Chart Of The Day: Americans At Or Below 125% Of The Poverty Level

Tyler Durden's picture

From AP: "the number of Americans with incomes at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty level - the income limit for qualifying for legal aid - is expected to reach an all-time high of 66 million this year. A family of four earning 125 percent of the federal poverty level makes about $28,800 a year, government figures show." And visually...

As usual, if anyone expects these 66 million Americans (over 20% of the US population) to vote for someone who dares to even think about taking away any of the entitlements said tens of millions of people are used to, then by all means buy Las Vegas real estate.

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AldousHuxley's picture

because americans are kids....all that TV made them too naive.


"Austerity? oh that sounds depressing. I don't want to hear about it. BTW, why is my college tuition rising above inflation while I can't get a job?"


Like kids told not to touch the hot stove. They touch it, get burned, and then learn the lesson the hard way.


stupid people = learn lessons eventually but the hard way

smart people = get the fuck out of dodge before shit hits the fan.



midtowng's picture

I voted 3rd party, like I always do. Obama didn't fool me, but I hoped I was wrong.

McCain certainly didn't inspire confidence. Romney doesn't either.

At least I could say that I voted for someone I like, even if there are too many sheeple that vote for someone they don't like and thus doom us all for the "lesser evil" that seems to get worse every election.

LetThemEatRand's picture

I no longer believe it matters who is elected from the current two party system.  I will be writing in Ron Paul (the only rational choice even though I disagree with him on some major issues).  I am hoping that as things become worse and information becomes more available, people will start to wake up in real numbers and eventually the Red/Blue paradigm will fall and that viable candidates willing to challenge the status quo will emerge. There is already some hope that this is occurring given that Paul received support from a meaningful percentage of the population across traditional party lines.

tZydeco's picture

" I no longer believe it matters who is elected from the current two party system." - agree, 100%

MisterMousePotato's picture

I have to disagree. The GOP-e types love to tell people that a vote for Ron Paul, Sarah Palin, whoever, is a vote for Obama. I think that the election dynamics have changed such that any such vote can be said actually to be a vote for Romney.

The best we can hope for out of the upcoming election is for Obama (or any non Republican [which means - let's face it - Obama]) with a strongly Republican Congress (which appears extremely likely at this point), with maybe even a true conservative influence (which also appears possible).

No. It won't bring about the changes needed. But it will slow down or maybe even stop their agenda for a while.

Seriously? Do we want to give the GOP-e unchallenged control of the federal government with somebody like Romney at the head? What could be worse? It would be the fourth term of GWB's presidency.

AldousHuxley's picture

fuck GOP and their Mormon, Inc. private equity extract cash out of companies and fire everyone fucker Romney.


vote whomever you want to . write your own name on the ballot. I'd vote for zerohedge readers over any of the candidates from either parties.


Pants McPants's picture

Dude, with your outlook, you're not going to unfool anyone here. 

A better approach for you would be to absorb as much material here as possible.

Your posts have been getting better, but you're still a B- troll in my book.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Right, if I don't agree with you on every point I'm a troll.  You are the one that should absorb and learn, and I'm sure my telling you that has convinced you.

Pants McPants's picture

No, I'm not saying you need to agree with me on everything, just that you don't fully grasp the content of this site yet.  And I'm not sure you want to grasp it....hence the troll grade.

Good luck and happy learning.

FreedomGuy's picture

One of the great thinkers from over a century ago said it so beauitfully;

Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property.

But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.

Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain -- and since labor is pain in itself -- it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.

When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor.

It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work. All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder.

But, generally, the law is made by one man or one class of men. And since law cannot operate without the sanction and support of a dominating force, this force must be entrusted to those who make the laws.

This fact, combined with the fatal tendency that exists in the heart of man to satisfy his wants with the least possible effort, explains the almost universal perversion of the law. Thus it is easy to understand how law, instead of checking injustice, becomes the invincible weapon of injustice. It is easy to understand why the law is used by the legislator to destroy in varying degrees among the rest of the people, their personal independence by slavery, their liberty by oppression, and their property by plunder. This is done for the benefit of the person who makes the law, and in proportion to the power that he holds.

- Frederick Bastiat


boogerbently's picture

Almost $30,000 is 125% of poverty level???

I think we've found the problem.

Dr Benway's picture

LOL. Yeah 30K is great if you don't expect a roof over your head (property ponzi), or a retirement income (share ponzi), or medical care (medicare ponzi), or your children to have education (university ponzi).


