• Knave Dave
    05/23/2016 - 18:16
    This past Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the US stock market’s death when stocks saw their last high. Market bulls have spent a year looking like the walking dead. They’ve...

Presenting The Working Poor Of America

Tyler Durden's picture


Much has been made of the slow but steady 'improvement' in the unemployment data we are treated to on a weekly and monthly basis from the hallowed eves of the BLS. Just as much has been written on the ugly under-belly of this apparent improvement with the work-force becoming dominated by older workers forced to stay in jobs for longer and an increasing downshift in the kind of jobs available and taken. To wit, Reuters cites a report from the The Working Poor Families Project that highlights the surprising levels of poverty so many Americans find themselves in. The number of low-income 'working' families has increased three straight years - and now stands at over 10.2million, with more than 46 million people living in low-income families. "Although many people are returning to work, they are often taking jobs with lower wages and less job security, compared with the middle-class jobs they held before the economic downturn," which means that nearly one in three working families in the United States is struggling to meet basic needs. Although they are often overlooked, the number of low-income working families has been increasing steadily, resulting in a shrinking middle class and challenging a fundamental assumption that in America, work pays - as we have pointed out before (at these levels, it simply doesn't thanks to the benefit availability).


Your rating: None

- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:00 | 3156614 Prometheus418
Prometheus418's picture

Agreed.  Sucks to wait, but we're not all stupid yet.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 21:54 | 3156270 luckylogger
luckylogger's picture

EXACTLY ~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They want our guns for a reason and it is not to protect us !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 03:33 | 3156904 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

The government doesn't take away guns to protect you. They take away guns to protect them.


thw whole point of government is to stay in power and keep the suckers, er citizens paying. Guns could end the government. Government must end guns for civilians.

Simple equation governments lie and use "classification " of information to hide their crimes and misdeeds.


The government doesn't take away guns to protect you. They take away guns to protect the government and prolong their tyranny.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 23:51 | 3156593 Prometheus418
Prometheus418's picture

You said it, garcam123.

They might have stripped my silver coin away with inflation, but I kept my lead, tools and Faraday cages.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 18:53 | 3155791 rtalcott
rtalcott's picture

And this is 2 years old data....think it's any better now?  No...didn't think so....

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:03 | 3155809 Nid
Nid's picture

So <200% of Poverty Level = Low Income? Who decided that? 

Not that the Standard of Living in the US doesn't suck for most...it does, and getting worse...but there seems to be a fundamental problem with the way we define Poverty in the US....which leads to 50 Million qulaifiying for Food Stamps, rampant SS waste and too many folks on the dole in general, which breeds more "poverty" and further erodes the Standard of Living.

If you haven't already, check out Heritage's report on Poverty in the US. 


Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:10 | 3155824 Umh
Umh's picture

Believe me; the government is not going to let us run out of poor people. The government will subsidize poor people to keep the levels up.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:23 | 3155863 uncle reggie
uncle reggie's picture

If the Heritage Foundation had the final word, "poverty" would be non-existant in the US. After all, it's an untidy word. Folks, like those at Heritage, would prefer not to reflect on the putrid underbelly of American economics.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:28 | 3155875 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Nid said:

there seems to be a fundamental problem with the way we define Poverty in the US

That's for sure. You've got a lot of people that are dirt poor, but almost all the welfare goes to the banks, Wall Street, and defense contractors.

....which leads to 50 Million qulaifiying for Food Stamps, rampant SS waste and too many folks on the dole in general, which breeds more "poverty" and further erodes the Standard of Living.

Made me laugh. The money going to "Food Stamps, rampant SS waste and too many folks on the dole in general" is a spit in the ocean compared to what's been given to the TBTF banks (both American and foreign), the Wall Street racketeers, and corporations whose business consists solely of sucking the teats of the Pentagon. They are the biggest welfare queens in human history. That's who is breeding more poverty and eroding the standard of living for everyone except themselves.

