Depression By The Numbers - A Poverty Bulletin

Tyler Durden's picture

As was already discussed last week, the number of Americans living in poverty is now at an all time high, even as the real income of the average American male worker adjusted for inflation is back to 1968 levels. But that is only the beginning. ProPublica has compiled an exhaustive bulletin summarizing the sad state of America's depressionary reality in "Our Sputtering Economy by the Numbers: Poverty Edition." For anyone wondering how we are doing now compared to "before", this is the only list needed. The results are not pretty and confirm that Bernanke is now trapped in a corner, where every incremental attempt to reflate the stock market will make ever more people on the other side of the social spectrum even poorer until finally the Arab Spring makes its lone overdue appearance in America.

From ProPublica:

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GeneMarchbanks's picture

Reading those bulletpoints is less scary than simply going outside and exploring your city and neighborhood.

I Got Worms's picture

No doubt. Had the misfortune of walking into a Wal-mart recently. <shudder>

Dr. Richard Head's picture

No kidding. I had to go into one of those this weekend to grab a boat-load of candy for our Ron Paul float for the parade we were in.  I bought $100 worth of candy and I felt like I was being eyed up by every patron there. 

Plus, I felt terribly overdressed with my shoes and all. 

papaswamp's picture

You have one of the best screen names...

espirit's picture

Once the Bernank prints another Trillion or so, the poverty level will once again rise to an anticipated level.  Never mind gas will be over $4 per gallon and anarchy erupts over commodities.

Bring it on!

11b40's picture

He's had that name since 6th grade.  ;-)

Captain Planet's picture

those eyes are scary and sad.

sucks when just sitting on a bench eating a sandwhich gets people looking at you like a dog begging for scraps. its a sad world for those who see misery in their daily lives, yet have enough to be comfortably fed and clothed

OOONONO's picture

and what you see in the parking lot outside is even scarier ...

malalingua's picture

There was a pic of a checkpoint charlie in some of their parking lots, I thought it was a joke until I saw it. 

malalingua's picture

Here is an account of what this guy saw two years ago.  I couldn't find the vid of what I saw that was posted on Max Keiser a few months ago.

AchtungAffen's picture

There was the news not long ago that WalMart was going to team up with some government agency to "fight crime" or something. Might be this.

MachoMan's picture

I use walmart to help stave off stagflation/bi-flation...  what's the deal with wallyworld?  It shouldn't surprise you...  I've gone there all my life and don't really see anything different as far as patronage/demographics...  welcome to the morts.  About the only thing that has changed is the number of items that qualify for SNAP/government food supplements (increase)...  and, as always, the meats are terrible.  (much better at sams...  and much better than sams at a real butcher/direct source [and probably cheaper too]).

Although, I have found it difficult, on multiple occasions, to keep my mouth shut or continue smiling while some orka fat woman and/or blue hair ran my ass over in a runaway motorized cart...  apparently my feet are magnets for those things.  Hey Topgun!  You're grounded... 

American Dissident's picture

The Build C H I N A Fund Thanks You!

MachoMan's picture

So I should impoverish myself to pay americans to produce the same thing for 10x as much?  This is why there is no cure to offshoring + dollar debasement...  at some point, we are left with no choice but to continue and participate in the downward spiral...

Although, I am moving to producing my own (everything) more and more...  so, technically speaking, I pay an american to produce all such items...

pazmaker's picture

Exactly!   I shop some at the local Walmart...I have found some small chain grocery stores in my area that have cheaper prices on meats and produce stores like     Compare Foods  and Aldi's   also Galaxy Foods.

The walmart near me has now added a Police substation.....I don't like this so I try to stay away.

Alpha Monkey's picture

More evidence of who the police serve and protect.

MachoMan's picture

The people who pay their salaries...

American Dissident's picture

Really? "there is no cure to off shoring + dollar debasement..."  No Really? By your logic American Manufacturing should never have prospered under a strong dollar policy. Never mind the affect of NAFTA, GATT or incenting corporations to move their operations offshore to satisfy the Wall and Broad Zionist thuggery. Very Funny Indeed!  I would suggest you research whats really going on my trusty member of wrestling officialdom. And not to worry .. for I suspect sooner than later  many conspiracy theories will become conspiracy fact so you will be able to fore go the typical name calling that accompanies the process of awakening. I do applaud your becoming self sufficient though!

MachoMan's picture

American manufacturing and america post WW2 prospered because our entire manufacturing base hadn't been destroyed...  as the rest of the world has come online (often building newer and more sophisticated manufacturing facilities) we've gotten shit on...  it's as simple as that.  Think of it like water running to the lowest point on a surface.

