In the U.S. 49.7 Million Are Now Poor, and 80% of the Total Population Is Near Poverty


If you live in the United States, there is a good chance that you are now living in poverty or near poverty. Nearly 50 million Americans, (49.7 Million), are living below the poverty line, with 80% of the entire U.S. population living near poverty or below it.

That near poverty statistic is perhaps more startling than the 50 million Americans below the poverty line, because it translates to a full 80% of the population struggling with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on government assistance to help make ends meet.

In September, the Associated Press pointed to survey data that told of an increasingly widening gap between rich and poor, as well as the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs that used to provide opportunities for the “Working Class” to explain an increasing trend towards poverty in the U.S.

But the numbers of those below the poverty line does not merely reflect the number of jobless Americans. Instead, according to a revised census measure released Wednesday, the number – 3 million higher than what the official government numbers imagine – are also due to out-of-pocket medical costs and work-related expenses.

The new measure is generally “considered more reliable by social scientists because it factors in living expenses as well as the effects of government aid, such as food stamps and tax credits,” according to Hope Yen reporting for the Associated Press.

Some other findings revealed that food stamps helped 5 million people barely reach above the poverty line. That means that the actual poverty rate is even higher, as without such aid, poverty rate would rise from 16 percent to 17.6 percent.

Latino and Asian Americans saw an increase in poverty, rising to 27.8 percent and 16.7 percent respectively, from 25.8 percent and 11.8 percent under official government numbers. African-Americans, however, saw a very small decrease, from 27.3 percent to 25.8 percent which the study documents is due to government assistance programs. Non-Hispanic whites too rose from 9.8 percent to 10.7 percent in poverty.

“The primary reason that poverty remains so high,” Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan economist said, “is that the benefits of a growing economy are no longer being shared by all workers as they were in the quarter-century following the end of World War II.”

“Given current economic conditions,” he continued, “poverty will not be substantially reduced unless government does more to help the working poor.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. government seems to think that the answer is cutting more of those services which are helping to keep 80% of the population just barely above the poverty line, cutting Food Stamps since the beginning of the month. Democrats and Republicans are negotiating about just how much more of these programs should be cut, but neither party is arguing that they should not be touched.

(Article by Simeon Ari; photo via AP Photo)

Posted in: Economy

290 Comments on "In the U.S. 49.7 Million Are Now Poor, and 80% of the Total Population Is Near Poverty"

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  1. tomek says:

    Perhaps the poverty is increased by those programs as people for get free food and other perks are not interested in increasing their skills or looking for a job in competitive job market.

    • NM_Patriot says:

      Ever get a “food box” from a local food bank??? Whether it can be called “food” is up for debate. Do you really think people want handouts more than they want a rewarding job to do? There aren’t any left, you know? Yeah, I know it’s a stretch for the likes of you…but a person’s work NEEDS to be rewarding, in some way, too. The issue is much more complex than your narrow mindedness allows for. Your reference to a “competitive job market” betrays your ignorance, as well.

      • Natsdad says:

        Well said, I concur.

      • Mary-Etta Hinkle says:

        WHAT COMPETITIVE JOB MARKET?? I haven’t been aware that there was one.

      • beeta says:

        I disagree with that.. There are jobs . may not be high pay but yes jobs..They could still work these jobs and draw some welfare but they do not want to. A woman was interview on a radio program and she gets 1400 dollars a month in benefits.. She said she could not make that much working and they give it to her so why would she want to work? The majority feel this way. Especially the uneducated and unskilled people.. They would make about the same working so why work? I have heard many on welfare say the same thing… It is a no brainer.. A time limit for drawing welfare should be set again like Clinton did and work to earn it.. Obama removed that! voters! They would find a job fast if there was a time limit. Like people on unemployment for 3 yrs. When the unemployment is about to run out they have found a job.. The woman interview said her family down the line has always been on welfare…So they are repeating what they learned from generations before..

        • MBD says:

          It is entirely possible that the radio show had one of their employees or interns call up and pretend to be in this situation. Unemployment might pay her this much, but only for an extremely short period of time (and only if she had been making more than this before losing her job). Welfare would NEVER pay this much, and since Clinton there has been a very short period of time that one could even collect welfare for in the first place. My bet is that it was another example of talk radio just making up callers to try to back up their talking points, without realizing that the federal and state laws don’t fit with what they are saying.

          • mir spacestation says:

            Even if this caller was telling the truth (which seems highly suspect, or at the very least filled with important omissions), any country that can provide a higher standard of living via welfare than through employment has a deeply flawed system. Welfare should be a safety net, and employment should provide generous enough wages and benefits to nullify bullsh*t “why work if you can collect welfare?” arguments. If welfare is actually equally appealing, why not raise the minimum wage so that someone working full time has a chance out of poverty? Incentivizing hard work with real benefits (and strengthening the social safety net we already have for those who can’t fine work) is the only chance we have to fix this broken country.

        • Scott Watkins says:

          $1400/month??? How? DHS? Unemployment? Unless it’s SS and/or SSI this is Male Bovine fecal matter. There are NO State assistance programs of any type that pay anywhere near that amount per month, in any fashion. Sorry, I cry Shenanigans. I heard on a radio interview is called hearsay. We need to address facts, not “I heard this”.

          • 4reform says:

            $1400 is probably a low number.
            A Section 8 housing voucher maxes out at $2200.
            With more than 20 other programs giving specific assistance based on various circumstance, that number can easily top $3000.

        • anon says:

          artard…there is a limit of around 33 months.

          • Eileen M. Harrington says:

            No offense, but unless you spend time with the poor instead of listening to carefully picked soundbites meant to inflame people against each other you don’t know what you are talking about. People are struggling all over, many working several jobs if they can get them. If that person has benefits, they are probably due to being disabled or unemployment. There are NO financial benefits that are that high in this country and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and was a social worker so I know well. That person paid into the system that got her that much money (SSI or unemployment). I paid into unemployment, got it for three years while applying for jobs repeatedly with no success. When my unemployment ran out, I still did not get full time or even enough part time work despite my efforts (everyone told me “there were over 50 applicants or more”). At this point the County of Alameda (one of the richer counties in the USA) told me that the only government benefits offered was food stamps and $300 per month of aid. That’s it. Friends, family and an understanding landlord have kept me from being homeless. and as for section 8, getting up to $2200 in rental aid is very rare. How do you pay for food, transportation to work, etc. expenses after that? Again, you are talking to someone whose work was to know what benefits were offered backwards and forwards for people. So, Beeta, you are clueless as are all who don’t question this kind of propaganda. I suggest you stop repeating propaganda and get out there and talk to real people who are struggling, poor, or living on relatives couches while desperately trying to find work. BTW, I have a Bachelor’s degree with honors and two Masters degrees as well as excellent references and lots of friends and family trying got help me find work. No full time job offers, 5 years and counting. THERE IS NO SAFETY NET IN THE USA. I am hoping to help change that when I get work and can pay back everyone who has kept me afloat.

        • Browneyes says:

          I have no clue what state you are from…but here in NC the laws that Clinton put in place for his time limits and working for welfare are still very much in place.It is called Work Firt, and that is what you do to get a check of about $250 a month to support a family of 5, and guess what if you don’t make so much money a month you are cut off from other programs that are set up for emergency assistance….oh and if you go to further your education or learn new skills they penalized you and cut your benefits. How do I know? Because that is my life, that is my family’s experience. Our family is a poor,white, family with three children to raise on my husband’s salary being a carpenter. We do not get near the benefits that you are talking about, maybe a third of that. We are just lucky that they haven’t cut our children off of Medicaid like they did my husband and myself. I went to college to try and better our situation and the government penalized my family and decreased what help we do get because I receive a grant every semester that barely, if it even covers the cost to go to college. Oh and God forbid someone admitting that their family generations before had to be on welfare and now they are on welfare, that should just show you how long our government has been so screwed up. It’s not always repeating what they learned it is called surviving and that is what families have been trying to do since their ancestors came across that great big ocean and got off the boat. What if you had to walk a mile in some people’s shoes, how would you fix it?

          • mdl says:

            I am greatly appreciative of the comments on this thread. I worked three jobs to get myself through college, and this degree isn’t worth anything. I graduated cum laude with honors, and I make the same amount of money I did decorating cakes at DQ. Only now I’m $40,000 in debt, and the highest starting pay I have been offered is $24,000 per year. No one I know is making money…well except a multimillionaire I know. This economy has been kind to him…but he pays his employees in excess of $20 per hour. Which is what all large employers should be doing–sharing the wealth with the actual earners.

        • Paul Sutera says:

          3 people for every job opening. Many of the poor have worked for 30 years already. They would have collected pensions but Republicans weakened pension laws in the 1990s (Thanks Newt!).

        • MSKBY says:

          Obama did not remove the time limit, it is still in effect, as are work requirements. The fact that someone can’t make (or can only make) about 1400/mo is more telling of the need for wage increase than for “ohmigod the benefits are causing laziness and a ‘taker’ society”! You obviously don’t have a complete picture (or much of a clue) on what is going on in this country right now as far as the job market, the wealth inequality/outsourcing/low wage jobs are the only jobs…Further, you don’t have much of a clue on how “Great” it is to have to ask for assistance/be on assistance. It sucks and no one grows up thinking “Golly, I can’t wait to grow up, when i grow up I want to be on welfare!”

        • Dave Morgan says:

          If the woman is getting by on benefits, it means that the $1,400 IS NOT A LIVING WAGE. IT’S A PAPER ROUTE! The wealthy of this country have driven wages down so far that we’re being faced with financial destruction of families and individuals. The wealthy have this power because we sit on our hands and don’t vote. The day when we lose our TV sets maybe we’ll wake up. TV is the pacifier of the masses. Unless and until the masses remove the pacifier, they will continue to sink deeper into the abyss. The rich elite don’t even notice our pain and misery. They don’t see anything but FUN, FUN, FUN. They don’t know when you’re born, they don’t know when you die, they don’t know because they don’t care. They’re having too much fun being rich. You want to be rich? Be born to the right family. Try to work your way up the food chain on 8 bucks an hour. Work your butt off, skip marriage and kids, work two, three jobs, no time for college, just work, work, work. This is not the America I was raised in. I’m lucky. I got a low cost college education because at the time the country thought I needed it. And I did. Millions like me got one and it paid off handsomely. Today, if I was starting out, I would not have a ghost of a chance at success other than working myself to death and probably dying a lot sooner. The system is broken. The country is fast going downhill because it treats its people as COSTS…not ASSETS. That’s why the USA is going down. It’s going down more suddenly and faster than ANYONE could ever imagine because of two things.: TV addiction and an all-powerful wealthy class that controls everything – from interest rates to wage rates, foreign trade to car parts. They’ve used computers to box us all in and THEY HAVE SUCCEEDED. Welcome to the rat hole.

        • Lea says:

          Oh, “a woman was interview on a radio program.” Okay. Point proven.

          Did you even read the article? You are doubting statistics because you WANT TO. That basically makes you an enemy of the truth. How does that feel?

      • Hawaii1% says:

        People don’t want to work. Everyone I know who is poor is poor because they don’t have the drive to make the effort. They know the government will help them so they don’t work ass hard as they should. I have to hire and fire people all the time because its hard to find people who want to work, who want to show up everyday and make money. There are lots of opportunities but there are even more distractions. There will always be a huge gap between the rich and the poor but nothing is stopping you from becoming rich.

        • Heather says:

          Really? You are an ass. You’re probably one of those employers who dicks his employees around so you have a high turn over. It’s clear you either don’t know how to pick the right candidates or you don’t take the time to go through the applicants correctly to find the “hard workers.” There are tons of hard workers that can’t find good jobs because they aren’t out there where they live. So don’t generalize, because you are 100% wrong and it makes you look like an asshole.

        • Browneyes says:

          How did you get rich? Was it from working a $10 an hour job for 20 years because that is what some jackass says that you are worth?

        • Gayle says:

          Nothing stopping me from being rich? Really? other than there are no jobs available in the field that I am trained and licensed to work in.So I work – numerous part time jobs- often up to 12 days in a row before I have a day off. I am 61 years old. I am fortunate that I have my health.My children do not even know what the “middle class” is.

        • AKgrown574 says:

          One of the 1% living it up in Hawaii. I’m sure you know all about what it’s like to live in poverty and on welfare hahahaha…

        • RonnieRuss says:

          I understand how difficult it must be to have a business and feel as though you have an insufficient pool of labor to draw from. (Is your handle indicative of your location? If so, I understand how Hawaii must be a bit of an isolated microcosm.) I would propose this: There seem to be at least a dozen folks on this thread alone who profess to have advanced degrees, many years of experience, and a willingness to work very hard, but living in areas suffering a great employment deficit. Are you interested enough in seeking out quality employees to provide relocation assistance and provide a pay competitive enough to support the cost of living in Hawaii? (I know it is costly at times due to the challenges of its location.) If you are willing to spend a little more for that, perhaps it could be a win-win for yourself and some of the other folks posting here. If you’re not willing to “spend money to make money,” as it were, you may continue to be plagued with the lowest-common-denominator employees, for as they say, you get what you pay for.

        • bec says:

          are you a manager at macca’s?

      • Bruce says:

        The word you were looking for is “portrays” not betrays. To betray his ignorance would be to set aside his ignorance, which funny is not quite the intent of your post. To portray his ignorance would be to show like a portrait to the community his true ignorance.

      • AKgrown574 says:

        Amen to that. Seriously, well said!

      • JC Nomad says:

        We are told that in order to stimulate the economy we must give incentives in the form of subsidies and tax breaks and bailouts to corporations however in order to give the poor incentive we must take money away from them. Now let’s be very clear, the working class that makes up the middle class which is truly the segment of the economy that makes our system work is now mostly poor or one paycheck away from poverty. For 20 years a systematic plan by capitalist, fueled by Milton Friedman’s asserting that the only purpose of a “corporation” was to earn an ever increasing profit for the it’s shareholders, has pushed for deregulations by using ever expanding profits to buy the government. The wealth has flowed upwards (this year alone the 1% increased their personal wealth by $300 billion all the while extolling how we are being eaten alive by a socialist president dolling out entitlements to the poor) and with little inducement to share the wealth, corporations (acting as true capitalist) hoard money. The poor? We are debating the poor, guns, gay marriage, “Obamacare”, Bengazi because the marketing arms of the wealthy cleverly manipulates the media so we will not focus our combined attention on the real enemy. I pay about $34 a year in taxes towards welfare and over $1800 per year for corporate subsides and the military (ie: military contracts to corporations). Yes, some shiftless poor family is robbing me blind. This is not about equality of outcomes but more about equality of opportunity for all, rich, middle class or poor. And the Republicans and the Democrats are the machinery that makes this plutocracy run. Red or Blue they don’t care about you.