If you haven't already, check out Heritage's report on Poverty in the US.

I'll pass. It's just more divide and conquer propaganda to keep people fighting amongst themselves instead of seeing who is really fucking them.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:52 | 3155958 blu
blu's picture

And clearly, it's working.

Next from Heritage: A report proving conclusively that poor people cause 92.3% of all anthropogenic global warming!

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 20:27 | 3156042 moonstears
moonstears's picture

"It's just more divide and conquer propaganda to keep people fighting amongst themselves instead of seeing who is really fucking them."+1

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 23:08 | 3156474 Nid
Nid's picture

Yes, I get it....you're upset with the MIC and Fractional Reserve Banking....how novel.
But back on point ....the facts are clear. The standard of living defined as "impoverished" in the US, describes middle class in most if the world...and in the US just 30 years ago. Yet somehow, a significant portion if these impoverished are on the dole. Meanwhile, the so-called "middle class" sees its standard of living diminished by lower wages and a highe cost if living.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:08 | 3156631 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


But back on point ....the facts are clear.

Indeed they are. You're a mission poster with an agenda to advance.

What other explanation could there be for someone screaming about a mosquito on their arm while they're being ass raped with a warped shillelagh?

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 23:30 | 3156530 akak
akak's picture

TheFourthStooge-ing, you have once again distillationalized the crustiest bits of the mattering things through your skillful throating of ideas and wording of mind into an anti-offuscationalized post that is truly very something, and very worthy of the US 'american' citizenism citizen's eternal nature.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:27 | 3156675 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Just contributating my US of Americanism fairshare citizenist duty in extortionalizing the weak, dirt farming the poor, kicking the can, shifting the blame and so other things being the mantra of US of A citizens in the Mecca of US citizenism, as passed down in fabled past, not changed one bit since the inception of the US of A, 1776,July,4th.

But hey, as it is just part of US citizenism citizen eternal nature (which cannot be changed because, without that, without US citizens acting US citizen, their eternal nature would not be eternal and US citizenism would not be as US citizen does), it would not be fruitful to assign blame.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:07 | 3155818 reader2010
reader2010's picture

Free Iphones for All in the land of the FRee.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:47 | 3155946 DFCtomm
DFCtomm's picture

There has been  a change. It's no longer the land of the free. It's now the land of free.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:13 | 3155828 adr
adr's picture

I was going to say, isn't 200% of the federal poverty level close to $40k. I'm surprised the map isn't a deep shade of purple almost everywhere. I think they need to update the statistics a bit.

Oh I forgot, to be counted as "working poor" you actually need to be working. 50 million or so are making $67k in benefits off .gov.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 23:19 | 3156502 thefedisscam
thefedisscam's picture

the number you said is for a family of FOUR!

$40K for a family of FOUR is very hard. They may not pay Federal income tax, but they do need to pay pay roll tax like Social Security, Medicare and unemployment benefit, state tax, local tax... etc.

That being said, no one force them to have children

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:06 | 3156627 Prometheus418
Prometheus418's picture

As noted above, that's what I make for a family of five, and I sure do pay Federal income tax.

And you're right- no one forced me to have children.  In fact, I didn't have any- I have three step kids- because I'm not a sociopath, I married their mother to ensure that the children I have been raising since they were toddlers can't be simply taken away by their biological father because of a car accident or other unforseen event.

Nothing is as simple as it looks.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:08 | 3156632 luckylogger
luckylogger's picture

My wife and I make 30k a year between us............ please explain how we are better off than folks making 67k per year..................................

We do not qualify for food stamps or any government subsidies.................

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:13 | 3155830 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

This chart is basically worthless...........

