SINCE 2015, THE FOLLOWING ARE THE HEADLINES OF MANY ECONOMIC ANALYSES OF OUR "AMERICAN FINANCIAL CRISIS":
That's the highest number in more than 50 years.
HISTORICALLY, OUR "LOWER CLASS" WAS COMPRISED, HAS ALMOST ALWAYS BEEN COMPRISED, OF 15% TO 20% OF OUR CITIZENS.
AS YOU CAN SEE ABOVE, THE MIDDLE CLASS, INCLUDING ALL THREE 'LEVELS' (UPPER-, MIDDLE-, LOWER-) WAS MADE UP OF, ROUGHLY, THE GREAT MAJORITY HERE. ROUNDING OUT THE 'CLASSES', THE 'UPPER CLASS, ALSO ONCE COMPRISED ABOUT 4% OF OUR POPULATION, AND, TODAY, ACCOUNTS FOR LESS THAN 10% OF US .
NOT ANYMORE.LAST YEAR, OUR MIDDLE CLASS WAVERED PRECARIOUSLY BETWEEN BARELY 50% AND 48%.
TAKING THE 2015 POPULATION AND ROUNDING IT TO 320 MILLION AMERICANS, THAT MEANS 160 MILLION REMAIN IN THAT MIDDLE CLASS, BUT 47% OF THOSE ARE NOT ABLE TO RAISE $400 FOR AN EMERGENCY, AS YOU WILL SEE.
THIS MEANS ANOTHER 75 MILLION CITIZENS ARE "FINANCIALLY STRAPPED", ADDED TO THE ROUGHLY 46 MILLION AT/BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL, SO 121 NILLION OF US ARE NOW "SEEING HARD TIMES".
In 2014, a three-person household would have had to earn between $42,000 and $126,000 to be considered middle-income.
INFLATION, AS WELL AS OTHER FACTORS, HAS CHANGED EVEN THAT.
Unless the U.S. economy starts improving, EVEN MORE families will find themselves just one paycheck away from being homeless.
THE NUMBER CITED IN THE VIDEO OF 2011 HAS GROWN, AND NOW OUR MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILIES ARE JOINING THE RANKS OF THE FINANCIALLY STRAPPED.
HOW MANY OF THE MIDDLE-CLASS ARE STRUGGLING TO STAY AFLOAT, PAY MONTHLY BILLS, MAKE HOUSE PAYMENTS, EVEN BUY DECENT FOOD?
THE FEDERAL RESERVE LOOKED INTO AMERICAN FINANCES AND DETERMINED THAT 47% OF WHAT WE ALL THINK OF AS FINANCIALLY SECURE MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICANS ARE FAR FROM SECURE AT ALL.
47% WHO ANSWERED THE FED'S QUESTIONNAIRE SAID THEY DID NOT HAVE $400 CASH IN RESERVE SHOULD AN EMERGENCY ARISE THAT DEMANDED $400 LOUSY DOLLARS TO TEND TO THE EMERGENCY.
47% OF MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICANS ARE LIVING PAYCHECK-TO-PAYCHECK!
THINK ABOUT THAT...
IF MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICA CAN'T MANAGE TO COME UP WITH 400 BUCKS, WHAT ABOUT THE 47% OF 'LOWER-CLASS' AMERICANS?
AND YET MOST MAINSTREAM MEDIA SOURCES KEEP SAYING THE ECONOMY IS IMPROVING?
76% OF OUR POPULATION IS LIVING PAYCHECK-TO-PAYCHECK...76%!THAT WAS A SHORT ARTICLE BY CNN, AND THAT WAS IN 2013...IT'S WORSE NOW.
APRIL, 2016 PBS HEADLINE READ:
'IS THE AMERICAN DREAM DEAD?'
"The American Dream that has existed in this country for over 50 years is on life support.
For some Americans, it may already be dead.
The fact is that for all but the highest-paid workers, wages have been stagnant for almost 30 years.
In addition, American workers must now contend with an unstable and unsteady labor market.