      • Paul Sutera says:

        Thanks for the great reply. The war on the poor is ridiculous. I am a 30 year IBM Engineer, and I am now jobless. I have a 4 year degree from an ivy league college. It’s tough out there. I know really truly poor people and most of these people talking about the poor – have not met any poor people. Or only know someone who is gaming the system. There are 3 people for every job opening.

    • Jazzopoly says:

      You sir are the problem, not the poor. That mentality is mythological crap and proves you did not read the article, or if you did, you learnt nothing. People do not choose poverty.

      • Paladin says:

        A sense of entitlement is one of the major problems in this country today. You should be rewarded when you work hard, make educated choices and continue to better yourself and those around you and the community . Conversely , if no effort is put in …don’t expect anything back. Even with an education,a job/career isn’t a right or a guarantee. Neither is government assistance .
        Relying on “Aid” to get buy for extended time or to get ahead is insane. It’s a proven fact that when something is given to somebody, as opposed to being earned/working for it, it will not be valued as much. Do people go through tough times? ..Yes. Do we have the ability to choose to make it better? YES
        I know personally from earning my education , making good $ working my way through a 5 year union electrical apprenticeship to becoming one of the millions out of a job on “unenjoyment” over the past few years.

        • Estproph says:

          So the poor choose to starve because they are entitled? Do you even pay attention to the words you say?

        • J says:

          Does a dad who works two minimum wage jobs work “less hard” than you? Does a guy who works as a janitor work “less hard”? This BS idea that hard work is the only way one gets ahead is a joke. You can spend your entire life busting your behind and not get anywhere in our current economy.

          • Paula H says:

            J, I completely agree

          • Big John says:

            I concur. My dad worked hard his entire life, not only at his regular job, but also fixing cars in the side yard, growing a huge garden in the backyard, and doing odd jobs for people — often for little or no pay as his customers were poorer than we were! All in all, I think the man slept maybe three hours a night. He busted his ass each and every day, and never got rich, or even middle class. He was born poor, lived poor and died poor.

        • Carole says:

          The “entitled” are the rich in this country who are gathering all the economic growth to themselves and not investing any of their wealth–and why should they? Bush and company (particularly the Supreme Court) have handed the country to them on a silver platter.

          • JW says:

            Bush is not the President dumb sht. You better look at your messiah that you voted in.. He now owns this mess and he has lied and committed treason over and over. It is not Bush but low intelligent voters like you!

        • koala says:

          They say we had a recession, I think we have had more of a depression. There aren’t the jobs that used to pull people out of poverty and there’s hardly any way for people to go to school….for what a job at Wal-Mart or McDonald’s……….#1 the jobs need to quit going out of our country – we made the corporations wealthy and this is how they pay us back. #2 people have to have a living wage…….there is inflation even if the government won’t admit to it – when was the last time you had to shop for groceries. Please do not wish to be poor or without work; however, they do need the help to pull themselves out of this problem. I can remember our country telling us in years past how we should save save save – it was best for the economy;;;;;;;;;;;today all they do is tell us to spend spend spend because it’s good for the economy…………..If you aren’t making enough to make your mortage (which you probably were when you bought the place) and feed your family then what do you propose. Damn man I’m retired and it’s getting harder to live on what I make – I thought about going back to school in retirement after working for the postal service………$15,000 is a lot for what I wanted to study and at my age I doubt I’d ever pay it back………so I tighten my belt a little more each month and hope it all works out!

        • Roxie says:

          So what do you call the banks who received massive bailouts/handouts in 2008 after practically screwing us all? Aren’t they the greatest Welfare Queens of all? It’s corporate entitlements that’s the problem!

        • RDenning says:

          I agree that a sense of entitlement is a big problem. Bankers feel entitled to huge bonuses when they wreck the economy. Corporations feel entitled to dump their pension obligations in bankruptcy. Politicians feel entitled to lucrative lobbying careers when they leave office.

    • Zhushika says:

      Yeah, tomek that must be it. Brilliant deduction and spoken like a true Rethug who thinks he/she is the only one trying to better themselves or are willing to work. I’ve only gone to the Master’s level trying to improve my skillset and worked during getting my degree. And I have no job and facing homelessness. But YOU..You worked harder than I or so you think. Moron. And quit blaming President Obama. First of all address our President correctly and second, tell the Rethugs in Congress to get out of the decisions that women are supposed to be making for themselves and quit trying to defeat a Supreme Court backed program (aka ‘The Affordable Health Care Act’) WHICH DID NOT make people lose their jobs and then tell them to PASS A JOBS BILL which President Obama has been begging them to do from the start of his admin.

      • Ron says:

        A lot of people are trying to better themselves, but the sad truth is alot of people are not and are content with the lifestyle being totally dependent on taxpayer supplied handouts give them.

        There are very little full time jobs being created for 2 major reasons. We live in a global economy and the labor costs in America are the highest in the world on average. Second the cost demands on small to large businesses are forcing most to have jsut part time workers to avoid crippling costs for health care.

        Womerns personal decisions? If it is about sex, I am in favor of the govt. keeping away from that decision. No one but the woman should have to pay for her decision to have sex and then have someon else pay for her contraception. That is called being responsible for the choices you make.

        If its abortion– Sorry that is a human life that is snuffed out. It isn’t a potential human life- it is a human life!

        as for the PPACA- it was sold to the Supreme Court as a tax- but sold to the American public as NOT a tax but a health plan–Who was PRES> Obama lying to????

        It is the private sector that does the job creating not the govt. The govt is only good at creasting taxpayer paid jobs and this president has shown a lousy record at spending over $1.5 trillion to hire people for “shovel ready jobs”. The more taxes that are confiscated from Corporations and the wealthy, the less money is available to create new products and new dem,ands to hire more workers thus increasing the spiral to ever increasing govt. dependency with less tax money to pay for the increased demand. There is a balance between taxation and non taxation and this president is far to the left of that balance. Purposely so and not to benefit this nation. He said it himself.

        • Heather says:

          Seriously? I’ll wait a second while you put your tea down. Not taxing the % 1 of the population currently holding the wealth in this nation are the huge companies and executives screwing the country over! Are you high? They are the worst government parasites! Who the hell makes 3 billion a year and doesn’t get taxed for it; and does not call that a handout!? You self entitled right wing pr*cks, that’s much would taxes be on 3 billion? How many things could that help fund? A ton more than someone who is working 2 part time jobs and living in a hotel room because they lost their house! Your ignoranc makes me sick.
          And the healthcare act was screwed up by the insurers. Thelaw states there are 10 basic health benefits that must be covered. Many basic policies with the insurers don’t cover all of them at the prices being offered by the government. So INSTEAD of meeting or adjusting the policies the insurers cut them. Becausevthey wowouldn’t make enough profit including them. The insurance providers did this you idiot, not the government. I will let you get back to your tea now. As you do not have a vagina I will not even speak to you on women’s issues. You can’t even begin to comprehend them as you have the inability to relate.

        • Paula H says:

          Our greatest period of prosperity was a time when the government did create public works projects and in the public and private sectors unions were strong, wages were good and benefits were great. At that time the upper end tax rate was in the 90 percents. Guess what? The rich still got rich. Right now the taxpayer is subsidizing Walmart and Exxon and GE. They are raking in billions and pay back virtually nothing. The developer of FaceBook makes $6 million a day. Really, did he do something so valuable? Does he work so hard? Certainly hedge-fund managers do nothing for society and reap huge rewards, then park their money in the Caymans and pay little in taxes.

        • Morgan Last Name Withheld says:

          First off a fetus is NOT ALIVE. I know because I had a baby. Yep it came out of me. Until one can come out of you SHUT UP ABOUT IT.

          Second “birth control” is a MEDICINE contraception is actually a side effect. It’s intended effects are to regulate and control a womans menstruation. I know because I got on “birth control” when I was 15 after a 16 day long period where I lost so much blood that I could barley walk and was doubled over in pain. I lost my virginity at 17. If “birth control” was just what you thought I was on it for two years at $50 a pop for nothing right?

          Third I agree about the ACA. It should be single payer since no one should die of treatable illness.

          Lastly it’s actually not the privet sector that create jobs. In all the times conservatives want to go back to government was a HUGE employer. We’re struggling now because we’re cutting government jobs. Trickle down doesn’t work. The more tax brakes we give the fewer jobs there are. The more companies and the rich pay in taxes is directly connected to how well the country as a whole does. The less they pay the worst off we are.

          Sir your wrong. In EVERYTHING you said here and I’m pretty sure if just about everything you’ve ever said. So please stick to fox news. No one there has any intelligence and you’ll fit in just fine.

          • Ben Parsons says:

            Talk about wrong – every point.

          • Heather says:

            Ben you are wrong on every point. You do not have a vagina thus your opinion is not only based strictly on beliefs and view points it is invalid. You have no way to fully comprehend the situation. Piss off.

    • Ash says:

      You’re naive. Our family is just below the poverty line. With one of us having two masters degrees and the other having a doctorate (but currently being a medical resident) and having two kids under school age.

      • hello Ash [ good evening] my dear madam the country who think himself claiming in the world that we are chaimpen of piece and poverty, We are contracter of freedom all over the world, our nation has no economical problem but your statement open his reality how he used nation money and lives in Viatnom, now on Afganistan. Acually his all efferts and promaise are fake. Neither he is ready to accept his fault specially ecomically nor without strong proof low mentality specially in politics. He wants to become MASTER all the nation of the world, GOD will one day announce his judgement, how he killed poor and innocent people all over the world and keep his nation poor

        • Bob says:

          Hey, Buddy.
          Please use spell check and revise your first draft; meaning read posts over before submission. It would greatly help your fellow readers understand what your sermon is about.
          Many thanks,

    • Right. They LOVE being hungry and cold. Great life, alright.

      (Jesus . . .)

    • Stephen Healy says:

      yawn, I am sorry that analysis is now too tired to compute. yes, I am sure that the majority of the population is just as lazy as you say they are.

    • Dan says:

      Yep Tomek, 80% af ENTIRE POPULATION is the problem. Its NOT a systemic flaw of systematic cynical volture / greed mentality, or an obvious flaw of uncontrolled capitalism it self. Off caaaauuuse not.

      Lol.. U american neocon’s are simply amazing in your intense denial of even MASSIVE problems. (Created BY Necons / PNAC during the Bush tragedy / presidency.)

      80% of an entire COUNTRY just need to be “More competitive”..i dont know where u sip ur propaganda from, but i hope you will consider another pusher.

    • Nquez says:

      Though that may be true for some people, the reality is that MOST people who receive government aid do NOT want them and are ashamed of receiving them, especially because in order to get them you have go through hell and beyond and be treated as less than humans. Some of the aid even impedes you from getting a better job because the minute you get paid 1 more dollar per hour, the aid is cut even though you still wouldn’t be able to survive on that minimal salary increase. Believe me, there are very few perks in the aid they give out. It’s more paperwork and headaches than anything else. I know people who had to miss work repeatedly just to get the assistance they needed which made them lose their job and now need even more assistance! A lot of these people work full time and still cannot afford to survive on their own. How about increasing the minimum wage so that some of these people can make enough money on their own to live on in the first place? Look at McDonalds, for example, they deliberately pay their grown workers (who have families pf their own) less than a living wage, and when they need help, McDonalds tells them to go ask for food stamps and other government aid, i.e., we the tax payers are paying their employees’ wages! Those kinds of policies should end. If we work together to better the circumstances and opportunities offered to the working class perhaps we wouldn’t need such a big government aid program in the future.

    • Van says:

      Not true for most people. I have 2 part time jobs and still need foodstamps to make ends meet.

      The reason it’s so daunting for some people to enter the job market is because the jobs available are low paying and tend to overwork you, and thats hard for people who have families.

      Lack of wanting to increase one’s skills may have something to do with how expensive schooling and training is, but I may be wrong.

    • Red says:

      What job in the competitive market? That’s the problem, the economy is going down the tubes and it’s getting harder and harder to find steady work. The old belief about there always being work if you really want it, has fast become a myth. For the lucky ones who aren’t feeling the pinch yet, it’s probably hard to really understand.

      • Cathy Godair says:

        With rent, food, and gas going up constantly, and wages remaining the same, it’s a constant battle from paycheck to paycheck. That is the working poor dilemma. There was a time in this country where you had a little extra spending money to by clothing or maybe go out to eat once in a while. Not anymore. The whole has been dug a while now, and no one is trying to help us climb out of it.

    • resa says:

      Can’t get enough of that government cheese. So yummy.

    • Luke 10:25-37.

      You sir, had better hope there is no Hell.

    • I have been sharing food with the hungry for over 30 years. Most of the people who eat with us have not only one job but often several jobs but still can not afford to feed their families and pay their rent. Many others not only have jobs but once owned their own home until they were forced out through the use of the TARP program. The increase in poverty and hunger of children who are the largest group going without is not because they have no jobs. What three year old should be expected to work for wages so low they can’t rent an apartment. Really. Wake up Tomek. Did you work full time before your started elementary school?
      We are getting many more people at our meals that have not eaten in a week because so many people are forced to depend on food banks and soup kitchens to survive. I can not count the number of times people have made statements like yours only to come back a few years later to say they too became hungry and desperate for no fault of their own. Please feel free to contact me when this happens to you. I will be happy to share food with you and your family.

    • Tom Jelen says:

      You really need to get a grip on how economics works…those without incentives…you think stay poor because of the opulent lifestyles they are able to live…ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT!!! Look at Scandinavia…very prosperous…not as homogenous as once believed…free education…I mean FREE well as stipends to students, not infinite loans…mandatory 6/wk/vacations, free health care, free child care, free early childhood education and a population of those numerous countries that are working and deeply satisfied…you insult minimal intelligence with your ill though-out gibberish! I’m only going to post this one comment! No need for trolling, obviously! The American paradigm is broken and MUST be fixed! Capitalism IS NOT THE ANSWER!!! IT IS THE PROBLEM !!!

    • Estproph says:

      That is stupid. You think people would rather stay in poverty than actually try to make their lives better. Maybe you’re that lazy, but the rest of the world isn’t.

    • Jaf54 says:

      Perhaps more education might help….You…from saying such stupid stuff…..

    • Rhett says:

      Perhaps there are others ,such as I , that are disabled and CANT compete in a JOBLESS MARKET, that has to rely on this governmet to survive!

