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America's 'Invisible' Poor - An Infographic

Tyler Durden's picture


Are more and more people in the western world dropping off the radar and becoming the invisible poor or is the opposite happening?  We are always interested in looking at the financial health of real people. We noted earlier that an astounding 46 million Americans are officially below the poverty line (That's $23,050/year for a family of four according to the official sources). That number really caught's eye and as such they decided to do a little more digging to help put some more facts and figures around it. The below is an excellent visualization of the results they came up with. Conservative MP Norman Tebbit when responding to a question on unemployment noted "I grew up in the 30's with an unemployed father. He didn't riot. He got on his bike and looked for work, and he kept looking 'til he found it." Are the American (and possibly other western populations) poor really in this mess because they are lazy (27% of Americans think so) or is it because they don't have the right work ethic (49% of Americans think this is all it would take!)?


Infographic: The Invisible Poor

The Invisible Poor by Payday


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Tue, 01/15/2013 - 23:32 | 3156539 hannah
hannah's picture

49% of americans getting soc sec (welfare payments because there isnt any money in the account) say get busy to the working stiffs supporting them. you lazy bums....i deserve my soc sec !

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 23:33 | 3156542 Tom Green Swedish
Tom Green Swedish's picture

This was the whole premise of America.  Where the fuck have you been?  Article after article same fucking thing.  Go listen to Ron Paul.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 23:33 | 3156544 tooriskytoinvest
tooriskytoinvest's picture

35 Statistics About The Working Poor In America That Will Blow Your Mind

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 23:35 | 3156551 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

"If shit ever becomes valuable, the poor will be born without assholes." - Portuguese proverb...

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 23:39 | 3156562 pragmatic hobo
pragmatic hobo's picture

it really wasn't all that long ago an American high school graduate could make a decent living working in some local factory. Heck, with over-time he/she could even afford to raise a family, buy a house, etc.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:13 | 3156639 you enjoy myself
you enjoy myself's picture

if by "factory' you mean completely unskilled labor, then you're correct.  but anyone skilled in a trade/craft is doing better now than 30 years ago, because everyone else wastes 6 years and $100k going to the 13th grade, so that they might aspire to being a middle manager with no real skills.  i ask, in all seriousness, who do you think is better off - an electrician that just finished his apprenticeship, or a newly minted law school grad that didn't go to a top 10 school?

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 23:53 | 3156596 deepsouthdoug
deepsouthdoug's picture

Or is it the motherfucking banksters rig the system and loot the wealth for themselves?


Tue, 01/15/2013 - 23:57 | 3156604 batterycharged
batterycharged's picture

Ignoring the past is guarnteeing repeating it.

"I grew up in the 30's with an unemployed father. He didn't riot. He got on his bike and looked for work, and he kept looking 'til he found it."


The 1930s

Workers began to be aware of their own collective power and their respect for capitalist propaganda began to wane. Through these actions, workers and the unemployed were able to win massive reforms from big business and the Roosevelt administration - including increased wages, benefits, pensions, the right to organize, the Social Security Act and unemployment benefits.

Roosevelt’s New Deal

None of these gains were handed down to the workers from business or from the Roosevelt Administration. The reforms introduced were a concession from the capitalists to the massive workers struggles that threatened the legitimacy and rule of big business. The attitude was that it’s better to give them some milk lest they take over the farm. Neither Roosevelt nor the Democratic Party was a real friend of the workers - over a dozen Democrat governors sent the National Guard to break strikes in the mid-30s.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:01 | 3156616 batterycharged
batterycharged's picture

If anyone thinks that Socialism is more powerful now than the 30s, then they haven't read any history of the 30s.

As we give away the farm to Walmart, Goldman Sachs and General Electric....we will see a resurgence in Socialism.

It's hard to have a work ethic when the only portion of the country with disposable cash are the top 10% and you don't have a job.

I guess you can always get on your bike and sell drugs...or pedal to the rich neighborhood and perform a home invasion.


Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:00 | 3156612 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

'alas, this three monkey monty?

 hear no evil; speak no evil; see no evil...

but, that monkey on my back is a tri-polar aberration of a singular Kafkaesque`situation?

so strange is thee, as that of a mine'd eye... morphing into a'blind-spot'

whilst my silent voice melds into a 'muted wax'd silhouette'

so much so, that my heart ponders nye its impervious thunder whence thou's own respite... harbors no wanting

such nebulous unmentionables surely haunt my invisable poverty

yet, this obtuse winnowed gnostic past, of many a orphan and widows betrayal

levy's more of the same... in a never ending game of solitaire'

just musing, about how a 'one man band', fucked up america since '911'... simply remarkable!? 

thankyou tyler

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:05 | 3156624 joego1
joego1's picture

Its really simple if we just admit we are really not a first world country and allow people to go out in the street and earn a living without being accosted by the government. At least people could gain some dignity and self respect as well as some cash money.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:06 | 3156626 FrankDrakman
FrankDrakman's picture

Oh, for christ's sake, there are no poor people in America. Go visit the Philippines - they have poor people. When you see people living in cardboard shacks with a piece of tin for a roof, and a single wire providing stolen electricity for their hot plate, with no running water, pissing in the street and throwing their garbage into an open sewer - that's poverty. Americans living in apartments with flat screens and cable, using their EBT cards for smokes and beer, and crying that they're poor - f 'em.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:28 | 3156658 akak
akak's picture

What?!  They have cardboard and tin roofs and convenient sewers and electricity?! 

Why, those people are living like KINGS compared to most people just 400 or 500 years ago!  'Poor' my ass!


(Moral of the story: "poor" is all a matter of perspective.)

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:12 | 3156633 IamtheREALmario
IamtheREALmario's picture

I have to believe that it is all part of the plan. The question is "why"? Why intentionally undermine and destroy a society of people? Yes, we know that human beings are susceptible to temptations. But why create an entire environment of greed and (for lack of a better word) sin? Why make the perverse seem normal through propaganda and promotion? The 7 deadly sins are glorified by those who control what we are exposed to on a daily basis. Greed and corruption are encouraged and not punished.

I do not believe that the undermining of our society, its morals and ethics was not intentional.

Those who are systemically poor are that way because years of abuse and neglect by the system have made them that way. It has taken several generations to create the systemic ghetto. I am not a progressive because the liberal, progressive agenda has historically lead to an abusive dictator.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 01:22 | 3156791 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

There is no 'plan'. Just wiring in the brains of those who desire to manipulate, control, and use others as objects. That wiring is there because it provides a survival advantage to those with it. There are lots of alpha-male social hierarchies in nature, and the alpha-males do a lot of reproducing because of them.

It is a behavior, not a plan. The solution is to remove the alpha-male hierarchies, which is impossible, because most everyone is an alpha-male wannabe waiting to win the alpha-male lottery.

Just like in the animal world.





Wed, 01/16/2013 - 13:55 | 3158444 Meatier Shower
Meatier Shower's picture

The ghost of Sen. Joseph McCarthy would beg to differ.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:15 | 3156643 Goldilocks
Goldilocks's picture

Fallacy: Begging the Question

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:24 | 3156668 U4 eee aaa
U4 eee aaa's picture

Why does you site punish me and send me to the top of the post when I try to go roman on someone(thumbs up, thumbs down)?

On a site like this, scrolling down to get back to where you were is work. I don't have that kind of work ethic.

Your thumb measurements on this board might have a bias skew if any of your readers are as lazy as I am

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:27 | 3156674 akak
akak's picture

You have to let the page finish loading before trying to up or down-arrow, or it will automatically reload the page.

Patience, grasshopper, patience.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 01:43 | 3156815 U4 eee aaa
U4 eee aaa's picture

Didn't help. I'm using Firefox with no script. Maybe that has something to do with it

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 01:45 | 3156816 U4 eee aaa
U4 eee aaa's picture

I got it. It was noscript. Enabling that keeps me from getting my can kicked to the top

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 05:30 | 3156954 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

you just got your first promotion!

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:50 | 3156726 cpt crash
cpt crash's picture

Until a person has experienced this, for, say, at least 4-5 years...Then they can't understand or know. There is no way of knowing until you experience it.

It took me over 4 years to find a job with medical and other benefits, and in which I can actually live off the wages without living in my RV. I wasn't lazy or wasn't "not trying" to find work in all this time. I worked for several places the last 4 years, but what I found is that there are very few jobs that pay more than $4 an hour above the Minimum wage where I'm at. It's not what you would call a "livable wage", but I just had to worry about myself fortunately. Tons of temporary jobs, seasonal type work, and I did all that. I have a degree but still worked these last few years with migrant workers, janitors, drivers, plant labor.  The lowest wage I worked for was a buck above minimum.

The worse thing I noticed about these kind of low end jobs, is the way you are treated worse than a dog. It's bad the way they treat these people, while the profits go to people who do nothing. 

I can understand how some of these people get pissy about working. Tons of them are trying to better themselves and a lot of 'em just end up in masses of debt. Once you're at the bottom it's hard to stay out. There's alwasy going to be people who are lazy and try to live off of others. But don't think for a minute that just because somebody has employment it means they have a good work ethic. Many don't.

