U.S. Poverty Rate

by David R. Kaspersin

I think someone was lying in 2000 !
Just look at the following years.

Median income at record high September 26, 2000 Web posted at: 1:22 p.m. EDT (1722 GMT) Census Bureau: U.S. poverty rate lowest in 20 years President Clinton attributes the decline in poverty to a course of fiscal discipline Median income at record high September 26, 2000
Census: U.S. poverty up and income down in 2000 WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. poverty rate rose for the first time in eight years and household income fell last year, a double dose of bad economic news that coincided with the first recession in a decade, the Census Bureau said Tuesday. There were 32.9 million Americans living in poverty last year, up from 31.6 million in 2000. The rate of 11.7% was up from 11.3% the previous year, which was the lowest level since 1974. The median household income in 2001 declined 2.2% to $42,228, the second straight drop, according to the bureau. Many analysts had predicted that the poverty rate which is calculated annually by the Census Bureau would rise in 2001 as unemployment rose and the economy slipped into recession.
US poverty rose sharply in 2001 By Kate Randall 27 September 2002 The proportion of Americans living in poverty rose sharply in 2001, according to a report issued by the US Census Bureau on September 24. In percentage terms, the poverty rate increased to 11.7 percent from 11.3 percent in 2000, the first such yearly rise in eight years. The number of poor Americans swelled to 32.9 million, a rise of 1.3 million. Income inequality also grew. The wealthiest fifth of the population took in half of all household income last year, a 5 percent rise over 1985. The poorest fifth received only 3.5 percent of total household income, down 4 percent from 1985. There were 6.8 million poor families last year, an increase of more than 6 percent over the 6.4 million in 2000. The Census Bureau classified a family of four as poor if its cash income was less than $18,104. The poverty threshold for a family of three was $14,128; for a married couple, $11,569; and for an individual, $9,039. The number of severely poor those with family incomes less than half the official poverty level also shot up, increasing by almost 6 percent to 13.4 million from 12.6 million in 2000. While poverty has risen, the very rich have continued to add to their fortunes. The income of one of the nation’s richest individuals illustrates the obscene levels of wealth that have been concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority at the top of American society. Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric Corporation, was given a retirement package that included a $9 million annual pension. In addition to various perks including sports and opera box seats, country club memberships and a luxury apartment in Manhattan Welch’s deal guaranteed him $17,307 per day for consulting more than a family of three at the poverty level can expect to earn in an entire year! Obscene is not a strong enough word ! Dave The Census report drastically underestimates the real scale of poverty in the US, because the official poverty thresholds are absurdly low. A more realistic cut-off point would be close to double the official figures, in the area of $30,000 for a family of four. A more accurate estimate of the US poverty rate is 30 percent.
Census: Nearly 1.4M More in Poverty Wednesday, September 03, 2003 WASHINGTON The nation's rocky economy sent 1.4 million more people into poverty (search) last year, a Census Bureau (search) survey found. Nearly half of the newly impoverished were children. Roughly 17.2 percent of children, or 12.2 million, lived in poverty in 2002, up from 16.4 percent, or over 11.5 million, in 2001, according to the American Community Survey (search) results released Wednesday. Overall, 12.4 percent of the population, or nearly 34.8 million people, lived in poverty in 2002, up from 12.1 percent, or 33.4 million, the previous year. Median household income rose by $51, when accounting for inflation, to $43,057 after a similarly slight drop the previous year, when the nation was in recession from March to November. Median income refers to the point at which half of households earn more and half earn less. Employers Unexpectedly Slash Jobs in Aug. Sept. 5, 2003 By Anna Willard WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. employers cut jobs in August at the fastest pace since March, the government said in an unexpectedly grim report on Friday showing Americans are struggling to find jobs even as other areas of the economy are recovering. The number of workers on U.S. payrolls outside the farm sector slid 93,000 in August, the seventh consecutive month of declines, after dropping 49,000 in July. The number was far worse than the increase of 12,000 expected by economists. A recent string of better than expected data on retail sales, durable goods, consumer sentiment and housing had led economists to believe the tough labor market might be starting to improve. "It's weak and the unemployment rate seems to be more of an aberration than anything else," said Steve Gallagher, economist at SG Cowen Securities. The unemployment rate fell, but only to 6.1 percent from 6.2 percent in the previous month. Analysts had expected the unemployment rate, which is taken from a separate survey of households, to be steady at 6.2 percent. The economy shed jobs in a wide range of sectors. Manufacturing jobs fell 44,000, the 37th straight month of decline while service jobs tumbled 67,000. The dollar weakened sharply against other currencies after the report while U.S. Treasury bonds rose. The Labor Department said the Aug. 14 blackout, which hit the Northeast United States during the survey week, probably had little impact on the numbers. The number of worker hours was 33.6 in August, the same as in July. Analysts were expecting the average workweek to rise to 33.7 hours. Lack of growth in the workweek is a less than encouraging sign for the future. When companies are poised to begin hiring they often increase the hours of the workers currently on their staff first. The government said 10,000 people left the labor force, which was smaller than the drop of 556,000 in July, showing some job seekers are discouraged and abandoning their searches. This report supports comments from Federal Reserve officials saying that interest rates are likely to be kept low for some time. "The Fed is not about to tighten, or shift policy toward a tightening, with the labor market this weak," said Kathleen Stephansen, director of global economist at Credit Suisse First Boston. On Thursday, Fed Governor Ben Bernanke, speaking in New York, dubbed this economic recovery the "job-loss" recovery, noting that job losses have been much greater than the "job-less" recovery after the 1991 recession. The Fed is next due to meet to discuss interest rates on Sept. 16.
And Europe too. Poverty 'Great Depression' sweeps eastern Europe October 12, 2000 Web posted at: 11:52 AM EDT (1552 GMT) LONDON, England -- At least 50 million children in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union live in poverty and are exposed to levels of tuberculosis usually associated with the Third World, a report says. Overall, more than 160 million -- or 40 percent -- of the region's population are thought to live in poverty, says the European Children's Trust, a non-governmental body working in 10 eastern European countries.
World Bank warns of poverty, child deaths October 2, 2001 Posted: 7:01 AM EDT (1101 GMT) By CNN's Geoff Hiscock WASHINGTON -- The September 11 terror attacks in the U.S. could put as many as 10 million more people in poverty next year and trigger the deaths of 40,000 children, the World Bank has said.
1 in 10 UK children 'in poverty' Tuesday, September 2, 2003 Posted: 6:20 AM EDT (1020 GMT) LONDON, England -- Nearly one in 10 children in Britain are living in severe poverty and suffer from extreme social deprivation, a charity said.
We can afford the war, but we can't help our own people. Dave Kaspersin
UPDATE Thursday, August 26, 2004