    • Fay says:

      For your information, not everyone getting free food are freeloaders. I know someone that her husband has been looking and applying for jobs, goes to the interviews,and not get the job. As for her, she is currently trying to do a mail order course to get a good paying job (and they almost lost their food stamps away because she was going back to school, but yet if she had a full time job and was doing the same schooling, it would have not been an issue). She lucked out that her schooling course was self paced and she could not be counted as a full time student. Oh and she is 1 of 2 drivers for her extended family of 7, so she is always on the go to get them to appointments.

    • Joseph L Johnson says:

      I know several people with degrees in physics and engineering who cannot find work. Most of the tech jobs are now in China and India. You cannot argue that the amount of middle income jobs has decrease as we sent work out of this country and allow unlimited competition in the market with foreign goods that do not provide worker protections that we have. We cannot compete with foreign countries that use slave labor and provide poor working conditions. Nor should we.

    • only_my_opinion says:

      Wow…..I attend college full-time and raise two children who are both in school. I get little assistance from their father who I am still married to, and soon to be separated from. I am trying to better myself so that eventually I can be a TOTALLY INDEPENDENT WOMAN, not having to rely on a pompous ass male to help raise my children, as so many other women choose to do. I would rather struggle alone and yes, feed my children with food stamps rather than have them subjected to a shoddy home environment. I never wanted or planned to be in this situation, but life happens. People need to stop being so harsh on others. Unfortunately it’s only until they are handed the shit basket that they too realize that not everyone is out to abuse the system. People like you suck. Point blank.

    • CharKi says:

      Not completely true in your statement…both of us are in our 50s, I was laid off including 120 others due to ObamaCare in 2010, and he was self employed and the housing boom occurred…I was on unemployment until it was cut off short…we lost our land and both of our homes…because of our age, even though they won’t say it, we are too old to be hired….we have lived in a travel trailer for three years now. No payments, no car payments, we have two vehicles, and we are living in another state because where we live, over 200 people looking for jobs in a city with population over 17,000 …. what I’m trying to say, we have been living under poverty and we do not have welfare, food stamps, unemployment or any other things because why? We do not qualify…we both have part time jobs to barely make rent….we have grandchildren and would love to get them something but we have to becareful with our finances….poverty, if its from these free programs, I’m glad they work for some one…oh yeah we don’t qualify for medicare or medicaid….we both would love to run our own business but don’t qualify….I am grateful that we are not homeless.

      • CharKi says:

        oh yeah, almost forgot…we don’t even qualify for ObamaCare…I got a letter that I didn’t have to sign up because I live under poverty and do not qualify…interesting….such a large population and we are where the government wants us to be controlled…are you satisfied where you are and how you live?

      • McIntyre says:

        “I was laid off including 120 others due to ObamaCare in 2010”.

        I call Bullsh*t. If you were laid off in 2010, it had nothing to do with the ACA (Obamacare), which really didn’t go into effect until this year. In 2010, businesses had no idea what kinds of costs would be associated with the ACA. So we’re left with two scenarios: 1) you were laid off and this was the excuse given. – and you were dim enough to believe them or 2) you’re a troll.

      • Paula H says:

        In 2010 no one was laid off due to the ACA, which only kicks in starting 2014. I do not believe a thriving company lays anyone off.

        Also stop thinking the government wants to control you. You are the government PARTICIPATE in our democracy. Use it or lose it. It is multinational corporations that want to control you, keep you undereducated and underpaid. This is the time for working people to stand united.

      • MSKBY says:

        First of all how was the ACA responsible for your job josses when it was not yet in effect in 2010? Secondly, if you are not qualified for the ACA because of your low income level, and you aren’t qualified for Medicaid – blame the Republican governor in the state refusing to accept the Medicaid expansion.

    • says:

      I work in the RV industry, at the same company I was laid off from in 2008, doing the same job. I am actually earning less money than I did then, and my insurance is twice as much as it was before. I do electrical work on the units, which I have been told by our HR person is unskilled labor, yet mistakes can cost lives, due to fires in the units. The employers are able to jerk people around and set their own rules, because people are so desperate to work at all, they will take anything they can get. My husband and I are considered ‘at the poverty level’, with both of our incomes combined, and no children. How does that work?

    • Paula H says:

      People with Masters degrees are having trouble getting a job. India is producing the most highly skilled mathematicians and engineers and they work for much lower wages, even when given an H-1 visa to do that work in the USA. There are not enough jobs. Outsourcing has stripped our manufacturing sector and now it is stripping our white collar jobs.

    • Your absorbtion of the arguments of the wealthy to keep us all in our place would defy belief if it were not such a prevalent philosophy drilled into voters’ mind to keep them from voting for issues that concern them.

    • Ronv says:

      Food is a “perk” now? That says a lot.

    • Rachel says:

      If only welfare were that good, to even come close to providing folks with enough comfort and stability to lose all motivation for work…then we might have to worry! I’ve never been on welfare, but I can confidently place my bet that it doesn’t provide any kind of thriving lifestyle. It’s probably a common factor among those who are feeling the depths of pain and guilt as each day approaching the holidays passes, knowing their children may not (or won’t) wake up to the Christmas their little faces so deserve, like any other child… SMH…I’m beginning to feel rage, disgust, and outright humiliation (vs. that immense gratitude people often talk about) for being American and living in this country. How do those few people who are hoarding trillions (or more?) sleep at night…how do they lie their heads down on that soft, expensive pillow, and not think about the basic needs and the inhumane suffering happening for so many others right NOW?? How?????

    • J Stewart says:

      If you are in the 20% who are not in poverty or near poverty that is wonderful. Good for you! The day will come when those who live in poverty or living near poverty will know it is time to act …taking charge of their lives and of this country. It won’t be a fake grass roots organization like the Tea Party….it will be a real grass roots. The landscape will change.

    • Jim says:

      This has been proven to be a conclusively false perception. Republicans would love for you to buy into this notion so they don’t look like they are victimizing poor and hungry folks when cutting funding toward funds that help the majority of recipients recover from a hard period in their lives that gets them back into the work force in a shorter amount of time. For instance, you can’t be looking for a job while waiting in line at a food bank. You can’t afford gas to go job hunting… etc.

    • MeMeMe says:

      You have probably heard that for a simple american citizen , getting a higher education today is simply out of reach!
      It is ONLY in that distant sector where you can find decent salaries!

    • Lea says:

      And perhaps not. Those are people’s lives that you are speculating about. Two things for you to consider, however:

      1) “Increasing their skills” is something that requires time (i.e. not working at temporary/menial jobs to avoid homelessness and starvation), training, education, etc. Sort of hard to do when you have no money. Very easy to talk about from a position of entitlement.

      2) Millions of people are looking for a job. As you say, the market is competitive. I would like to hear on what you are basing your assumption that these people are not looking. I happen to know many of them who are.

    • chrispy says:

      except that you’re simply parroting a myth carefully taught to you by the mega-wealthy using you as a tool in their class war against the rest of us–you included. Wanna cracker?

      • Ben Parsons says:

        Yeah. That’s right. The mega-wealthy are at war with the rest of us. When they win their wealth will be worthless. But they’re too stupid to know that.
        Jealous foolishness.
        Industrious folks in seemingly hopeless poverty manage to pull themselves up all the time. That doesn’t fit the agenda of the perpetual whiners so it only occasionally makes news.
        Need to focus on getting rid of roadblocks to opportunity.
        Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio was recently quoted; “Hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but it sure improves your chances.”
        Lots of good young people waste their youth on frivolity. Once they wake up as young adults, the opportunities for self redemption need to be wide open to all of them.

  2. seraphina gonter says:

    How’s that ‘fundamental change’ this president promised you workin’ out, exactly?

    • Jim says:

      Not well, maybe if republicans would stop obstructing everything INCLUDING a vets back to work bill… we’d get somewhere. I don’t love the guy either, but there are plenty of reasons to spread around the blame.

  3. Earl says:

    I blame on Obama for that. He promise for jobs. But what I has seen he did… shut down NASA cost people’s jobs. Create Obamacare cause company to laid people to cover fee, and many others.

    • Blame who? says:

      Shaddup. Blame Bush for putting us in this. You really think one president was going to reverse the pile of sh*t Bush put us in? Be realistic and stop putting blame on a president that gets NO help from GOP because they want to ruin him.

      • “Shaddup.” The classic words from an Obama supporter. Five years on and still blaming Bush.

        • Paula H says:

          The President proposes and Congress disposes. I have issues with our President, but he can do little because our constitution has given congress a lot of power and the executive branch limited power. My issues with the President are in areas he does have power, as commander and chief. We need to get out of Afghanistan and then have a lot less money going out. We need to stop the upcoming trade deal the Trans Pacific Partnership, watch out for that. Our bad trade deals have killed jobs in the USA. How is it that the very wealthy can off shore their money to avoid taxation? Do not blame the poor.

          • David Gaines says:

            Are you kidding me?? One of this president’s prime directives is to DITCH Congress and use his personal executive powers, if given a chance. He is on a course of destroying this county as we’ve known it. Yes, there were issues with Bush, but many of the problems now have little or NOTHING to do with Bush. Good gosh, Obama could serve for 20 terms and some of you idiots out there would STILL be blaming it all on Bush! Quit drinking the tainted kool-aid and wake up! And NO, I am NOT a Repub, but thank God I’m not a blind, mindless leftist-lib sheeple either. If you want to continue bowing down to your ObaMessiah and hold him accountable for nothing, and keep believing he loves this country and its people, go right ahead. Such are those who will babble nothing but praises over BO until all has gone down the toilet forever. You will probably STILL hold him blameless, or maybe your eyes will suddenly be open, but it will be too late.
            And before someone pulls the racist card, I couldn’t care less if he’s black, half-black or whatever. I’d accept a president that was orange, purple, green or polka-dotted, if he had true integrity and a love for the USA and its people. You want a black president? I’d take Allen West or Mia Love as president in a heartbeat! And … go ahead and bash my post, but you WILL NOT change my mind (you know, that thing YOU claim to think and reason with, but fail miserably at doing so). If you do have one, it’s guaranteed that it’s CLOSED!!

        • Estproph says:

          Of course the poor did not exist under Bush.

        • Jaf54 says:

          Actually I blame the low IQ morons who put the Bush regime in power for 8 years….

        • McIntyre says:

          “Five years on and still blaming Bush.”

          That’s because the damage done during Bush 2 will be with us for decades.

          Yeah, I know. Truth hurts.

    • Van says:

      This problem is much deeper than the policies put forth by a president. Perhaps this is the result of a large scale scam created by the banks to increase inflation and lower the value of our money.

    • Creating jobs by using tax dollars is non-productive.
      Additionally, you are dead wrong. NASA is alive and well. What he did was get rid of our antiquated space shuttles.
      Check newspapers from The Treasure Coast to The Space Coast and learn something, like the schedule for ongoing and routine space launches.

  4. We are one of those families. My husband had a great job, untill he was injured at work. The company stood by him for 2 surgeries, 1 a complete knee replacement. A year and a half of physical therapy, and then about a week after the surgeon released him to go back to work they let him go. Bye bye income desperately needed for a family of 7. Bye bye desperately needed insurance. I am disabled, FibroMyalgia, R.A., and post Traumatic Stress disorder. 4 of our 5 kids are teenagers, my husband is a veteran, we are on Sec 8, and we pay $840.00 0f an $1100.00 rent. My kids all have Title 19, and I do to, as long as I spend over $3400.00 a month first. They have reduced our food stamps down to $100.00 a month, part of the reason that I have dropped 3 jeans sizes in the past couple of months. Even with going to the food pantry, sometimes there is just not enough. Just 1 of my 7 prescriptions is $234.00 plus change for 1 MONTH, that is 1 of 7. My husband served this country for 8 years and we can not even seem to be able to get that little hand up out of the poverty ditch, and every time we seem to be crawling out on our own, government comes along, and kicks us right back down. Just wanted to share. Thank you for reading.

    • NM_Patriot says:

      I am very sorry to hear that you and your family are struggling. You are not alone. There is a revolution coming, but it is going to be a long time before any real change is seen, I fear. In the mean time, please try to do all you can for yourselves and others. Start growing food at home. Here is a good website….

    • Zhushika says:

      What state do you live in? There’s definitely insurance and food stamps still available for me and mine in Arizona and we’re about as Rethug filled as a state can be. I sympathize with you and I can relate but you sound like a person who should be more than eligible for benefits. The Affordable Health Care act does help those who can’t afford insurance; there are states who’s governors, in an attempt to make the program and the President look bad (they’ve admitted to this) that they are refusing funds and help. So really, we need to go after the real crooks and stop blaming a President who, unlike the last two administrations, is actually trying to take care of the US public. DEMAND that the Corporations and uber rich who are ripping the country off by not paying a DIME in taxes PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE! Good luck dear. I do wish you much better times ahead and that you find help. You certainly deserve it.

    • Nquez says:

      Thank you sharing that. I hope people can learn through your experience and see that it really isn’t your fault, or the fault of those in similar situations. (And I also hope somebody, you know like our political leaders, finally do something about it!)

    • Paula H says:

      It sounds like you qualify for Medicaid, that will at least help with your healthcare expenses.

  5. Bob Walker says:

    It appears to be a world wide problem. What we need is a world wide solution to this problem.I think for the benefit of all people, we need a socialist system. people of the world unite…

  6. Cathy B says:

    The first few comments reveal how much the people of our country have been brainwashed into thinking the problem is with people who have very little in this country and need the help that politicians are eroding every day in their quest to make everyone believe this is the problem. The real problem is not social programs or Obamacare. The real problem is tax loopholes for millionaires,billionaires and corporations in this country that take billions and billions of dollars out of the tax account that could be going to built the middle class back up. It was after all the middle class, the worker bees who did the hard work that made these people rich and their greed will one day destroy them too. These are extremely sad statistics for a country that is said to be the richest in the world.

    We need term limits on our politicians, cut their perks, cut their benefits such as golden health plans, cars and housing paid for, huge office accounts,a golden retirement plan and huge pay for working 1/3 of the year and doing nothing but preventing our country from moving forward just because they are having a lost election hissy fit. They are getting exactly what they want from the American people to have them turn on each other and complain about helping those less fortunate when doing so would improve our economy. While we are busy hating our neighbors who need these programs to get back on their feet and contribute once again to our country they are reaping huge windfalls from their positions, windfalls,subsidies and more and getting away with it. When the people of America wise up and see what is really going on and stop back biting the people who are really only one or two rungs down the ladder from themselves and go after the rich fat cats who are really the welfare queens of this country then our country will once again be the great country it was in the years of our greatest growth and accomplishments.

