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'Working Poor' Report: Nearly 30% of U.S. Families Subsist on Poverty Wages

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posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 11:43 AM
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'Working Poor' Report: Nearly 30% of U.S. Families Subsist on Poverty Wages


www.wsws.org

The report, “Still Working Hard, Still Falling Short,” is based on data for the period from 2004 through 2006 gathered from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey.

The report finds that 9.6 million households can be described as low-income or “working poor”—defined as families that earn less than 200 percent of the official poverty level. There were 350,000 more such families in 2006 than in 2002. More than 21 million children now live in low-income working families—an increase of 800,000 in four years.

In 2006 there were more than 29 million jobs in the US that paid below the official poverty level—defined as $9.91 an hour for full-time labor—an increase of nearly 5 million poverty-wage jobs from 2002.

(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 11:43 AM
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Unreal...

My guess is that these numbers are MUCH higher now, as the economy is MUCH worse now than when this research culminated.

Nearly 100,000 jobs a month have been waving bye-bye consistently for the past 6 + months, and the cost of EVERYTHING has risen sharply.

So the next time we hear talking heads piping in about "there's plenty of work out there, all you have to do is look", (which I see folks on this very site constantly preaching) bare in mind these statistics...

www.wsws.org
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 11:56 AM
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Now that "we the people" own shares in all the banks, we should replace all the high paid executives with the 5 million people who's wages have fallen below the poverty level. We can tax them more too because I'm sure they wouldn't mind paying an extra 10% or so if they could trade their $10K manual job for $200K and a padded office chair. Don't worry there'll be plenty of jobs for the displaced bankers, and we can even give them a tax cut. I'm thinking a good tax cut of $12 a week, in line with the usual policy.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 12:20 PM
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My wife and I combined make ~$27k.


We survive . . .



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 12:48 PM
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I wonder how many of these 30 percentors own satellite dishes and ipods and live beond their means?
I'm sure a lot of these people are also illegals, and now they fall under the category called "US families".
A lot of illegals live on nickels and dimes, yet they still are able to send cash back home to their families.

The first step in getting out of poverty is to quit "working harder" and instead, learn how to work smarter.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 01:05 PM
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I don`t know how people will make it. Now that our great government has dumped all this money into the markets, whats the next tax bill going to look like for everyone. Nobodies wages are going up yet they want to take more away from the people. I think to help pay this, all of our reps. should turn over their retirement packages to the IRS and not raise the tax bill a bit.



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 01:34 PM
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I'm sure we can thank that large number to all the illegals who have slinked across our borders!!!!!!!!!



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 01:56 PM
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reply to post by Alxandro
 


I rent (from my parents). My only debt is my car. If we want anything over $50, it has to be approved by the significant other. Everything is payed in cash (have hated banks since around 2000).

My wife and I have an MP3 player that we bought with the rebate check. We have a 46 inch DLP (bought two years ago with income tax) and a 24 inch LCD that we bought (both were on sale).

I have an Xbox 360 with about 6 or 7 games (I buy one every 5-6 months), and the kids have a Wii.

We have broadband and Direct TV. We also have an emergency fund that s deposited into every pay day.

Poverty? By their numbers, I guess. I am not wealthy, but we survive, there is a house over our head, food on the table, and the kids, myself, and my wife is happy. Isn't that what life is about? Being happy and satisfied?



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 01:58 PM
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Originally posted by Alxandro
I wonder how many of these 30 percentors own satellite dishes and ipods and live beond their means?
I'm sure a lot of these people are also illegals, and now they fall under the category called "US families".
A lot of illegals live on nickels and dimes, yet they still are able to send cash back home to their families.

The first step in getting out of poverty is to quit "working harder" and instead, learn how to work smarter.


Having worked for the census I can tell you that illegals do not get polled into the data set.

As for people with satellite dishes and what not, sure, I guess they should all be living in cardboard boxes under freeway bridges. Otherwise they're living the American dream. Nice



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 01:59 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 



Ah, yea...
Just like they only number "officially" less than 5 million...



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 01:59 PM
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Here in the UK I live in abject poverty (according to my government). But admittedly I can't afford 3 caribbean holidays a year .....

One thing for sure: no one in real poverty will ever visit ATS because you won't be able to afford internet connections, let alone a computer! Nor will you have a car or holidays or a VCR or DVD player or a mobile phone .....



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by Alxandro
I wonder how many of these 30 percentors own satellite dishes and ipods and live beond their means?
I'm sure a lot of these people are also illegals, and now they fall under the category called "US families".
A lot of illegals live on nickels and dimes, yet they still are able to send cash back home to their families.

