our flourishing economy

New U.S. Achievement: More Americans In Poverty Than Ever!

We best socialist countries don't have stock 'comical sad clown' characters throughout their culture.If the sunshine seemed a little bit brighter this morning and the air a little bit sweeter, you were surely imagining it — Obama’s new smog allowances keep the skies permanently brown and sour, despite the collapse of American manufacturing. But America is on the rise in one exciting new respect: One of every six Americans is legally poor, and more Americans are officially in poverty than ever before! The Census Bureau just released its 2010 poverty data, which says 46.2 million Americans are The Poors — that’s an all-time record and a 17-year peak in percentage terms. The Census Bureau bases its poverty threshold on family size and number of kids, so it goes from a $10,956 annual income for a sad adult living alone to $21,756 a year for a now-mythical family of four with two children. So remember, when trying to put yourself “in poverty” because you make 20K a year giving handjobs behind Union Station, that you’re well above the poverty rate if you’re supporting only yourself with that free-lance consultancy income. But if you’ve got an unemployed “common law husband” and a couple of malnourished orc children hunting rats underneath the half-collapsed trailer you call home, then you are part of the hottest new demographic in this great nation.

Says the stock-market news site Marketwatch:

A record number of people were in poverty last year as households saw their income decrease, according to data released by the Census Bureau Tuesday demonstrating the weakness of the economy even after the recession ended.

The 46.2 million people in poverty in 2010 was the largest group for the 52 years that estimates have been published, and the number of people in poverty rose for the fourth consecutive year as the poverty rate climbed to 15.1% — the highest since 1993 — up from 14.3% in 2009.

Of course, one can argue that $913 a month is plenty for one person, especially when you add $150 a month in food stamps (not counted against the poverty threshold numbers) and especially if that person doesn’t own (or need) a car and car insurance and doesn’t require a couple a hundred a month for gasoline and $50 for a cell phone and $50 for cable and $300 a month for heating oil (or air conditioning) and can find a half-decent place with $375 monthly rent. This all theoretically possible, after all, especially if you lived in another country with affordable housing and public transportation.

But then you wouldn’t be in America, which would make you Un-American. So how can the CNN Republican Tea Party best solve these problems without inconveniencing giant energy corporations and cell phone contract providers? Perhaps last night’s popular GOP proposal to kill everyone without health insurance isn’t such a bad idea, after all. [Marketwatch/NYT]

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

Comments

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  • nounverb911

    We're number 2! We're number 2! We're number 2!

    • elviouslyqueer

      I saw what you did there.

    • MOG2410

      Caca!

  • nounverb911

    Better lower the taxes on the job creators. (Especially the ones that export those jobs to China).

    • mrpuma2u

      EGG-zacklee. Tinkle down economics will work. The job creators will release a golden showering stream of jobs once they are no longer fettered by socialist taxes.

    • Negropolis

      What true, red-blooded, American patriot doesn't support the outsourcing of his or her job?

  • metamarcisf

    Sure. Poverty. As in microwave ovens, toilets, TVs, rocket launchers, polo ponies. Yeah, I got your poverty, America!

  • Buzz Feedback

    Maximum Hobo Power.

    • http://www.wonkette.com TanzbodenKoenig

      Form of: a shanty-town!

  • Barb

    It would be nice if the poor were to get even half of the money that is spent in studying them.

    • bureaucrap

      maybe, but then they'd have to lay off more college professors, statisticians, and pundits, and we couldn't have that, could we?

  • elviouslyqueer

    The solution to this is obvious: more tax cuts to the top 1%!

    • freakishlywrong
      • elviouslyqueer

        I'm not even surprised by this, only now they're hauling out the "this doesn't look bipartisan enough for us" gambit. What these motherfuckers really need is a nice, warm, H2SO4 shower.

  • Tommmcattt

    This is sad. No snark here at all. Have you guys any idea exactly how shit poor you have to be to qualify as poor in this country officially?

    Meanwhile, Paris Hilton replaces her chihuahua's testicles with Jadeite to match her earrings…

    • Barb

      Damn anchor Mexican dogs are taking the dog jobs away from the American dogs.

      • AlterNewt

        ..or as. M.Bachmann would say, "Jehovah dogs".

    • Lascauxcaveman

      So, we're doing OK in bread and circuses, still.

      • V572 T-Blow

        Are you ready for some football?

        Okay, how about some extreme curling* from Winnipeg?
        ________________________
        *Curling looks like a janitorial competition because it is a janitorial competition. That's why they dress that way.

