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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DFCtomm's picture

Yes Charlotte he sold out. You see, when being right means the end of the world as we know it, then there aren't many people interested in being right.

Whoa Dammit's picture

You can always find a job to pay off your PayDay Loan you poor lazy sap <snark>.

secret_sam's picture

I've spent a few years working with both rich folks and poor folks.  The single biggest difference I found between the groups is that when the poor folks are slacking off, they KNOW it.

When the rich folks are slacking off, they tend to think they're just benefiting from their "innate talents."

Give 'em a mop and put 'em next to the average Mexican and we could find out who the lazy ones are...

RopeADope's picture

But its hard work shopping with your 100k+ paycheck during workhours while all your poverty stricken employees on minimum wage run your company without your leet management skills.

Meatier Shower's picture

You think someone should apologize for being a successful business owner?

They took most of the risk. Why shouldn't they reap most of the reward?

Show me a poor person who hires employees.

U4 eee aaa's picture

The reason they know it is because they have some rich guy sitting on their back telling them they are slacking off

Dr. Engali's picture

Thank goodness for the endless printing. If it wasn't for the Bernank my there might be a whole bunch of bankers trying discovering what work ethic actually is. We wouldn't want that now would we? It's much easier to make the poor even poorer through inflation. It's all good though they get a few scraps thrown their way to keep them in check.

fonzannoon's picture

Doc listen to the vid I posted above. I am curious of what you think.

Dr. Engali's picture

Shit I can't. It requires flash and all I have is my crapple.My computer is in the shop.

fonzannoon's picture

Brutal. I am floored at what Egan said. I truly think his balls were in a sling.

anyone else have any input? Was that a 180 or an I nuts? Tyler?

Dr. Engali's picture

I certainly hope that's not the case. I'm sure he is getting an enormous amount of pressure, but if he gives in he will lose the credibility he has built up for him & his company.

fonzannoon's picture

We are gonna Lehman AAA this thing to the end.

Dr. Engali's picture

That's been my take. AIG was triple A all the way to the end. I know people who went bankrupt with credit scores over 800 and the U. S. will go down the same way.

FoeHammer's picture

I think you guys are on the right track.


I guess there will be no civil discourse. Wow. What a total bummer.



NoDebt's picture

Don't waste your time, Doc.  He has no idea how to rate a sovereign that's got a printing press in the basement.  He's only concerned that the government could (through stupidity or a whoopsee) decide to divert their limited tax revenues into areas OTHER THAN paying interest on the debt, should the debt ceiling be hit hard and funding prioritization be required.

On that issue, I am sure there is ZERO risk of it happening.  If you believe that the bankers and government are basically the same indistinguishable group, it would be like them voluntarily slitting their own throats.  Very unlikely when there are so many other throats they could slit to get the necessary blood before ever considering opening one of their own veins.

Would that be a fair summary and conclusion?


fonzannoon's picture

But Egan was different! (stamping feet).

NoDebt's picture

Fonz, he just DOESN'T KNOW.  There is no road map for this.  He's lost.  He can't even venture a guess.  It's what happens when all the real power concentrates in the hands of a very few (or one).  They make decisions, nobody can push back if they don't like them.  They hold the cards and they'll use them however they see fit.  The rest of us will live with the consequences.

Ratings in the traditional sense are MEANINGLESS when applied to a sovereign with a printing press.  They can pay or not pay at their whim. 

All you can do is look to see who continuing to pay helps/hurts and who NOT paying helps/hurts.  Lay that over the power those two constituent groups weild over the administration/government.  That determines what the decision will be.  Nothing else.


fonzannoon's picture

"They hold the cards and they'll use them however they see fit. The rest of us will live with the consequences.

The rest of us will hedge accordingly. I refuse to live in fear. I will wake up tomorrow and get after it, I will find a way.

NoDebt's picture

Agreed on that point.  I'm not throwing in the towel.  There will always be individuals who succeed despite a deteriorating macro environment.  I will be one of those individuals.

And I haven't even needed to steal from widows and orpahns to do it!  Nor will I ever.  I'm just not wired to be one of those people who will cost you a dollar to make an extra penny for myself.  I think I may be one of the last of a dying breed.  No matter how hard I try I can't find a way to fully drive the concept of meritrocracy from myself.  In short, I am probably the biggest fool and idiot in the country as of this writing.

fonzannoon's picture

that makes 2 of us. hang in there bud.