  7. rebecca smith says:

    Some of you Americans are just plain stupid – for a start, you think it acceptable to pay adults $7 an hr. How can anyone advance themselves on paltry wages like this, working 2 jobs (if they are lucky) to keep their heads above water – when will they find the time to study or have the spare cash to pay for tuition? Don’t blame Obama – blame the neoliberal economic system that has reduced all but the mega rich into units of production – of which he is but one. Universal health care creates jobs (I live in Australia) and means ppl like Rose (above) do not end up scrounging to pay health bills and scrimping on food. I have a masters in law, am a lawyer and more – but despite a plethora of qualifications and experience I too find myself unemployed. Which training course do you recommend I take, Tomek?

    • Joaquin says:

      If you were as smart as you seem to believe you are, you wouldn’t have such a feeble grasp of economics.

      Minimum wage increases produce an inflationary response.

      • You are indoctrinated to believe this to keep the top 1% of the wealthy investors in their place, controlling your mind and destiny.

      • Josh Weinstein says:

        That is a gross oversimplification. It is only true if there is a finite amount of production, with no accompanying increases. And the fact is that we add a lot through worker productivity gains and automation each year. So, the idea that there is no more money for workers is untrue. Unless, of course, you consider yearly profit increases of 15%+ to be a necessity. Why not have a profit increase of 10% and let the workers share the 5%? That is not socialism. Paying your workers so little that the taxpayers must pay for their medical care and their food is socialism!

        • Duda says:

          More competing companies would bring down those prices and share the wealth to the workers in that way. An increase in wages simply brings the profits to those who outsource their work. Money is just an exchange medium. Raising wages just skews the system. It does not create any wealth. If you want wealth you need to work hard and produce more.

          • Josh Weinstein says:

            When worker productivity increases, wages should also increase. But companies have been very successful in increasing productivity with almost no corresponding increase in wages.

            Let’s say you are making guns. You produce 5 guns each day and are paid $50 per gun. Over time, you find ways to make guns more efficiently. You also decide to work harder and you are thus able to make 10 guns per day. Should you now be able to charge only $25 per gun?

            My guess is that you would still want the $50 per gun.

            You are correct that there is usually competition, so a company making guns might be able to charge only $40 or $45 per gun in the example above instead of $50 per gun. Still, there is more money coming in. My position is that SOME of that money should be shared with the people who actually produce the guns. A rising tide should lift ALL boats. THAT is the American way.

    • Duda says:

      Most Chinese get paid 2 dollars an hour and the cost of living there is 3 times as high. They are surviving. And that’s an example of where living is easier. Try a place like vietnam or cambodia. You think you have it hard? You’re a fool. Americans are just greedy.

  8. Zhushika says:

    Sorry for the grammatical errors. I too am suffering due to the stress of these times..But I know the roadblock and it isn’t our President. Watch Congress for a week (rather than Fox News or Rush Limpboy)and you’ll see the real blocks to our prosperity.

  9. homle says:

    This is the Obama agenda, plain and simple. Democrats want more poor people because poor people are often hoodwinked into voting for them. They get on foodstamps and then they think only the Democrats will give them the foodstamps. Democrats have never wanted to create jobs; they only want more unemployed potential voters.

    • Lila says:

      OMG…So, you seriously think that most people are so stupid as to sit around wanting food stamps??? And that there is a conspiracy amongst the Democratic party to encourage people to want to live in poverty? That’s the most absurd thing I’ve heard all year. How dare you insult the integrity, dignity and intelligence of the American people like that. You might like the idea of having to use food stamps to eat…but most people find it humiliating and would much rather pull out cash they earned themselves. Yeah, it’s true…! Imagine it if you can.

      • Victoria says:

        thank you! working as a volunteer for an area meals-on-wheels program, I see no delight or satisfaction in those who are unable to provide for themselves. So many choose between food and medication…and so far behind on bills. So very sad!

    • Paula H says:

      You are just plain watching too much Fox boobs. It is the Republicons who do not vote to stop corporate welfare, who will not raise the minimum wage, who thwart efforts to stop the wealthy from off-shoring their money to avoid taxation. It is the Republicons who deny climate change at our peril. Oh yeah, that’s the real game changer.

    • stephen says:

      Really? Just because they enjoy being in office? Obama is not up for re-election so that doesn’t make sense.

    • McIntyre says:

      “This is the Obama agenda, plain and simple. Democrats want more poor people because poor people are often hoodwinked into voting for them.”

      I want some of YOUR drugs.

    • AKgrown574 says:

      Seriously, this entire thread is ridiculous. Who ‘effing cares if it’s the damn Democrats or Republicans to blame?!?! What difference does it really make?! It is wrong and something needs to be done! Stop arguing over insignificant details and do something about it!

  10. Chris Spencer says:

    I tinker its sume that the US cant get a brain and kick this punks out of office we put thim thar and we can take thim out

  11. Benoir says:

    It’s so bizarre that rusted on neocons and sheeple don’t realize how back to front corporate America is when compared to welfare. Put simply, if adults were paid sufficiently (both in $ and hours they are paid for) then you wouldn’t need to subsidize them with govt aid and food stamps. The real beneficiaries of welfare programs are the ruthless corporates who exploit the arbitrage of what they get away with paying employees and the living costs being subsidized by American taxpayers. The real welfare in the USA is corporate welfare, your banks, car manufacturers, fast good and service industries are all suckling from the public teet, thanks to a largely gullible population controlled by fear (tv news) and crazy religion. Yes, another gaping hole on your tax system is that churches rake in millions and billions yet pay no tax, nor are they scrutinized for their financial behavior. Start again Tomek, the game is rigged and most Americans have no idea how to play it.

    • Duda says:

      Or if people were productive enough for What they are paid the cost of living would be much lower and you wouldn’t think that you’re poor. Yes, our government is corrupt and they help our corporations but the people are also lazy and worthless in this country. Can you believe that we can spend four times the money for what we are worth because of China? You complain about poverty now. Just imagine when the Chinese market is no longer funding your demands. You will crumble with the very high prices due to the lazy output of the American population. Poor people here are wealthy. They are too greedy to realize it. Go overseas and see for yourself. The Chinese work for a quarter of the wages and yet cost of living is3 times as high. Good luck living without their hard work.

  12. Yawn says:

    Many commenting here are liberals who think the able bodied are obligated to support every freeloading leech who puts their hand out for the freebies. Who truly thinks McDonalds is a career choice? When the leeches prove their true worth, and bring in profit that benefits the whole company, then they deserve a living wage. Sorry, but stocking grocery store shelves and flipping burgers does not bring in appreciable profit to justify huge wages. I’m sick of reading about the business illiterate thinking paying everyone a “living wage” with insignificant return income for the business makes sense. All inflated wages brings is hyper inflation of the entire economy, this has already been proven time and time again.

    • Paula H says:

      Really? So it’s alright with you that people work a full time job and can’t make enough to live without help? Demand creates jobs, money in people’s pockets creates demand. Inflation is low on my list of things to worry about. Raise the minimum wage and see a lot more money flow into our economy.

    • Purdy says:

      Obviously you still have a job that pays and no defendants. . Call back in 4 months and let us know how you’re doing then.

    • manny says:

      Many of those you may see now flipping burgers or stocking shelves have education and had good jobs at one time before downsizing.
      I know plenty of people who have continued education (whether Masters, or PHd) who still cannot find jobs that will cover all expenses.

      All it takes is a few unfortunate events to happen back to back for you to trade places with those in that posiiton. I thank God everyday that I am able to provide for my family.

    • stephen says:

      MOST people who come across hard times only put their hands out in desperation and are ashamed to do it. Think if it was you, I’m sure you would be embarrassed to show food stamps at the grocery store. Believe it or not most poor people struggling are the same way, they have pride. Of all the people who “take handouts” there are a small percentage that take advantage and become lazy. Most are hard working people with pride who have run into a wall, which happens in life. You are living in a Randian dream world that does not exist any more, the myth of upward mobility, working your way up from McDonalds to what…a start up business in a bad economy, expensive schooling? Minimum wage workers are there increasingly because those are the only jobs available. “justify huge wages” ??? We’re talking about a few dollars more an hour. As Henry Ford said, pay the workers well and they can afford to buy his cars! That is what stimulates the economy.

    • McIntyre says:

      “Many commenting here are liberals who think the able bodied are obligated to support every freeloading leech who puts their hand out for the freebies.”

      Ah, the “let them eat cake” response.

      Don’t lose your head over this.

    • Heather says:

      So cooking and serving the food you buy and putting the products on the shelves for you to grab is NOT creating appreciable profit? Where do you think the money comes from? Not their degrees on the wall. The worker bees, honey. Without these people flipping burgers and stocking shelves there is NO appreciable wealth being made! No available product = no profit. Go back to shooting up or whatever you do to deny the reality of the world’s existance. Because clearly you are delusional about how wealth is made.

    • Cathy Miller Carroll says:

      So, they should fire all those flippers and stockers, wonder how much profit they would make then? And with even fewer people with a paycheck, how many are going to be buying? That is the foundation of a sound economy, consumers with money to spend. The corporations are going to have to do with a little less profit.

  13. madmama says:

    So many of my friends who had great jobs are living on the edge right now. They didn’t suddenly get lazy, but lost their jobs when businesses figured that they could hire younger people for less money. Just try and get a new job when you are almost retirement age! Savings go very quickly when you have no income at all. Plus, many of us are taking care of our parents, and our adult children, who are struggling as well…

  14. Lorraine says:

    This is terrible, NZ is the place to live. yes we do have poverty here but hey no medical insurance required unless you want to go private, I pay very small amount rent for a reasonably good home and we complain about our government all the time for this that and the other but in many ways they do look after us, i’m not a big earner but somehow I manage to survive each week,

  15. Cassie says:

    Let me sum this up in an easy to understand summary: I know a 24 year old girl who has a 6 year old and just had her second child (2 different baby daddy’s) she is on “the 5 year plan” as she likes to call it, meaning every 5 years she will have another child with a different baby daddy. (You get more child support if you have different baby daddy’s vs. more children with the same baby daddy.)

    The 5 year plan keeps her on the welfare rolls, with monthly cash benefits paid to her, food stamps, section 8 housing, WIC, Heap for your heat and electric, OBAMA cell phone, medicaid and and all this increase with each child she pops out. There are special buses to transport her to and from appointments,cab fare for trips to and from appointments also.

    In her words, she has no intention of going to work – EVER – she would need a job that pays $20 – $26 an hour to replace all the freebies, yeah freebies that we get up at 5, 6 and 7 am everyday and work 40 + hours a week for.

    Her most recent 27 year old baby daddy is on the system also so double the freebies! Isn’t this messed up? Only in America Aren’t you glad you get u and go to work everyday?

    • MBD says:

      That may work for her child support, but there is a life time MAXIMUM of 5 years on welfare since Clinton in 1996. If she’s telling you she gets welfare, she’s lying. As well, child support counts as income which reduce her benefits during those 5 years maximum she could draw from the system.

      • AKgrown574 says:

        Finally someone with a brain. Do some research on the laws related to welfare before eating up a story like that one. Though played right, some people do get away with set ups like those, though some of the details are improbable. And yes, you are right. 5 year maximum in your lifetime, with certain exceptions. And yes, child support would drastically reduce her level of benefits.

  16. ken says:

    Obama wants as many people dependent on the government and is doing everything he can to make it more comfortable to be on welfare, he even gives illegals food stamps, they have signs in Mexico come to America and get food stamps no one will ask about your citizenship. What people fail to recognize is the money will run out or the value of the USD will be so low that all these people dependent on the government will see their benefits cut and only those that are loyal servants of the government will get any handouts at all and it will be too late to remove the democrats from power because they will own a vast majority of the voters. The same exact thing happened in Cuba, Venezuela, USSR, N. Korea and other places. People are like a frog in a warm pot of water that’s temperature is increasing slowly and slowly and before you know it you are stuck in a boiling pot of water left to die. It has been the goal of mankind for thousands of years to control its population and American middle class is the most powerful group of people to ever inhabit this planet and the liberals are doing everything to make them extinct. They want power and your money and will lie, cheat and steal to get it. The only people that have the best interest of the American people is the Tea Party and that is why they are vilified by liberals an Rhino’s

    • Tiamariacat says:

      Exactly Ken. You have that bygone trait called foresight. And it’s funny that the very same middle class taxpayers who gave up part of their paychecks every month for decades so that others could sit around doing nothing, are the one’s now being vilified. It’s called biting the hand that feeds you. Well, guess what? You may think you have ‘one up’ now, but that money represents your shackles. And the goal is to get as many people in ‘shackles’ as possible. They have been working hard to add as many middle class to that group as they can.

      Once the money of the middle class is gone(and it’s almost gone now), guess where they go next? That’s right. They go to the poor that they’ve managed to keep entertained & appeased by passing out checks. You’ll be a much easier group to manage since they will be able to control your very lives, everything from where you live, to how much food you get to eat. The smart fight to stay out from under this. Some not so smart THINK they are outsmarting the system when in fact they are handing themselves over to become pawns.

      Question: Taxpayers are not going to bleed money until there is nothing left. What happens when more & more taxpayers decide to give up their citizenship, move to other countries or if states start seceding? Think about the answer long & hard.

      NOTE: ***This is directed to those who actively choose to make a living off (those stupid)taxpayers. This has been going on for decades,it’s nothing new. Only those who live this lifestyle by choice will ‘blow up’ so to speak. And I would also like to remind some ‘defenders’ that many of us have already been there, myself included. I know what it’s like to go hungry while watching people who have absolutely no interest in working walk out of the store with 1 or 2 full cart loads of food (gluttony)that I am required to go without to help pay for. Those who have worked & struggled to earn a living only to get crushed by this administration will know what I am talking about. To those people I say keep fighting.

  17. Rorke says:

    You can’t be anti business, anti success and pro big government and expect the private sector to thrive. You can’t legislate economic strength. The best the government can do is get out of the way. And they are not willing to. The best welfare program is a thriving economy that creates good quality jobs. Obama has chosen ideology over the economy.

    • McIntyre says:

      “You can’t be anti business, anti success and pro big government and expect the private sector to thrive.”

      Of course, if you are pro-big business and pro-big government, as the GOP is, then letting people starve is the perfect response to a healthy and growing country.

      Oh, and as for Obama wanting to grow dependence, government shrank on his watch, unlike his predecessor. Also, deficits always rise with Republican Presidents, and drop with Democratic Presidents. Blaming the black guy may be easy, but it only makes your arguments obvious and empty.

    • Linnea says:

      Ayn Rand called. She wants her poorly-conceived ideology back.

    • RolloMartins says:

      The very best government can do is promote fair wages and opportunity, as well as limit monopolies. They might also think about reducing the influence of corporate lobbies and influence peddling. Promoting better education is also a must as is health care reform to bring us into line with the rest of the world. More Wall St regulation, more pro-green regs and legislation would also help. Remember, corporations do not create jobs; demand creates jobs. A nice increase in minimum wage would be a help.

