rent is too damn high

Household Income Short of $68K? Welcome To the New Poverty

Sorry, Santa's union was busted by the Koch Bros., and Santa is now David Koch's anal sex slave.Have you been laboring under the delusion that you’re still part of the tiny, rapidly vanishing Middle Class? Happy April Fools Day! A new study proves that a family of four needs $67,920 a year (pre-tax) to survive in America. And that’s basic: no vacations, no fancy dinners, no wine tastings, no fun-box deliveries from Amazon or Zappos or whatever every couple of months to break up the crushing monotony of work and eventual death. You will, however, spend an average of $12,000 a year on car insurance and payments on your crappy mid-sized sedan, because we don’t have much in the way of public transportation in this country. And you’ll spend another $12,000 a year on child care, because we don’t like to provide socialism in these parts, ha ha. Freedom isn’t free, after all.

Not much left after $12,000 a year in rent and utilities, either. Don’t forget to pay $9,000 in taxes on that $67,920! Who do you think you are, General Electric?

The median household income in the United States is $52,029 — nearly $16,000 shy of what it actually costs to keep your head above water if you’ve got a two-income two-child household.

The DC-based nonprofit Wider Opportunities For Women has been compiling the numbers for exactly what it takes to have basic economic security in this country — housing, food, transportation, child care if you have little kids, utilities, and a tiny contribution to savings for your old age — and the numbers are more than triple the ridiculous official poverty levels:

A single worker with two young children needs an annual income of $57,756, or just over $27 an hour, to attain economic stability, and a family with two working parents and two young children needs to earn $67,920 a year, or about $16 an hour per worker.

That compares with the national poverty level of $22,050 for a family of four. The most recent data from the Census Bureau found that 14.3 percent of Americans were living below the poverty line in 2009.

Yes, families of four are most certainly living in abject poverty at $22,050 a year. And they’re still a few paychecks away from disaster at $50,000 or $60,000 a year. Of course there are regional variations here, with big city housing costing the most and energy bills highest where the weather is extreme and the cost of living often being lower where there are, uh, no jobs or schools or anything. As for you single people, the government says anything beyond $10,830 means you’re not in poverty. This new study gives a more realistic number, based on the actual cost of basic shelter and food and electricity and getting to your shitty job if you’re lucky enough to have a shitty job: $30,012 a year. It almost seems like enough until you start paying for groceries and rent ….

If you’re in the top 20% of income earners in this country, you’re doing better with $180,000 in annual income — but not so much better that you feel especially comfortable, and you’re relatively free from the danger of being “rich.” We reserve that special category for the 1% who control 70% of the wealth in this country and have household incomes above $400,000. (And because it’s a day of such mirth and fun, we will not even type the household income levels for the top tenth of a percent.)

So we are now officially living in a country where more than 60% of households are not making enough money for a basic household — the bottom three quintiles of American household income top out at $62,000. [NYT/Wider Opportunities For Women]

About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

View all articles by Ken Layne
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212 comments

  1. V572..whatever

    Wow, thanks Ken. Thought I might have to make it through the weekend without meds or liquor. No worries now!

      1. Weenus299

        Gordon's gin, thank God, is still about $12 a liter here. Bombay, oh Christ, tha'ts $24.

        1. V572..whatever

          Bombay is like 100 proof. Gets you drunk too fast. Your cheaper rotguts like Gilbey's and Gordon's are 80, and you can sustain your drunk longer. Wookies recommends Fleischmann's which I can never find. Vermouth makes all the difference in any case.

          1. Gopherit

            You can always find Fleischmann's. Just find the lowest shelf of your local liquor barn. But what the hell……as long as it takes away the bitter taste of flailing into the wind day after day.

          2. Weenus299

            Avoid Amsterdam. Too smooth! And weird tasting, although that never stopped me. You can guzzle it right out of the bottle. Which is a bit costly.

    1. Barbara_i

      Can we still afford to clebrate the brown liquors or are we stuck with wine in a box?