The first step in getting out of poverty is to quit "working harder" and instead, learn how to work smarter.


Amen!!! Using your noggin makes you money, and controlling your spending...



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 02:35 PM
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reply to post by Alxandro
 


Dude .. your post really set my teeth on edge.

I have a clerical job at a non-profit; my take home is about $570 every two weeks. My husband recently lost a job because the company he was working for went out of business, and despite 30 years of experience he's now working for a major retailer at less than $9 an hour, so his take home is about $550 every two weeks.

Our house payment is $500 a month and we have no car payments. And yes, we DO have a satellite - it's our only access to TV and internet. Are you really suggesting that two working adults with no children should have to do without TV or internet? Nearly half of our income goes for groceries and gasoline, and no we don't eat "well" although we try to eat healthy. Then there's car insurance, utilities, propane, home insurance, property taxes ... All stuff we HAVE to pay, and we aren't actually getting by since gasoline went up so high and we both live 20 or so miles from our respective workplaces and we simply can't afford to ditch our old pickup truck and buy a new fuel-efficient car.

Pick us apart if you like, but I know a LOT of people who are scraping by - or not - just like we are, and many of them are worse off than we are because they DO have car payments, and/or higher mortgage or rent payments.

I'm sure you'll say we ought to just pack up and go somewhere else where better jobs are available. We just bought this house a little over a year ago and we did so because we both would like to live in it until we die, plus our families and friends are all here.

It's easy to solve other peoples' problems (or criticize them) when you aren't in their situation and don't really understand it. It's also pretty easy to blame illegals for companies that pay poverty level wages because they CAN, and people will still take the jobs because they have to.

Yeah, there's lots of us out here struggling to get by and never having a new car or a new TV (ours is over 6 years old and has some white staticky lines that go right through the top third of the picture, but we have to live with it) or new furniture or a fancy meal out or even getting to go see a movie in the theatre. But I guess we live high on the hog after all since we have a satellite dish. Who knew?




posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 03:03 PM
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reply to post by DimensionalDetective
 


And as with any other data that our government provide for public viewing selectively specially when elections are so near we most wonder how much of the facts has been manipulated.

As usual manipulation of data is not new to our for the people government.

I said that the 30% may very much means 50% percent taking into consideration the outrageous lost of jobs since the financial crisis and the on going foreclosures in the nation.

As for people telling personal stories that is nice and great but those personal stories do not count with the incredible numbers of media income people that used to live the American dream and helped support the economy in a nation that their only sole support is by the consumer spending.

This means that the quality of life in this nation is been downgraded America the great is not longer.

Also if middle income can not support the economy through spending the whole economic bubble will come crashing, but then again that is what is happening now.

When people don't have the means to spend and support the economy everything will start falling like a house of cards.

Anyway this was been expected for a while already, those that choose to go blind were the only ones claiming that everything in the nation was fine and the economy strong, (Bush was one of them).

Well everything is not fine and this is devastating, as a nation of none wealth producers this is indeed bad, bad news.



[edit on 16-10-2008 by marg6043]



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 04:11 PM
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My wife and I live just above what they consider poverty level pay (maybe that is base poverty level pay). We make possibly 3k or so more a year than those getting paid poverty level.

I think we actually live pretty well. Not out of our limits to the extent that we have no money but we would have to cut back if we went more than a few weeks without one of our checks. I know we could be better off and that many people are better off, but we are both happy. If it comes down to it we could always get the local channels over the air no satellite or cable (yeah people still get TV that way). If I were truly poor I would not be posting on ATS right now from my home (maybe from a local library though). I think many feel that poverty is not having everything you desire, really though that is nothing more than selfish wishes for material belongings. Since when is the American dream to own all the stuff you want? If that is the case we deserve to be poor. There is a saying that in America even the poor have a TV, this is true people feel a need to spend money on useless things more than they do helpful things much of the time. Really very few in America can claim to truly be in poverty. Some might have more than you but you’re not living true poverty or you would not be posting here now. Poor is a relative term set forth by those in control to put people who cannot think for themselves into a subservient mind set.

Raist



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 05:56 PM
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reply to post by Heike
 


Ah fale yer pain,..

10 years ago I was supporting a family of 4 on 30K a year on one income.

It was tough but we managed so I know about bargain hunting. It was during that time that we learned that nothing is ever a bargain unless you really need it, so we did without.

It sounds like you work hard and continue to work hard, but you didn't demonstrate how you are working smarter.

I mean come on, you have over 20k ATS points. Not an easy task for sure, but...

How much time did it take you to get to that total?

Like the other guy said, as long as you are happy, that's all that matters but at the same time, just think where you would have been by now if you had spent all that ATS time learning a new trade or something that would have helped improve your lifestyle to help get you out of your current hole.

