The “bums” are us! One out of 7 Americans living in poverty.

by on September 16, 2010 · 19 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Economy, Health, Labor, Veterans, War and Peace

American hands povertyCensus: 1 in 7 Americans live in poverty

By Hope Yen / The Washington Post /  September 16, 2010

WASHINGTON — The number of people living in poverty has climbed to 14.3 percent of Americans, with the ranks of working-age poor reaching the highest level since at least 1965.

The Census Bureau says that about 43.6 million people, or 1 in 7, were in poverty last year. That’s up from 39.8 million, or 13.2 percent, in 2008.

The number of people lacking health insurance rose from 46.3 million to 50.7 million, due mostly to the loss of employer-provided health insurance during the recession. Congress passed a health overhaul earlier this year to extend coverage to more people.

The statistics released Thursday cover President Barack Obama’s first year in office, when unemployment climbed to 10 percent in the months after the financial meltdown.

The median – or midpoint – household income was $49,777.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Peyton Farquhar September 16, 2010 at 12:29 pm

oBOMBa may have inherited the shit storm from The Deciderer, but the fact remains that the dim bulbs are currently the **majority** party in both Houses of Congre$$. And they have demonstrated time and again that they just don’t give a shit about anyone who is making under $250k/yr. And now the dumbasses will lose control because the even bigger dumbass American public will put the criminals responsible for the economic meltdown back into power.


avatar Diane5150 September 16, 2010 at 11:26 pm

The angry mob forms here.


avatar Michelle September 17, 2010 at 12:16 am

How many Trillions of Dollars have we spent on the “War On Poverty” over the past 45 years? Proof that you cannot throw money at most problems and solve them.
No substitute for work….


avatar Sunshine September 17, 2010 at 5:31 am

where can i get that medium income this article mentioned? that amount of money coming in every year sounds luxurious to me!


avatar RB September 17, 2010 at 8:07 am

“Last week, USA Today reported that nearly one in five federal government employees now earn over $100,000. The paper also reported the average federal salary rose to $71,260, almost $31,000 more than the comparative average private-sector wage.”

Two growth industries in the US are health care and corrections. So a federal job at a VA hospital or prison is the best way to increase your income.


avatar Goatskull September 17, 2010 at 9:20 am

Despite what USA Today wrote in that article that just isn’t so. The author that article (who ever it is) is a liar if that’s what he or she wrote. I’m a federal employee and I can say as a matter of fact that at best maybe 1 in a 100 earn 6 figures or more. Don’t get me wrong. The job security and bennies that go with being a fed can’t be beat, but 1 in six earning 100,000.00 or more? Wrong. Most don’t even earn over 40,000.00.


avatar bcsy September 24, 2010 at 8:55 pm

bs including bennies, all but one that I know earn over 40,000


avatar Goatskull September 25, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Not so.


avatar Frank Gormlie September 17, 2010 at 10:28 am

Here’s USA Today:
Overall, federal workers earned an average salary of $67,691 in 2008 for occupations that exist both in government and the private sector, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The average pay for the same mix of jobs in the private sector was $60,046 in 2008, the most recent data available.


avatar RB September 17, 2010 at 10:59 am

Frank, I would not dispute your numbers and I would not be surprises if USA Today padded their numbers, but $67,000 or $71,000 still points to the Federal Government as a good place to look for a salary above the $49,000 household income figure. Also, the household income number includes multiple jobs for various family members and need not be just one income.

As for number of Federal jobs above $100,000, if your average is $70,000 and many employees have jobs below this number, you are also going to have many employees above this number. I predict, the average federal salary is distant dependent. The father the distance away from DC the lower the salaries and the lower the number of $100,000 plus salaries.heehee

When I got a job with DOE in the early 80’s the starting salaries for new professional jobs (GS-9) was around $35,000. Using the rule of 72 and a 3% salary inflation rate, those starting salaries would double every 24 years and could easily be $70,000 now.


avatar Frank Gormlie September 17, 2010 at 11:09 am

Part of that study only used federal jobs that have parallels in the private sector. For instance, the study DID NOT look at the millions of federal employees in the military – soldiers and sailors last I looked were federal employees.


avatar Frank Gormlie September 17, 2010 at 11:13 am

In general, it’s part of the extreme right’s gameplan to paint a picture that government workers make more than private employees – and this has been going on for years. The truth is that government workers are scapegoated time and time again, and now the issue is back on the right’s frontburner. It’s part of their agenda of destroying government and dismantling the systems of safety nets that our society has created since the Depression. They want only business to run government. So make sure you look between the lines and the lies.


avatar Goatskull September 17, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Most GSs are GS 7 and below, so $67,691 for most fed employees is a stretch unluess I am misunderstanding/misreading your post.


avatar kenloc September 17, 2010 at 11:16 am

I’m sure the article is citing overall benefits package in a dollar amount. Base pay,sick leave,vacation time,health insurance,life insurance,etc. All being shown in cash value.If the average employee makes 68k salary per year and you add these items in that figure you can up the number to 80k,perhaps more.It isn’t a far stretch from there to see some folks total compensation packages rising into the 6 figure realm. Why is that bad?Because they excelled to reach the top positions in the field they are in they should be compensated more.100k today isn’t what 100k was 15 years ago.I don’t think people in high levels of government should live just above the poverty line.We do want qualified people in high ranking jobs,no?If the city attorney made 45k per year who would take that job?How effective would he be?


avatar kenloc September 17, 2010 at 11:25 am

errrr he or SHE be……


avatar kenloc September 17, 2010 at 11:21 am

Household income is usually 2 incomes.If you are looking for a gig paying 25k per year try getting an assistant manager job at Taco Bell or Mcdonalds.There are scores of jobs that pay 25k per year.Surviving on that in San Diego is tough,especially if you have children.


avatar tj September 20, 2010 at 9:16 am

Michelle September 17, 2010 at 12:16 am “How many Trillions of Dollars have we spent on the “War On Poverty” over the past 45 years? Proof that you cannot throw money at most problems and solve them. No substitute for work”….

Like the jobs exported to the 3rd world by our “fearless leaders?”

Or the ones still left here – filled by ILLEGAL immigrants – because the affluent WON’T pay a fair $ for another citizens effort, while taking plenty of $$$ for their own?

Guess some can always sign-up for military service & risk getting killed or maimed (we got a job for you) – to advance the selfish & greedy self-interest of a financially advantaged (& very small minority) of the USA citizenry …


avatar bcsy September 24, 2010 at 9:08 pm

guess what, the affluent will pay a fair wage for landscaping and oranges. If two operations offer the same product for different prices, who will you hire? It’s the company owners who won’t pay a decent wage, then lowball other small businesses because they can do it cheaper. I don’t shop at wally world and am happy to pay more for produce but as a contractor competing for work against guys who pay illegals 7$ an hour, I suggest that that the illegal workforce drives down wages, not the customers. Fortunately SD is full of wealthy folks that value quality and reliabiity over price so I stay busy while the hacks wait out the recession. Having said that, I sympathize with the plight of illegals workers and even more for the future of our nation- we don’t need any more burger flippers, hammer swingers or mechanics. you blame our fearles laeders for exporting jobs? grow up. that’s good old american greed. Any publicly owned company has to make money for it’s shareholders- yes, we all know it’s shortsighted but clinton and bush didn’t create this game, they just played it.


avatar RB September 25, 2010 at 8:07 am

“I suggest that that the illegal workforce drives down wages, ”

Of course you are correct. The two most intellectually bankrupt positions floating around this country are the far left not believing in supply and demand pricing, the backbone of economic theory, and the far right not believing in evolution.


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