Skateboarder's picture

Make that three. Skateboarder will not operate on anything but merit, trust, and respect. Would honestly prefer no life than a dishonorable one.

ClassicCommodity's picture

What happens when the invisible poor become completely desperate, with nothing to lose? Bunker up Americans, i'll be sitting down here with my feet up in Canberra - the new capital for the elite while your country turns into a hell hole.

ClassicCommodity's picture

"It is unusual among Australian cities, being an entirely planned city outside of any state "  

This year we celebrate its 100th birthday. The symbolism in the logo is curious, isn't it?   

Elizabeth Windsor sure loves it here. 

ForTheWorld's picture

I'm probably envisioing a ridiculous link, but Canberra was "created" the same year as the US Federal Reserve. Interesting.

cxl9's picture

Right. And don't worry, we'll still be here to defend and rescue your Commonwealth. Again. Like we did the last time.

No need to say, thank you.

ClassicCommodity's picture

It's true, and I do appreciate that Cxl9.

hooligan2009's picture

canberra,,government in the middle of nowhere funded by tax payers to tax those who dig holes and send dirt to asia..

memo to you: one day your hole will be bigger than assholes in your government

Godisanhftbot's picture

 how many of those are 'imported', like fine aged whine.


 how many of those are inept?


 how many are ex daytraders, forex junkies, and the other side of Steve Cohens trades?

DavosSherman's picture

Great work until you get to "What makes people poor," then it reveals itself for a fucking dog piece of shit work.

Da Fed + Da Banksters + Da Politicians = The Land of Poverty.

The other fucked up thing about this is this: The poor will make us all poor.  They don't buy shit, they don't support the economy, they pay less in taxes and transfer payments will bring the healthy down.


secret_sam's picture

The transfer payments that are killing us are going to EVERYONE, not just the poor.  That's a big part of the problem.

Medicare D will eat your future WAYYYYYY before foodstamps and section 8 subsidies will...

DavosSherman's picture

We take in 2.3 trillion and 2.1 trillion goes out in transfer payments the other .2 trillion plus goes to interest on our debt.

2013's budget:

34% Social Security and Unemployment, 24% Medicare and Health.

While you are correct that it isn't just the poor, when you get into the demographics you quickly realize that cutting that shit for the rich or even the middle class does jack to the debt.


secret_sam's picture

       While you are correct that it isn't just the poor, when you get into the demographics you quickly realize that cutting that shit for the rich or even the middle class does jack to the debt.

Well, obviously, in a country where such a huge percentage of people are "poor" by consensus standards, if you blame them for everything, you're mostly right just by default.

I pointed out a few months ago that "$60K was good money" and got slammed for it.  There's something seriously wrong with people's ability to interpret the statistics or something.

knowless's picture

nepotism and graft are just a figment of your imagination.

there is law in this country.

any field you want to work in will have you.

as long as you "work hard enough".

none of this has anything to do with those who hold capital, or how that word is defined. i need to remember that the next time i need to draw four other rents from people doing what they can to keep it together just so i know i won't have to sleep in my car, that it's all because work is readily available in the skill set i hold, so just keep at it bucko!

it'll all come your way some day!

beautiful artistry. those that have deserve it, not because they followed orders, no, because they deserve it.

I am so tired of this shit.

how do people even define work ethic any more? when it is a necessity to placate oneself in the face of your "master" simply to subside?

if it had anything to do with skill, then i, as would hundreds of thousands, would determine our wage and our treatment based on our innate and learned skill. but this is not how it is to work.

burn fuckers. treat me like a machine, and i will act like one.

bunnyswanson's picture

That is no longer the case.  Hard work is not rewarded unless you under bid the other 200 people who are applying for the job or have a network which can fast track your application. 

Competition from in-sourcing has made blue collar work go under the table in many areas (construction, landscaping, farming labor). 

Outsourcing of IT jobs places US tech workers in a position to compete with people who can live on 350 US dollars a month.  In Mexico, the Comcast tech makes 3.50 a day. 



Insideher Trading's picture

Even Zerohedge is terrified to address race.

Race is a terrifying proposition to address, at least from a journalistic stand point. 


secret_sam's picture

Do your part.  Find some data.

SubjectivObject's picture

Easy solution; it's not race, it's ethnicity.

I speak from multicultural experience.

SubjectivObject's picture


Know your demographic?

A cultural nonsequitur that cares?

