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100 Million Poor People In America and 39 Other Facts About Poverty That Will Blow Your Mind

100 Million Poor People In America and 39 Other Facts About Poverty That Will Blow Your Mind

Every single day more Americans fall into poverty. This should deeply alarm you no matter what political party you belong to and no matter what your personal economic philosophy is. Right now, approximately 100 million Americans are either "poor" or "near poor". For a lot of people "poverty" can be a nebulous concept, so let's define it. The poverty level as defined by the federal government in 2010 was $11,139 for an individual and $22,314 for a family of four. Could you take care of a family of four on less than $2000 a month? Millions upon millions of families are experiencing a tremendous amount of pain in this economy, and no matter what "solutions" we think are correct, the reality is that we all should have compassion on them. Sadly, things are about to get even worse. The next major economic downturn is rapidly approaching, and when it hits the statistics posted below are going to look even more horrendous.

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scawarren's picture

I could support a family of

I could support a family of four on $2000 a month IF the the value of the dollar was actually a dollar but what is it now 42 cents ?!

It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. – Mark Twain

Just because Drudge Report

Just because Drudge Report fell for an Alex Jones article, doesn't mean you have to buy it.

There are not 100 million poor by the definition of $11,000 a year. The 100 million number is an estimation of 'near poor' which was not defined by the person who said it.

God help those people. Frugality wins.

But if my parents would learn that lesson soon! They've used credit for YEARS, they use credit cards for big amounts, and practically for everything like at the groceries when it's $100. One time we went shopping for clothes and the total was around $500 and they used a credit card for THAT! They'll even use credit cards they order something from McDonalds or any other fast food place. It makes me sick!!!

Yeah, my parents definitely arent the frugal type, but i wish they were, i dont want to know what their bills are like! The only reason we're still in the middle class is because my dad works in the oil field, helping to build rigs and stuff, he makes a heck of a lot of money (i think $100/hr). But he's the only breadwinner in the house, my mom doesnt have a HS diploma and she really doesnt want a job. She said to me one time "If I have a rich husband, I'm not working!!" See how selfish that is??

Sheesh, when i finally get out of this house, I'll live on as little as possible, start living the simple life like they SHOULD have been doing and show them how much better it is! We need to teach the lesson of frugality, because when the dollar crashes, we'll be FORCED to live like that!

LOL...you Americans are

LOL...you Americans are funny...very cheap gas, electricity, clothing and food, no 20% VAT...and you are complaining?
You guys as a country are living the dream...just wait a maximum of two years to see what high taxes, prices, inflation and "austerity" will do to your country, you guys have NO IDEA what hard life is, but don't worry,Obama or Romney would take care of that.
Anyway, please don't complain about your standard of living, you are insulting hundred of millions of people making a living with under $200 a month, but like I said, the banksters and the big corporations will pretty soon force real poverty on most of you.

"$2000 a family of 4"...in Romania (proud United Europe member) for example a family of 4 are living on $500 and 24%VAT...and those are the lucky ones...

American's are fairly cost-sensitive

and we do not understand how our wealth was a factor in world poverty as our wealth was not built on free-market trade

I wonder, if we had a free-market from 1790 on would we have had the tech boom sooner or later -- would we have developed oil based materials (or kept them relevant for so long)?

What would the world look like today, if we had 220 years of free-market consumer-sovereignty?

scawarren's picture

I think we would have had all

I think we would have had all them good things earlier and be in a much better position than we are today with our cronny/corrupt/ corporate capitalism!

It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. – Mark Twain

We got a lot of our tech innovation from Great Brittain

and Europe.

Innovation is not optimized through Land Theft, Slavery, Forced Relocation, and Forced Assimilation.

I mean imagine, truly imagine, what it would of been like without Patents -- With no barriers to entry -- With no price setting -- With zero taxation (or fixed low)?

Let alone all the other activities that cramp innovation and idea-generation.

unless other countries are

unless other countries are built on free market trade, that's a pointless complaint.

America has all the resouces to function without foreign

markets -- though it wouldn't have.

But from 1790 to 2050 (maybe even later) we could of survived 100% on our own resources.

We sell 80% of our productive goods to Americans (now) let alone back then.

I don't think you thought it through very deeply -- that's cool, just so you know.