Americans who have worked hard and played by the rules now fear that they will never be financially successful.
They have lost faith in the American Dream. They are disillusioned, and they are showing signs of despair."
'MARKETWATCH', JANUARY, 2015, WROTE: "MOST AMERICANS ARE ONE PAYCHECK AWAY FROM THE STREET"
THE NEW YORK TIMES PUBLISHED AN ARTICLE BACK IN DECEMBER OF 2015 BEMOANING THE LOSS OF THE MIDDLE-CLASS AS A MAJORITY IN AMERICA.
"The ranks of the American middle class have sunk to a shocking new low.
After four decades as an economic majority, middle-class Americans are no longer in that admirable place. They’re down to 49.9 percent from 61 percent of the population in 1971, with the ranks of the poor and ultra-rich growing to a majority in the US.
Rakesh Kochhar, lead author of the recent Pew Research Center study “The American Middle Class Is Losing Ground,” told The Post.
“There’s been a hollowing out in the middle, a bulking up on the edges. The gaps are at record highs,” Kochhar said, adding that the wealth of upper-income families is now about seven times that of the middle class, compared with three times about 30 years ago."
THEN, THE AUTHOR OF THAT ARTICLE WROTE THIS:
"Analysts offer no single explanation for the decline of America’s middle class."
ANALYSTS BE HANGED!
IT DOESN'T TAKE A ROCKET SCIENTIST TO DISCOVER WHY!
THE AUTHOR OF ANOTHER ARTICLE ON THIS SITUATION, WRITING FOR 'THE ATLANTIC' IN THEIR MAY, 2016 ISSUE SEEMED INCREDULOUS WHEN FACED WITH HIS REALIZATION OF OUR FINANCIALLY STRAPPED MIDDLE-CLASS, BUT HE WENT ON TO WRITE ONE OF THE BEST SUMMATIONS, THOUGH QUITE LENGTHY, OF WHY OUR NEW AMERICA IS MAINLY A NATION OF STRUGGLING PEOPLE, PEOPLE BECOMING ANGRIER AND ANGRIER BECAUSE OF THEIR INABILITY TO OVERRIDE THE OBSTACLES WE'RE ALL FACING TODAY AND ACHIEVE THAT "FINANCIAL SECURITY" WE'VE ALL BEEN MISLED INTO BELIEVING EVERYONE CAN HAVE.
BY THE WAY, THE ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY A MAN MOST WOULD THINK OF AS "AFFLUENT"...HE'S NOT, AND HE SHOWS US WHY.
READ ALL THE ARTICLE, PLEASE....YOU WON'T REGRET THE FEW MINUTES IT TAKES.
"The Fed asked respondents how they would pay for a $400 emergency. The answer: 47 percent of respondents said that either they would cover the expense by borrowing or selling something, or they would not be able to come up with the $400 at all.
Four hundred dollars! Who knew?"
THAT AUTHOR CALLED IT "THE SHAME OF MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICANS", AND IT IS SHAMEFUL, BUT MAYBE NOT IN THE WAY HE MEANT IT?
"I never spoke about my financial travails, not even with my closest friends—that is, until I came to the realization that what was happening to me was also happening to millions of other Americans, and not just the poorest among us, who, by definition, struggle to make ends meet.
It was, according to that Fed survey and other surveys, happening to middle-class professionals and even to those in the upper class. It was happening to the soon-to-retire as well as the soon-to-begin.
It was happening to college grads as well as high-school dropouts. It was happening all across the country, including places where you might least expect to see such problems.
I knew that I wouldn’t have $400 in an emergency.
What I hadn’t known, couldn’t have conceived, was that so many other Americans wouldn’t have the money available to them, either. "
TO MANY, YES.
"Part of the reason I hadn’t known is that until fairly recently, economists also didn’t know, or, at the very least, didn’t discuss it. They had unemployment statistics and income differentials and data on net worth, but none of these captured what was happening in households trying to make a go of it week to week, paycheck to paycheck, expense to expense.