        • Lascauxcaveman

          I love curling. Especially that one chick who screams at the rock everytime she throws it. Our Canadian readers will know who I'm talking aboot.

          • V572 T-Blow

            It almost makes baseball seem intuitive. But you gotta admit the uniforms need more pizazz. Maybe when Fox Sports picks it up they’ll dress more like robots.

          • Lascauxcaveman

            Maybe for the guys? But most of those lady curlers are pretty fit and would look good in a skin-tight body suit. Something along the lines of a Star Trek uniform? Just thinking aloud here; bikinis probably wouldn't work in an ice arena.

          • Tommmcattt

            Straight guys: any excuse to think about boobs.

          • Lascauxcaveman

            I've never known a single sporting event to be spoiled by the inclusion of nicely formed and properly displayed rackage. This is just Sports Marketing 101, my friend.

            Or maybe just Marketing 101, now that I think of it.

          • Tommmcattt

            Sports marketing, let's face it, is an excuse to think about boobs.

            It's a regressive loop with you guys…

  • Wonderthing

    Building the revolution one malnourished, educationally and emotionally stunted child at a time.

    • Negropolis

      The revolution will be YouTubed!

  • Schmannnity

    Hey, the glass is 5/6ths full.

    • Pristine_ODummy

      I thought it was 3/5, by law.

  • Mort_Sinclair

    Single straight female hobo seeking single straight male hobo to share companionship, long walks on the beach, a can of beans, and a refrigerator box.

    • Negropolis

      Golddigger! Refrigerator box?! I'd settle for a flat-screen television box.

  • gullywompr

    9/11 changed everything.

  • GunToting[Redacted]

    Well, just think of the stirring round of applause each of the poors will get when they expire from some disease.

    • Pristine_ODummy

      If we could just turn this into a TV show …

  • http://hong-kong-actresses.blogspot.com/ donner_froh

    Perhaps last night’s popular GOP proposal to kill everyone without health insurance isn’t such a bad idea, after all.

    It might work. They could first be made to wear distinctive arm bands, then get assaulted in the street and fired from their jobs or their business ruined/confiscated and then we could go on to the final solution.

    • KotBR

      That whole thing sounds vaguely familiar. Where have I heard that before?

    • Pristine_ODummy

      I like that phrase, The Final Solution, but something tells me it won't sit well with the Oldz. At least, not those who still have working brains.

  • Schmannnity

    Time to sneak into Mexico for jobs.

    • Crank_Tango

      I have been practicing my "chicle! senor!" routine for a while now.

    • mrpuma2u

      Si se puede!

  • http://facethesuncastnoshadow.wordpress.com/ Mumbletypeg

    I haz a sad for Baconzgood, since he will find this difficult to "masterbate" to~

  • Crank_Tango

    Yeah but if the poor had any money, they would just spend it on stuff, and that would be, um, bad for the economy?

  • LettucePrey

    Resume pro-tip: spell your current occupation "Haux-beau." It's classier that way.

    • genxr

      Job duties: "bean counter"

      • OneYieldRegular

        "Expert-Comptable des Haricots."

    • Crank_Tango

      SDF is a pretty nice french term (sans domicile fixe), if you were looking for something that sounds professional, yet means homeless.

      • EatsBabyDingos

        John Boner probably douches his hands every day because he is not careful with the weasel nozzle.

    • hagajim

      I thought you put self-employed.

    • Negropolis

      Nice!

  • http://www.wonkette.com ManchuCandidate

    The Sun Will Come out Tomorrow.
    Bet your last Amero that tomorrow will be… meh.
    The Rich will Come out tomorrow
    They'll laugh and say "Thank god I'm not you" and run away

    Tomorrow!
    Tomorrow!
    It's just a tax cut away!!!!

  • smitallica

    Trickle down must work really, really slowly.

    • littlebigdaddy

      Yeah, we need the political equivalent of Flomax (without the psychotropic side-effects, hopefully).

      • Pristine_ODummy

        Oh geezus, is that why the Oldz driving cars are so dangerous?

      • horsedreamer_1

        Gatorade might work just as well, for the dehydration. Cheaper, & tastier, too.

    • Toomush_Infer

      One little teadrop at a time…

  • littlebigdaddy

    Yeah, but if they have color tvs, then they can't be poors! QED!

    • Chichikovovich

      The holdover-from-the-60s reference to "color TV" always gets me. Whenever I hear it (too often) I say "do you have any idea how expensive it would be to find and restore a black and white TV?"

      OK monitor – delete away!

  • charlesdegoal

    Killing some of the poor might reduce their numbers as well as create a few jobs (poor killers, grave diggers, etc.) so it isn't all that bad. I'd still opt for killing a fair number of rich people and redistributing heir wealth.