  18. beeta says:

    By the time Obama gets through with us we will all be on welfare.. that is is agenda… always has been. Everyone belong to the Gov. and obligated to the Gov. because they are feeding us and paying our bills. Just as the Dems, liberals, and Obama wants it.. Change you can count on…transforming America!!! yeow..

  19. Frank says:

    Welfare is a safety net, not a hammock ! Welfare recipients should have certain time limits until they must get a job so that they do not make a career out if being on welfare. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day…teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.

  20. Ex MislTech says:

    1. The politicians are puppets on the potomac, they are owned by
    the ppl who make the real choices. CFR, Bilderberg, Trilateral
    Commission, Club of Rome, etc etc…

    2. It should be illegal to sell goods in the US that violate US
    safety laws of EPA, OSHA, etc etc…

    3. It should be illegal for thieves on wall street to run a
    numbers racket and commit fraud, they should have all their
    stolen money confiscated and then barred from doing that type
    of work for life. $32 trillion was wired out of the US by
    the collective fat cats after the last couple of “lootings”.

    4. Divide and Rule is a technique used to keep the public at
    each other throats instead of looking at the thieves robbing
    the country blind, and blocking GMO labeling because they
    want it to kill ppl….

    5. We have 73 different types of VISA’s to bring in cheap labor,
    we have an open border in the south that has brought in 30+ million
    Mexicans who have it worse down there in part due to a drug war
    on the US border where US taxpayer money has bought weapons
    for drug lords via “Fast and Furious” and “Gun walker” operations.

    6. Sibel Edmonds was fired from the FBI for telling the truth that
    the Taliban and Al qaeda was on US payroll.

    7. Terrence Yeakey a OKC police officer was killed for what he
    knew about the OKC bombing in 1995.

    8. Chris Dorner was framed, and lied about for what he knew about
    the LA police dept, read his wiki entry about helping the Korean
    church in Kansas and you will know his real character.

    9. Michael Hastings had his mercedes explode “before” it hit the
    tree, and he was killed because he was about to leak information
    similar to many other leakers.

    10. google -> “Room641a” , “MK Ultra”, “Operation Gladdio”,
    “Operation Northwoods”, “REX84”, “Operation Garden Plot”,
    “HR 645” , “The Georgia Guidestones”

    Its time to wake up ppl….


  21. Drg says:

    Reading these comments, it’s clear how out of touch with reality so many are, especially those that seem to have all the answers. Is it because they’re entitled themselves? Or were they the fortunate ones who were eventually lucky enough to be rewarded for their hard work?
    I left a “comfortable” job 10 yrs ago to “better” myself through continued education and field experience. While working numerous odd end jobs, I completed a Masters and Doctorate.
    For the last year, I was unemployed, “shamelessly” needing to collect unemployment. Now I find myself in a more concerning situation:
    After organizing an excellent resume and putting applications out there, I still can’t find work…why?
    1. Because the higher end jobs that I’m now qualified for keep giving me the excuse I’m too young and need “more” experience.
    2. The jobs similar to what I left 10 yrs ago (and yes; I’ve applied for those as well), won’t hire me because I have too much education and experience…and don’t want to pay for me (after all, they could hire 2-3 people who just graduated with their bachelors for what they would have to pay me).
    Luckily, I found a job. Although I’m grateful to be working again, It’s paying me less than my first job with less experience, that I had 10 yrs ago. I also work 2 separate part time jobs. I currently live in section 8 low income housing, am trying to pay off the debts I occurred while being unemployed, and have student loan reps calling me almost twice a day, because I can’t afford to pay them anything after bills and rent have been paid.
    I just hope that eventually all that “improving myself and hard work” that so many are saying people don’t do, pays off…because this life is a struggle I never imagined having to face…after working to “better” myself.

    • mike says:

      Dumb idea to go and get that worthless masters degree. How much did you pay for that piece of paper to hang on your wall that has zero intrinsic value?

    • Defiant says:

      You don’t get rewarded for hard work by luck. You must be working hard at the wrong pursuits…

    • Duda says:

      When everyone gets an education and there’s no demand for it, this is what happens. In Europe it’s even worse. It’s better to be a butcher in France than to be a doctor. It’s supply and demand. Our government may tell you that everyone can be a doctor and rich but that is so wrong. Our government is stupid and unfortunately you were sucked into the take loans for education to better yourself scam.

      I got am engineering degree and I didn’t even use it. I’m doing much better on my own in business. I also travel the world a lot and have seen quite a bit. You’re in a sour situation but there is much worse and trust me, the excuse that you’re in America and it should be different is not valid. The USA is doomed to collapse sooner or later and all of this bickering will be in vain.

  22. A Soldier says:

    WOW, just wow. Reading some of the comments in here, I’m really shocked how stupid and ignorant some of you people are.
    Firstly, I’m a Soldier. I signed up to be a grunt in the National Guard. Yea, it’s a freaken job, but do you even know how much it pays? For an E3, it pays squat! Especially if you have to commute too and from drill. Also, unless you serve 180 days consecutive, you don’t get any sort of health care. None. Not even if you were injured during training. You are not considered a veteran at all, even if you have served for Four years or more.
    Second, you try having a job while suffering from multiple disabilities. Actual disabilities. Employers will not hire you if you are disabled, and if they do, you won’t keep that job for long. At least where I live.
    Thirdly, WHAT JOBS? There are no jobs here unless you are a registered Nurse, or had numerous years of experience in a particular field, which many people do not because you have to have the damn experience to be hired! All that’s left are the crap jobs like WalMart. And my disability limits me from working with the public. So that’s out of the question. Gee, where are these jobs you speak of??
    Now, I’ve also taken classes to get my degree for Pharmacy Tech. Is it cheap? No! Luckily I was able to get the Pell Grant, which paid for it, but not before I had to pay out of pocket expenses before it kicked in. So yeah, I’ve been working on my degree, so I automatically get that job? What world do you live in?
    Social Security Disability? VA disability? Yea, I’ve been fighting them for half a year now. I couldn’t even get on SSI because I had $100 too much in assets to qualify. Limit is $2,000. I was living off that money.
    While going to school, I couldn’t get food stamps unless I had a full time job! Juggle 15 credits and a job that doesn’t give a sh*t about your education and schedules you for test days. Yeah, that’s a real winner right there.
    So you know what? I’m freaken thankful that I can get the assistance I have, my SNAP benefits. I’m no longer stressed that I’m going to starve each month, though I have to tighten the budget to make it last for two people. My husband’s working a part time job, and that doesn’t pay worth a damn, and the hours aren’t worth talking about. He applied for a network tech at a school district, but they still haven’t gotten back to him. He’s been working with networks and computers for most of his life, and ya know, there’s been two postings in our area for those types of job this year. Oh, there’s a big job market out there for that all right!
    So you idiots screaming that we’re taking advantage of the system, shut your hole. You don’t know me, you don’t know any other person who’s having to rely on SNAP, or other benefits to help them get through the month without starving or going homeless. Go back to the damn hole you crawled out of.

    • Biggd4355 says:

      Were going to have some jobs near Memphis. Scab pay and no benefits. That’s the way it works in a right to work state.

    • Hp B says:

      The government has a solution to this.
      It’s called illegal immigrant Christian soldiers!

    • Defiant says:

      MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY people abuse it. Maybe not you. But I’m REALLY tired of supporting them.

    • Dave says:

      Your in the Guard but have disabilities that prevent you from having a civilian job??? As a DAV myself I can tell you be prepared to wait much longer then 6 months for a VA check, mine took 5 years. As far as jobs go there are many jobs listed everyday on monster, most require skills, and some require relocation but you have to do what it takes to survive.

    • Duda says:

      Food and housing is all that’s a necessity. In many other countries people need to live with three generations to get by. The concept of government aid is an excuse to stay in luxury living.

  23. SingleM(..)M says:

    You know , Not all of us welfare people are popping out babies some of us actually have a reason to be on it.. Of course those that are on it are either sale their food stamps for cash or they get Fib which is money grant from welfare… I’m one of the few that I get welfare , Yes I’m ashamed but its puts food in my baby’s mouth .. I’m also going back to school .. Trying to get my High school Diploma so you can rag and tag all you want but not all of us go our popping babies , Not all of us sale our food and not all of us are drug users to get cash for a coin bag… Some of us are trying to make ends meet with what we got and we take pride in what we got… I save what ever money I get and No i don’t get childsupport .. My child father wouldn’t put a dime in paying for any of his medical … And his medical costs.. So Ladies and Gents never judge a book by its cover… It might not be what it seems to be..

    • bpdtweet says:

      The reason you are on it is because you can’t figure out how to use contraception (probably from the lack of education since you are still working on getting that HS Diploma), got knocked up with some loser’s kid who can’t even pay child support for some reason, and are now another statistic on welfare that the rest of us are paying for. Thanks. Seems exactly like it seems to be to me.

  24. Ben Parsons says:

    A primary problem with gubmint programs is fraud.
    Those criminals are stealing from the needy and the taxpayers alike.
    Proponents deny it exists, but I read news stories every day.
    Mike Rowe is right. We have abandoned vocational education/training. It’s a real part of the problem of shifting work overseas.
    And as explained by another post, if one can make more money watching soaps, why work.
    We don’t need to increase minimum wage for entry level work. That, obviously, reduces those entry level opportunities. We need workers with a modicum of talent/training and ambition who can advance.
    And we need jobs that have advancement potential.

  25. graeme sutherland says:

    I can hardly believe some of you folks arguing about politics, the left & right red and blue thing is a huge SCAM a New world Order a THEATER production to fool the masses into thinking their vote means something. WAKE UP ITS ALL BS!! THE masonic ellite OWN everything both sides all the news networks, hollywood banks, big business etc etc… WAKEN UP!!!

    • Paula says:

      Cynicism and lack of participation kill democracy. Although it is close, it’s not dead yet. Get active, get involved, vote and get out the vote – email & call your representatives. GET MONEY OUT OF POLITICS. Your attitude is tantamount to surrender. Change is incremental and slow – it took women 100 years of consistent struggle to get the vote. Before you blame everyone else, remember we have extremely low voter turnout and even lower participation. Things are dire now – the climate issues alone should get we-the-people moving.

    • Duda says:

      Actually this fight has been going on since the beginning. You have the pyscho puritans against the drunken liberals. That’s just a split opinion in the country. But the media has taken over the discussion to keep the American populace tricked. It’s one genius system. Way better than what the nazis did.

  26. brad says:

    The funniest part of this whole comment section is that most of the people claiming that higher education and hard work are the key to success, or that it’s obamathat is to blame are also the ones that have grammatical errors in their comment, spelling errors, and an obvious lack of education

  27. Lindsey says:

    Personally, I believe that small business is the answer. Do not apply for corporate jobs. Work for a small business. You are ALWAYS more valued and treated better, especially if you have talent. You ALWAYS have a chance to move up. You are in then in contact with other small business owners, all of whom were once like you. They are ALWAYS more helpful and will give from their hearts to their employees. They will then help raise you up to their level so you can continue the cycle. All of the years I worked for big corporations were miserable and I felt worthless. Every job I have had with a small business, even if my individual manager was lame, has been MUCH more rewarding, both financially and spiritually.

    • Tiamariacat says:

      I too have worked for large corporations & have now moved to a smaller company for the first time. It took a bit of work dumping the corporate mindset but I enjoy it much more. It’s more human. I say take it a step further & start your own business. At this point in my life I am fed up with the entire corporate world. Plus, with companies moving abroad & government meddling it’s a smart idea.

    • Duda says:

      Very good. But if you want small business to beat the corporatism, you need to fight the political system for giving them the edge. Only the big companies can afford to keep up with the FDA, DOT, OSHA, EPA etc… these agencies are out of control to keep the small guys out of business. It’s a monopoly which must be reversed to bring back competing companies and thus restore prices and good wages.

  28. Dennis says:

    If you want jobs back in America, quit buying products built in China, Taiwan, etc.
    We wanted cheap goods, so the work went overseas.

    • ShaunMarie says:

      “We” didn’t want cheap goods. Cheap goods were what was offered. Try buying anything these days – from Walmart to Gucci – or any computer, mobile phone, or computer device made – that ISN’T made with slave labor – no matter HOW MUCH you are willing to pay.

      • rejco says:

        Apple’s IPhone manufacturers have nets around their buildings to catch their employees trying to commit suicide due to horrible working conditions.

      • Duda says:

        That’s what happens when you have a population that doesn’t want to work hard to keep their costs reasonable for the market. It’s only good business to go overseas when costs are too high here. And you’d be a fool to not buy those goods simply for the sake of not supporting them.

        Walmart has never been quality. Before they went to China, they set up office next to all of the big American manufacturers and dictated the prices to them in order to be in their store. What you got was a drop in quality on the American made goods. Fast forward to now and you have China taking on that task since they’re the best at it. China can make quality parts and they do but you need to ask for it. The same goes for America. Most of the stuff I’ve bought in theusa for my business has been poor quality or priced way too high for so little gained. China is much better than usa made products because the usa doesn’t want to lift a finger.

        • ShaunMarie says:

          No – that’s what happens when the tax code is restructured in such a way as to encourage short term profit taking over long term investment. That’s what happens when you tax capital gains at a rate so much lower than labor. That’s what happens when you provide tax incentives for corporations to offshore, and remove import tarriffs when they send their outsourced product home. That’s what happens when corporations are allowed to ignore such things as slave labor and human trafficking, allowing such corporations to use children, prison labor, etc in violation of all human ethics in the name of the so-called free market.

          Finally – as to a population working hard to keep costs reasonable for the market. Poppycock. If wages rose in relation to productivity, the minimum wage would be something around 21 dollars per hour. Why should the laborer starve and be unable to care for his family while the CEO class walks away with billions in bonus money? Why should any CEO earn hundreds or thousands of times more than his average employee – while the worker is blamed for being greedy for demanding a living wage?

  29. Grace says:

    If your going to be upset about welfare, then your displeasure has to be assigned to those companies who’s profitability is *based* off of knowing that gov will supplement their workforce’s wages. It amounts to yet more, and ongoing, corporate welfare subsidy. You get angry at those in poverty, but I would remind you that your Walmart cashier and/or your McD’s drivethru worker are legally eligible for assistance. Why? Because their bosses profits depend upon it! Are you ok with that? Really? If a company is making a profit based off the time & services provided by a workforce, then that workforce HAS earned the right to share in that profitability via their wages. It should NOT be taxpayer’s responsibility to supplement the wages of Anyone’s workforce while they are enjoying such incredible profit margins. You want to be angry about welfare? Good!! Cuz so are its recipients! Now aim your anger where it belongs. ONLY then, will you begin to address the issue that has caused the welfare rolls to explode.