You think the Walton kids have work ethic? If they did they would be paying those low-wage slaves a bit more...because I see a lot of over-worked people at Walmart



Wed, 01/16/2013 - 01:09 | 3156768 joego1
joego1's picture

Hey, your spirit rocks. The world will eventually turn in your favor.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:55 | 3156733 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Why would you pay someone and expect nothing in return?  If someone wants welfare you tell them to show up at a work station and they will be assigned a task.  Cleaning streets, trimming trees, servicing infrastructure, etc.  There are millions of tasks that need to be done.



Wed, 01/16/2013 - 01:47 | 3156823 U4 eee aaa
U4 eee aaa's picture

Why would you pay someone and expect nothing in return?


Aww c'mon. It happens to me all the time with prostitutes

Thu, 01/17/2013 - 05:27 | 3161521 cpt crash
cpt crash's picture

That would be a job, then. So they'd have to pay the person a full wage.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:55 | 3156735 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Propaganda is to be used legally against the citizens of the US by their unelected and elected officials. So, like why would anybody believe the financial statistics from the government. They've told us that they are to be used against us.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 01:02 | 3156753 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

We must not be quick to condemn the poor when the USA has been stripped of its well paying manufacturing jobs and the strains this places on families and communities.

It is probably true that a fair percentage of people on disability insurance are lazy or malingerers but we must also recognize the fear of losing all support from government unless you can get disability type payments which are more permanent.

And can anyone tell me what would happen if prison populations were reduced to levels similar in the western world and if 80% of soldiers stationed overseas returned home?

It's a mixed bag and generalisations are dangerous.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 01:30 | 3156800 groundedkiwi
groundedkiwi's picture

It would be nice to think you could get on a bike and look for work as in the 1930s The reality is that in today's world, trust has gone. No one today would let you onto their property for fear you would come back and burgle the place.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 01:34 | 3156805 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

Buying houses they cannot afford with zero down.....maxing out credit cards for junk they don't need ... and eating far more then their body requires.

A few of the many reasons for being 'poor' in the USA. They are life style choices. No one 'forces' people to overeat or overspend.

One should not, BTW, "Poverty" is relative. Where else can a "poor person" get free cells phones, free housing, free food and free medical care plus a free education but in the USA?

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 03:57 | 3156858 TheObsoleteMan
TheObsoleteMan's picture

When the Kenyan pretender's lies of "tax hikes only for the rich", coupled with deep cuts in social services finally bite sometime later this year {or earlier if we "go over the cliff"}, that is when you will see disturbances that will make the '92 LA riots look like child's play. When people feel they have no future, they act like it. The "blue" urban areas that supported this usurper, will get their reward. Their about to find out he isn't one of them after all.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 05:17 | 3156946 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Obama has no Kenyan family !  See:  Joel Gilbert,  Frank Marshall Davis,

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 02:40 | 3156867 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

"Invisible PoorTM"

Well, as long as they satisfactorily conform to BOTH conditions I don't think I really have a problem with 'em.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 03:04 | 3156882 TyrannoSoros Wrecks
TyrannoSoros Wrecks's picture

That infographic is not about "the poor", its about obongo's Free Shit Army.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 03:29 | 3156901 Joe A
Joe A's picture

One could sustain himself by growing his own vegetables but I heard that that is also not allowed anymore in the land of the free (true?).

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 04:05 | 3156927 besnook
besnook's picture

dumb, poor working stiffs picking on poor people. what makes you do that? poverty envy? how many days/months away from poverty are you when the shit hits the fan in your little excuse for existence?

the only reason there was so little rioting in the usa during the depression is because the people didn't know how they were fucked by the .1%. the only reason you don't riot today is because you are stupid, especially the occupiers with their ghandi nonviolence chanting. take a lesson from the eurozone. any minute now someone will be ferdinanded and then the guillotines will make a comeback. you know someone in greece or spain is already thinking about it.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 05:19 | 3156940 Monedas
Monedas's picture

I don't believe any self-serving statistics on poverty .... all info is suspect .... we need full disclosure on government employee and welfare cash benefits, perks, grants, retirement, loan forgiveness, easy credit, medical and dental benefits, training grants, student loans .... the list is endless .... blatant nepotism in government employment family dynasties (the entrenched and embeded and tenured hereditary parasitic privileged ruling class) .... it's the working poor and middle class and the producing rich I care about .... the people who pay for EVERYTHING !     Mute The Mulatto !   I've been clean 2 days !  Idi Amin was a black president .... Obama is less than 50% black DNA .... Frank Marshall Davis, Obama's real father, had substantial amount of white blood and his skanky mom was all white !