    • RedneckMuslin

      But less people you can reduce taxes on so its a wash.

  • baconzgood

    "It's the end of the world as we know it
    and I feel…cold, hungry, destitute."

    -REM-

  • Come here a minute

    And still the poverty rate is miniscule when compared to the Republican moral bankruptcy rate.

  • http://hong-kong-actresses.blogspot.com/ donner_froh

    Even with affordable housing, decent public transportation and government sponsored health insurance it might be tough to live in a foreign country on ten grand a year.

    But it would be possible, which it isn't in Amerikkka.

  • baconzgood

    NEEDS MOAR TAX CUTS FOR GE!!!!!!

  • Ducksworthy

    Why is social mobility so much better in the socialmalist countries? Oh yeah. Education. We hate education in this country and with good reason. Look what happened in the 60's and 70's when all those students ran wild with to $120,000 student debts to look forward to.

    • OneDollarJuana

      Don't forget that they have policies that push money down, not force it up. And they have universal health care.

  • http://wonkette.com/ Sharkey

    Make good money $5 a day
    Made anymore I might move away…

    • Barrelhse

      Now I gotta play Europe 72.

  • Schmannnity

    If I may quote Ron Paul, "this is what freedom is all about." These poor people obviously chose poverty. Who can explain it?

  • http://johnnyzhivago.blogspot.com johnnyzhivago

    You can't be poor and have a refrigerator! Haven't these people heard of take-out????

  • V572 T-Blow

    The French call our system (together with the Brits' and I guess the Aussies') "Anglo-Saxon capitalism." Not sure why it has to be more heartless than its continental counterparts, but it sure as hell is.

    This should put a stop to any idle chatter about "raising the minimum wage" or "extending unemployment benefits." Supply and demand, bitches!

  • MrFizzy

    At least basketball players and "defense" executives are doing alright.

  • CrunchyKnee

    We're #1 (at sucking)!

  • http://johnnyzhivago.blogspot.com johnnyzhivago

    We should start teaching poor kids Indian and Russian. Then in 10 years we'll be able to open Indian call centers here!

  • Trannysurprise

    The Poors get what they keep voting for. So everybody send your hobo beans to the South, in Tiffany wrapped boxes.

  • EatsBabyDingos

    Today we all sit on the bottom floor seat of a two story outhouse. Trickle down, indeed.

  • http://johnnyzhivago.blogspot.com johnnyzhivago

    Well folks, I happen to like trains, so the hobo thing is kind of appealing….

    • freakishlywrong

      Republicans defunded trains.

  • SorosBot

    I can't see how a single person could live on just $20K a year, much less a family; and hell $913 a month is only slightly higher than my rent, and I don't exactly live in a palace. Having to get by on that tiny amount of money has got to be excruciating.

  • http://www.vinoverve.com Maman

    At our house we are working up a business plan for an operation that we like to call, "The Last Cruise". The olds, infirms and lucky poor (who stay below the Lido Deck) cruise the Caribbean being treated like kings… and then at any time they can take their capsules and check out. Burial at sea is included with the price?

    Investors? Anybody?

  • DaRooster

    "Mommy, look at the sharks."
    "See if you can pet one Timmy."
    *gulp*
    "Honey, we get to split an extra bowl of beans tonight!"

  • RedneckMuslin

    Republican win! Isn't this the shining city upon the hill St Reagan bonered for? Looking down upon the poor?

  • JackDempsey1

    That fella in the picture is the poster boy for covetousness.
    Isn't there a spotlight beam somewhere that needs sweeping right about now?

  • EatsBabyDingos

    Darfur the poor.

  • chascates

    The local talk radio (I was riding with a teatard) nut made the point that Warren Buffet's secretary was eligible for the same 15% capital gains tax that Buffet was, proving his thesis the wealthy should pay more was specious. That same teatard driver told me people on SSDI are loafers who don't deserve it.

    Drudge highlights the poverty news with a big photo of Obama serving at a soup kitchen yesterday with other hedes intimating that loss of insurance for people is his fault as well.

    Who needs foreign terrorists?

    • freakishlywrong

      You pushed the teatard out of the car, right? Right?

  • EatsBabyDingos

    Let them drink Koch.

  • ragnarok4msm

    "Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
    The fifth would pay $1.
    The sixth would pay $3.
    The seventh would pay $7.
    The eighth would pay $12.
    The ninth would pay $18.
    The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

    So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers, he said, 'I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

    And so:

    The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
    The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
    The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
    The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
    The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving s).