David Johnson, an economist who studies income and wealth inequality at the University of Michigan, says, “People studied savings and debt. But this concept that people aren’t making ends meet or the idea that if there was a shock, they wouldn’t have the money to pay, that’s definitely a new area of research”—one that’s taken off since the Great Recession.
"...recent research indicates that when people get some money—a bonus, a tax refund, a small inheritance—they are, in fact, more likely to spend it than to save it.
“It could be,” Johnson says, “that people don’t have the money” to save.
Many of us, it turns out, are living in a more or less continual state of financial peril.
So if you really want to know why there is such deep economic discontent in America today, even when many indicators say the country is heading in the right direction, ask a member of that 47 percent.
Financial impotence goes by other names: financial fragility, financial insecurity, financial distress.
But whatever you call it, the evidence strongly indicates that either a sizable minority or a slim majority of Americans are on thin ice financially.
A 2014 Bankrate survey, echoing the Fed’s data, found that only 38 percent of Americans [c]ould cover a $1,000 emergency-room visit or $500 car repair with money they’d saved.
Two reports published last year by the Pew Charitable Trusts found, respectively, that 55 percent of households didn’t have enough liquid savings to replace a month’s worth of lost income, and that of the 56 percent of people who said they’d worried about their finances in the previous year, 71 percent were concerned about having enough money to cover everyday expenses.
A similar study conducted by Annamaria Lusardi of George Washington University, Peter Tufano of Oxford, and Daniel Schneider, then of Princeton, asked individuals whether they could “come up with” $2,000 within 30 days for an unanticipated expense.
They found that slightly more than one-quarter could not, and another 19 percent could do so only if they pawned possessions or took out payday loans.
The conclusion: Nearly half of American adults are “financially fragile” and “living very close to the financial edge.”
Yet another analysis, this one led by Jacob Hacker of Yale, measured the number of households that had lost a quarter or more of their “available income” in a given year—income minus medical expenses and interest on debt—and found that in each year from 2001 to 2012, at least one in five had suffered such a loss and couldn’t compensate by digging into savings."
SOMETHING FEW SEEM TO REALIZE IS THAT, EVEN THOUGH ENERGY PRICES DROPPED FOR A CONSIDERABLE PERIOD OF TIME AND "THE ECONOMY WAS RECOVERING", THE PRICE OF GOODS, FOOD, MEDICAL EXPENSES, JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING AMERICAN CONSUMERS PAY FOR, WENT UP, AND UP, AND UP.
WAGES, HOWEVER, EITHER STAYED THE SAME OR COMPANIES WENT TO ALL PART-TIME WORKERS, DECREASING INCOME AND ERASING COMPANY "BENEFITS" FOR MANY.
ASK A WOMAN WHO SHOPS FOR HER FAMILY'S FOOD, OR HAS TO GET A PHYSICAL FOR A CHILD TO ATTEND SCHOOL, OR HAS TO REPLACE OUTGROWN CLOTHING, SHOES, OR EVEN TAKE THE FAMILY PET TO A VETERINARIAN IF ANYTHING IS MORE AFFORDABLE NOW.
DESPITE COMPANIES GETTING GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES, NEW TAX LOOPHOLES, BEING PAID TO MOVE OVERSEAS FOR CHEAPER LABOR AND TO AVOID CERTAIN COSTS HERE, AND DESPITE MUCH LOWER FUEL PRICES FOR THEM TO CREATE GOODS OR TRANSPORT THEM TO MARKET, WHAT CONSUMERS PAY KEEPS RISING EVERY YEAR.
THE COST OF LIVING IN AMERICA KEEPS INCREASING, NO MATTER WHAT!
THE ILLUSION OF NET WORTH
"...you might reckon you’d find greater stability by looking at net worth—the sum of people’s assets, including their retirement accounts and their home equity. That is precisely what Edward Wolff, an economist at New York University and the author of a forthcoming book on the history of wealth in America, did.
Here’s what he found: There isn’t much net worth to draw on.