      1. Swampgas_Man

        Can anyone recommend a good red, dryer than Manischevitz but still sweet enough to drink alone while weeping over lost jobs and friends? Downfist for anyone advocating Ripple or Thunderbird.

        1. ShaveTheWhales

          Ravenswood zin is pretty good, but it'll still set you back $6-7 a bottle.

          There's always 2-buck Chuck. It is better than Ripple.

  2. Sophist [غني عن ذلك]

    OK, I'm about ready for some of that class warfare I've been hearing so much about.

    1. Winnie_Cooper

      That article pretty well details the class warfare we've been hearing all about.

    2. WhatTheHeck

      I’ll wage war when I get some class. Until then, I remain a bitch to the corporations. It is what I was meant to do in life.

    3. LeAlbatross

      I'm in.

      …as long as somebody can spot me for anything other than half a brick in a sock…

  3. Weenus299

    Seems like it costs a fuckload more than that. Reminds me I need to start saving for an Okie truck. I think I can find one in a hybrid now.

  4. DownFist Troll

    This shit is just going to get worse in the coming decade :S

    Edit: I've got to question the minds of the business community. How do they expect people to consume products with lowering wages and fewer jobs. The only way capitalism continues to work, at least on paper, Is if money is recycled back down to the people who have to regularly buy stuff, i.e allowing for demand.

    1. Weenus299

      I know they carry on with their fital part of America and shit, but businessmen are only concerned with making more money with less people. Always have been. I'm tired of them saying otherwise.

    2. Native_of_SL_UT

      Of course they all know that how it works. They just want the "other" guys to go first.

    3. Andrew Drinker

      This is exactly why you're seeing things like advertising going through a shift of focus. What do you think they're trying to say when a Campbell's Chunky soup commercial is trying to convince you that a decent dinner is a can of soup poured over instant mashed potatoes? They even use elitist-looking young'ns in the commercial surrounded by IKEA furniture.

      Something strange is afoot in the Circle-K…

      1. schvitzatura

        The secret is not to pour the Chunky over the pomme mash, rather, place the soup in the casserole and layer the potato puree over and place under broiler to create a nice carmelized brown crust…

        Hachis Parmentier, oooh la la la! Almost like dining in a Michelin 3-star establishment!

        For more shits and giggles in modern times:
        http://miseryindex2008.blogspot.com/2008/09/schoo

    4. SorosBot

      They'll pay their workers more money; but it will be in special notes called scrip that they can only use at the company store, thus guaranteeing sales.

    5. Dudleydidwrong

      Immediate gratification. They used to get on the poorz because they didn't plan ahead. Now the business "community" (of fucking selfish cutthroats!) isn't thinking beyond their immediate profit. Tomorrow? Fuck it. In this pyramid scheme of capitalism the ones making money today don't worry about what comes later.

    6. GOPCrusher

      You're seeing the final death throes of the Raygun Revolution. Every other recession has been driven by credit spending by consumers to get out of the ditch, except for this one will caused by credit spending and consumers have come to realize that you can buy stuff if you don't have money.
      That and people can't get jobs because the same companies that depend on consumers spending money are now hoarding money instead of hiring consumers.
      They have hoisted themselves on their own petard.

    7. zhubajie

      Don't assume they are smart. It's the same kind of short-sighted selfish stupidity which keeps most 3rd world countries poor!

  5. XOhioan

    Are there not credit cards? Are there not overdoses of prescription antidepressants washed down with half a bottle of vodka? Humbug.

    1. schvitzatura

      This boy is an XBox meth addict from a deindustrialized Southern Ohio river town. This girl is a YouTube Star wannabe from Modesto, CA. Beware them both,
      and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy,
      for on his brow I see that written which is Travis Bickle/Tyler Durden/Trenchcoat Mafia, unless the
      writing be erased. Deny it.

  6. elviouslyqueer

    Yes, families of four are most certainly living in abject poverty at $22,050 a year. And they’re still a few paychecks away from disaster at $50,000 or $60,000 a year.

    The solution to this is obvious. Sell the damn kids into slavery. Or, better yet, harvest their organs one by one. There's cash in them there kidneys, folks. CHOP CHOP.