These things used to be affordable before they were ponzified as a scheme to transfer wealth to the 1%. The rise in cost of these things has zero to do with free market outcomes.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Why are there families of 4 making that kind of money? Simple answer: don't have kids if you are making minimum wage. Why do people think it is their god given right to have kids when they can't afford them???

Answer: bigger handout from Uncle Sam

johnnynaps's picture

Because contrary to the dollar being the rule of the land, humans were put on Earth to reproduce. It's factual science. But, you can keep on worshipping a dollar's value which is manipulated by evil, fat and bald men.

TN Jed's picture

reproduce?  say when....5 billion, 6 billion, 7 billion.  Mission accomplished.  Now try feeding the masses sans fiat, cheap oil or non-production production. 

Since we agree the dollar is manipulated can we not agree that has led to a population level not naturally supportable? 

stacking12321's picture

humans were not "put on" the earth, despite your superstitious inclinations.

and, it is only your opinion that the purpose of peoples' existence is to reproduce.

that's a bizzarely crude view of human existence.

there's already 7 billion people on the earth, adding more people is just redundant, there is no good reason to do it, other than your pre-programmed inclinations.

i know you want to think that you're a unique and beautiful snowflake - but you're not! you're just another copy of a copy of a copy of 7 billion nearly identical organisms. having another one of you is redundant and unneccessary.


sun tzu's picture

The number one job of every species is to reproduce. Whether you belive in a religion or not, it's a fact, unless you think that you are different from other animals.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Reproduce all you want, if you can afford it. But don't tell me I have to babysit your brats either directly or indirectly through taxes or subsidy.

maximin thrax's picture

Yes - SPECIES, not necessarily each individual therein. Humans have succeeded in their species' reproduction by the numbers. But part of a species reproduction is the culling of the weak and the slow whose genetics are determined by nature to be sub-optimal. Maintaining the integrity of the species goes hand in hand with the job of breeding.

Humans are different because of compassion. We just can't agree on what true compassion is.

johnnynaps's picture

And that was my point! Hey, I too think we could do without 5 billion of these morons fucking up our planet. But, to allow entitled rich people who know how to game making fiat money the ultimate priveledge of exclusive reproductivity, then you can explain to your offspring why he is enslaved by Corzine jr.. If it wasn't fact, sex would be like watching paint dry.

Pants McPants's picture

....and what, pray tell, would you call your last two paragraphs if reproduction is a "bizarrely crude" view of human existence?

Cripes, get outside & go for a walk, read good literature, aint too bad, all things considered.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Sorry bro. You can't have all the kids you want if you can't afford them.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Yes, I have two. Because that's all I can afford to take care of both by time and by finance. Even if I wanted to have ten, I couldn't afford to. Two is plenty, trust me.

dolph9's picture

They're called anchor babies.  Just have a baby in the U.S, and he or she is an automatic citizen.  And the courts will never split up the families which means Jose can stay in the U.S. and continue to mow your lawn.

yofish's picture

Hey! That's me, that's MY chart!

nmewn's picture



For my anonymous wimp junker...what happened in 2006?

WeAreJellyfish's picture

how else will Gold go higher?

BlackholeDivestment's picture

...that is the quote of this generation. LMAO, good one. It sounded like something Greenspan used to say about the need for some amount of unemployment. LMAO. I was wondering where that fish smell keeps coming from.


knukles's picture

I dated this broad in college that people used to say something like that about.

ebworthen's picture

And J.P. Morgan Chase will make a killing administering the debit cards as will WalMart selling EBT food.

Bifurcation into Lords/Ladies and the Peasantry; middle class being destroyed.

Terminus C's picture

That little dip in the middle is "wealth effect" from the free money housing bubble.  When that crashed... the rate of climb increased.

Laws of physics bitchez, you don't get something for nothing... what is that... Newton's fourth law of thermodynamics?

knukles's picture

Something or other relating to Paul Krugman.

Poqit's picture

Googled voter turnout by income level.  This chart shows that in 2008 the participation rate for people under $30k varied from 41% at the low end to 48% at the $29.9k level.  The national average was 59.7%.,_2008_US_...

We can assume that not all of the 66 million people are of voting age.  Using the hypothetical of a family of four, we'd assume only two are voting age adults.  So, an increase of ~13.5 million people below 125% of the poverty line since 2008 would add 6.75 million potential voters, of whom we'd expect 3 million (assuming a generous 45% participation rate) to actually vote.

About 125 million votes were cast in 2008, so this change equates to 2.4% of the popular vote.

RockyRacoon's picture

Everybody knows that po folk don't vote nohow.  No problem!