Median net worth has declined steeply in the past generation—down 85.3 percent from 1983 to 2013 for the bottom income quintile, down 63.5 percent for the second-lowest quintile, and down 25.8 percent for the third, or middle, quintile. "
THAT DROP, THAT DECLINE HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS!
BACK DURING REAGAN'S "VOODOO ECONOMICS", ECONOMISTS WARNED THIS WOULD HAPPEN.
"TRICKLE-DOWN" NEVER HAPPENED!
IT WAS A MYTH THEN AND IT'S A LUDICROUS FAIRY TALE TODAY.
38% INCOME DROP IN 10 YEARS
"According to research funded by the Russell Sage Foundation, the inflation-adjusted net worth of the typical household, one at the median point of wealth distribution, was $87,992 in 2003.
By 2013, it had declined to $54,500, a 38 percent drop.
And though the bursting of the housing bubble in 2008 certainly contributed to the drop, the decline for the lower quintiles began long before the recession—as early as the mid-1980s, Wolff says.
[Wolf] found that in 2013, prime-working-age families in the bottom two income quintiles had no net worth at all and thus nothing to spend.
A family in the middle quintile, with an average income of roughly $50,000, could continue its spending for … six days.
Even in the second-highest quintile, a family could maintain its normal consumption for only 5.3 months.
Granted, those numbers do not include home equity. But, as Wolff says, “it’s much harder now to get a second mortgage or a home-equity loan or to refinance.”
So remove that home equity, which in any case plummeted during the Great Recession, and a lot of people are basically wiped out. “Families have been using their savings to finance their consumption,” Wolff notes. In his assessment, the typical American family is in “desperate straits.”
Financial impotence is an equal-opportunity malady, striking across every demographic divide.
The Bankrate survey reported that nearly half of college graduates would not cover that car repair or emergency-room visit through savings, and the study by Lusardi, Tufano, and Schneider found that nearly one-quarter of households making $100,000 to $150,000 a year claim not to be able to raise $2,000 in a month.
A documentary drawing on Lusardi’s work featured interviews with people on the street in Washington, D.C., asking whether they could come up with $2,000.
Lusardi, who was quick to point out that a small number of passerby interviews should not be mistaken for social science, was nonetheless struck by the disjuncture between the appearance of the interviewees and their answers.
“You look at these people and they are young professionals,” Lusardi said. “You expect that people would say, ‘Of course I would come up with it.’ ”
But many of them couldn’t."
WHILE CREDIT CARD DEBT IS ON THE RISE, THAT DOES NOT FULLY EXPLAIN THIS MIDDLE-CLASS FINANCIAL MALADY.
If you ask economists to explain this state of affairs, they are likely to finger credit-card debt as a main culprit.
Long before the Great Recession, many say, Americans got themselves into credit trouble.
According to an analysis of Federal Reserve and TransUnion data by the personal-finance site ValuePenguin, credit-card debt stood at about $5,700 per household in 2015.
Of course, this figure factors in all the households with a balance of zero.
About 38 percent of households carried some debt, according to the analysis, and among those, the average was more than $15,000.
In recent years, while the number of people holding credit-card debt has been decreasing, the average debt for those households carrying a balance has been on the rise.
William R. Emmons, an assistant vice president and economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, traces the surge to a 1978 Supreme Court decision, Marquette National Bank of Minneapolis v. First of Omaha Service Corp.
The Court ruled that state usury laws, which put limits on credit-card interest, did not apply to nationally chartered banks doing business in those states.
That effectively let big national banks issue credit cards everywhere at whatever interest rates they wanted to charge, and it gave the banks a huge incentive to target vulnerable consumers just the way, Emmons believes, vulnerable homeowners were targeted by subprime-mortgage lenders years later.
Both developments affected savings.
With the rise of credit, in particular, many Americans didn’t feel as much need to save.
And put simply, when debt goes up, savings go down.
