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Report: America Even Better At Making Its People Poor Than It Thought

It is time to elect Canada president of the United States.While America nervously fidgets with excitement waiting to hear all the disgusting sexytime harassment details from a new Herman Cain accuser (the press conference hasn’t happened yet, but we promise, uh, it will be gross?), let’s scan some of the crappy “other news” clogging up the Internet and see… oh,  hm, what have we here? “The ranks of America’s poor are greater than previously known, reaching a new level of 49.1 million,” says a new revised census report. UGH, QUICK, BACK TO THE HERMAN CAIN TAB.

The U.S. Census Bureau nerds got their new number, up by nearly 3 million from September’s official report, by revising their crappy old formula to finally include things like, UH, “health care costs” and “transportation.” And just like that, millions more poor filthy hobos appear! IT’S MAGICK.

Broken down by groups, Americans 65 or older sustained the largest increases in poverty under the revised poverty formula — nearly doubling to 15.9 percent, or 1 in 6 — because of medical expenses that are not accounted for in the official rate. Those include rising Medicare premiums, deductibles and expenses for prescription drugs.

Working-age adults ages 18-64 also saw increases in poverty — from 13.7 percent to 15.2 percent — due mostly to commuting and child care costs.

This new number also now includes ameliorating factors like government non-cash aid like food stamps and housing assistance, without which the total would be even monstrously more enormous! Hooray, for capitalism! [RadarOnline/AP]

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    1. bureaucrap

      If only… at least they got food and shelter there. The real new social security is a monthly lottery ticket and a can of SPAM.

    2. HedonismBot

      Debtors' prison doesn't scare me, despite being monstrously in debt. It's kind of like being condemned to Hell when I die: I know all my friends and family will be there, so it can't be that bad.

  1. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    So, what you are saying is that poor houses and debtors prisons are a growth opportunity?

    1. chascates

      Texas' private prisons might have run themselves out of business if not for the events of September 11, 2001. The new wave of fear prompted a fresh demand for prisons to hold immigrants prior to deportation. Texas found itself back in the center of a private-prison gold rush. In the last five years, numerous new private prisons have been sited in Texas, some built in as few as 90 days. Now Texas is entering a new cycle of abuse, escapes, and mismanagement. http://www.texasprisonbidness.org/about-private-p

      1. HedonismBot

        Yet another example of how – in the long run – our reaction to the events of 9/11 hurt us far more than the terrorist attacks themselves.
        And, any industry whose profits depend upon human misery should not be allowed to exist.

  2. Chillwaver

    This is Class Warfare indeed, started by the riches, and the poorz are getting their asses handed to them.

    Alright, I'm going to lunch now…this shit is just too depressing…

  3. weejee

    new, third Herman Cain accuser

    Actually, the 4th. But whose counting. Well we are, at least 'til 10, or 20 if we're still wearing Mittens Brand filp-flops and can use our toes.

  4. nounverb911

    Is it against the law to be arrested so you can be sent to prison for the food and healthcare?

      1. HedonismBot

        So, the punishment would be… putting them back on to the streets? I can hear the judge now:
        "Mr. Hamburglar, your sentence for robbing the McDonald's is five years in prison. Your punishment for intentional imprisonment is early release after two years."

    1. flamingpdog

      AHA, so now we know the real motive behind the lazy, soshulist poorz trying to get themselves arrested at #OWS!

    2. mormos

      you didn't hear about that guy who robbed a bank for one dollar so he could get arrested and receive back surgery he desperately needed in prison?

      That was a real thing that happened.

    1. Beowoof

      I do think that travel agent to Shanghai would be the job of the future. As if others want a job that's where they would be.

  5. Dr_Zoidberg

    Well, nobody can't say America's the best there is at what we do…which is generate poverty, evidently.

    1. LabRodent

      We're also good at killing each other with guns. Just one more positive to add to the growing list. USA! USA

  6. littlebigdaddy

    Yes, but how many of those newly poor think that they are rich enough to benefit from the Bush tax breaks if their, you know, non-existent business takes off and maybe they win the lotto?