Don't mean to preach but where is the sacrifice?



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 06:29 PM
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Amazing that the data that can be found and categorized concerning the poor,
working poor,...
How about the other end of the spectrum...?


I find no information on the categorization of those who earn more than $200,000/ year. By census income data I can calculate the total number of households above (3.4% X 111,617,402= 2,794,992), in 2007, but how many earn
200K-299K, 300K-400K, etc?

Is there some reason the PTB do not want me (us) to access this information?



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 06:41 PM
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Next time you hear about how many jobs were created over the last how long. Remember that many of those jobs are like this. Mostly part time and/or minimum wage.

I lived in St Louis for a while and seriously, about 75% of the non-manager/healthcare/professional jobs were part time and/or minimum wage. I never found a fulltime job in the papers. I lived there for a year and couldnt get a job. Applied for hundreds of jobs (literally) and only got 4 interviews and only got those 4 interviews just because the companies interviewed everyone that put in an application just incase they needed someone later on.

I guess the Chinese needed a job more than I did.

[edit on 16-10-2008 by emptee]



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 08:24 PM
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reply to post by Alxandro
 


Like I said, it's really easy to tell someone else what they should do - or criticize them - when you aren't in their situation. I've made sacrifices - big sacrifices - but it's none of your business what they are. Suffice it to say I gave up something(s) I love very much because they just cost too much.

At my age, in my situation and location, there isn't anything that I am aware of that I could be doing that would help me get a better job that doesn't cost money I don't have. Besides, I've already got a degree, for all the good it's done me.

If it makes you feel better to sit over there and believe that I - and everyone else who is struggling - could better our situations "if we really wanted to," or if we were "smarter," you go right ahead. It won't make any difference to us one way or the other, and it absolves you of any negative feelings you might have or possible responsibility to do something that might help us "working poor.

Yeah, sure it's all my fault anyway. I've made poor choices at times, and mistakes, and since hindsight is usually 20/20 I can see most of them now. But I can't go back and change anything, so here I am, paying for my own mistakes. Certainly it's not your problem. Go on back to your great life, and try not to make any mistakes along the way. You wouldn't want to end up like me, would you?



posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 03:44 PM
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29 million US citizens are working below the poverty level what jobs are we talking about here? Mostly service industry store clerks, maids, waitresses, cooks, theater workers, dishwashers etc if the American people are financially stretched beyond their means I’m afraid many of those minimum wage workers will find themselves out of a job before too long.

From what I’ve been hearing many people are foregoing eating out. Some have said they save enough for gas if they pack their lunch everyday and skip the morning coffee/Danish. Starbucks is feeling the pinch.

I know I have cut out my Wal-Mart trips and now shop local sales and the dollar store or do without.

Many people are loosing their homes, new home construction is down and money is tight so small home improvements and remodel jobs are left on the back burner. This will affect Home Depot, Lowe’s, mom & pop hardware stores, independent contractors etc.

Many people have scaled down their DirecTV or have gotten rid of it altogether. I seriously doubt if these people will now flock to the movie theaters.

I’ve been seeing reports on the news it seems sales at goodwill stores have increased. People are discovering second hand stores and are flocking to them. What will this do to community Malls? Look at the high rents businesses pay in Mall settings? How long can they keep that up with declining customers? From the way it looks now I don’t think Christmas sales will be enough to rescue many storeowners. Just consider the extra staff alone that is usually hired during the Christmas holiday season. If sales are down extra staff is the last thing needed.

If you’ve just lost or looks like your going to loose your ¼ of a million dollar home you most likely will fire the maid, the yard & pool service. The same goes for dry cleaning and laundry service.

Everyone is going to bite the bullet we have to. Most will be forced to cut luxuries that had become a normal part of everyday life that in turn had created a whole industry catering to those daily luxuries. Little things we eliminate from our budgets times the population of the US adds up to the detriment of the minimum wage service worker especially in light of the fact that industrial jobs are declining as well.

Also reported numbers of the unemployed in the US are based on the unemployed filing for or receiving benefits. Some do not qualify or their benefits have run out and are no longer being counted. Not a true count of the unemployed imo.

Star and Flag for you DD I do appreciate your threads.

Heike I hope so much that things will get easier for your family. Believe me I have been where you are, who’s to say I won’t be there again, and it is quite overwhelming. Find comfort in each other when time allows and try to keep a sense of humor. Don’t let this fragment your family. Hang in there and do not let others get you down. Some people consider compassion to be a most frivolous, overrated emotion in essence the catalyst that turns people into lazy, needy crybabies tough love and all that rot.



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