What has been forgotten is that the original "electorate" was white, land-owning, males. 

All men are created equal, so that would have left out the ones that were 3/5ths of a person.

I guess the concept that in a Democracy people vote their pocketbook is actually a factoid.

We didn't have a Democracy in the original concept... that was a later development.

SockPuppetMan's picture

Interesting that you mention this. If I'm not mistaken the 3/5th Compromise was actually instituted by northern, non-slave, states to hold on to their superior number of electoral votes over the slave-states in the south.

Pants McPants's picture

Whiteness excluded, I'm in favor of changing voting laws so that only property owning, non-government employees can vote.  It makes sense to me that those who stand to lose the most should be the ones allowed to vote....but I'm likely overlooking something.

I don't vote, but I think the above would improve the present system.

Real Estate Geek's picture

It definitely would go a long ways towards putting some adults in charge of the public purse.  But I propose one tweak:  replace "property owning" with "income tax paying" non-government employees . . .  "

FreedomGuy's picture

The problem is your analysis assumes that the middle class productive people all vote one way. They do not. If you take those in the welfare class and add them to unions, high numbers of social security recipients, stupid leftists college students, their professors, lifelong democrats, minorities, etc., you get a large powerful coalition of people who want other people's stuff. Some, like farmers are bought off by both sides, but they still want "stuff" from government.


this is a good examples of how figures lie...

this is not very useful because I don't believe it is income-level-adjusted.  The 41%-48% figure that is. (similar to age-adjusted reporting).

meaning that 41% of 66000000 is 27,060,000 and 48% of 66 Mil is 31,680,000

So out of the 125% poverty group, we can expect between 27 to 31.6 million voters.  how does that compare to the other voter turnout by income groups?  

The 27 to 31.6 million voters is a huge block that can swing an election EASILY.  thankfully, or not, depending on how you see it,  we have an electoral college system, so the popular vote is irrelevant.  

HOWEVER, I bet you these 27 - 31.6 milon voters are from states that must be won to get the presidency. Montana, SD, ND, ID etc... don't matter... in these smaller states, all 100% of the 125% poverty line could vote and it would not make a difference, NY, CA, FL, OH, PA, IL on the other hand MATTERS.

anyway, enough ranting, you get the point about figures being misleading unless they are properly adjusted (statistically speaking).


papaswamp's picture

All is well...carry on or you may be arrested....

reader2010's picture

just over 20%?  To have an American Hitler in power, more than 60% is what the doctor ordered.

baby_BLYTHE's picture

At least Hitler cared about the people and had actual solutions to the dire economic circumstances and rampant unemployment. Within two years full employment was restored with high wage, high productive, goods producing jobs. Where is Obama with an economic program to return the United States to full employment? Where is Paul Ryan and Romney? These people have no soul and our bought & paid for by monied interests that thrive at the expense of a low wage, high unemployment, service sector US economy.

Uncle Remus's picture

At least Hitler cared about the people and had actual solutions to the dire economic circumstances and rampant unemployment. Within two years full employment was restored with high wage, high productive, goods producing jobs.

Uuuhhhh, did you research exactly how Herr Schickelgruber (and rumored Rothschild bastard progeny) actually performed that little economic miracle?

nmewn's picture

I'm gonna say no...but you already knew that.

She obviously didn't.

Uncle Remus's picture

Boy the way Hans Pfitzner played
Strauss music like Hitler said.
Guys like us we had it made,
Those were the days.
And you knew who you were then,
Girls were girls and men were men,
Mister we could use a man
Like Adolf Hitler again.
Didn't need no Rotfront state,
Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee our old Steyr sure ran great.
Those were the days.

Totentänzerlied's picture

"Within two years full employment was restored with high wage, high productive, goods producing jobs." All part of the build up to the most destructive conflagration in human history which ended with the utter and complete destruction of Germany. It's all about context, and you seem to be lacking it.

I didn't know anyone actually believed Hitler was sincerely racist, Aryan-supremacist, national-socialist, or any of that crap. He was a useful puppet whose real motivation was lust for power and glory, like all politicians. His career was steeped in Wagnerian imagery and populist rhetoric because that is what sold best in 1930s Germany.

Uncle Remus's picture

Channeling Dick Martin - "I didn't know that!".

FreedomGuy's picture

As I recall in my history lessons he really cared a lot about Jewish people, too followed by slavs, arabs, etc. He had solutions for them, too. You have to be care-ful about this caring thing and what comes with it.

I like liberty, caring most about yourself and not trying to rule your neighbor with force. This government caring thing comes with central planning and big solutions with teeth.