    1. mourningnmerica

      I've got dibs on "Kash For Kidneys".

      America – just like India, before they became so prosperous.

    2. SorosBot

      No, no, children, I know you're trying to help but believe me, my mind's made up. I've given this long and careful thought. And it's medical experiments for the lot of you…

        1. The_Great_Gazoo

          My grandpa had a '69 Bonneville, the Batman model. He was no Bruce Wayne, though. More of a Sansabelt kind of guy than a Batbelt kind of guy.

    1. Andrew Drinker

      I'm in a family of two – DINKs (Double Income No Kids). We've decided that if it costs $250,000 to raise a child and most families have two, that's $500,000 we can spend on booze between now and when we die. And, fortunately, the more we drink, the less we'll need to spend on it since we'll die earlier!

      Hooray!

      1. Lascauxcaveman

        Yes, but! As you and your wife sink down into chronic alcoholic alienation against each other, you need a kid (on your side) when it comes to booze induced rage-tantrums. And if you have two kids, she'll have one in her corner, too, to make even more fun.

        Financial Solution: buy cheaper booze and live in the cheapest housing available (singlewide).

        1. Negropolis

          A win/win! My brother and mom and myself would always do this. We'd get two in agreement to win arguments; didn't matter which two or if we disagreed in other arguments. Yeah, we were a dysfunctional family; what's it to you, hengh?

    1. Lionel[redacted]Esq

      If people hadn't aborted all those babies, they would have to work hard enough that they would earn enough to qualify for Republican Tax Breaks. But, no, they decided to be lazy.

  7. freakishlywrong

    Happy Friday! I'm dollars above poverty! Where my food stamps at? Can I use them to purchase boxes of wine?

      1. Mumbletypeg

        Am I the only one who still remembers a little jingle from their circa-70s tv ads?

        "S&H Green Stamps — for life's extra pleasures" ♫♪

        HA! — "extra pleasures" — ha.

  8. CapeClod

    Glad that I chose not to raise two rug rats. The little bastards would have bankrupt me.

    1. Ducksworthy

      But you have to take into account how much smarter they are than you, not to mention their moral superiority.

  9. Lascauxcaveman

    Forgot to read all the way through the article; my family of four is *above* the median income!

    [/feeling flush again]

    1. emmelemm

      Hey, can I borrow some money?

      Just kidding, I am a single person and make somewhat above the study's "bottom line" for a single person. Of course, I also live in an outrageously priced metropolitan area. Still, wine with my hobo beans tonight!!!

  10. BlueStateLibel

    "As for you single people, the government says anything beyond $10,830 means you’re not in poverty." This is why I stopped taking anything seriously from our government a long, long time ago. Warren Buffett said it best, "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning."

    1. __kth__

      That's only because the Koch party hasn't fully implemented its program. When everyone who doesn't have a master's degree is working in a factory town, pop. 10,000, and the classrooms are like the churches in the film Mosquito Coast (i.e., teacher isn't actually there but just on a screen, class monitored by minimum-wage bouncer), then $200/wk will be plenty for a single person.

      1. CrankyLttlCamperette

        "That's only because the Koch party hasn't fully implemented its program pogrom."

        /fixed

  11. comptoneffect

    "Don’t forget to pay $9,000 in taxes on that $67,920!"

    What are you bitching about? Someone’s got to cover the cost of the Koch brothers’ tax write offs this year.

  12. randcoolcatdaddy

    "Yes, families of four are most certainly living in abject poverty at $22,050 a year."

    Heck … a single person without a crack or heroin habit is in poverty at $22K a year..

  13. Jerri

    This is sad, but I kind of love these studies because if my household ever brought in $60,000-odd dollars a year we'd be celebrating like fucking millionaires who just won the lottery, what with the being able to go to the grocery store every week and get a little more than the bare minimum to get us through to the next grocery store trip, and other such luxuries.

    Edited to add: Good thing everyone's busting up unions, cutting taxes for the rich, and laying everyone off. That ought to help American families.

  14. ProgressiveInga

    And the poors keep voting for republicans who look out for the rich. Ain't it 'bout time for the shit to start trickling up?