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. 'I only got a dollar out of the $20', declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,' but he got $10!' 'Yeah, that’s right, exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!' 'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!' 'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!' The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

    The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

    And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier."

    David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
    Professor of Economics, University of Georgia
    For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
    For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible

    • SorosBot

      Wah wah wah I don't wanna pay taxes! Wah wah wah I'm a libertarian and I'm gonna try to sound all smart even though I know absolutlely nothing about economics and believe in an intellectually and morally bankrupt pseudeo-philosophy that justifies sociopatihic behavior!! Wah wah wah I'm whiny-ass little baby!!!

      Fucktard, you are a giant moron who is completely full of shit and wants to make the wold a worse place. Please either learn how the real world works or eat shit, fuck off and die, you vile piece of shit.

    • Toomush_Infer

      Did you get that degree by yourself, or did someone help to pay for the cracker jack university you attended on the way to shitheelism. The solipsistic analysis you've engaged in here is beyond pathetic. There is no bartender. The tenth man has always gotten to decide the price of drinks…

      • zhubajie

        Bought it from a matchbook cover.

    • genxr

      Obviously you do not understand, and explaining to you is impossible.

      Please take your money to a country with a 0% tax rate, and good luck protecting your life.

    • CapnFatback

      Ooh, I know! The moral of the story is after beating up the tenth man, make certain to take all of his money!

    • PhilippePetain

      Except in this bar, when the beers cost more and the tenth guy who is always there and has never left the bar ever in his entire life, pays more, everyone continues to drink when they need to have one because the wife is being a bitch and the job is shitty and laid him off but hey, he'll find another one in a few months, while the tenth guy complains that he might leave, even though he's doing fine and everyone else is doing better, and the bar has never done better business, and everything has been stable and there are actually more customers coming in, not leaving because the whole town is full of relatively well to do patrons that bring in money and the motherfucker running the bar is doing so well that he actually grows his business and opens up a chicken shack across the street and everything works out pretty well.

    • PhilippePetain

      Oh also, why don't people check snopes? or even Google homeboy's name and get the first result, where he denies having authored this homily?
      http://davidk.myweb.uga.edu/

      • mrpuma2u

        Excellent detective work monsieur.

      • zhubajie

        No opinion on it's merits? Can't judge it to be Libertarian crap?

    • SorosBot

      By the way, how would "they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier" when America has the lowest taxes on the rich of any developed country? Not to mention that your analogy is completely dishonest; it only looks at federal income tax rates.

      Everybody pays taxes; the "40% of Americans pay no taxes" is a vicious zombie lie that right-wing scumbags keep repeating. It completely ignores the regressive sales taxes and payroll taxes that all people pay. The analogy also ignores the fact that most of the wealthy do not make most of their money from investments, not income, and disgustingly in this country we tax capital gains a lower rate than actual earned income, at most 15%; just as even more disgustingly we tax inheritances at special, lower rate than real income.

      The rich don't come close to paying their fair share in this country today; but no, we've got the dipshit GOP in charge who won't think of making them pay just a little bit more but instead want to cut services and steal from the poor to give to the rich. They are evil sociopathic cocksucking motherfuckers.

    • Barrelhse

      How simplistic and smug, and divorced from reality.

      • SorosBot

        "Simplistic, smug and divorced from reality" is a great description of the members of the Objectivist cult if you want to avoid expletives.

    • spinozasgod

      I would say this is a straw-man arguement, but that would be too generous. This "metaphore" has nothing to do with how the tax system works, or how government works, or even how a bar works…..

    • mrpuma2u

      So ragging on socialism or whatever your name is, it sounds like you need to move to a no tax, no big government country with no one mucking up your being rich.

      Have I got a country for you! SOMALIA! It is a no tax paradise, where you can own a tank or a rocket launcher or bazooka (you will need all three most likely) and just make money to your hearts content!!!! Now mind you there is no socialist interstate system to move your goods to market, or socialist FBI to investigate those that steal from you, or socialist fire department to put out fires in your business warehouse or giant mansion home, but that won't stop a visionary like you! No sir. I wish you the very best of luck, don't let the door hit you on the ass.

      • zhubajie

        "It is, it is a marvellous thing to be a pirate king," but this author would be lucky to be captain of the head and not end up giving head to the crew!

    • Geminisunmars

      So move, already.

      • genxr

        Sealandia awaits!

    • fuflans

      tl/dr so i guess i don't really understand.

      but at least i'm funny!

      • genxr

        It's simple, really. If I make $100k and pay $30k in taxes, then someone making $20k should also pay $30k in taxes.