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 05:19 | 3156948 Black Markets
Black Markets's picture

You’re getting killed economically because you are fat and lazy and the rest of the world has caught you up and is passing you by (whilst sniggering behind our hands).


Your cars are shit, your planes are shit, stuff stamped “made in America” is generally overpriced and shit quality. Everybody else now realizes they can make things themselves far better and far cheaper.

You run a massive current account deficit, not because of political fiddling, but because you make shit products that the rest of the world makes jokes about.


Not even your own companies make stuff on US soil anymore, because they know that US workers would make shit products that wouldn’t sell.

Americans are obsessed with politicians and “the system” and claiming that tiny legislative nuances are to blame for the country hitting the wall.


Whereas the truth is FAR more painful. The truth is that it isn’t “the man” who has ruined America, it is the modern lazy and risk averse American culture that idolizes Hollywood stars or anyone who appears to be making millions by doing nothing.


If you can’t get a job you should be working harder than anyone, cleaning windows and cutting grass. Too many people sit at home eating 4,000 calories a day and surfing the net complaining that “the American dream is dead”. Bullshit. The American dream went global. The American ethic is dead.



Wed, 01/16/2013 - 05:27 | 3156952 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

you sound English..and your recommendation would be? you want to join the union by pre-qualifying as a worse state than alabama?

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 06:07 | 3156982 Black Markets
Black Markets's picture

Yes, I am English. Kudos!

The UK is already the 51st state in the Union not sure it’s the worst though? (GDP = California and Texas combined, our own currency, own interest rates, UN security council seat (we can vote to send in US soldiers), free health care courtesy of North Sea oil).


But it too has more than its fair share of eating-disorders moaning from their couch about some job they think they deserve. Spoilt children no doubt. These people need to stop bitching about their situation and get out there and compete.

Get out there and clean windows, clean gutters, paint sills, cut grass, trim hedgerows, wash cars, pick litter, lag roofs, move furniture, carry trash, spray gardens, fetch shopping… No, no I’ll just sit here and eat chips and wait for someone to call me with the job I think I deserve.

NEWSFLASH – the guy who deserves that job is in China (currently cleaning gutters for his elderly neighbors).


Wed, 01/16/2013 - 05:42 | 3156956 Monedas
Monedas's picture

North Korea could feed it's population well .... extracting undigested fat and nutrients from Americas GFP: Gross Fecal Product !  A hungry dog will eat American shit .... a hungry North Korean would eat American shit, too (and the dog) !  We need to take Iran's centrifuges and convert them to extract edible nutrients from our fecal material .... Fecal Aid ?  Drag a hot American turd through a North Korean concentration camp in the middle of winter .... you'll provoke a food riot !

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 07:31 | 3157023 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

stop tarding up the thread.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:32 | 3157374 Shankopotomus
Shankopotomus's picture


Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:28 | 3157361 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

Most of our problems that get broadcast come from our borders, language, and culture changes which has been overrun by the less than desirable who had no desire to adapt to the American culture. They came here to grab all the free stuff they could get their hands on and have not assimilated. Now, the political elite can't say no to them because they have become a huge source of votes. The American mid-west is still the source of the world's food supply and I can tell you their is no shortage of work ethic there.

Europe has the same problems btw and fewer answers.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 05:25 | 3156950 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

rather than printing 5 trillion of 1's and 0's only for bankers, maybe the Fed could print the same for everyone..or at least split the intervention between people and banksters...

i hope the bonuses don't choke the fat bastards on wall street and their CDO squared rehypothecated agency MBS and free fed funds too much...

what's the difference between giving banks money at 1/8% for the last four years and real people the same facility?

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 07:29 | 3157022 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

23k a year is more than double what I make, and I live pretty comfortably, wtf do you entitled rich people do with all that extra money?

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:04 | 3157284 Toolshed
Toolshed's picture

Missing sarc tag maybe?

If not please tell us how you accomplish such an amazing feat. Because on your stated income you would not be able to afford your own place to live in or car to drive. I suppose it depends a lot on what you mean by "I live pretty comfortably". If living in your Mom's basement surfing the web while you wait for your food stamps, welfare check, and Obama phone to show up is what you consider "pretty comfortable" then I pity you.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:26 | 3157573 dscott8186
dscott8186's picture

You can't be poor if your expectations aren't based on someone else's life style. You can't be poor if the Jones' next door are doing just the same.  