    1. bureaucrap

      If the fridge and microwave are part of the crappy two room walk up that a poor and seven members of his/her family are renting, the appliances are not really theirs anyways, so probably ZERO.

      1. Jukesgrrl

        And don't forget, the poorz insult America and take munniez from the 1% every hour they spend watching the teevee machine (unless they're watching FOX Noise, of course).

  7. ttommyunger

    "Report: America Even Better At Making Its People Poor Than It Thought." – Also exceeding expectations in the area of pissing its citizens off

  8. Antispandex

    See? Those old folk ARE spoiled! Why can't they just go out and get jobs?….Oh, um, well, they should have planned for their retirement and had a pension plan…Well sure they lost those, but it's still their fault.

    1. Dudleydidwrong

      Us olds are going out to get jobz–and we're taking them away from you yungger peeples 'cuz you don't need 'em and we duz. You don't see any yunggers standing in the entrances of Walmart Superstores checking bagz and handing out cartz, do you? Eight dollarz an hour and all the out-of-date milk you can drink! Hot Damn!

      By the way, that can of Hobo Beans–where'dya get it? I can't find the large economy size at my Salvation Army store.

    2. Jukesgrrl

      No snark: Right at this moment I am sitting in the waiting room of an outpatient physical therapy center, waiting to be told about all the medical care I will have to administer personally to my 99% of a mother who isn't allowed to stay in the hospital (even though she needs it). Her insurance company thinks (it's a person, so it can think) an 85-year-old should be functioning normally six days after major surgery and if she can't, well, her kids have to pick up the slack. After all, isn't that why she had kids? I don't remember getting a medical degree; apparently I forgot to do that at the same time I forgot to make a million dollars! I'm such a fuck up.

      1. Antispandex

        I'm really sorry to read that. They did something of the like to my mom, and she worked from the time she was sixteen, until she was 72. Fortunately for the poor folks running her god awful H.M.O. she didn't linger and cost them too much money. That way they didn't have to lay off a minimum wage clerical worrker. I'll just say good luck to you and your mom, because it would be illegal to suggest the course I would like to recommend.

        1. Jukesgrrl

          Thanks for the support. And I'm really sorry about your mom. I don't know too many people in our age group who aren't dealing with these depressing issues. My best friend is assisting a mother and an aunt who have dementia and when I feel sorry for myself I call her. She's got it worse.

  9. donner_froh

    If the Census Bureau did its job the right way and eliminated expenditures for unnecessary items like food, clothing and shelter there would be fewer poor people.

    1. Dok-cupy Everything

      If the Census Bureau didn't exceed its Constitutional mandate and only did a simple head count, we wouldn't even have to know all this depressing stuff!


    1. Dok-cupy Everything

      They say that money
      can't buy you love in this world
      But it'll get a half-pound of cocaine
      and a sixteen year old girl
      in a great big long limousine
      on a hot September night
      Now, that may not be love
      But it is all right.

      –R Newman, "It's Money That I Love"

  10. KathrynSane

    </snark> I've been unable to laugh at hobo beans jokes ever since I offered to buy an elderly homeless man something at the grocery store. He came in with me, picked up two cans of beans, and sheepishly asked if he could get a third. Dude was a veteran. The entire interaction was just…ugh. So sad. Fucking America, man.

    1. LabRodent

      The good part about that story is the next homeless guy/women who ask me for something today may get a shopping spree on me.

    2. GOPCrusher

      That the saddest part, how many of the homeless are veterans. Republiklans are all about supporting the troops as long as they are killing brown people. But the minute they come home, fuck em, you're on your own.