Compiling other people's data?

chump666's picture

And Obama bailed out Wall Street who in 2009 took no losses on the stock market, all the while the Fed secured the puts and Obama pushed the credit.


helping_friendly_book's picture

If you, could, do your research you will find it was George W. Bush, Henry Paulson and Timothy Giethner (then the FRBNY President) that shoved  TARP down our throat. Tarp was an 8 page document designed to loot the US Treasury upon the end of the Bush administration.

I will not argue to what extent Obama was complicate in this fraud but, I will, definitely, point out you are absolutely and irrefutably incorrect saying it was Obama who was behind the wheel when Wall Street got the , moral hazard, bail out.

Read a book. You don't know what you are talking about and please point out my misspellings and don't forget to call me an anti-Semite. 


A Lunatic's picture

That's really the gist of it all. Had all of the money that went to the TBTF and all of the subsequent QE's gone into the private sector in various forms it would have gone a long way to creating jobs and income for the "poor". I'm sick of these fuckers saying they are looking out for the poor when they spend hundreds of billions of Benny Bucks on wars, failed solar companies, dying automobile companies, corporate welfare, banks, and pork for everyone who might know where a body is buried. This combined with reckless FED printing and artificial reporting of the economic data serve to keep current business owners from making management decisions that could in turn help stimulate the job market thus providing some relief. Obastard care, tax increases, and further restrictions on Liberty go a long way in clustering the fuck out of the situation as well.  Unless the objective is to completely destroy America, I just don't understand anymore..........

alentia's picture

Socialist governments have created moral hazard by giving away free money to people who does not want to work. Free money are hazardous.

It is somewhat interesting...

Giving free money to charity produces more charities and poverty.

Charities produce more poverty, by removing any incentives from states to care about their people (in the case of many charities for Africa), or for people to rise against dictators when they have nothing to loose.

Giving more to local charities removes incentives for people dependant on these charities to look for work. Removes incentives to save for rainy day, when they have work.

Just watched, how Canadian goverment pledged $1.5M to Syrian refugees in Turkey... Refugees are sitting there in tent camps for over a year doing nothing. Within the year they could have build new houses and even the whole new town if it is not for international aid. They could have build schools, shops, but they just sit there and complain.

It is easier just to through money at them rather than teach them needed skill to build a house, road, sewer, waterways, etc.

secret_sam's picture

    Within the year they could have build new houses

I dunno about Syrians in Turkey, but for sure we need favelas everywhere.  That would solve a LOT of problems.

Rent's a real drag.  I could afford a gym membership and a climate-controlled storage unit without it.

Shigure's picture

And "Socialist" governments have created moral hazard by giving away free money to the banks, who do not produce anything. Free money is hazardous.

Maybe this removed the incentive for them to sort out the financial system and is the reason why we are in a worse situation four years later

ZeroAvatar's picture



I noticed that, too.  The Syrian refugees are shown traipsing along wet muddy roads.  It would be too much work to improve the road so they don't have to walk in mud.  They show the families sitting contentedly in their tents. Doesn't anyone have any desire to improve their living conditions?


legorf's picture

Long term, wages and relative wages to other countries are highly correlated with productivity which is highly dependant on education and capital (not money, machinery !!).

Every dropout is thus a huge burden for the economy for many, many years to come.

How can you justify high wages if you are no more educated than the average Chinese worker which only costs a fraction of your wage for the same work? Unfortunately for many americans, they cost too much and produce less than the equivalent workers in other countries.

Now, since no one wants an outright wage cut, there is no quick adjusment in wage prices, and thus, the adjustment has to come from quantities, read unemployment. This is a much more painful process which takes much more time. Eventually, whose who need to work finally agree to work part-time in a low paying job, thus a wage cut anyway.

Just tell your kids not to drop out. As a side note, try to direct them towards a career worth the investment ...


P.S. If you have a degree worth the ink and paper it is written on, you can work in another country if the economy sucks at home ...

secret_sam's picture

      How can you justify high wages if you are no more educated than the average Chinese worker which only costs a fraction of your wage for the same work?

Exactly.  And how can anyone justify higher prices for the same shit stamped with different brand names?

Cabreado's picture

What is in the process of changing this dynamic -- communication,

an ultimately simple process of comparing notes,
realizing the oppression and refining one's own definition of such a thing,

then recognizing the common ground,

and seeing where there is humility there is hope,
and when self-absorption and false leadership finally glares its ugly head,
known to a critical mass,
things will change, because they simply have to...

and may the humble and downtrodden,
carrying with them every ounce of intelligence necessary for
all that is sustainable,


And do it big time.

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 !