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

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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
  • tomek

    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

      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

        Well said, I concur.

      • Mary-Etta Hinkle

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

      • beeta

        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

          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

            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

          $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

            $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

          artard…there is a limit of around 33 months.

          • Eileen M. Harrington

            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

          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

            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

          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

          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!”

        • http://NewsLincolnCounty.com Dave Morgan

          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

          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%

        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

          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

          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

          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

          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

          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

          are you a manager at macca’s?

      • Bruce

        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.

        • Literacy helps.

          Bruce, before correcting someone’s grammar or syntax, please become literate first. Thank you.

          Betray means to reveal or to provide evidence accidentally or unintentionally.

        • Lea

          Haha, go buy a dictionary, you dope.

      • AKgrown574

        Amen to that. Seriously, well said!

      • JC Nomad

        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.

        • Sarah Madden

          Exactly. How can there be any conversation about State Welfare while completely ignoring Corporate Welfare, and for that matter, Foreign Aid??

      • Paul Sutera

        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

      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

        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

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

        • J

          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

            J, I completely agree

          • Big John

            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.

        • http://Facebook Carole

          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

            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

          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

          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

          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

      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

        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

          Ron,
          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 who.how 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

          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

          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

            Talk about wrong – every point.

          • Heather

            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

      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.

      • http://www.mail.com professor iqbal

        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

          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,
          Everyone

    • http://Williamdehning.com William dehning

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

      (Jesus . . .)

    • Stephen Healy

      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

      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

      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

      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

      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

        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

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

    • http://www.correntewire.com lambert strether

      Luke 10:25-37.

      You sir, had better hope there is no Hell.

    • http://www.foodnotbombs.net Keith McHenry

      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.

      • Lee

        Respect to you.

    • Tom Jelen

      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 EDUCATION..as 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

      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

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

    • Rhett

      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

      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

      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

      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

      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

        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

        “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

        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

        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.

    • skyline205@comcast.net

      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

      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.

    • http://Scotty505 johnbynum@gmail.com

      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

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

    • Rachel

      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?????

    • http://aol.com J Stewart

      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

      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

      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

      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

      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

        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.

  • seraphina gonter

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

    • Jim

      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.

  • Earl

    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?

      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.

      • http://www.correntewire.com lambert strether

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

        • Paula H

          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

            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

          Of course the poor did not exist under Bush.

        • Jaf54

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

        • McIntyre

          “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

      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.

      • Jim

        bingo!

    • http://Scotty505 johnbynum@gmail.com

      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.

  • https://www.facebook.com/arose.facuiriklinge A Rose Facuiri-Klinge

    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

      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…. http://urbanhomestead.org/

      • http://Scotty505 johnbynum@gmail.com

        I hope you are not asking for food to be grown to solve mass problems. Certainly, some people could and should grow food, but with our out of control population growth, there is no room for most people to do this.

        • Jim

          Considering food can be grown indoors vertically… that is nonsense.

    • Zhushika

      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

      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

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

  • Bob Walker

    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…

    • Paula H

      Denmark is doing a lot better than us.

    • http://Scotty505 johnbynum@gmail.com

      You are going to get a lot of idiotic comments from rednecks who have been propagandized to think that fascism, as practiced in the USSR and China in the past,
      is socialism. That is because they believe in only good and evil, and ghosts in the sky.
      They are conceptually retarded, as our masters’ wish and advertise.

      • Jim

        Propaganda is king in this country. Fortunately people are waking up to it in droves. Thanks to the internet mainly. Hence the reason they want control of that too.

  • Cathy B

    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.

    • http://faCEBOOK Victoria

      amen!

    • stephen

      amen again

    • Jaf54

      Amen!!

    • Heather

      Hat’s off to you sir, you nailed it!

    • bjbethel

      Exactly right Cathy B

  • rebecca smith

    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

      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.

      • http://Scotty505 johnbynum@gmail.com

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

  • Zhushika

    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.

    • http://www.correntewire.com lambert strether

      “Our” President? Who on earth are you talking about? None of those guys are “ours.” Read the post. By their fruits shall ye know them.

  • http://homleand.wordpress.com homle

    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

      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.

      • http://facebook Victoria

        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

      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

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

    • McIntyre

      “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

      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!

  • Chris Spencer

    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

  • Benoir

    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.

  • Yawn

    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

      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

      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

      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

      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

      “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

      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.

  • madmama

    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…

    • Drg

      Yep. Thank you.

  • Lorraine

    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,

  • Cassie

    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

      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

        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.

  • ken

    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

      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.

  • Rorke

    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

      “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

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

  • beeta

    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..

  • Frank

    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.

    • PBSpot Admin

      This has in fact been the law since 1996 under Clinton.

  • Ex MislTech

    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….

    9.

  • Drg

    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.

  • A Soldier

    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.

  • SingleM(..)M

    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..

  • Ben Parsons

    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.

  • graeme sutherland

    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!!!

  • brad

    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

  • http://www.makahamommy.blogspot.com Lindsey

    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

      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.

  • Dennis

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

  • Grace

    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.

  • Julian

    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.

  • http://www.unindoctrinated.com/ Unindoctrinated

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

  • AKgrown574

    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.

  • Ben Parsons

    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

      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

        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

          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

            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

            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

            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

        excellent Ronnie.

  • John

    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!

  • Ally Brown

    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.

  • Fritz Kohlhaas

    You can thank Obama for all the misery.