      1. GeorgiaBurning

        Standing in front of the Wall'o'Troops- good for campaign
        Standing in front of homeless veterans- bad for campaign
        Voting to raise taxes to pay for wars and veterans- bad for campaign contributions

        Everybody's got that down

      2. GorzoTheMighty

        But at least they are pro-life from conception to birth. They have that going for them. Sigh…

        1. Rotundo_

          They're only "pro-life" to the minimal extent it takes to get the pigeons into the voting booth for another term. Not a one of them has any more respect for life than they do for their fellow man. As long as they can bamboozle them into the booth to press the magic button. If they truly were as rabidly "pro-life" as they act, they would have railroaded the right to choose while Dubya was in office if not before. They have the court stacked, they have everything they need, but they know if they pull the trigger the gimmick is gone and the lure of the voting booth is gone. Gun owners are almost as stupid a lot, played like a fucking harp from hell.

    3. fartknocker

      Your a kind person.

      My family sends money every month to the local food bank. Quarterly they send out a newsletter telling us how they are doing. What's sad is they have more and more demands for service, instead of the opposite.

      For all the great things this Nation has to offer, one would think we would not have a problem with hunger and homelessness.

      1. KathrynSane

        Homelessness is one of those issues that just kills me, especially because NO ONE CARES. I live in a decent-sized city and the way people treat homeless people is just fucking disgusting. A homeless man got literally beaten to death in broad daylight in a busy tourist/business area here a few years back. No one cared enough to help.

  11. memzilla

    Let's see… increasing poverty of citizens… an exploited labor force… multiple wars… bloated defense spending… plutocrats getting plutocrattier… bribery of government officials… a shrinking state treasury… competition from foreigners… mindless entertainment to distract the masses from all of the above… yup, sounds like headlines torn from either the newspapers of 2011 or the Roman Daily Times of 395 A.D.

    1. bureaucrap

      The problem is that those Roman headlines started appearing in 65 BC (in one interpretation, Julius Caesar was the FDR of his time and Brutus the "malefactor of great wealth") and kept going for another 500 years. Unjust societies are often notoriously and annoyingly long-lived.

      1. SorosBot

        So then we can look forward to the elimination of democracy and 500 years of imperial expansion where we know longer pretend we're not just trying to take over the world?

      2. Negropolis

        Well, except for the fact that with increased technological advancement everything gets sped up, including climbs and declines.

    2. poorgradstudent

      The only thing missing is a crazy new religion that's a hit smash among the elite. Oh fuck, that could be either Scientology or Mormonism…

        1. sati_demise

          the Church of Trickle Down. yes, its membership is about half of America because of their excellent mainstream media.

    3. Millennial Malaise

      What's sad is many of those headlines could have come from 500 years earlier, before the Republic was totally kaput.

      I shudder to think how much farther we could go but our decline will probably go much faster since the United States is so awesome at things. Especially self-destruction.

  12. MrFizzy

    That's what's going to happen when you're competing with a country like China, which has 1.3B laborers, a low standard of living, and no environmental regulations. Couple that with the fact that they have finally learned how to make things that are worth a shit, and it's big trouble. Oh, did I mention that they don't have buffoons like Herman Cain and Rick Perry trying to lead the country?

      1. MrFizzy

        I think our buffoons are really good, though. Nothing like a drunk, ignorant Texan to stir the imagination of the public, evidently.

      2. GeorgiaBurning

        Theirs go to Macau or Vegas to paw whores, drink and gamble politely out of sight and in officially designated areas. I miss shame.

    1. Negropolis

      with the fact that they have finally learned how to make things that are worth a shit

      I'm sorry, but for all that nation's improvement, they will be little more than the WalMart of the world for a very long time. China's only strength is its bulk, not its quality, and that's not going to change any time soon.

      1. MrFizzy

        Absolutely true – unfortunately, if Walmart is the model, the Chinese are going to do just fine selling ordinary products to us, because no one in this country's going to have any money.

  13. Callyson

    Now I understand why the Republicans want to raise taxes for poor people. There are so many of them, after all, and if they would just pay income taxes on top of all the other taxes they pay, they'd stop being poor.

  14. Maman

    That is why the right is so against the "War on Christmas" because Christmas makes people forget their poverty. So we must be totally fucked according to the Burl Ives song I heard this morning.