    • zhubajie

      They pay more almost everywhere.

    • crybabyboehner

      University of Georgia – no explanation necessary.

  • http://crasstalk.com/ grandinquisitor

    America, fuck NO!

  • http://facethesuncastnoshadow.wordpress.com/ Mumbletypeg

    Today we are all Tom Joad, Sam Stone, or Orphan Ann. She was Annie but like the others could no longer afford a second syllable to her name.

  • PhilippePetain

    How do Republicans gel their beliefs in American exceptionalism and growing poverty?

    • genxr

      There's "Real Americans" and then there's lazy shiftless poors who are getting a free ride from the productive class.

      • Sue4466

        Like Michele "farm subsidies and Medicare $$" Bachmann? which is she again?

    • spinozasgod

      read above: ragnorok4msm…..they are full of simple minded crap.

      • PhilippePetain

        Yeah, I just like asking these questions to pretend that 40% of the country aren't simpletons. The truth hurts too much sometimes.

    • freakishlywrong

      No need. The media will affirm the narrative for them.

  • Sue4466

    But Fox told me people aren't poor poor so long as they have indoor plumbing, refrigerators, and a phone.

    • mrpuma2u

      and a flat screen TV with no off switch, that only gets FOX news and the home shopping network.

  • hagajim

    Fucking poors…they're a drag on society!

  • badseeds

    Efficiency and progress is ours once more.

    • PhilippePetain

      That "convince the liberals it's okay" line isn't far from the truth these days, it seems…

  • Barrelhse

    This is GREAT news for rabble-rousers.

  • Slim_Pickins

    Huzzah!!! And here, all this time, I thought that freshman congressmen were the poors. Why else would they have to live in their offices until the PAC money starts to roll in?

  • genxr

    Thank goodness we put a stop to the wealth redistribution. Now all the wealth can stay right where it is.

  • owhatever

    Obviously, the Bush tax cuts on the job creators work well. Let's continue doing it.

  • http://howtosavetheworld.ca/ BZ1

    but do they pay any taxes? they should pay at least something… according to every GOP prez hopeful…

    • BarackMyWorld

      That argument of theirs has been countered three different ways and they still keep making it:
      -poor people do pay taxes in the form of EVERY OTHER tax besides federal income;
      -increasing taxes on the bottom 50% would get you very much money since they only make 2% of the wealth;
      -decreasing the purchasing power of the bottom 50% of the population would KILL demand for products and basic services and send the economy into even worse shape.

      • genxr

        Republicans want to ONLY tax the poor, and only tax money that is earned through hard work. Money that makes itself – investment income – should be tax free.

  • KommunistKitty

    It is just adorable the way that Marketwatch tells its readers that these new statistics demonstrate "the weakness of the economy", as opposed to the weakness of neoliberal policies. They are such sly little cuties!

  • fuflans

    i would take a clown job if i could get one.

  • JackObin

    On a positive note, Yiddish turd Lloyd Blankfein made 140 million dollars last year. That's alot of prayer shawls.

  • http://www.deathwishcreeps.com/about/ Comrade Wingtard

    Uh, how can someone even have a roof over their head on $11K / year? Is that even possible? Hell I would call $30K / year poverty for a single adult, unless you live in an inherited house, have fifteen roomates or are on assistance of some kind or something.

  • Jukesgrrl

    You're welcome! I'm honored to have helped our country achieve this fine statistic.

  • Attila_T_Hun

    I hereby propose that every elected official be replaced by three people who are homeless or jobless or both. They could share the salary and the bribes.

  • ttommyunger

    But look at what we've done for Afghanistan and Iraq! No, wait!

  • Barrelhse

    If they would simply change the threshold to $100 per year we could eliminate poverty altogether.

  • Negropolis

    Yeah, Obama's brown skies created all of the new poors, because Obama is morally weak.

    Kiss my black ass. But, only one irrelevant pot-shot of Obama this time. Improvement!

  • Pristine_ODummy

    Frank already said it first.

  • pdiddycornchips

    The answer is obvious. We have to lower the minimum wage to 10 cents a day and get rid of all those pesky regs. We'll be knee deep in industrial waste and flush with jobs in no time.

  • Not_So_Much

    Makes the next generation easier to keep in their place. Give them access to Brawndo and Soylent Green, then shut the fuck up and vote Republican if you don't want the price on either to go up.

  • friendlyskies

    What, you think Delta and Epsilon workers are just going to socially engineer themselves?Pffffft

  • MOG2410

    We can make the soylent green from those dead uninsured people!