    • Jess says:

      So apt. It’s true that the companies allowed to have their workers feed themselves on government benefits are the ones who benefit most. Lord knows, being on welfare or SNAP is NOT luxurious for the workers themselves. It’s a huge hassle to apply for and barely enough to squeak by for most who receive it. Plus with all the social stigma we don’t often want to stay on it anyway.

      I had a cashier try to shame me in front of the whole store for using SNAP benefits when I had them. Ugh.

    • Duda says:

      If you dislike big corporations pulling huge profits then fight to remove legislation that helps big corporations keep their monopoly m wages go up when there is a demand for labor. Prices go down when there is competition. It has nothing to do with the assumption that the government is going to take care of the workers. They”pay less” because there are no other companies fighting them in the market who will pay you more to get your very hard work ethics. In a free economy, everything balances as it should. But when you let the government manipulate it, you have favoritism to their buddies and an unfair market.

  30. Julian says:

    Although USA is impoverished compared to what we used to be, nobody suffers like the poor, and the poorest of the poor dont get any welfare except foodstamps. Many of these people are homeless and have made their allotment of quarters for social security. Foreigners are pouring in and competing for jobs and getting plenty of free tax funded bennies to boot. Tent cities around the country are mainly populated by white native born Americans. And as for the rich? Many of them are so clueless it’s almost as bad if they were on welfare. None of this is accidental, it’s part of the bring down of our land from within. Same thing happened in ancient Rome. We are an extension of that empire and now history repeats itself practically to the letter.

  31. Yet approximately half of these people will vote against their own interests every damn election.

    • FoolishOwl says:

      Closer to 100%. Both major parties are simply fundraising machines, whereby corporations bid for politicians. They differ only slightly in strategies for suppressing dissent. One gives with one hand and takes it back, with interest, with the other; and the other takes with both hands.

    • Approximately half of the people know what’s going on and the other half are just stupid? And they argue over which half is which. Survey says: nope.

    • Defiant says:

      Guys like Martin Screeton, above.

    • bpdtweet says:

      That completely explains why we decided to put a bunch of Republicans back in Cap Hill (who did nothing the entire last legislative session), all the while legalizing recreational and medical marijuana and gay marriage in the same election (something Republicans are typically against). Talk about a clueless and bi-polar electorate.

  32. AKgrown574 says:

    Some of the comments are downright disgusting. Really, none of these little things you are all arguing about matter in the long run. The numbers alone should be enough for everyone to wake up and smell the damn coffee. The gap between the rich and the poor is staggering, and it is only growing. Those who can’t see that are nothing more than ignorant schmucks, or part of that small percentage that aren’t living paycheck to paycheck and struggling every day. Kudos to those of you willing to stand up for yourself and your reasoning for needing assistance. Things just aren’t what they used to be, and nobody should be ashamed for needing a little help from time to time. I have been off all forms of assistance for some time now, though I eat top ramen and frozen pizza half the time, owe upwards $5,000 for medical bills, have no insurance, no bank account (I owe them $650 too) and literally, $5 to my name until payday a week away. Even come pay day, I will have money in my pocket for a few short hours until I pay all my damn bills. If I still qualified for assistance, better believe I would not be ashamed to accept it. I am one of those that falls in the just a hair above income limits category. Point is, those of you saying people on welfare need to stop being lazy, accepting hand outs and get a damn job, I truly hope someday you get to experience what it’s like to ask for that hand out. To need it to feed your family. Do you really think people enjoy walking into that public assistance office and admitting they can’t afford to feed their children?! Sure, there are people that take advantage of the system, and boy do they ruin it for everyone else. That doesn’t mean that everyone else should be judged based on some idiots actions who fraudulently accept benefits they aren’t qualified for. That’s like saying all Germans are evil scum because of Hitler. I haven’t had a chance to read all of these comments, but better believe, once I do I’ll be posting again.

    • KrisTal_K says:

      The really horrible thing is , you have a job and yet you can’t make it payday to payday… That in itself shows the problem with this country.

    • This “condition” was not just by chance… it has been engineered for 35+ years starting with the Reagan administration to destroy unions, keep wages to a minimum, authorize CEO’s to legally be able to fire all their employees and start over at less wages. Reagan did it himself when he fired 14,000+ air traffic controllers that threatened to strike… when he did, he sent a signal to every business owner in America that they too could do it … and he placed two of his henchman on the national labor relations board to make sure that there was no “trouble” with lawsuits. It all started in the early 80’s… and slowly but surely turned into the horrendous underpaid workforce we have now, which, by the way, is killing this country and its people.

      • mike says:

        Lol – Martin…. you are an idiot. It started with the federal reserve in 1913. Unions are made up of mostly high school grad losers who need to suck on the teet of productive americans tax dollars in order to survive. They are a bunch of whiny cry baby losers who need to collectively bargain and throw their weight around as a group to get paid for the largely worthless “work” they provide If you think they are underpaid than you should thank your corrupt government for not ending the Federal Reserve because that has destroyed the dollar and prices inevitably go up. Too bad if so many stupid Americans can’t hack it on their own and can’t feed themselves. I certainly don’t want to pay to feed losers like you and all your union buddies. I’d sooner see you die off than get one cent of my hard earned money to feed your stupid face.

      • sgtsmacks says:

        Written like a good Democrat. Come on Martin, tell the truth! “Reagan fired 14,000 air traffic controllers who “threatened” to strike.” Really? They walked off the job Martin, and Reagan gave them 48 hours to return to work, or they would be fired. They refused to do that, so living up to his word, he fired them. The union wanted a $10,000 yearly pay raise, plus shorter work hours for it’s members. There were initial air travel delays, but no where near the problems the unions said they were going to have, as Reagan brought in Air Force air traffic controllers, and between them, and those that stayed on the job, had air traffic up and running near normal within a short period of time. Lack of jobs, is what is killing this country and it’s people right now, and you cannot convince me that the unions have not been a big contributor for those jobs that have left our country.

        • historyteach says:

          sgtsmacks, you are incorrect. The scabs that replaced the professional air traffic controllers under Reagan – who did fired them – were complaining about the EXACT same problems within a year! In short, the air traffic controllers were correct in their assessment of the problems. Reagan firing the controllers made air travel more DANGEROUS for people traveling on planes! The controllers were over-worked, tired, unable to keep up with the demands of the flow of planes, in the air creating a danger to everyone who flew. In the end, these scabs got the raises and the decreased hours that the air traffic controllers wanted to begin with — something the public was not made aware of. Try becoming informed! Reagan screwed the American worker all the way around. He did indeed signal to the “boss-man” that they could indeed treat the workers like chattel. Witness American worker conditions today as compared to during the highest economic period in American history — the 1940s – 1960s! (The ’70s saw the rise of OPEC and concomitant inflationary period due to oil prices being played with by OPEC et al — including American collaborators.) Yea, it was, indeed, Reagan who started the downfall of America! Read it and weep — or learn your history!

        • Paula says:

          Unions are a large part of what created the flourishing middle- class that we used to have. The bargaining teeth a worker has is the STRIKE. And yes, Reagan was the obvious beginning of the demise of the middle-class with the vilification and breakup of Unions.

        • Kathy Stuart says:

          There wasn’t as much trouble as was expected because most of the controllers were quietly hired back within the next few weeks. Have a relative who was in air traffic control and lived through this one.

        • JSB3 says:

          So you are ok with Reagan firing 14,000 people from their jobs? I bet if president Obama were to do something like that your head would explode! There is NOTHING WRONG with workers wanting good pay and benefits!!! NO ONE WANTS TO WORK UNTIL THEY DROP DEAD! And we all have family to feed and bills to pay! Lack of jobs are killing the country? Really? You hypocrite! 14,000 people who had jobs lost their jobs because of saint Ronnie! You had no problem with that! Unions didn’t contribute to the loss of jobs! Companies can still make money and have unions and union benefits. It is only companies that want to purposefully exploit people that leave the country and use workers who barely make 2 dollars a day or less in other countries! That is not union fault. That is greedy CEOs and stock share holders fault. CEOs that get exorbitant compensation packages is harmful to the business and is poor business choice! It even drags shareholder returns down! Yet you blame the workers that want descent pay and benefits. What ever put your head in the sand.

          • disqus_zLY0jsDmax says:

            I honestly agree that there is a ridiculous imbalance of power and resources in the US and the entire world. However, comparing presidents of the past with the present just doesn’t jive. Don’t compare apples and oranges. Reagan was not the president of just left or right. He was everyone’s president as other presidents were before him. This partisan divide is a modern phenomenon. There was always opponents battling it out but, once elected, the president belonged to everyone. Doesn’t happen these days. Reagan was reelected with more than 90% of the vote. JKF – who had to fight the terrible prejudice against him because he was the first Catholic president – was mourned by EVERYONE, not just democrats. Neither would ever happen today. Politicians were in no way so able to divide the electorate as they can now – probably because on the internet all of us idiots get to attack each other ad nauseum. It does not bode well for the future health of the Republic that we can no longer have civil debate. Sad that the younger generation will have to live with the consequences of all this terrible division. Too sad that people can not get passed their bias to realize that the only thing that ever creates prosperity is when both sides put down the gloves and listen and respect ideas and synthesize them to come up with the best solution for everyone.

      • Duda says:

        Receiving more money for less hours does not boost an economy. In fact, it does the opposite. Why not pay everyone millions to do nothing? Because there would be no goods or services to buy. stop playing the money game and think about the good in the work you do. Can you honestly say that you produce enough goods or services to match what you have? Instead of working, could you use the same amount of time to produce everything you have yourself? If not, you’re overpaid. Some Asian person is giving up their goods in another country so you can have it because of the United states money scam. It won’t last forever and your whining is not helping. Get your hands dirty and work hard to produce as much as you can if you want to talk about wealth in this country because this country has no wealth with the lazy workers of the United States

    • Defiant says:

      I watch Judge Judy. You might have some legit complaints there…but they ARE DEFINITELY NOT ALL LIKE YOU! At all.

    • Eileen Kuch says:

      A good deal of these problems you mention are the result of failing border security (20+ million illegals took advantage) and free benefits for these illegals who, btw, are NOT eligible. Immigration laws MUST BE ENFORCED; period. Employers who don’t check potential new hires’ backgrounds (including immigration status, which they’re required by law to do) must be sanctioned accordingly.
      Far too many illegals are stealing jobs from both US citizens and legal residents – jobs wherein most unemployed would qualify. Revoke those benefits from these illegals, and you’ll see them returning to their original homes in a flash; then, you’ll see the poverty level in this nation drop.
      Additionally, abolish the Dept. of Education and return responsibility back to the states and local communities. For the past decade or so, schools have been changed from centers of learning into those of indoctrination. The US used to be among the top five in student achievement in reading, math and science; now, that’s down into 20th or lower in those required subjects.

      • Paula says:

        Don’t blame immigrants, you are progeny of immigrants. Don’t blame the poor and don’t blame the Dept of Education. It’s robber baron corporations, the plutocrats, who are polluting the environment, democracy and the media.

        Unbelievable that you think we’d do better with science education letting Podunk Alabama/Kansas/Kentucky etc. (sorry Podunk) set their science curriculum.

        • Eileen Kuch says:

          It’s not legal immigrants who are the problem, Paula; it’s those who enter ILLEGALLY. Immigration law is quite clear. Any foreigner who seeks residence here MUST apply for a visa. If you wanted to move to Argentina, you would have to apply for a visa to live there. There’s nothing complicated about that; and, anyone who enters a country illegally must, by law, be deported.
          The huge problem both the US and EU have is the failure to enforce immigration laws. We have a huge population of illegal aliens in the US right now; and that’s because the laws have NOT been enforced. These ILLEGALS are draining our economy; they’ve stolen jobs from both US citizens AND legal immigrants. Get it?

          • Duda says:

            The illegals are actually boosting our economy. They produce goods and services for a very cheap rate for us. The damage they do is only to the tax system, which is unfair and broken and that’s why it’s even a problem in the first place.

          • Eileen Kuch says:

            Hello!! If illegals were truly boosting our economy, the poverty rate in the USSA would be far lower than 47%. Illegals don’t belong; they broke the law by not following immigration procedures; that is, not applying for a visa.
            Second, employers are forbidden, by law, to hire illegals. They’re required to check potential new hires’ immigration status to ensure that these candidates came here legally. If employers knowingly hire illegals, they can receive heavy fines; they can also be imprisoned and their businesses shut down if they continue hiring illegals.
            The reason employers have hired illegals is for cheap labor. They pay these illegal workers very low wages (in cash, under the table) and offer no benefits. This is also illegal, and punishable by heavy fines, imprisonment, and loss of business.

          • bpdtweet says:

            Eileen, what jobs are the immigrants stealing? Are you talking about all those menial labor jobs like back-breaking working in fields? Maybe you are referring to all those housekeepers and maids all the white people are clawing at each other for? Perhaps, that nanny position, maybe? Please stop making me laugh so hard. No American (not matter their background or color) will take those menial labor jobs you are referring to being ‘stolen’unless that’s all they are trained for or know how to do, in which case that’s their lot in life and they deserve to be fighting with some immigrant over that menial labor work.

          • Eileen Kuch says:

            Apparently, you don’t get it. It’s not legal immigrants who take away jobs; it’s those who enter the country ILLEGALLY. Do you understand at all what an ILLEGAL ALIEN is? If not, go sit in the corner; and, here’s a dunce cap for you to wear.
            Your remarks are insulting to both citizens and legal residents alike, who are having difficulty finding decent jobs.

  33. Ben Parsons says:

    I honestly do not understand the relevance of the wealth ‘gap’ between rich and poor. It certainly exists – and according to some sources, is growing.
    So what? About the only thing it affects is the price of luxury goods.
    Overwhelmingly rich folks pay comparatively astronomical taxes. There are unethical crooks on both ends of the spectrum. Always will be.
    How does this gap, exactly, make the poor poorer?
    Jealousy? How does that help?

