Stubborn poverty maintains grip on U.S.

09/18/2013 5:30 PM

09/18/2013 5:30 PM

Some things make no sense, such as the number of people in the wealthiest country on the planet who are stuck in poverty.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the poverty rate remains unchanged at 15 percent, or 46.5 million Americans, including 16.1 million children. Poverty has maintained a stubborn, unyielding grip on U.S. families since the Great Recession, which was supposed to have ended in 2009. But it didn’t for many, except the wealthiest Americans.

The poverty rate was 12.5 percent in 2007 before the Great Recession, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The census also reports that the median household income, which fell 8.3 percent from 2007 to 2011, hasn’t shown improvement in 2012.

“Median household income in the United States in 2012 was $51,017, not statistically different in real terms from the 2011 median of $51,100,” the census report said. “This followed two consecutive annual declines.”

For whites the earnings rose from $56,570 in 2011 to $57,009 in 2012. For African Americans income rose from $32,902 in 2011 to $33,321 in 2012. For Latinos it fell, going from $39,430 in 2011 to $39,005 in 2012.

The census showed a slight drop in the number of people without health insurance, however, 48 million folks remained without coverage.

Meanwhile, the wealth gap continues. The most middle-, low- and no-income folks could hope to do is play the lottery and dream of better days, even though the odds of winning are against them.

Nevertheless, the $400 million Powerball jackpot — the fifth-largest ever — ensures that lines will be long at stores and gas stations throughout the country as people hope to land on easy street.

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