    1. Gopherit

      That's the thing about the poor in the US. They don't vote in their own self interest because it's about wanting to be the one doing the trickling. It's why the redneck retirement system that is the lottery does so well. As long as we're a culture of Me, we're going to have this kind of fucked up situation.

  15. baconzgood

    I know how to make alot of these poor people go away. We'll lower the "poverty level" from $22,050 to $12,850. Now there are fewer "poor" people.

    See fixed.

    1. comptoneffect

      I got a sneaky suspicion that your solution is remarkably similar to the approach used by the government to calculate the poverty level.

        1. baconzgood

          I loved how Ronny said that while tons and tons of cabbage was rotting in government warehouses.

          1. horsedreamer_1

            I miss that, still, from being in Romania (going on, already, seven years ago): Mc Donald's Mc Chicken (Mc Pui??) sandwiches came with cabbage, in lieu of lettuce. Delicious!

        2. BarryOPotter

          "Hey, it's a vegetable with more than a full's day serving of high fructose corn syrup for your nutritional needs/wants…"

          /Truthied.

    2. GOPCrusher

      It's the same way the government claims unemployment is going down, when everyone you know is still standing in the soup lines. If you don't give people a unemployment check anymore, they aren't unemployed.

      1. Swampgas_Man

        See, I thought that "Umemployment is down" BS was about the new applications for UC. And since anyone who CAN be canned has already BEEN canned, there's no "new" applications.

  16. KeepFnThatChicken

    Doable, since most two-parent non-gay-or-divorced families are working four minimum-wage jobs. That's a little over 60k per household*. They can fuck for the remainder. Easy street, AND getting laid!

    * pre-withholdings

  17. EdFlintstone

    Poverty will be our biggest growth industry after these republican governors are done.

  18. user-of-owls

    Things would have turned out very, very differently if we'd elected Alvin Greene.

    1. Native_of_SL_UT

      I still can't help but think that we all would have been much better off if Pat Paulson had won at least once.

    2. sezme

      Not to mention that nobody except Basil Marceaux seems prepared to do a damn thing about traffic stop slavery.

      1. Andrew Drinker

        Just to reminisce fully:

        "I’m Basil Marceaux.com, your Republican candidate for governor.

        I’d like to recall all permit and registration for guns. Everyone carry guns. If you kill someone. No. You get murdered then you go to jail!

        And, uh, I like to plant grass or vegetation across the state or any vacant lot and sell it for gas. So we can use it for our expenses.

        Also I’m going to remove all gold fringe flags from the state and apply the real flag with three stripes.

        I also want to stop traffic stops. Set it up like the Supreme Court rule in Knowles vs. Iowa . Can’t find an innocent car, you can’t look.

        I want you’s all to vote for Basil Marceuax. I want you to say I pledge allegiance to the Republic, in the morning when you come out and we all pray to God and say Amen. And everyone have a nice day. And I’ll see y’all at the polls!

        Thank you. Have a nice day."

    3. Negropolis

      I'm still horrified that I truly believe that Alvin Greene would have been an improvement over DeMint.

      1. zhubajie

        Of course he would have been! He's had a lot of useful experiences in life. Certainly more than DeMint.

    1. V572..whatever

      Go for the trifecta and ditch the spouse. Then it's all yours! Plus half of his.

      1. Limeylizzie

        He has 3 grown children who ,I suspect ,will put me out on the street when he dies, so they can snag all his wealth.

        1. BarryOPotter

          I suspect ,will put me out on the street

          Don't let those bastards pimp you out! Have you thought about Facebook escort services?

        2. prommie

          They move fast, in these situations. Watch out for them, no matter how nice they might act. You saw what happened to Anna Nicole. . .

    2. freakishlywrong

      No kids, ten year old Honda, shithole, dead end jawb + awful pay and no raise for four years = freakishlysad.

      1. emmelemm

        No kids, 15 year old Toyota, non-shithole but tiny abode, dead end jawb/awful pay/no raise in at least four years…

        but I still have a job, and some form of health insurance, so I am ahead of the game, bitches!!!