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:16 | 3155840 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Looks like Oblameo's redistribution scheme ain't workin so good. But, hey, makin meth, hookin and moonshinen is still way off the gubmint fiat radar. Those kind of proprietors don't fill out no gubmint survey ever.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:19 | 3155850 Umh
Umh's picture

They do fill out the surveys, but the government is asking the wrong questions and if they are asked the right questions the smart ones lie.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:16 | 3155843 wisehiney
wisehiney's picture

County population just keeps on dropping. That's right, leave the lakes and rivers here in paradise to us, and move yo welfare ass into town. We'll come see you at the show sometime.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:38 | 3155851 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

'What's a poor stiff too do?'

Quote: "Since 2008, Congress has voted to extend unemployment benefits ten [10X] times at a cost of more than $500 bln. The latest extension raised federal spending by $30 bln."

Note: The shadowy SSDI has paid out?, more in revenue-- but, what amount was masked in 2012 as the 'working-poor' go into a crazed parabolic frenzy?! Just referencing this empirical data from December/2011... SSDI paid out $10.4 bln. If my calculations are any where close, looking forward,  I'd say ~$15 bln/monthly [*just my guesstimate/ imo] beginning in the 2nd quarter of 2012 would be a realistic number! [  http://www.ultimatedisabilityguide.blogspot.com/2012/01/is-ssdi-program-...  ] 

My math says, just these fragmented/ parceled poor stiffs will account for ~ +/- $200 bln. fiscal 2012! We shall see?

Ref:  http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/di_asr/2011/sect01b.html

        http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/di_asr/2011/sect02.html#table32  [Chart 7- Table_31_32_33_34]


    <****>     http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/di_asr/2011/sect01.html

thankyou tyler

Ps. Ask yourself this... if you were cornered by a pack of rats-- which line of defense would you choose?  



Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:20 | 3155857 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

Obama 's gonna pay my mortgage! I ain't worried!

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:26 | 3155867 uncle reggie
uncle reggie's picture

Is anyone still paying the mortgage?

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:22 | 3155858 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

Red state versus blue state! Republican versus democrat!

Looks like the elites have got the fools played off against each other while they run away with 99% of all income gains for three decades. Whose the fool now!

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:51 | 3156728 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture



Ding, Ding we got a winner! Spot on post.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:24 | 3155866 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

Unfortunately, it will be more.  With Corporations cutting everyone's hours to under 30 per week to comply with Obama Care there will be even more People that cannot make ends meet.

Plus, the workers will have no Health Care or Retirement.  Less Tax revenue for the Government.

Sometimes grand ideas have bad consequences.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:28 | 3155878 uncle reggie
uncle reggie's picture

Corps are not cutting hours to COMPLY with OCare, they're cutting hours to AVOID OCare.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:28 | 3155877 sangell
sangell's picture

I love heartwarming stories like this. Reminds me of old episodes of "The Rifleman" where a washed up baseball player reduced to a hard scrabble existence working the land with his son has to kill someone every week with a fusillade of bullets to stay alive.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:32 | 3155896 uncle reggie
uncle reggie's picture

Indeed, a tough life it was. He, Chuck Connors I think, could pull off a lot of rounds with that fancy piece.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:29 | 3155882 madcows
madcows's picture

Useless map.  They should put it in context of cost of living.  What good is $100k in SF or NY, but it'd be shiteload in Alabama.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 20:08 | 3156005 pursueliberty
pursueliberty's picture

For sure, here in parts of arkansas $60k will afford you luxuries such as a home, stay at home wife, and two newer cars in the drive.  I know someone who has that on a $42k teaching salary and a wife who makes clothing at home.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:30 | 3155885 Dapper Dan
Dapper Dan's picture

And more

In 1964 during his state of the union address, President Johnson declared his War on Poverty. Since then, an estimated $7 trillion has been spent on this war. The US has spent all this money to fight poverty and has not shown any great improvements (Felkins, 2001). How is it possible to spend $7 trillion on poverty and not show any improvement? The irony here is that people are considered poor due to lack of money, yet $7 trillion is used to fight poverty and still, many of these people still lack financial resources.