I don't know which website

You think you're on, but those of us here have been warning about collapse for years. You're not telling us anything new. NO ONE here thinks Romney or Obama is going to stop that. You're better off going to the Huffy Post.

Apples and Oranges

And anyway, If Europe is worse of than America....well then that's just the prime reason we don't want to be in a "North American Union" much like the European Union. If you guys are worse off, then thats just evidence you are farther into tyranny than we are and I don't want to follow you there.

So COMPLAIN Americans and complain loudly! Because why would we want to only start complaining when we mirror the poverty of Europe. We know what America is capable of when free. Why shouldn't we demand that? Why shouldn't the poor in America be rich compared to some other countries. I wouldn't want the converse. Would you?

LOL...you Americans are

double post :(

Yeah we're poor too

No cell phone, no cable/satellite, NEVER eat at restaurants or fast food. don't by any processed stuff in the center isles of the store. Never buy anything unless it's at the hardware store to fix something. Fix our own appliances when they break. Run the air conditioning only when necessary...like today. Grow and can our own food, well as much as we can. Only have 1 car and it's 12 years old. Don't take vacations and instead shoot for inexpensive day and weekend trips. Don't go to the movies or rent movies but instead try to utilize free entertainment and internet news. Switching to magic jack for phone.

We own our own business and this economy has hit us hard and it gets worse every year. We are barely keeping our heads above water. Ron Paul says a lot of people will suffer when the "Great Crash" comes. I worry for us. We are already in austerity. I don't ever want to see that breaking point

We're a family of four living on less than $2,000 a month!

We're a family of four living on less than $2,000 a month! Well, we're cheaters because we paid off the house by living austerely, and no longer have that damned mortgage choking us to death.

But we're continuing to live austerely and our monthly expenses never exceed $2,000, but hover around $1,500 per month.

That's without subscription TV, without cell phone service, without restaurants, without movies, by turning off the lights when not in use, hanging laundry out to dry, buying everything on sale, no car payments, basic insurance for car and house.

I don't know. I'm healthy and fit. Kids are cheerful. Wife likes to shop for clothes and return and rebuy for bigger bargains.

What am I gonna do with the money we're saving up? Buy a car when my shiny 270,000 miler finally bites it. I'll pay cash, in-full.

Austerity isn't a bad thing. America's poor should try it, too!

"Cowards & idiots can come along for the ride but they gotta sit in the back seat!"

exactly! Who needs money when


Who needs money when you have food and housing paid for?

This is fantastic, my fiance

This is fantastic, my fiance and I are much like you, as are my parents (who taught me the benefits of having a savings and of staying out of debt). We try to pay everything in cash and are trying to pay down our mortgage asap to get that noose off our necks...almost there. This sort of outlook just seems more like 'real' life to me, where you use money that you actually have to buy things instead of 'imaginary' credit card money.

You sound like...

"The Millionaire Next Door." Congratulations on your ability to defer immediate gratification for something better later on. I wish there were more people like you!

Minnesota Mary

reedr3v's picture

If only more in American were "cheaters" like

It would be wonderful to see a video of resourceful, independent people such as yourselves coping with the bad economy successfully, instead of the steady diet of "victim" videos produced.

Just doing what my grandmother told me to do

Just doing what my grandmother told me to do, that's all. Of course, some things have changed beyond the rationality of her advice. Such as saving money in CDs at the bank. When she was saving, they paid well enough. My last CD came due with a renewal rate of 1/20th of 1%. Can you believe that? This system does not respect savers. Well, I cashed it out. And I'm taking advice I've heard around this forum and looking for a local community bank to put it in. Yeah, their rates aren't better, but at least I get the satisfaction of depleting the big banks' reserves a little.

As for the steady stream of victims, there will always be complainers but a good number will not tolerate being at the mercy of the faceless bureaucracy and make things work for themselves.

"Cowards & idiots can come along for the ride but they gotta sit in the back seat!"

Good for you! When my two

Good for you! When my two kids were still at home, we rarely brought in $2000/mo. We did the same. This was ten years ago but at that time I rarely spent more than $200/mo on food and we didn't spend on credit. We did have a mortgage though, but no car payments, no cable TV, no cell phones, etc. We lived in the county and amused ourselves by camping, snowshoeing in the winter, swimming in the lake etc. Honestly, life was really good then. I applaud you for getting back to basics. I'd even be willing to bet your family is closer to each other as a result and you share more time together too.