    • RonnieRuss says:

      The wealth gap is significant, not because of jealousy, but for two other reasons: 1) On a globally comparative scale, it signifies the general functionality and stability of a country. Countries with relatively low wage-gaps (The Scandinavian countries, for example,) are demonstrably more stable and have more consistent and trustworthy economies than those with drastically polarized wages (like the US or most third-world African dictatorships.) 2) If there is a significant wage-gap that continues to increase, that illustrates that a larger and larger percentage of the country’s overall wealth is held and controlled by fewer and fewer people. And while yes, a billionaire paying a 10% tax rate is in fact paying more money into the system than a schoolteacher paying a 35% tax rate, it is in no way a fair or proportional contribution to the commons. Observing the wage gap, particularly given the available statistics, shows that the overwhelming majority of the population has an increasingly tinier and tinier portion of the nation’s overall wealth to circulate. And yes, the wealthy do spend more money on luxury goods, but it is also observable that as more and more is concentrated, there is simply a limit to how much those very few people can spend, so financial gain becomes nothing more than a way to keep score, and an increasing percentage of the wealth of the United States- wealth that the workers helped to create- is not doing anything but sitting inert on someone’s balance sheet in hopes that he can add another zero to his personal net worth by the end of next quarter. That is how the gap “makes the poor poorer.” When tax laws gave business owners an incentive to invest back into their business or risk higher taxes on their take-home profits, CEOs saw the benefit of giving regular raises, increasing their staff, or improving their facilities. You give your employees a raise, then everybody has a little more to spend at the end of the day. (If you give 1000 working-class people an extra $1000 a year, it will ALL go back into the economy as quickly as it goes out. If you give one already-wealthy guy another $1,000,000, he’s gonna sit on most of it.) Hope this breakdown helps your understanding. It’s not in the interest of dragging successful people down, it’s in the interest of making sure there is anything left at all for the vast majority of people to keep the economy moving, because what a lot of people fail to realize is that just work or the ability to work doesn’t magically guarantee a living income will appear. It’s entirely contingent on the wealthy to provide that income, whether you’re an employee collecting a paycheck from your boss, or own your own business (someone’s gotta buy your product..) I also believe that many of the wealthy genuinely are unaware that they are abdicating their social responsibility by keeping wages low, keeping manpower understaffed and overworked, and outsourcing jobs. In the short-term they just see it as a way to increase their own bottom line, and it is therefore the smart and right thing to do, but in the long run it is going to utterly destroy the economy.
      Think of it this way: imagine a massive deadly flu epidemic. If the wealthiest 1% were able to stockpile 90% of the available vaccine in the USA- and maybe yes, they worked hard to get where they were, and maybe some of them have fairly large families to take care of, but really they couldn’t possibly use it all, they mostly just want to be able to compare amongst themselves which of them was able to get the most- and the entire rest of the population had to scramble and strive to divide up the last 10% of the vaccine. Not a very reasonable way to keep people alive, is it?

      • Ben Parsons says:

        Lotta words and hypotheticals and assumptions in your explanation Ronnie.
        I’d kinda have to buy into the ‘significance’ beforehand to accept it at face value.

        • Heather says:

          Well Ben Parsons then you are officially a well traiined sheep. These aren’t hypotheticals, nor are they theoretics, they are currently the economic hell hole %80 percent of us are living. If you aren’t then good for you. But the bulk of the nation right now is. Those are facts. If the top earners in industry were taxed as they should be, which would be based on earnings alone; we would all be in a much better financial situation. Government included. But they are draining the population dry. And no one except them, benefits from that.

          • Ben Parsons says:

            Ahhhh! The perennial socialist answer. Can’t argue with that.
            I just cannot make the math of the made up facts that support it work.
            Maybe if I had a little more indoctrination…..

          • Heather says:

            Ok Ben Parsons, Walmart grossed $447 BILLION in 2012 and they were taxed at a 9% tax rate. I made just under $12,000 in 2012 and I was taxed at a 30% tax rate. Now you do THAT math. I am NOT a socialist, I am an angry American!

          • Ben Parsons says:

            You have the wrong accountant Heather. The good news is for 2013 your tax base is between 10% and 15% before deductions.
            And the taxes paid by corporations (which, I agree need reviewed) are based on net (as they should be), not gross.
            And you’re ignoring that those profits are taxed again as income to thousands of employees including stratospheric management, other sub-corporations, and investors. So the 9% you quote is merely the tip of the corporate profits tax iceberg.
            60 years of cash social welfare has produced more poverty. Another well intentioned failure.

      • Paula H says:

        excellent Ronnie.

    • MURICA says:

      “Overwhelmingly rich folks pay comparatively astronomical taxes.”

      And behold, they are still rich. And the Ultra-Rich barely pay any.

  34. John says:

    The answer is simple. First put God first in your lives. Pray for your neighbors because you are a part of them and I am sure you can see the humanity in the eyes of a poor child. Second, stop supporting a broken system. Third, grow your own food and shop at local markets. Fourth, patch your clothing or shop at the goodwill. Fifth, help out another in need instead of passing them by; you may just be their last hope. Lastly, stop blaming one another and our government. Healing starts at home. Help your neighbors one day it might be you!

    • Rhonda Thissen says:

      If God answered all prayers, everyone in the world would be a multimillionaire and we would have achieved world peace generations ago. God is not a solution to our problems.

      • mike says:

        Rhonda – You are stupid. John said put God in your life first, help others, and good things will happen. He wasn’t saying pray to God for money you moron.

        • Rhonda Thissen says:

          Ah, yes…ad hominem attacks. That’s exactly how to get your argument across. FOAD, troll.

        • Shana DC says:

          The worst of part of the country is the most religious, the deep south. They have the highest poverty rates, crime rates, violence, out of wedlock pregmancy rates, divorce, drug abuse; pretty much every social problem. The best off part or the country with the lowest rates of poverty and various social ills is the Northeast, the least religious part of the country. Living in New England, it is peaceful. And I am surrounded by well educated people with good jobs and stable lives. When I visit my family in rural Alabama, everyone is fanatically Christian. And they live in shacks and trailers, it looks like a third world country, and the biggest industry is drug dealing.

          The best off countries in the world are in the Scandinavian and Benelux regions, which are overwhelmingly secularized. If you look at extremely religious countries, in Central and South America, Africa, and the Middle East, they are the worst places in the world.

          Putting God first in your life has no correlation to doing well in life and forming a well functioning, peaceful society.

          • mike says:

            Shana – The reason the happiest countries in the world are Scandinavian countries is because they have a cultural identity and live peacefully because over 90% of the populations there are white.

            When you have a country filled with millions of stupid blacks and mexicans you are going to have tons of drug abuse, out of wedlock pregnancies, poverty, and uneducated trash.

            Central America, South America, Africa, and the Middle East are rathole places to live because of stupid blacks, and hispanics. There are no white people in these disaster countries and that is why they are disasters

            New England is peaceful because of the lack of uneducated, illiterate, stupid blacks and hispanics.

            You are an idiot for thinking religion has to do with whether a place is a good place to live or not. And it has everything to do with a place being a disaster to live in if many people are black and brown there.

        • Paula says:

          Maybe god is within – so do something, get involved, get money out of politics. Pray while you’re on line to vote for someone who will raise the minimum wage and support MediCare For All.

    • igloonorth says:

      So, God is going to bring good-paying jobs back to the US? Bring it on God!

    • Harvey Henkelmann says:

      The belief in God is what motivated the hijackers on September 11th, 2001.

      The belief in God is what motivated Westboro Baptist Church to picket the funerals of fallen soldiers.

      The belief in God is what motivated the Ku Klux Klan to lynch blacks and hang them from trees.

      “You can’t preach the Bible without preaching hatred”

      — Fred Phelps

  35. Ally Brown says:

    Back in the 80’s I worked full-time, did the Navy reserve on the week ends and attended college full-time. I made almost $600.00 per month, lived on my own, had $25.00 a week for food, owned no car, and graduated dept free with $10,000 dollars in the bank. Yet I was below the poverty line for that time. I had hopes that getting my bachelors would change all that. That was when CD’s were making 6% up to 17% interests on savings accounts and you really did not need a credit card to live. Now, if not for my husband working, I would be living under a bridge. I lost my career when 911 happened and I have not been able to replace my job since. The employers did not offer stable work, were abusive and dishonest. However, because my husband works, I have been able to save all of my income from a small house cleaning company I started in 2002. However, I know if I am widowed I am up a creek without a paddle. Therefore, I have applied the same principles I used to get through college. We have no credit cards, our 2 cars are paid for, our mortgage is under $400.00 a month, I saved a years worth of mortgage payments and one years taxes, we go out 3 times a year and have learned to enjoy our home and time together. We have not been on a vacation. I grow and use herbs and have a regular home exercise program that helps me stay healthy. I dance, I taught myself to play the guitar, I take free online college courses with Couresea, I started my own nfp and speak out for that at Legislative assemblies (all for free). I grow our food and put food by. I save seeds, wrote grants to improve our property – got 9 of the 11 I wrote. I saved for school and will be able to pay for a graduate certificate, one AAS and one more certificate in a new career field. I taught myself to sew and I sew my own cloths. I enjoy drawing now as another means of entertainment and empowerment. I can do all this only because my husband is working, but I know many cannot do this. Yet, I am still just above poverty line after all the changes and hard work to remain resilient – it seems the Government keeps finding ways to take my entitlements for freedom and rights away – I can’t get far enough away from falling below the poverty line – after all these years of honest hard work I am not getting ahead – I am just lucky right now and that is all.

  36. Fritz Kohlhaas says:

    You can thank Obama for all the misery.

    • Rhonda Thissen says:

      Seeing as how Obama took office right after the economy crashed, we can’t blame him for everything. The seeds of our current economic system were planted before he was even in Congress, let alone president, and blaming him for “all the misery” takes responsibility for where it actually belongs. We are feeling the effects of 40 years of public policy that favors corporations and the wealthy, and MANY people had their hands in that particular pie.

      • mike says:

        The Federal Reserve enacted in 1913 is why there is a huge wage gap and why people can’t keep their heads above water. The dollar has become more and more worthless. Obama is just a stupid horror and low rent community organizer and street agitator that is used by the elite who really run this country to help bring it down further.

        You think Obama actually makes decisions? LOL. He is just the idiot there to sell ideas on the teleprompter because of how well he speaks, and because he is black and people can be called racist if they don’t agree with his policies. So then they can get the polices through.

        You think Obamacare was his idea? They’ve wanted universal healthcare forever. Obama was just the stupid idiot puppet to go up there make it sound all pretty, which no old crusty dude could ever do before to sell it to the people, who STILL rejected it when he went up there.

    • MURICA says:

      Yeah… don’t look in the mirror. It’s just one man’s fault. Totally.

    • Guest says:

      This started LONG before Obama buddy.

      Don’t get me wrong, I hate Obama too… but the economy tanked long before he took office.

      NAFTA was spearheaded by the administration of Geroge Bush (Sr.)

    • Harvey Henkelmann says:

      This started LONG before Obama buddy.

      Don’t get me wrong, I hate Obama too… but the economy tanked long before he took office.

      NAFTA was spearheaded by the administration of George Bush (Sr.)

    • Kuner1 says:

      Actually you can blame clinton on it. 1995 community reeinvestment act. That started the bubble.
      Bush tried to reverse some of it, when talk of a bubble made rounds on wall street, but the senate blocked him and he was too busy with his stupid iraq adventure.

  37. R. R. Roehl says:

    Wow! A capitalist pig dream come true!

  38. Petra421 says:

    The 1 thing that rarely is mentioned when comparing the present to the past is that in the 20-25 years following WW2, the US had no real competition. By the end of WW2, the US was the only industrialized nation with intact infrastructure. We had the most modern factories, a workforce educated by the CCC during the Depression, then by war. We also had the natural resources within our own borders… & the world needed everything to rebuild. At the same time, we had the Cold War, which tended to keep independent actors in line or minimized… & provided a great impetus to technological development & the willingness to put government money into that R&D. We had our cake & could eat it too.

  39. CharlaS says:

    In 1987 Maurice Strong and a few other United Nations enthusiasts wrote the Agenda for the 21st Century, aka, UN Agenda 21. This document was adopted by most the world’s countries to ‘save the planet’ from humanity. A determination was made by the elite and their supporters that human population needed to be significantly reduced and that THE MIDDLE CLASS HAD TO BE ELIMINATED BECAUSE THEIR LIFESTYLE IS NOT ‘SUSTAINABLE’. What you see is the result of implementing that plan. There is a return to poverty globally in more affluent countries with wealth transfer to the global elite so they can better control the serfs.

  40. James Tuttle says:

    As a person of poverty, a college grand who looked for 2 years for a job and had no luck. I have to say I wouldn’t be surprised at these figures although I would like the references on how you got to these statistics for my own further education. The new American royalty has indeed squandered away much of the wealth that once made this nation great and I’m sad to say my relatives who fought back in 1776 would be ashamed to see it come to this point. I foresee this period of time to come will be the turning point in American history to which we either choose freedom or continue on the path to fascism that we have wandered down these last 30 years.

  41. Hunter Nash says:

    The solution to it (at least in part) is NOT to tax the rich but to UN-tax & DE-control EVERYONE.

    • MURICA says:

      Tax the Churches, the Rich, Big Business, Nationalize the banks, and health care industry… and watch you tea baggers whine like school girls, and throw temper tantrums.

      • CharlaS says:

        People will stop donating to the churches who now help a lot of people. “Let the government do it”, they will say. The rich will move their money overseas just as so many did under FDR’s 90% tax time. A lot more people will refuse to work (this is already happening) and where will all you free loaders get somebody to pay for your free ride then? STUFF has to be paid for by somebody and if ‘somebody’ stops feeding the tax man, how you gonna get blood out of a turnip?

      • Kuner1 says:

        Or we leave to russia and watch you rot. Which we will do soon enough anyways

  42. ponce says:

    If 80% of the entire U.S. population is living near poverty or below it then that means that people making up to $101,500 per year (80th percentile) are living “near poverty”. I want my bridge card, where do I apply?

  43. steveranden says:

    There are no such things as “food stamps.” They got rid of those ten years ago and replaced them with a refillable, plastic debit card. The name of the Food Stamp program was changed to SNAP, and all legal references to “stamps” and “coupons” were replaced with “card” and “EBT.”

  44. prettymeadow says:


    In my life I’ve been sad to hear,

    those that don’t care about others, their message is clear.

    “Pick yourself up by your bootstraps” I hear them exclaim,

    they care naught for my circumstances, I cannot; It’s my pain.

    When you’ve no money, no address, no phone,

    no one will hire you, you’re out on your own.

    In this time of high technology, when most businesses hire from online,

    having no computer, I can’t put in applications. I haven’t got a dime.

    No transportation to go to a job, no housing, no address, leaves me in a lurch.

    So I sit here, and you watch me with wary eyes from your perch,

    You assume I committing a crime, just by sitting on a bench.

    You assume I’m an addict due to my aromatic stench.

    I don’t have a home, no shower, no clean clothes,

    For it is I and those who are like me that you do your best to loathe.