    1. chascates

      Also Christmas is the time to think of the less fortunate so they don't need to rely on 'government handouts' but instead need to rely on 'charity'.

  15. Goonemeritus

    Capitalism the worst economic system in the world except for …… I got nothing, anyone got something worse?

    1. SayItWithWookies

      Libertarianism, and capitalism with any/every laissez-faire tweak the current slate of GOP prez candidates is touting.

    2. Negropolis

      The only thing that makes our kind of capitalism attractive is its sexy veneer, you know, it's ability to wrap a turd in diamonds. This is not a free market no matter how much they continue to parrot that bullshit.

  16. CapnFatback

    The Invisible Hand of the Free Market is too busy jackin' it and giving the 1% pearl necklaces to be bothered.

    1. KathrynSane

      I'm pretty sure the Invisible Hand is busy punching the American working class in the face. Repeatedly.

  17. Lucidamente1

    At least during the Gilded Age, the Robber Barons built railroads; now that would just be socialistic infrastructure.

    1. chascates

      And some of those same Robber Barons donated huge sums to good works and I don't mean the finest in 300-foot yachts.

  18. bureaucrap

    Look at yourself. Then look at five other people around you. One of you is living below the poverty line.

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      Of the tree people currently in the building, two of the them are below the poverty line. But they both work for me, so that's to be expected.

          1. flamingpdog

            Things are bad alright, but returning to the trees after 10 million years on the ground is not the answer, poorz.

          2. Dok-cupy Everything

            "Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."

  19. BigDumbRedDog

    Right now I am typing this on an iPhone while wearing raggedy, fingerless gloves. Does that mean I am a dirt poor hobo or an elitist?

      1. BigDumbRedDog

        Gloves are not ironic. I am at work and it is cold and need to use my fingers. Oh wait, I just answered my own question. Job = elitist.

          1. Lascauxcaveman

            Cool. I was a brewmaster in a former life. The first brewer hired for these guys first location, in fact. It sure has gotten bigger/fancier since I was the guy shoveling barley out of the mash tun. I'm guessing that photo is actually one of their other locations. You must be in cellaring if you wear gloves for warmth. I always had gloves on, but just to keep my hands dry and safe from cleaning chemicals, etc.

            Where do you work?

          2. BigDumbRedDog

            Nice! It's always good to talk to another beer person. I am actually a microbiologist, but a lot of my work (yeast propagation/handling, beer sampling) is pretty hands on. I also do beer/wort chemistry, sensory and a lot of data crunching. I'd rather not say where I work as it is a small enough company that it could blow my cover if the wrong person read this. The company is of the craft beer variety, but big enough to need the services of a microbiologist. I will leave it at that.

  20. ThundercatHo

    I can't wait for the latest GOP "War on Wealth" debate. It should be a frothy mixture of bullshit, snakeoil, ignorance and xtian zealotry.

  21. Lascauxcaveman

    This new number also now includes ameliorating factors like government non-cash aid like food stamps and housing assistance

    Oh, man. You mean I have to poor to get this shit? What a ripoff.

    Gubbmint handz offa my gubbmint assistance!

    1. orygoon

      You should read the book "It Takes a Pillage". No, you don't need to be poor to get gubmint munny. In fact, it's pretty much the other way around, when you're talking about the *real* gubmint munny.

    2. GOPCrusher

      During the Reagan Depression, we used to stand in line to get gubmint cheese and butter. Until some entitled students at the local University broadcasted to the world that they used the cheese to hold Wine And Cheese parties on campus.

  22. BlueStateLibel

    Slightly OT, but now a fourth woman's come out saying Herman sexually harassed her. How did this guy ever manage to get any work done?

    1. terriblyfamous

      Obviously he made the bitches do all his work for him after they refused to give him the Clinton treatment.

      1. BlueStateLibel

        Oh boy, you guys are going to have a field day when you find out the details on this one. This is the kind of stuff Wonkette was made for.