How many export models run on strong (insert their respective currencies) policies?  Would china continue to export at the same level with a much stronger domestic currency?  Maybe for a little while...  until that water could flow to a lower point.

American exceptionalism definitely includes a fair helping of right time, right place.

I wouldn't expect the rest of the world's manufacturing base to be destroyed again...  although, I wouldn't put it past the central planners to conjure up a similar scenario.  If you're talking about implementing trade barriers and starting trade wars, then...  good luck with fighting gravity.

American Dissident's picture

“While evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they (we) are accustomed”.

bid the soldiers shoot's picture

A real butcher?

Do they have Walmarts in Paris, France?

Alpha Monkey's picture

Seattle doesn't have walmarts, but I know a few good butchers.

MacchuPicchu's picture

No, they do not.

The city of paris (the 20 districts) have laws about the maximum square footage a retail space can occupy, by category. Supermarkets, in particular, are much smaller by law than their american counterparts. I would assume this results in slightly elevated costs to consumers for products as a result of the loss of economies of scale of 'la grande surface' in terms of stocking, utilities, etc. although this is an assumption and I'm not sure how you would control for other factors. On the positive side there are benefits which I don't have to assume exist but are transparently evident to anyone who has lived in Paris. First, you're never far from a supermarket. They're all over the place. In fact you're usually so close to one that you don't have to even use public transport to get there. Second, the butcher, baker, and candlestick maker remain in business all over Paris because they're still cost competitive. Buying your meat at the butcher, your bread at the baker, and your fruits at the green grocer, who are all literally around the corner no matter where you live. Many american friends of mine laud that 'village' feel in parisian neighborhoods and I think this is a big part of the reason. I won't wax philosophical about how this absence of WalMarts keeps you feeling 'human' or whatever, there are plenty of tools on both sides of the atlantic to do that for me, and I'm also not saying the French have every problem solved, but I will say I think this particular aspect of government regulation has been truly beneficial to the residents of the city of light. (and I imagine ultimately makes for more jobs than WalMart would create for a similar population here.  


Larry Darrell's picture

Luckily for "the markets," algos don't do tours on the ground.

kito's picture

@gene--maybe you live in the hood, but on the surface i dont see much of a difference in the neighborhoods/cities near me.....yet

Dr. Richard Head's picture

I am seeing it creep up in a way that many don't pay attention to.  Green lush lawns are now festering with weeds.  Mulch beds that were once ornate now have the weeds growing in there.  Wives that didn't work in my neighborhood are now zooming off to retail/food service work.  It is not obvious to many, but I have been paying attention to the small details.  It looks to me that many are starting to suffer in my area from the outward appearances.

Inwardly, many have confided in me about their mortgage issues that are starting to surface.  I have been able to throw them to resources that have been helpful.  They then come back asking about credit card problems.  It's starting to hit the upper-middle class now.

sdmjake's picture

My grass is dead and a shutter has come loose. Place certainly looks kinda shabby. But perception ain't always reality... I don't want it to look like I have gold!

Cliff Claven Cheers's picture

The only new business I see opening on every corner are pawn shops with big signs that say "We buy Gold".  As well as all the money lending shops, smoke shops and liquor and lottery stores. 

Blankman's picture

The next step in the complete dismantling of your neighborhood is the dime store churches.


Once they start opening up the corner store churches then you know you are doomed  DOOMED!!!


Dave Thomas's picture

Don't forget the nail salons that seem to multiply like cockroaches.

In a 1 mile radius I must have at least 7 nail salons. I personally think it's a secret Chicom sleeper cell directive.

Incubus's picture

Perfectly fine where I live.  I have the luxury of living in a boomer-infested city, so there's still some 'wealth' to be had floating around.  My condolences if you're trapped near peoples on the lower rungs of the social ladder.

I think I'll be fine once social collapse happens.  Old people are just like zombies.  They'll just shuffle about, trying to eat shit.

LFMayor's picture

ROFL!   I can tell you're a very delicate, sensitive are going to do fine in the next phase.

Cliff Claven Cheers's picture

That is what I love about Zero Hedge, the humor sometimes.  We have all sorts of disagreements over inflation vs deflation, race wars, bigotry, dems vs repubs, rich vs poor, anti semitic vs semitic, etc.  Every now and then we all get a good laugh and forget how much we hate each other.

European American's picture

Location. Some regions of the country clearly show a state of depression. Other's, hardly at all. Where I live everyone seems oblivious to the underlying current of financial malcontent. Mall parking lots seem full, not sure if they are buying or living in there. I wouldn't care to live in any large city, though, especially where I live, an hour a way. Real Estate here is probably the largest sign post for the downward spiral of the economy. Less variety in the stores of those "specialty" food items. Wal Mart, where I get pet food has definite dwindling resources on their shelves. Thank goodness for a successful organic veggie garden this year. Nothing like eating food that was just picked. Hard to eat anything else.