    3. SorosBot

      No spawn, car, single, and very happy for it; I make decent money but have no idea how someone could afford to raise a kid on my salary.

      1. TNJedClampett

        Officially living in my pickup truck for the last five weeks. All in all, it's no more unsustainable than the lifestyle i've led for the previous 43 yrs….

  19. Winnie_Cooper

    Based on many of those numbers, I'm doing okay. However, if you deduct my student loan payments from my income, I would qualify for food stamps.

    *high five*

    1. PsycWench

      Well, maybe it's good that you don't, b/c I have relatives that would post on Facebook anything they saw you buy with those food stamps that didn't meet their stamp of approval. You bought butter? You don't need butter! Use bacon grease like a poor person oughta!

      1. Winnie_Cooper

        The EBT cards are pretty prevalent in my neighborhood, so I could probably use them with relatively little judgment from others. I would not be able to tell my parents, though. Absolute chaos would ensue from that discussion.

  20. Schmannnity

    $67,920? At minimum wage, that's only 9368 hours per year. Get busy people, the richest need a tax cut.

  21. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Well, thank God that the Republicans and the Tea Party are working so hard to help the poor and middle class, and make the rich pay their fair share.

  22. crybabyboehner

    We don't have much in the way of public transportation …
    There you go again, thinking only of yourself.
    Did you ever stop to consider what would happen to BP and Exxon and Goodyear if we had any more of this "public transportation" ?
    Didn't think so.

  23. aguacatero

    I want my country back:

    Even the most luxury-loving of the Framers — say, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, with his love of expensive sweets and bubblebaths imported from France — could have easily made do on $67,919/year!

    1. Limeylizzie

      Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
      Is that a real name, if it is it's fabulous! think I will name my next cat Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, after one of my current two passes on.

      1. carolinaswamp

        Charles Cotesworth Pinckney was all too real, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and the benevolent owner of hundreds of people who had flocked to him asking to be taken under his kindly wing and allowed to perish of malaria in the rice fields of his many plantations. Most articles on Pinckney also include the word "oligarch" somewhere in the text.

  24. Ducksworthy

    I think I'll join the Tea Baggers in demanding liberty for the Asia Paper Company and Koch Industries. Only I'm going to be explicit about who it is I'm supporting.

  25. JustPixelz

    Stop your griping! With a little pluck and a contract with TLC for a taxpayer-subsidized reality show, a coupla book deals and some bendy straws, anyone can become inexplicably wealthy.

  26. JackDempsey1

    There are a lot of facts, figures, and number thingys here for a wonkette post.
    Where are the monthly budget entries for porn?

  27. EdFlintstone

    Hey yesterday's trailer trash is today's nouveau middle class. It's why I'm investing in tarps, grule, spam and pitchforks. The republicans are stepping up with some solutions by loosening child labor laws, time for those preteens to quit slacking.

    1. Polythene_Pam

      Looking through the 'helpwanted' ads right now, to see if any of the local mills or coal mines are hiring 9 year olds.

  28. SayItWithWookies

    Such whiners these Americans are — the LORD gave you two kidneys for a reason, people!

  29. crybabyboehner

    You might want something a little more assertive. Ripple red has a bold fruity nose, with hints of paint shellac.

  30. jus_wonderin

    An example of what we do in our family is like when the mistress wanted a boob job, I told her that she should learn to sacrifice. So, we got one boob done. And then will get the next one next year.

    I told her we all have to do our part. Pull our loads, so to speak.

  31. horsedreamer_1

    If I were married, & if my wife made as much as I do (between two jobs, one full-time, one part-time), we'd be sitting pretty.

  32. WhatTheHeck

    …no wine tastings…

    Mr Gloomy-pants Ken, I’ll have you know the street people around here have wine tastings every evening. Its just I can't tell if they are drinking red or white as the bottle is in a brown paper bag. Other than that, they are living the American dream.They want to be in America. Everything free in America.

  33. baconzgood

    Middle Class? No I'm not familiar….You must me thinking of that singer that choked on a sandwich. I think she was in The Mammas & The Pappas.