USING CREDIT TO SURVIVE
Bruce McClary, the vice president of communications for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, says, “During the initial phase of the Great Recession, there was a spike in credit use because people were using credit in place of emergency savings.
They were using credit as a life raft.”
Not that Americans—or at least those born after World War II—had ever been especially thrifty.
The personal savings rate peaked at 13.3 percent in 1971 before falling to 2.6 percent in 2005.
As of last year, the figure stood at 5.1 percent, and according to McClary, nearly 30 percent of American adults don’t save any of their income for retirement.
When you combine high debt with low savings, what you get is a large swath of the population that can’t afford a financial emergency.
“If you want to have financial security,” says Brad Klontz, “it is 100 percent on you.”
FINANCIAL ILLITERACY IS AT 65%!
MOST AMERICANS HAVE NEVER SAT DOWN AND LOOKED LONG AND HARD AT THEIR FINANCES.
WHETHER THAT 'S BECAUSE FINANCIAL LITERACY REQUIRES STUDY, OR IT'S 'SCARY', OR BECAUSE OUR CURRENT SYSTEM IS JUST TOO COMPLEX, THE FACT REMAINS ALMOST TWO-THIRDS OF OUR CITIZENS DO NOT HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE TO CONSIDER THE REPERCUSSIONS OF (1) USING CREDIT OR (2) HOW MUCH MONEY THEY SHOULD AT LEAST TRY TO SAVE OR (3) HOW THEY CAN GET OUT OF FINANCIAL TROUBLE.
AS MANY HAVE POINTED OUT, THE LENDERS, THE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES ARE WELL AWARE OF AMERICAN IGNORANCE OF ECONOMICS, USING THAT TO WOO AMERICANS TO OBTAIN MORE "CREDIT" THAN THEY CAN AFFORD.
A 2011 study measuring knowledge of fundamental financial principles (compound interest, risk diversification, and the effects of inflation) found that 65 percent of Americans ages 25 to 65 were financial illiterates.
We don’t make [financial choices] with our financial well-being in mind, though maybe we should.
We make them with our lives in mind.
The alternative is to be another person.
...too little income, too many expenses. Credit enabled me to forestall this problem for a time—and also to make it progressively worse—but the root of the problem was deeper.
I never figured that I wouldn’t earn enough.
Few of us do.
But the problem with finances is that life doesn’t cooperate.
And so the hole was dug. And it was deep. And we may never claw our way out of it.
The erosion of wages is something over which none of us has any control. The only thing one can do is work more hours to try to compensate."
THE ACCEPTED "NORM IS NOT THE NORM AT ALL.
IF WE LOOKED DEEPLY INTO THE REALITY OF WHICH AMERICANS WOULD FIT THE ACCEPTED NORM AS "MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICANS", WE'D HAVE TO ADMIT, THE MIDDLE-CLASS HAS SHRUNK, MAYBE BARELY EXISTS ANYMORE.
"In a 2010 report titled “Middle Class in America,” the U.S. Commerce Department defined that class less by its position on the economic scale than by its aspirations: homeownership, a car for each adult, health security, a college education for each child, retirement security, and a family vacation each year.
By that standard, my wife and I do not live anywhere near a middle-class life, even though I earn what would generally be considered a middle-class income or better.
A 2014 analysis by USA Today concluded that the American dream, defined by factors that generally corresponded to the Commerce Department’s middle-class benchmarks, would require an income of just more than $130,000 a year for an average family of four.
Median family income in 2014 was roughly half that."
A REALISTIC, HONEST DESCRIPTION OF TODAY'S "MIDDLE-CLASS":
"In my house, we have learned to live a no-frills existence.
We halved our mortgage payments through a loan-modification program.
We drive a 1997 Toyota Avalon with 160,000 miles that I got from my father when he died.
We haven’t taken a vacation in 10 years.
We have no credit cards, only a debit card.
We have no retirement savings, because we emptied a small 401(k) to pay for our younger daughter’s wedding.
We eat out maybe once every two or three months.
We shop sales.
We forgo house and car repairs until they are absolutely necessary.