NotApplicable's picture

Over the last twenty years, the city nearest me has went from quiet college town to "which bank/c store/liquor store/McD's was robbed at gunpoint today?" town. Shootings (gang-related) are up as well, but luckily, so far, misses are too.

Which of course, is why the police now choose to setup sobriety and license checkpoints around the outer edges of town, as that work is far easier than working the projects. Besides, who want's to get shot just trying to pad your overtime before retiring?

Meanwhile, the only thing that gets the local sheeple roused is the loss of their free stuff.

GeneMarchbanks's picture


I've had the misfortune/fortune? to live in some metro areas(DC, Detriot, LA) so grim that even if you were to turn a blind eye you'd encounter an extreme in some way or other.

Truly I find it hard to believe that a major US metro area has no 'hood' as you so succinctly put it.

Look harder, unless you are in North Dakota in which case I understand and extend my condolences...

GeneMarchbanks's picture

I just noticed I wrote Det-Riot, I could edit or just leave it as it is...

Abitdodgie's picture

Hey I live in North Dakota ...... well thanks for the condolences, people are very "special" up here, and the food is all high quality crap.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

My comment now makes me seem like an asshole. I really thought I was safe with North Dakota dammit should went with South.

Please elaborate on the food?

Id fight Gandhi's picture

Sure is scary. Go visit a local shelter or soup kitchen. You'll be surprised at the type of people going there. Not what you'd expect. And imagine the people that are too proud for any assistance or avoid the statistics.

For example when a college does an alumni poll of who's working, the unemployed usually don't answer the surveys and theyre not included in their employment success rate. I would imagine its the same here, people down and out will avoid the surveys

Jena's picture

An article in my local newspaper yesterday detailed the local homeless shelters that are becoming the default care centers for homeless people once they've been discharged from the area hospitals.  It led off with the report of one woman who may have been let go too early, because at the end of the article it said she was taken to the Emergency Department of hospital different than the one at which she'd received care.  

Apparently in LA County, there are a few post-hospital discharge homeless care centers staffed with medical and nursing personnel to deal with such patients until they are back on their literal feet.  In other California counties it's not probably going to happen, not with cutbacks to 911, fire and sheriff personnel already happening and more on the way. But it's a daunting idea, to be a shelter staffer trying to take care of these people who in another time would probably still be a hospital inpatient for a couple of days.

Encroaching Darkness's picture

One of my "sidelines" generates excess soda pop. I donate it to the local homeless shelter; the ethics of providing HFCS-laden soda to the homeless occasionally troubles me, but then it is calories not wasted, so....
Last week was time for a run; I pull up to the curb, behind a lady in a sedan folding quilts. I guess to myself, "Oh, she's gonna wash them for the shelter. Nice lady to do that." She has dozens, maybe a hundred, blanket after quilt after coverlet, moving them from the trunk to the backseat. Must need more room in the trunk for more quilts.
Middle-aged lady; maybe she could use some help. "Can I fold some for you?" A GLARE for an answer. OK lady, didn't mean anything, beat a hasty retreat.
Found some homeless to help move soda into the kitchen. Finished up, got in my station wagon to leave, the lady comes over.
"I wasn't mad at you, didn't want to leave you with that impression." Nice smile, a few teeth missing..
"I just needed to fold them neatly, you know how you guys [men] can be."
"I'm living in my car with my husband, we have another year and a half of car payments, then we can start working back up."
I told my wife and kids we were doing well, we're not living in a car with payments to make while trying to get something going that will get us back on our feet.
The homeless at the intersections are still there, whether I see them or not; can't say more or less over time, but definitely still there.
Got some hope and maybe some change? I see some people who could sure use it, here and there with their cardboard signs.

orangedrinkandchips's picture



No joke. And people WANT to break into places, steal, beg, borrow, sell drugs etc. FOR FUN. (ok, doing drugs doesnt count). They do it TO LIVE. Gangs are the 21st centruy equivelant of a FAMILY.



GeneMarchbanks's picture

'Gangs are the 21st centruy equivelant of a FAMILY'

Only because we stopped paying attention, individually and then collectively. Everybody is scared of everybody. This is the new norm.

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." 


Bwahaha WAGFDSMB's picture

"Don't talk to strangers."  Divide and conquer baby.

MonsterBox's picture

don't forget to check under the bridges and overpasses. 

Nothing To See Here's picture

But... but... I thought the prices of ipads were going down and that there was no inflation!?