Census: More Americans living in poverty.

Number of uninsured also rises

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of Americans living in poverty increased by 
1.3 million last year, while the ranks of the uninsured swelled by 1.4 million, 
the Census Bureau reported Thursday.
It was the third straight annual increase for both categories. 
While not unexpected, it was a double dose of bad economic news 
during a tight re-election campaign for President Bush.
Approximately 35.8 million people lived below the poverty line in 2003, 
or about 12.5 percent of the population, according to the bureau. 
That was up from 34.5 million, or 12.1 percent in 2002.
The rise was more dramatic for children. There were 12.9 million 
living in poverty last year, or 17.6 percent of the under-18 population. 
That was an increase of about 800,000 from 2002, when 16.7 percent of 
all children were in poverty.
The Census Bureau's definition of poverty varies by the size of the household. 
For instance, the threshold for a family of four was $18,810, 
while for two people it was $12,015.
Nearly 45 million people lacked health insurance, or 15.6 percent of the population. 
That was up from 43.5 million in 2002, or 15.2 percent, but was a smaller 
increase than in the two previous years.
Meanwhile, the median household income, when adjusted for inflation, 
remained basically flat last year at $43,318. Whites, blacks and Asians 
saw no noticeable change, but income fell 2.6 percent for Hispanics to $32,997. 
Whites had the highest income at $47,777.
Census Bureau analyst Dan Weinberg said the results were typical of a 
post-recession period. He said the increase in the number of people 
without insurance was due to the uncertain job picture.
"Certainly the long-term trend is firms offering less generous [benefit] plans, 
and as people lose jobs they tend to lose health insurance coverage," he said.
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry seized on the numbers as 
evidence the Bush administration's economic policies have failed. 
During the years Bush has been in office, 5.2 million people have 
lost health insurance and 4.3 million have fallen into poverty, he said.
"Under George Bush's watch, America's families are falling further 
behind," Kerry said.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton, R-Texas, 
noted that while more people lost insurance, there also were about 
1 million more Americans with coverage in 2003. Overall, 243 million 
people had insurance last year.
"The bottom line is this: More people in America have health coverage 
today than at any time in our nation's history and I think that's a 
fact worth noting, but we can always do more," he said.
Even before release of the data, some Democrats claimed the Bush 
administration was trying to play down bad news by releasing the 
reports about a month earlier than usual. They normally are released 
separately in late September -- one report on poverty and income, 
the other on insurance.
Putting out the numbers at the same time and not so close to Election Day 
"invite charges of spinning the data for political purposes," said 
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York.
Census Director Louis Kincannon -- a Bush appointee -- denied politics 
played any role in moving up the release date. The move, announced earlier 
this year, was done to coordinate the numbers with the release of other data.
"There has been no influence or pressure from the [Bush] 
Kincannon said Wednesday.
Official national poverty estimates, as well as most government data on 
income and health insurance, come from the bureau's Current Population Survey.
This year the bureau is simultaneously releasing data from the broader 
American Community Survey, which also includes income and poverty numbers 
but cannot be statistically compared with the other survey.
William O'Hare, a researcher with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 
a private children's advocacy group, expected increases in the number 
of kids in poverty and without health insurance. He called the changes 
in the way data was released "bothersome."
"It makes me wonder whether this statistical agency is being politicized 
in some way," said O'Hare, who has studied the poverty and health 
insurance data for over two decades.

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Dave Kaspersin

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