The USA has a poverty rate that is embarrassing compared to other rich nations throughout the world (Berliner, 2005). If you look at the chart above you can see this.

 The U.S. represents 4.5% of global population but nearly 30% of its total GDP. The 99% may not control the wealth that is concentrated in the United States, but we all benefit from the outsized role the U.S. plays in global economic, financial, and trade policy. So while we consider what reforms are necessary to rebalance our domestic wealth, we should be mindful of the conditions of those who are truly at the bottom of the global income distribution. Or we may soon find ourselves face to face with the true 99%.



Tue, 01/15/2013 - 20:08 | 3156003 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Dapper Dan said:

In 1964 during his state of the union address, President Johnson declared his War on Poverty. Since then, an estimated $7 trillion has been spent on this war.

Damn, that's almost as much as was spent on the 2008 racketeer rescue fund.

How is it possible to spend $7 trillion on poverty and not show any improvement?

Agreed. Furthermore, how is it possible to spend $7 trillion on bankster bailouts and not show any improvement (or convictions, for that matter)?

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 22:00 | 3156281 luckylogger
luckylogger's picture

You hit it right on the nose and these guys are the same ones saying that veterans living on the streets are just trash, after they protected the fat cats wonderful way of life....................... What is the bonus for a veteran protecting the country for a year compared to a bankers bonus for ripping off the public................... just thinkin'........................

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 01:45 | 3156819 Jugdish
Jugdish's picture

Do us all a favor and don't think. Turn your fukin gun in. Thinking isn't allowed. OBEY.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 22:16 | 3156321 Northern Lights
Northern Lights's picture

That $7 trillion went towards creating more bureacracies to deal with the poor.  You didn't expect that they'd just go out and give people a cheque did you? What they did was create more government jobs to employ people to disburse this money to the poor.  

In my city it was found that in 2010, each homeless person cost the city $50,000.  Problem was, of every $1 doled out, $0.90 went towards the salary of the government employee case worker and other admin costs.  Only the remaining $0.10 actually went to help the homeless person.  This amounted to free food and a cot at the local shelter.

Around here they call it the Poverty Industry.  It's sickening.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:31 | 3155893 Chartist
Chartist's picture

The vast majority of the employment gains have accrued to the top 1%.  Employers either pay a living wage, or pay a much higher income tax to make up for those who don't pay a tax because that employer doesn't pay enough.....The situation is truly binary. 

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 20:49 | 3156103 Umh
Umh's picture

WTF; they were not unemployed to begin with.....................

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:34 | 3155903 Rot-10
Rot-10's picture

Unfortunately for Tilson and Ackman, the Blue states are all selling for IncomeAtHome.com


Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:40 | 3155927 Genève Barbegazi
Genève Barbegazi's picture

There's gotta be a contingency plan for when the poor come marching with pitchforks. The country club elites are going to get full bourgeoise treatment while the real evil mofos go to ground at the Denver airport and we all get fuckin torched....riddle me fuckin that!

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:56 | 3155960 The 22nd Prime
The 22nd Prime's picture

Well, if all you're bringing to the fight is a pitchfork then your ass is gonna get smoked pretty fast around here.

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 21:48 | 3156259 Overfed
Overfed's picture

Why do ya' think they want our guns?

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:48 | 3155948 unwashedmass
unwashedmass's picture


actually crime pays better.....especially bank fraud. 

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 19:50 | 3155953 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Looks like America is overrun with lazy, good for nothin' Greeks...........

Tue, 01/15/2013 - 20:06 | 3155995 Skip
Skip's picture

Jobs, as with the stimulus jobs, go to Obama and the elite's favorites:

December Jobs: Hispanics And Immigrants Are The Only Winners. And an Immigration Moratorium Could Have Cut Unemployment In Half.

Hispanics are 16% of the labor force but they received 60% of the jobs created in the past year.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!