The rich aren’t just ‘rich’ anymore, they’re super-duper-mondo rich, and the poor are just more and more dirt poor. The middle class is shrinking everyday, and they sure as hell aren’t joining the super-duper-mondo-rich crowd.
As I was surfing around the interwebs this week (I promised myself I would remember where, but you know that goes), I found a link to this post: 22 Statistics That Prove That The Middle Class Is Being Systematically Wiped Out Of Existence In America.
The whole list of 22 items is depressing enough, so I pulled 7 that might hit close to home for the average American:
#1) According to a poll taken in 2009, 61 percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
61% is an unbelievable number, but when you take into account that the number of Americans living paycheck to paycheck rose a whopping 12% in one year, that is just staggering. We may want to put money away in a nest egg for the future, but because our money doesn’t go as far as it used to go, we simply cannot.
#2) The number of Americans with incomes below the official poverty line rose by about 15% between 2000 and 2006, and by 2008 over 30 million U.S. workers were earning less than $10 per hour.
As with the first item, the number of Americans living in poverty has taken a huge leap in recent years. These are working Americans who nevertheless still remain in poverty. Excuse me, but Americans work harder than ever these days — where is the money going?
#3) According to Harvard Magazine, 66% of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
Found it! Yep, the top 1% has sucked up more money than they’ll ever be able to spend — because, with the help of the policies of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, they can.
#16) In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
35.2 weeks — if you’re lucky, the planets are aligned just so, and you’re holding your mouth right. Americans want to work, and the proof of that is 5 people vying for every available job. If you’re not lucky, Senate Democrats are trying to help you, but Senate Republicans just think you’re a bunch of lazy bastards who want to suck on the government teat so you don’t have to work — like they do.
#18) For the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.
This is what happens when you break the back of the middle class. They don’t follow the mantra of “work hard and you’ll get ahead,” because their jobs are GONE. 40 million of us cannot earn enough money to feed ourselves, and frankly, those are only the people who are countable, who qualify, and who know how to jump through the bureaucratic hoops. The American Dream, if it ever truly existed, is dead — except for the top 1%, they are totally living it up. For them, the American Dream is so very alive.
#21) According to one new study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 – the highest rate in 20 years.
Finally, the saddest and most shocking statistic of all. Over 20% of our children live in poverty. In the United States of America, one of the richest nations in the world, one-fifth of our children are poverty-stricken. If you are not shocked by that, you are not human.
Work hard, stay in school, follow the rules, be a good citizen — and you just might land yourself that service job, earning less than $10 per hour. You’ll learn to fight hard for that job, because four other people want it. You’ll always spend 100% (or more) of your paycheck, will qualify for food stamps, and generation after generation, children will fare worse than their parents.
But no matter what, thank goodness, the top 1% of Americans will always have more than they will ever need.
American Exceptionalism — awesome.
This is our daily open thread, you know what to do.