We count pennies.
I lived beyond my means, primarily because my means kept dwindling.
I didn’t take the actions I should have taken
Maybe we all screwed up.
Maybe the 47 percent of American adults who would have trouble with a $400 emergency should have done things differently and more rationally.
Maybe we all lived more grandly than we should have.
But I doubt that brushstroke should be applied so broadly.
Many middle-class wage earners are victims of the economy, and, perhaps, of that great, glowing, irresistible American promise that has been drummed into our heads since birth: Just work hard and you can have it all.
Life happens, and it happens to cost a lot—sometimes more than we can pay.
Yet even that is not the whole story.
Life happens, yes, but shit happens, too—those unexpected expenses that are an unavoidable feature of life.
Four-hundred-dollar emergencies are not mere hypotheticals, nor are $2,000 emergencies, nor are … well, pick a number.
The fact is that emergencies always arise; they are an intrinsic part of our existence.
Financial advisers suggest that we save at least 10 to 15 percent of our income for retirement and against such eventualities.
But the primary reason many of us can’t save for a rainy day is that we live in an ongoing storm.
In a survey of American finances published last year by Pew, 60 percent of respondents said they had suffered some sort of “economic shock” in the past 12 months—a drop in income, a hospital visit, the loss of a spouse, a major repair.
More than half struggled to make ends meet after their most expensive economic emergency.
Even 34 percent of the respondents who made more than $100,000 a year said they felt strain as a result of an economic shock.
“Financial insecurity is associated with depression, anxiety, and a loss of personal control that leads to marital difficulties,” says Brad Klontz, the financial psychologist..
Money may change everything, as Cyndi Lauper sang. But lack of money definitely ruins everything.
Financial impotence casts a pall of misery. It keeps you up at night and makes you not want to get up in the morning. It forces you to recede from the world. It eats at your sense of self-worth, your confidence, your energy, and, worst of all, your hope.
It is ruinous to relationships, turning spouses against each other in tirades of calumny and recrimination, and even children against parents, though thankfully that is one thing that never happened to me. The rest, however, did happen and still does.
I consider myself pretty tough and resilient. What of those who aren’t? To fail—which, by many economic standards, a very large number of Americans do—may constitute our great secret national pain, one that is deep and abiding.
And while the affliction is primarily individual and largely hidden from public view, it has perhaps begun to diminish our national spirit.
People want to feel, need to feel, that they are advancing in this world. It is what sustains them.
They need to feel that their lives will improve, and, even more, that the lives of their children will be better than theirs, just as they believed that their own lives would be better than their parents’.
But people increasingly do not feel that way.
I suspect our sense of impotence in the face of financial difficulty is not only a source of disillusionment, but also a source of the anger that now infects our national politics, an anger that gets displaced onto undocumented immigrants or Chinese trade or President Obama precisely because we are unable or unwilling to articulate its true source.
As the Harvard economist Benjamin M. Friedman wrote in his 2005 book, The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, “Merely being rich is no bar to a society’s retreat into rigidity and intolerance once enough of its citizens lose the sense that they are getting ahead.”
We seem to be at the beginning of just such a retreat today—at the point where simmering financial impotence explodes into political rage."
LET'S GO TO THE "BOTTOM LINE"...
WHEN WE ADD THIS 47% OF THE FINANCIALLY STRAPPED MIDDLE-CLASS TO THE 47% OF AMERICANS WHO ARE CLASSIFIED AS THE LOWER CLASS, "THE POOR", WE CAN ONLY SEE THAT THE AMERICAN DREAM HAS ALMOST DROPPED OFF THE RADAR,AND THAT WE'VE BEEN LIED TO BY ALL THOSE GLOWING REPORTS OF A RENEWED, BETTER ECONOMY.
THE BIG NAMES OF WALL STREET HAVE BEEN POSTING RECORD PROFITS FOR YEARS NOW, BUT AMERICAN WORKERS ARE LOSING JOBS, OR BEING FORCED TO GO TO PART-TIME, OR ARE WATCHING THEIR JOBS DISAPPEAR TO "OVEREAS OPERATIONS".