    1. bureaucrap

      Just the name "Bureau of Labor Statistics" just says "dead meat" all over it. GOPers hate Bureaus, hate labor, and hate facts.

  23. SorosBot

    But our media elite still have no idea why the Occupy Wall Street people are so angry.

    Also Kirsten, is Ken's pessimism rubbing off on you?

    1. Chichikovovich

      Not only do the media elite not have any idea (or pretend not to have any idea) but the vacuum is being filled by 1% – certified Republican talking points as we speak. The protesters are saying "gimmie, gimmie" (really? I haven't heard anything like that). They differ from the tea party in that the tea party wants no bailouts at all, but the OWS people want their own bailout. (Says the teaparty Venus. And who exactly said that, half-gov? When?) And so on. Get ready for the 24/7 Fox drumbeat: OWS is all about getting money for the protesters from the government. I'm sure if they look hard enough and ask sufficiently booby-trapped questions, they can find some poor schlub who might even say something on camera that could be interpreted as saying he wants a bailout, or a handout,… Poor schlub's ten-second edited clip will be broadcast round the clock as the voice of a "representative of the movement". Republicans will appear on all shows, in a British square alternating fire/reload with their mates, repeating the baseless claim: these people are just out for their own cash-grab. And did you know there's a guy who used foodstamps to buy steak and lobster? Purportedly "moderate" and (sob) "left-wing" typists and the usual TV bavardeurs/bavardeuses will adopt the Republican framing……

      This is how "consensus" is forged.

        1. Chichikovovich

          Ah, good eye! I didn't see that ambiguity, but it's a nice one. True on either reading. William Empson would approve.

  24. subsum

    We definitely need fewer poor people. Let's start another war so we can send them off to get killed.

      1. OneDollarJuana

        Hey, how 'bout if instead of "fighting them there" (too expensive), we just switch to "fighting them here"? Sure, might get a bit noisy, but just think of all the cannon fodder that we can throw at the enemy without breaking the bank.

      2. Chichikovovich

        Not true. Wars are free. So are aircraft carriers and fighter planes. Those staggeringly large dollar figures that get quoted are only for illustration of what they would cost if they weren't free. That's why taxes only go toward foodstamps, Medicare and schoolteacher salaries.

  25. DaRooster

    "Working-age adults ages 18-64 also saw increases in poverty…"

    Well shit man, all categories will increase in poverty if you go adding in "costs"of things and "lack of jobs and raises"… fuck… what did you think would happen?

    1. OneDollarJuana

      That's why the consumer price index never including such pesky things as "food" and "fuel".

    1. Mumbly_Occupado

      The Chicago Board of Trade continues to prove that money does indeed buy class.

      Still, you have to give them credit for only being insane passive-aggressive assholes and also plagarists with all this stuff, instead of going Full Class Warfare, and mowing protestors down in luxury cars, or having the police shoot protestors, in the head.

    1. SorosBot

      And I see it took the second comment before the sexual harassment justification came up:

      "So let me understand this. This woman, who had no direct working connection to Hermain Cain says that Herman Cain made a pass at her, and when she asked him to stop, he did. "

      This is what the commenter thinks is "making a pass": "he put his hand under her skirt and pushed her head toward his crotch after a dinner together". Um, no.

      1. Generation[redacted]

        Ah, the ol' First Date USFB. It's his signature move. How do you think he met his wife?

      2. Mumbly_Occupado

        It's a bit of a low bar of expectations for a presidential hopeful, but I guess we really should be glad he at least knows that nein means nien-nien

    2. BaldarTFlagass

      "he put his hand under her skirt and pushed her head toward his crotch."

      In Italy, that's called "foreplay."

    3. Chichikovovich

      Loni Anderson? Secretary Jennifer in WKRP? Chased by Burt Reynolds, playing a NASCAR driver, in Stroker Ace? [Look, I didn't give it the title.] The time for snark is over: Herman Cain has been putting his hand up the skirt of AMERICA!