  34. prommie

    I knows I am gonna get a big giant "oh, boo hoo, you poor thing you" for this one, but fuck all ya'all, I'm gonna say it anyway. My two-income family of four has 3 cars, one of the four being a collegiate student. I recently added it all up, we was paying $9,000 a year in insurance, payments of $560 a month for the economy car, and $800 a month for the nice car, and gasoline to the tune of $900 a month, yes indeedy, gasoline, $900 a month (combined commuting of 200 miles a day).

    Whats that, something north of $34,000 a year in automobile expenses?

    Yes indeedy, more than $34,000 a year in automobile expenses.

    My father's first house cost $8,000.00

    But there hasn't been any inflation, of course, because the cars and gas and insurance all have increased hedonic value, dontcha know!

  35. OC_3300X_Serf

    …but if you are a Corporation, that $67,920 pre-tax turns into $4,228,449 post-tax.

  36. JoshuaNorton

    What's really ironic is that the toothless Rascal-riding teatards think "tax cuts for the rich" means them if their lucky to be making $25,000 a year.

    Their idea of a diverse portfolio is a combination of scratchers and quick picks.

    How's that "Vote Republican" thingy working out for ya?

  37. Ken Layne

    No kidding. When my household had a brush with good incomes a couple of years ago, I was wondering why it didn't actually *cover expenses.* If I just gave up wine and books and locked the kids in the garage all day instead of paying $1,200 a month in daycare ….

    1. emmelemm

      Actually, locking the kids in the garage all day would probably eventually lead to CPS being called, kids taken away, housed and paid for by someone else = #WINNING!

      More money for wine that way…

    2. Steverino247

      Now, consider that my wife can't work and can't make SS understand why and my job and retirement have become politcal footballs, that my younger son depends on SS due to his being totally disabled thanks to W's Big Iraq Adventure, that his older brother no longer has health insurance for himself and my grandson (makes too much to qualify, etc.) and we've got good times ahead for the Friends of Steverino247.

      Fortunately, I know how to make revolutions work.

  38. anniegetyerfun

    12K for housing? I pay double that in interest alone, and I make less than 68K. I… well, happy Friday everyone! Yay!

  39. ChuckieJesus

    There's a reason why they haven't changed the income guidelines for poverty since 1972 or whatever: Americans react poorly to being OVERTLY screwed.

    1. Ducksworthy

      Quite right too. They prefer to be screwed while lubed up on Fux Noise and Santorum.

  40. Radiotherapy

    How are these "poor" people going to buy the quintessential American staples of guns and ammo?

    1. schvitzatura

      They are being made now, in the lovely little town of Darra Adam Khel, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (North-West Frontier Province):
      http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1gizg_vice-trav

      As long as the wack pastor guy in FL does not burn any more Q'urans, Billy Bob might still be able to pick up a "hand-crafted" AK-4x knock-off at a drive-in flea market.

  41. stanpan

    If I had the smarts, I'd develop a video game which featured trundling rich turds like the Koch brothers off to the guillotine. Maybe call it "Reign O' Terror".
    I'd sell a shit-load of copies and use the profit to make mischief against said rich turds.
    Or else retire to a private island and live like a James Bond villain.

  42. BklynIlluminati

    I always knew that a Victorian/Charles Dickens era was going to make a comeback. I got my fingerless gloves and newsie hat all ready to go panhandling and reading a mournful look to use after i get called a street urchin

    1. DashboardBuddha

      Shit! We are heading there and we don't even don't have the ability to fall back on selling papers on the street after we've been laid off. Paper newspapers? hahahhahahah

      1. BarryOPotter

        don't have the ability to fall back on selling papers on the street

        BklynIlluminati, you're screwed. More.

    2. zhubajie

      Selling apples, etc., on the sidewalk is probably against zoning laws most places and might get you free room and board in jail!

