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Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:17 AM

 

Millions live on $2 a day in America. The problem isn't just the safety net, it's the whole economy.

Millions of Americans are living in the kind of poverty you generally associate with those "you can save a child for the price of a cup of coffee a day" ads. Deep poverty, defined as 50 percent or less of the official poverty level, hit a new high in 2010, with 20.5 million people—6.7 percent of the population—in deep poverty. But sociologist Kathryn Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, a social work professor, are looking at a level below deep poverty, occupied by nearly 1.4 million households:

In doing so, they relied on a World Bank marker used to study the poor in developing nations: This designation, which they dubbed "extreme" poverty, makes deep poverty look like a cakewalk. It means scraping by on less than $2 per person per day, or $2,920 per year for a family of four.

In a report published earlier this year by the University of Michigan's National Poverty Center, Edin and Shaefer estimated that nearly 1 in 5 low-income American households has been living in extreme povery; since 1996, the number of households in that category had increased by about 130 percent. Among the truly destitute were 2.8 million children. Even if you counted food stamps as cash, half of those kids were still being raised in homes whose weekly take wasn't enough to cover a trip to Applebees.


This is in line with the Agriculture Department's finding that 20 percent of households receiving food stamps had no cash income in 2010.

How does this happen? It happens when there's no work for millions of people, where there are 3.3 job-seekers for every job. It happens when unemployment insurance benefits expire, as they are about to do for two million people. It happens when single mothers don't have child care and don't want to leave their kids alone, making work outside the home impossible—they don't get Ann Romney's choices. It happens when the jobs people do find are just a few hours a week, at or below minimum wage.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/16/1169574/-Millions-live-on-2-a-day-in-America-The-problem-isn-t-just-the-safety-net-it-s-the-whole-economy


I live in a poor neighborhood, & I am seeing this kind of poverty. People who basically have no income except what they can scrape together from social services, scrapping (I know an older man with back problems who bicyles about 20-30 miles every few days looking for recyclables), begging, part-time irregular work and illegal shit.

Some have addictions and other problems, some don't -- like the bicycle man.

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Reply Millions live on $2 a day in America. The problem isn't just the safety net, it's the whole economy. (Original post)
HiPointDem Dec 2012 OP
xchrom Dec 2012 #1
Earth_First Dec 2012 #2
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #3
Earth_First Dec 2012 #7
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #8
socialindependocrat Dec 2012 #10
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #11
Cobalt Violet Dec 2012 #12
closeupready Dec 2012 #15
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #16
gollygee Dec 2012 #4
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #5
ReRe Dec 2012 #9
ProfessionalLeftist Dec 2012 #6
socialindependocrat Dec 2012 #13
HughBeaumont Dec 2012 #14
woo me with science Dec 2012 #17
Selatius Dec 2012 #18
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2012 #19

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:17 AM

1. du rec. nt

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:18 AM

2. ...and hundreds of millions live on less than that worldwide. n/t

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:23 AM

3. and a lot of those hundreds of millions don't have to pay 1st-world rent, or any rent at all.

 

what is your point? there are poor people in somalia, therefore people in the supposedly richest country in the world should be equally poor while living among people in a high tech country where the fucking richest people in the universe live?

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:48 AM

7. Calm down...

It's meant to address that there is income inequality across all economies worldwide.

Keep working on your rage; it sounds like you could be a little more angry if you really applied yourself...

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:52 AM

8. i'm perfectly calm. maybe you should work on that condescending attitude.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:16 AM

10. Using the word "fuck" doesn't indicate "perfect calmness" n/t

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Response to socialindependocrat (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:19 AM

11. depends on your tone of voice. which you can't hear. fuck the banksters, neo-libs, and neo-cons.

 

fuck the plutocrats.

fuck em all.

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:41 AM

12. The article and this discussion is about poverty in the USA.

You're off topic.

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Response to Cobalt Violet (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:15 AM

15. +1.

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:18 AM

16. Incredibly inappropriate BS post. Feel free to do your own post on poverty elsewhere. n/t

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:26 AM

4. K&R

Abso-freaking-lutely.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:28 AM

5. "No cash income in 2010"

Raises hand..

That would be me, in 2010 I lived off food stamps and barter, no cash income at all.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:10 AM

9. How ya doin now, my Precioussssss?

Are you holding your head above the water?

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:33 AM

6. An economy built on greed and guns is a deadly failure

right out the gate. Unsustainable. Immoral. Stupid.

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:42 AM

13. Don't forget fossil fuels and automobiles

Let's talk about killing all the people on the whole planet...

Now we can focus on the BIG picture!

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:12 AM

14. House of cards, it is.

Take a linear economic system dependent on an inexhaustible supply of
* ever-cheaper labor (labor that's losing spending power over time due to inflation and refusal of the 1% to share productivity gains),
* ever-increasing new business (this despite the fact that the wealthy that run the corporations practically trip over themselves to destroy any hope of new business by firing their workers or suppressing/decreasing their wages), and in turn,
* ever-increasing profit (see points 1 and 2, peppered with a fat "good luck with that")
. . .

. . . in a world where none of this is possible because of 1%er need/greed.

Seriously, how far did they think this was going to GO?

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:19 AM

17. And NOTHING of any real significance on the horizon to help.

Nothing but more corporatism, new free trade agreement, new pipeline, new education deform, new police state infrastructure, more wars. Nothing to reverse the looting of the poor and middle classes, and nothing to hold the banks accountable.

That's why this hostage game with SS is particularly cynical and infuriating. At the worst, our Democratic President intends to gut seniors who are already struggling.

At best, this is a cynical attempt to distract the people from the continued corporatization of our society and propagandize us into being grateful for "saving" Social Security, when it should never have been on the damned table in the first place.

People are getting sick and tired of being jerked around on this issue.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:23 AM

18. A lack of aggregate demand for products and services is crippling the economy.

Lack of demand usually results from low wages that don't keep up with inflation or lack of jobs with livable wages.

When the economy crashed, what was needed was nothing short of a repeat of the Works Progress Administration and the Public Works Administration putting people back to work and handing them paychecks directly.

I felt than and still feel today that the Stimulus Package was too small and that a lot of it was wasted on tax cuts, which prove time and time again to be less effective per dollar spent than, say, spending on unemployment insurance and food stamps. A jobs program would've been better than even those two. At least nobody then could say benefit receivers were being lazy. Plus, the dollars are going to people who actually need it, the working class folks who would spend it instead of shoveling it to the Caymans or the Bahamas.

Another major issue that needed to be addressed is lack of competition in many markets. If a market is dominated by a monopoly, the monopoly won't feel an incentive to hire many more workers to meet demand, no matter how high demand went. The monopolist would do this knowing he doesn't have to worry about possibly being under-cut on market share by a competitor that did decide to hire staff to meet demand. FDR believed in freedom from unfair competition and monopolies, and if we followed through on that idea, I think unemployment would gradually improve as more and more monopolies and oligopolies are broken, introducing more competition and more jobs. The banks need to be broken apart; the health insurance companies, too; same goes for news or media corporations.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:42 PM

19. But Republicans keep saying that "welfare queens" have Cadillacs and HDTVs. Of course they do. nt

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