A DROWNING MAN WILL GRAB AT A STRAW TO KEEP FROM SINKING, BUT OUR AMERICAN WORKERS SEEM TO HAVE RUN OUT OF STRAWS.
THIS COULD BE, SHOULD BE, A WAKEUP CALL FOR ALL OF US.
IT'S AN "INCONVENIENT TRUTH", BUT A TRUTH NONETHELESS.
WHEN WALL STREET POSTS RECORD PROFITS BUT STILL GETS BILLIONS IN GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES TO HELP THEM PAY FOR EVERYTHING FRPOM A CORPORATE JET TO MOVING THEIR COMPANIES OVERSEAS, BUT AN AMERICAN WHO LOST HIS/HER JOB AND GETS A LOUSY $156 A MONTH TO FEED HIM/HERSELF OR A CHILD IS BERATED AND CONDEMNED AND OSTRACIZED BY THE SAME PEOPLE PAYING OVER $2,000 A YEAR TO HELP OUT A FORTUNE 500 COMPANY, WE CAN AND SHOULD JUST GO AHEAD AND CALL AMERICA A LOST CAUSE.
WHEN BEING UNEDUCATED AND UNREAD, DENYING FACTS, PUTTING THE BLAME ON THE WRONG PEOPLE IS THE ACCEPTABLE THING IN ANY NATION, AND WHEN THE PEOPLE OF THAT NATION BLINDLY FOLLOW WHATEVER PATH ITS ELITIST RULING CLASS AND PARTY BOSSES TELL THEM TO FOLLOW THAT NATION IS SCREWED.
ITS PEOPLE ARE LUNATICS.
THAT IS A NATION OF MINDLESS SHEEP.
AND THE SHEEP WILL BE LED TO SLAUGHTER.
MY OPINION...MY BLOG.
AND, FOR THE BAZILLIONTH TIME HERE MAYBE, THE FACTS ON "WELFARE" FOR AMERICAN INDIVIDUALS, i.e. HUMAN BEINGS, FELLOW CITIZENS, TO WHICH WE CONTRIBUTE LESS TO FEED THAN WE DO TO "SUBSIDIZE" CORPORATE AMERICA:
JUST THE FACTS, FROM THE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY RUN THOSE "WELFARE PROGRAMS" ...AND WHICH MOSTLY KIDS, YOUNG KIDS, THE ELDERLY AND DISABLED ARE ENROLLED IN... 70% ARE NOT ABLE TO WORK!
Not everyone who is poor gets welfare.
The official poverty line is already so low that a family of three with any income over $1,500 a month is not officially poor.
And even that is not 'poor enough' to qualify for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
[ MY NOTE: MANY CALL IT "WELFARE CHECKS". ]
To qualify, you typically need to have income below half the poverty line; in some states, the income limit is much lower.
Cash assistance reaches fewer than one in three poor families nationally (about 1.5 percent of the total population.
$16.5 BILLION A YEAR, FOR THE PAST 17 YEARS, NO INCREASE
The amount the federal government gives states for TANF has not changed since 1997.
The federal government spends a total of $16.5 billion a year on TANF.
This figure does not change with inflation, so it is worth less and less over time.
States are obligated to contribute their own funds as well.
Almost half of TANF cases include only children, with no financial support for the adults.
Many of these children (about 4 out of 10) are living with relatives other than their parents, and the rest live with parents who have been disqualified for a variety of reasons.
"HARDSHIP CASES CAN RECEIVE TANF FOR A MAXIMUM OF 60 MONTHS, 5 YEARS, BUT ANY ABLE-BODIED ADULT IS REQUIRED TO FIND WORK....WHICH REDUCES PAYMENTS FROM TANF.AND "FOOD STAMPS"?
YOU PROBABLY WON'T BELIEVE HOW HARD THAT IS TO GET, OR HOW LITTLE PEOPLE RECEIVE.