    Your unwanted assumptions are my cross to bear,

    I wonder if you really see me, if you could really care.

    Humanity needs to come full circle, to care about each other,

    It wasn’t that long ago you see, but now no one wants to bother.

    The tribes of the past, used to share and make sure all were taken care of,

    No one went hungry, or unsheltered, or unloved.

    A lesson for humanity should be given once again on the range,

    the ones who are oppressed are the ones who can make change,

    but only if we all stick together, regardless of our lot.

    We only have each other, and that is all that we’ve got.

    So fight for all humanity, against the hoarded greed,

    With kindness and fairness, we can all be freed

    from this giant rat race, we can live together, and amend

    and let the planet heal from our wars on each other, and be better humans once again.

    -Linda Meyer


    Ode to the Homeless Veteran

    Go Away! I heard him say.

    You homeless bum be on your way!

    He pushed me and punched me.

    He was not at all kind to me.

    What ever happened to this land of the free?

    Apparently freedom, no longer applies to me.

    I have no family who will take me in

    They put me off and say I’m living in sin.

    They think that I’m disposable,

    But I’m a human being just like you.

    Such a statement should not be opposable,

    But I’m treated like an old worn out shoe.

    People don’t usually see me here standing in the rain.

    They never see that I am a human, and that I’m in much pain.

    You see I fought for my country when I went to a foreign land,

    When I came home there was no fanfare, no band.

    I came back only to find no help for me,

    My broken body, soul, and mind,

    Makes people uncomfortable, they leave me behind.

    People see me as a bum, a loafer, and lazy.

    They call me an addict, and mentally crazy.

    What I am is a human being just like you.

    I deserve to be treated with dignity too.

    Although I’m broke and broken, don’t judge me so severe,

    For one day, if circumstances dictate, you also could be here.

    Be kind to all people you come across in life,

    No matter who they may be, we all experience strife.

    Everyone deserves a home to call their own.

    Everyone deserves to be cared for, and kindness shown.

    Will you be the one to help make an opportunity for me to feel loved?

    Or will you continue on your way, not caring, and giving me a shove.

    Humanity needs a reset and to let greed, and ego go.

    People need to become humane to each other, and allow humanity to grow.

    ~ Linda Meyer

  45. Harvey Henkelmann says:

    Until industry and jobs are returned to America’s shores, poverty will do nothing but get worse.

  46. Harvey Henkelmann says:

    Unless industry and jobs return to America, we will continue to devolve into a stratified society.

  47. Guest says:

    Unless industry and jobs return to America, we will continue to devolve into a society in which the few wealthy own everything while everybody else will have nothing.

  48. Harvey Henkelmann says:

    Unless industry and jobs return to America, we will continue to devolve
    into a society in which the wealthy few own everything while everybody
    else will have nothing.

  49. We could have full employment and it would not matter… the problem is an Income Problem… Wages have not kept up with inflation, they are still somewhere in the 80’s… We need a jolt of a minimum wage hike and a total Tax Restructure… another thing that happened in the 80’s, We Cut Rich People Taxes By 50%… which is why the country’s infrastructure is now falling down… The Republicans Sure got what they wanted… This is exactly why the country is now in decline…

  50. Mario Salazar says:

    America post the highest GDP of 5% at this moment. And the momentum will go on next year. The DOOM AND GLOOM does not apply to America. Sorry!

  51. ted markstein says:

    The end of empire
    is upon us
    plates rumbling
    dislocations massive
    cracks appearing
    gouts of ichor
    devil fire spurts
    fabric straining
    rending asunder
    tearing apart
    pent up
    of the
    of the

    In their death threshes
    the contemptible midgetry
    stormtroupers of the
    lockmind lockstep
    steadfastly trampling
    marching marching
    in goosestepping
    mindless hatred
    burning every bridge
    behind their
    relentless right
    to rule.
    the temple
    ears deaf
    eyes blind
    every word

    And maybe
    just maybe
    just might be
    ploughshare beating time
    and the last bard
    wondered lonely
    as a daffodil
    in a sea
    of torment
    even though
    we can’t go on
    we must go on
    through the
    fire the

    a weeping

  52. stephen ramsden says:

    The American culture of staying stupid, watching football and drinking beer while your life passes by is directly responsible for poverty in this country.
    EVERY middle school student in this country has the capability of excelling in life and making something of his/herself. This is indeed the land of opportunity.
    When you add stupid, uninvolved parents to a media based society where no one highlights sacrifice for a better future and then academic success is ignored at an early age in favor of the ability to play some sport, you end up with a bunch of people who couldn’t care less about, or even understand the importance of, anything except “where’s my money” and “what’s for dinner?”
    Corporations aren’t populated and ran by creatures from another planet, they are US. Their purpose is to make money for shareholders. Blaming everyone’s poverty on mean old corporations may be popular in the media but it won’t get you anywhere in life.
    Teaching your kids to sacrifice now for benefit later while taking advantage of the free education being offered to everyone in America to actually learn math and science will.

  53. Dorian Moffat says:

    This condition is exactly what our government has in mind for all Americans. Enjoy!

  54. Shana DC says:

    This article is a way to lie with statistics. 20% of the population makes over 100K a year, which would mean that, according to this article, if you are making 95K a year, you are living in near poverty. That obviously is not correct. So I looked at the data they cite in this article. What the data says is that “80% of Americans have experience with poverty, near poverty, or joblessness at *some point in their lives.*” this article presents the data as saying that 80% of Americans are currently in this state. So in other words, I have a wealthy friend who took a few months after college to find a good job. In the meantime he lived with his parents and kept his part time retail job from college. Technically speaking, he was poor for about two.
    months before he found a job, but it isn’t like he was suffering during that time, he lived at home. Plenty of other kids I know had the same experience and never suffered as a result. I know other well off friends, including myself, whose parents paid for us to travel between school and starting our careers. So yeah, during that time I would fall into the “poor/jobless” category because I had and made no money of my own, no trust funds or anything similar, I just was living off my parents. Yet it would be insulting to imply that as some well off kid traveling around European hostels on Mom and Dad’s dime before getting a good, stable job of my own, I should be categorized in the same boat as some guy who got laid off at 55 and has been out of work and desperate for years due to age discrimination.

    I in no way deny the enormous problem in this country regarding income inequality, lack of good jobs, and stagnant wages. But this article is extremely dishonest in the way it arrives at the 80% figure.

  55. Jacob Champion says:

    92% of tax revenues goes to these programs. All other government is paid for with borrowing. Should we stop repairing the roads, clear the courts, close the schools, stop mail delivery and disband the military? Do we just keep borrowing? Do we increase the amount of each workers paycheck that gets eaten by social security, Medicaid and Medicare taxes? What do you propose other than taking people’s stuff away? My solution would be top deregulate and make it legal to start new businesses. Let people work. If people who have cars want to offer strangers rides for cash, let them. If people want to work for themselves don’t tax them twice for being a business, and an employee of themselves. When I’m a 1099 contractor making 15k a year don’t take 28% away in income taxes.

  56. hldboo says:

    What would you expect from an academic economist? The Government can help by getting out of the way. No more regulations, subsidies or bailouts. Give the entrepeneurs a chance to thrive and they’ll put everyone to work at a living wage.

    • Paula says:

      History does not support your ideas. Without regulations you would not be able to breathe the air or drink the water. Without regulations 10 year olds would still be working and factories would be sweat shops. Business is thriving, it’s workers who are having a hard time. I want not only regulations, but oversight as well. How did it work out for the people in West TX with their no regulations. Hey, you know what was great for business – slavery. I’m sort of with you on bailouts, but I want pension funds to get money away from the banksters and then they can go down. Also, how about no more corporate welfare, no off-shoring of money to avoid taxation, no more “free” trade that sends our jobs to other countries.

    • Paula says:

      Corporations are doing just fine, it’s workers who are hurting. Demand creates jobs and money in people’s pockets creates demand. Raise the minimum wage and bring back trade tariffs. Make it illegal to offshore money. I want more regulations (sensible regulations that protect consumers, investors and workers) with real oversight.

  57. Tony Pacello says:

    80% of America is not living near poverty. I am not close to the poverty line and I do not make more than 80% of the country. Just because someone writes something does not make it true.

  58. Kmac720 says:

    This article is bullshit. This is based on a study that said 4 out of 5 Americans will be near poverty at SOME POINT in their lives. Not that 80% are currently.

  59. Justin Williams says:

    I think the problem is high quality cheap slave labor goods. When I buy products made in China then I’m selling my dignity for all human beings. When it’s acceptable to buy slave labor goods then it’s okay to be a slave.

  60. rejco says:

    A JAYWALKING crime on a person’s criminal record is all it takes in Los Angeles to keep a person homeless & unemployable FOR LIFE; costing taxpayer unbelievable amounts of welfare & social services costs.

  61. ddearborn says:


    The rich would much rather have the poor righting against each other than the people responsible in a very large measure for all the pain and suffering of the common people in America today. Of course as we all know the rich are responsible. In order for 1/10 of 1% to stay filthy rich, the vast majority of the population must stay poor. There is a finite amount of wealth created each year. And if the richest 100000 people in America take half of that wealth from themselves, then by definition the other 315 Million people must share the other half. But it gets much worse than that. If the next richest 10% take another 20 percent of the wealth; suddenly 290 odd Million people are now sharing only 30% of the wealth.

    Bearing in mind that for the most part that second 10% work for the 1/10 of 1% directly. It means essentially that 2/3 of country is being forced into object poverty to feed the 1/10 of 1%. This is why we have the media filling the air with sports, violence, race and religious issues, etc. Anything to distract the masses from the day to day realities and the truth that they are slaves of 1/10 of 1%. The Patriot Act was not enacted to protect Americans from foreign terrorists; the Patriot Act and DHS were created to protect the Robber Barons that raped and rule this country from the rest of us! And it is another tragedy that so many of the 1/10 of 1% have loyalties outside the United States. And I am not just referring to Israel.

  62. Hp B says:

    Prediction: The neo-Bolshevik miscreants will lower the “official poverty level” to $300 a month. Then declare (officially, of course) America and Americans to be the most exceptionally wealthy people ever! Everyone is rich! Akin to raising the “official radioactivity safely level” to nearly fatal levels and calling it, well, what else … EXCEPTIONAL!

  63. Defiant says:

    What country on EARTH, that had it’s OWN poor, would allow a zillion illegal aliens to come in and compete for those short resources…and jobs? Oh yeah…NOT Mexico!

  64. walcon says:

    The government caused all of this. If they want the problem to go away- they must go away- to some degree.
    Stop Spending!! Stop wasting!! Drop new departments!! Do away with the new gov security depts.
    Get rid of half the regulations on businesses and let free enterprise bring this country back that built it up in the first place!
    No more multimillion $$ vacations for obamy!
    But guess what? THEY DON’T CARE! They want you broke!
    A 10th grader could run this country better than these bozo’s!

    • Paula says:

      You are wrong – our most prosperous years were when big infrastructure projects were happening and unions were strong. Check your facts, President Obama’s admin has done the LOWEST public spending since Eisenhower. As far as lack of regulation goes, so it’s OK for the banksters to steal, OK for oil companies to pollute, OK for food to have ecoli/salmonilla and/or chemical poisons? I want more regulations and oversight to make sure they have teeth. Without regulations you would not be able to breathe the air, drink the water, work safely – you might be working next to a 10 year old.
      Obama has taken much fewer vacations than the previous President W and Presidents never are on vacation – they are always in touch with staffers and issues. And business is doing fine, it’s workers that are hurting. We need trade tariffs. We need to make it illegal to off-shore corporate headquarters to avoid taxation, we need to make it illegal for the obscenely wealthy to offshore their money to avoid taxation. We give more corporate welfare to very successful businesses than we do to poor people. Stop getting your information from Fox.

      • walcon says:

        We are in the condition we are right now because of this administration- there goes your theory out the door right there!
        Obama has spent many times more than any other pres in history on vacations- do more study- learn the facts.

  65. Rodney S says:

    Most people on Food Stamps are women with kids, pets, i-Phones, jewelry, cable TV, HDTVs and are usually overweight. Poor men, especially white men (like in the photo), don’t qualify for any public assistance and have to panhandle and live on the street. To me, that’s the real backstory here.

    • Paula says:

      BS food stamps are for food and damn little of it. No one ever could find Reagan’s welfare Cadillac lady, not even the Reagan admin. No one gets rich on public assistance.

  66. Tom Buyea -- Fla.News service says:

    Yet this Criminal Communist Country under Obama still gives Billions in cash, and military weapons to Countries We are either Totally or partially Occupying, Stop and think about it we Still Occupy Germany and Japan, Saving them money on their own military spending !! We need at the Very least some tax strikes and work strikes

  67. Your article is written with ASSumptions. One such ASSumption is that government aid helps the poor. More often than not government aid is what is keeping people at the poverty level by making them dependent. Food stamps, long unemployment benefits, etc., string people along. No such programs existed 200 years ago and people learned to be resourceful and to strive to achieve. Does this generation strive to achieve? Of course not. They’re spoiled rotten, passive, and have a false sense of entitlement. You make the claim that without government food stamps, then poverty would rise. A ridiculous liberal LIE, spouted as an elitist pig, that removes basic human dignity by talking down to people. Highly insulting! Government today is a parasite that robs society to feed itself. It is not serving it’s host, it is killing it.

    • Paula says:

      200 years ago? Pre-industrial revolution, pre-Civil War, yeah slavery was great for the plantation owner’s economy. I posit corporate greed and the obscenely

      wealthy are our problem. Allowing corporations to offshore factories, their headquarters and their profits are our problem. Allowing the banksters free rein, allowing polluters to leave their mess for governments to clean up, or just leave poison for people to die behind is our problem. I hope you need some financial help someday, and soon.

  68. Duda says:

    Goverment can’t fix this. Lazy Americans had once enjoyed cheap goods made from other countries who were in real poverty, starving and dying, working 12 to 16 hours a day just trying to make enough money for food. World war 2 made that mess and we reaped the winnings from it. Now, these people have worked their way back or are starting to which is making the USA less wealthy compared to these people. Wealth can only be relative in a fake money system. The USA population wants too much for too little output. Meanwhile working counties output much more and demand more for the goods we once got so easily.

    Good luck with your class war. Money is worthless if people aren’t producing wealth (physical goods and services) this is the fault of the greedy people of America. You claim that you’re poor and someone should help you but it’s you who is the problem.

  69. ronifae says:

    The author of this article took this quote – “According to The Associated Press, four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.” – and turned it into the following headline. They are not the same thing. The quote says 80% of us lived in temporary poverty at one time or another and the above article is saying 80% of us are NOW living near poverty.

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