Blessings )o(

Really good piece

What are candidates going to do about it? Only Paul had an answer and was willing to say what he would do. People can't handle the truth. Obama will socialize the whole country but he cannot come out and say that. Romney doesn't seem to grasp the magnitude of the problem.

This is the most scary statistic:

#5 According to the Wall Street Journal, 49.1 percent of all Americans live in a home where at least one person receives financial benefits from the government. Back in 1983, that number was below 30 percent.

Government plunder and control create poverty.

Think about a plantation in the South before the 1861 Civil War. On that plantation, there was a skewed distribution of wealth; the master and his family had most of the wealth while the slaves lived in poverty, plus there was a small middle class of hired overseers. Look at a typical South American banana republic and you will see the same thing, i.e., a few people at the top with most of the wealth, a small middle class, and most of the population in poverty. These are skewed distributions of wealth and the cause is a legal and economic system that extracts the wealth of the majority for the benefit of the few, by whatever name we call it (dictatorship, fascism, socialism, communism, corporatism, slavery, feudalism).

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it is probably a duck. If the result we see in a society is a skewed distribution of wealth with a few at the top with most of the wealth, a small or disappearing middle class, and an abnormal large number of people in poverty, that society is a slave society. You might say the USA is one big government controlled slave plantation.

On the other hand, when people are free the historic evidence is that there is a normal distribution of wealth with the average man owning an average amount of wealth. Extreme wealth and extreme poverty are statistically insignificant in a free economy; there is a large middle class which is what we had long ago when we were still a free country.

What we have in the USA today is a mixed economy with socialism and fascism major components that have destroyed freedom. When government rigs the markets in favor of large corporations and legalizes scams like fractional reserve banking and debt based money, wealth is taken from those who work for it and given to those politicians and corporations who control the government and its laws; poverty is created for the majority. The politicians then extract more wealth from working people to give to those living in the poverty that government created so as to pacify them and to buy their votes.

Until we face the reality that we are no longer a free nation, we are doomed to remain slaves. Those who do not understand they are slaves don’t understand the source of their suffering, hence don’t know the solution. When enough people wake up, we will have revolution.

"Bend over and grab your ankles" should be etched in stone at the entrance to every government building and every government office.

Air Conditioning, Cable TV,

Air Conditioning, Cable TV, and an Xbox: What is Poverty in the United States Today?


Most people today live better than Kings in ancient times.

The political issue is not the absolute amount of wealth that a society creates, but how that wealth is distributed.

If people in poverty today live better than kings of old, that does not excuse the current system that extracts the wealth of the majority and places it in the hands of the few at the top. If those in poverty are placed there by the political system and would otherwise in a free society enjoy a higher standard of living, then their poverty is unjustified; in fact it is a result of the immorality of those who use government to destroy freedom rather than to protect it.

"Bend over and grab your ankles" should be etched in stone at the entrance to every government building and every government office.

I tend to disagree. The Kings

I tend to disagree. The Kings in the old times lived pretty nice lives with exception to the technology and modern conveniences we have today.

Exactly the problem

Being poor in America is still pretty damn good. Could a family of four live on 23000? Well - certainly not very well here in CT - but - a family of four with two working parents at MINIMUM WAGE is 34320??? So I am not sure I buy the 23000.00 BS. WHO does that include - my parents - who are retired on SS?? So if you take their income and average it with mine- well damn- it looks much worse doesn't it. I go from top 10% to crap really quick.
We have Husky here to pay for medical for the kids, and we have free daycare vouchers to the poor as well. So tell me how you cant figure out how to work 40 hours at minimum wage? Simple - it is easier NOT to.

America has become a wants = needs society. We NEED air conditioning(despite my well above minimum wage income - I still don't put it on to save money) - we NEED a cell phone(for what if you are not working) - we NEED cable(many times we just cancel it)- we NEED - we NEED. But we don't really need at all - we WANT.

LOL- the real problem -taxes. Take away my taxes and I could live on minimum wage. Between federal and state income taxes, sales taxes and property taxes(or the local land lease as I refer to it) I fork over about 40%. That doesn't include all the hidden taxes either(like hidden taxes on gas) and the damn taxes I have to pay on my cable, phone, internet bills.

Get rid of taxes and we could all live very well in poverty.

Excellent article limelemon..

Thanks for sharing