You know what the say, "expectations are only premeditated resentments."  The new normal is poverty...


Wed, 01/16/2013 - 08:22 | 3157050 geotrader
geotrader's picture

Who needs to work?  Certainly not me.  I have 2 kids and no skills.   Obama will take care of me better when I am not working and worse when I am working.  I will vote for Michelle in the next election.  </sarc>

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:03 | 3157240 fortune114
fortune114's picture

The top two reasons for poverty, from my own experience working with the poor, are not even shown on the silly/silly looking chart.


(1) Daddy's gone.  I don't know what a 20 year old woman with 3 pre-school kids is supposed to do, anyway.  You would think one of the 3 "fiances" might lend a little support.  Federal subsidies are supporting this entire population.  

(2) Elderly/infirm with no family support.


In other words, you destroy the nuclear family, you destroy the Country.  It's a done deal.


There are cases of lazyness too.  Many folks' "job search" consists of Internet-only searching.  


The poor families (a Mom and Dad, in case you forgot) I meet are almost always just going through a rough patch.  There is almost always hope and they almost always get through.  Not the case for broken families. 

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:03 | 3157279 Racer
Racer's picture

Payday loan have a cheek talking about poor people when this is on their site

"APR for the rates that you see on the left is 1940.5%."

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:15 | 3157328 d edwards
d edwards's picture

Welcome to the 0bamanation. The punitive policies of the last 4 years are slowly strangling the economic life out of this country. what a marxist a-hole.

If we were using our new found energy alone the nation would be booming like N Dakota.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:59 | 3157476 dscott8186
dscott8186's picture

Payday loans are a symptom of the problem, just as record numbers of food stamp recipients.

The problem for the individual is jobs, jobs, jobs.  

Of course, the government could decide that jobs are more important than liberal priorities by rolling back regulations and legislation enacted since 2007 when Democrats took control of Congress...  Naaaaah, not going to happen, it's not in their self interest, making people poor ensures the poor are beholding and the beholding vote accordingly. When you are holding on by a thread, you don't cut the thread.  You can count on whom the poor will vote for, you can't count on the middle class.  You did notice that the middle class shrunk during Obama's reign of incompetence?  This is the exact same reason why Robert Mugabe still is in power in Zimbabwe.  No matter how incompetent the government is, as long as it is stringing along just enough people on starvation rations, the starving opt for food today over the ethereal personal independence of tomorrow.  This is why the Marxists have always denounced the bourgeois (middle class), they don't want CHANGE when they are perfectly happy with their circumstance.

And those payday loan interest rates make sure the poor stay poor and feeling like victims.  As long as you feel you are a victim, you don't have responsibility to take control of your situation.  A survivor takes responsibility for the outcome, they move to where the jobs are.  Hence now you understand the sole purpose of extending unemployment insurance and doling out food stamps - KEEP the population exactly where you want them located.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:21 | 3157343 Fezter
Fezter's picture

But who can really say they are poor when they have a warm, loving family of four?

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:19 | 3157560 dscott8186
dscott8186's picture

We noted earlier that an astounding 46 million Americans are officially below the poverty line (That's $23,050/year for a family of four according to the official sources).

Since the median family income has dropped to $50k in 2012 for two working adults from $54k in 2008, Obama's drive to eliminate income inequality is on track.    It will take time, so be patient our liberal friends, soon the equality of poverty will be achieved for everyone by eliminating the middle class.

Thu, 01/17/2013 - 05:36 | 3161532 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Are the American (and possibly other western populations) poor really in this mess because they are lazy (27% of Americans think so) or is it because they don't have the right work ethic (49% of Americans think this is all it would take!)?

Actually, if they were lazy and/or lacking a work ethics, they could be re instated in the work place.

The trouble is they are not lazy, they are as 'hard-working' the 'american' way and they do have a work ethics: the' american' work ethics.

All these people are designed in one way: consume bigger, consume faster.

A very looked for profile when you increase inputs to your economy by stealing and that you want to remove the opportunity of see what you have stolen being taken back: you want the loot to be consumed before repoing might take place.

Trouble is that 'americans' are no longer that able to increase their inputs through theft.

Those 'americans' are part of the too much of people that is so caracteristic to 'american' societies. They are no longer needed to perform the 'american' consumption duty, the remaining of 'americans' are enough to consume as fast and as big what is left of the world resources.

Their 'american' profile, their 'american' sense of 'hard work', their 'american' work ethics disqualify them de fact to join back the job market as the inputs are declining.

There's already way too many 'americans' and way too few Indians. Wont improve in the future.

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