  43. undeterredbyreality

    'Bout six months ago I was paying my cable bill and the news was on about Obama's plan to increase taxes on those making more than $250K a year. (This was before the Dems caved on that.) The lady taking my money made some shitass comment about how Obama's gonna raise her taxes. I said "Comcast is paying you $250,000 to sit here & take my money? Where do I apply?"

    PS–I no longer have cable.

  44. not that Dewey

    (ex-)Mayor Richie J Daley used a similar gambit to redefine homelessness in such a way that Chicago ended up with only like 3 homeless people.

  45. Gorillionaire

    Don't worry, pretty soon Ben Stein will be on the tv talk shows to remind us that having a working telephone and 1984 Accord would be "the good life" in a third world shithole country, so hey everything is, fine?

    1. Steverino247

      That's OK. Ben Stein is still too stupid to understand why Nixon resigned.

      (For those who need an explanation: BS was the young kid with the "say it ain't so" look on his face standing in the back of the room when Nixon gave his farewell to the staff speech. If you didn't know why Nixon resigned in 1974, you're too fucking stupid to be allowed out in public.)

    2. zhubajie

      Actually, most urban people here in China have cell phones and lots have electric scooters. Public transport is increasing — Kunming is building a new subway!

  46. JoshuaNorton

    Weep for poor Sean Duffy (R-WI) who's boo-hooing that he can't make it on his Congressional salary of $174,000 a year.

    Someone needs to start a food and clothing drive for his family. They desperately need the basic amenities like oyster forks and pate and have to make-do with last year's Versace.

  47. fuflans

    but good news! this job posting is available:

    Make $10.00 for 10 minutes (1st 50) . Arrive at Rossi Furniture at 9:30 am sharp and stand in line for a TV commercial. The first 50 will receive the $10.00.

    'merica is back!!

  48. mesothet

    ♪♫ I'm a… maaaaaan of means by no means ♫♪
    ♫♪ King of the Road ♪♫

    Hey! That's my spot! Find your own freeway overpass!

  49. donner_froh

    "the bottom three quintiles of American household income top out at $62,000"

    When I was a kid my parents told me to stay out of quintiles because bad things happen in them. If only I had listened to them I might have some money now.

    1. not that Dewey

      Finish your Fruity Pebbles. As soon as Dora is over, it's back to the munitions factory!

  50. GOPCrusher

    I have to wonder how much longer India will have consumers, since they tend to kill the CEO of a company for closing the plant.
    They haven't learned to suffer in silence like us Americans.

  51. ChurchofRealism

    Now imagine you are a one income family with two kids on the Autism spectrum who are not covered by your employer's health insurance. America, fuck yeah….

  52. Dudleydidwrong

    Some financial guy asked me if I had a plan for retirement. I said that I was investing all my income in PowerBall and MegaMillions and hoped that I would win something. He looked startled and said, superciliously, "Hope is not a plan!" So I shot him. I just hope that his family had a plan.

  53. MadBrahms

    Whee! And in Scott Walker's America, you're now ineligible for state health care unless your family income is below 22,000. It used to be 37, but you know, things are so *cheap* these days, and there are plenty of chickens in Wisconsin to barter for care.

  54. prommie

    Do they still make T.J. Swann? It came in 3 flavors, Mellow Days, Easy Nights, and for when you really want to party, "Steppin' Out"

  55. Walkinwiddaking

    Why does the Wonkette always take the negative side when it comes to all things economic?

    Take this for example: http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/01/news/economy/hedg

    I remember a few months back when MSNBC ran an ad for Morning Joe and near the end there's a clip of that dick saying something along the lines of, "class warfare has never worked as an issue in this country." Haven't seen that ad lately.

  56. Neoyorquino

    "When the middle class identifies with the poor, that is when reform happens in America" (via somebody on Reddit . . . not that I ever visit other websites).

  57. sportshort

    You woke me up out of a good hangover to read this shit? I saw my fucking shadow and now we're gonna have twelve more years of bad luck. Damn you.

  58. PublicLuxury

    We are offiicially a Banana Republic. Let's all join hands and refuse to let go until the top has been toppled.

  59. Negropolis

    In other news, blood and sperm bank deposits are going through the roof; a sticky, slimey roof.

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