Sunday, February 25, 2007

Record Poverty, Heckuva Job Bushie
Chris over at AmericaBlog posted a Yahoo News story reporting record levels of poverty in America:
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The gulf between rich and poor in the United States is yawning wider than ever, and the number of extremely impoverished is at a three-decade high, a report out Saturday found.
Based on the latest available US census data from 2005, the McClatchy Newspapers analysis found that almost 16 million Americans live in "deep or severe poverty" defined as a family of four with two children earning less than 9,903 dollars -- one half the federal poverty line figure.
"The McClatchy analysis found that the number of severely poor Americans grew by 26 percent from 2000 to 2005," the US newspaper chain reported.
"That's 56 percent faster than the overall poverty population grew in the same period," it noted.
The surge in poverty comes alongside an unusual economic expansion.
"Worker productivity has increased dramatically since the brief recession of 2001, but wages and job growth have lagged behind. At the same time, the share of national income going to corporate profits has dwarfed the amount going to wages and salaries," the study found.
"That helps explain why the median household income for working-age families, adjusted for inflation, has fallen for five straight years.

US social programs are minimal compared to those of western Europe and Canada. The United States has a population of 301 million, but more than 45 million US citizens have no health insurance.

Think this is hyperbole? Here are a few fact-laden ThinkProgress posts on the depressing economics of rising poverty and middle-class regression in the Bush crime family's America:
Working Americans seek food assistance
Facts about increasing the minimum wage
Tax cuts for the wealthy as poverty increases