    4. CogitoErgoBibo

      "Put a hand up her skirt and "measured her height" rather aggressively. "

      And then aggressively asked that she measure HIS "height," up close and personal.

  26. OneDollarJuana

    Mmmm. Even I might like to harass her. JUST KIDDING, HONEY! PUT DOWN THE FRYING PAN! OW! OW!

  27. x111e7thst

    Not good enough! The Koch brothers will not be content until we have whole towns mining the dumps for stuff to eat and wear and live in.

  28. Redhead

    $11,000 is the poverty level for a single adult – and $22,000 for a family of four? Ummmm… for $11,000 annually in rent around here you can get a decentish place where you (probably) won't get shot and where most of the appliances work sometimes/most of the walls don't have (very much) mold.

    1. HuddledMass

      Around here, for $11K/year, you can get a hideous dump in a seriously dangerous neighborhood — but you can't heat it, or turn the lights on. Or eat.

      1. SorosBot

        It sounds like the rent really is too damn high where you too live; I pay around that much a year and have a pretty nice place for a single person.

  29. owhatever

    All the damn poors have to do is become CEO on Wall Street, be hired as a Washington lobbyist or invent an Internet, then they would have lots of money and stop whining.

  30. Mahousu

    I can cut our poverty rate in half:
    1. Herman Cain raises millions of dollars.
    2. He sexually harasses poor women.
    3. He pays them "five-figure" settlements out of the money he's raised, enough to put them over the poverty line.
    4. When word of this leaks, his supporters feel he is falsely accused.
    5. Go to step 1.

  31. user-of-owls

    by revising their crappy old formula to finally include things like, UH, “health care costs” and “transportation.” And just like that, millions more poor filthy hobos appear!

    Hey guys, you think we could try to plug in a new variable, like maybe social justice,' and see what happens? For the hobos, you know? Sort of a, 'Now ya see 'em, now ya don't' trick? I think a lot of people would like that.

  32. BaldarTFlagass

    2.5 hours. I think we've mined this vein thoroughly. *folds arms, looks at watch impatiently, taps toe.*

  33. Chet Kincaid

    Sounds like Herm laid the full "Smoove B" treatment on Ms. Bialek:

    Ms. Bialek said she sat next to Mr. Cain at several events during the association's convention a month earlier. "He was warm and attentive," Ms. Bialek said, reading from a prepared statement and noting that her boyfriend was present at one event.

    When she contacted Mr. Cain after her termination, he agreed to meet with her in Washington, D.C., where the association has its national office, Ms. Bialek said.

    When she arrived at her hotel to check in, Ms. Bialek said she was surprised to find that her room was a spacious suite. Later, she met Mr. Cain in the lobby for drinks, and he asked about the room, and when she told him it was nicer than expected, he "smirked and then said, 'I upgraded you,' " she said.

    Afterwards, he offered to show her the association's offices, she said. "Instead of going in, he suddenly reached over and put his hand on my leg," Ms. Bialek said, adding that he reached up her skirt, then "grabbed my head and brought it towards his crotch."

  34. Chichikovovich

    "The ranks of America’s poor are greater than previously known, reaching a new level of 49.1 million"

    The post misunderstands what the study was doing. It wasn't counting the number of poor people, but rather how highly individual poor people rank, on average, on the bamboozled scale (sometimes called the Poisson distribution). The scale measures how well a poor person conforms to the expectations of the oligarchy of the country in question. 100 points for blaming yourself for systematic unemployment, 100 points for despising any other person who suggests unionization or even just political action as a road to relief, 100 points for enthusiastically watching the oligarchy-approved propaganda channel for information,…..

    As you can see, the US has left other countries in the dust for first place. Even kleptocracies like the Congo have a hard time breaking a million.

  35. Biel_ze_Bubba

    Bah — according to a 2005 GOP-funded study, 95% of these so-called poors have refrigerators, and 97% of them still have two working kidneys.

  36. Callyson

    On a disgustingly – related note, supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline have a website called jobsforthe99.com. Never mind the poor, kill the environment…

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