor are not hugely destitute — that they might not be poor in Somalia,” said Haskins (Ron Haskins, an expert on poverty at the Brookings Institution), who, incidently, is a Republican.
“But just citing how many televisions a person has doesn’t take into account the crisis caused by the sudden loss of income or how poverty in a society is almost always thought of in a relative way.
When kids go to school and see how well other students are living, when they see the kinds of cars the well-to-do kids are driving and the kinds of clothes they are wearing, the difference in being a have-not among those who have becomes more striking.”

No shit, sherlock.

And the Census Bureau also reported nearly 50 million US peoples are without health insurance.
To Republicans and their handlers, the Tea Party, would apparently let them all die — less crowded at the bottom.
Serves ’em right, being poor.

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