Half of Americans Are In or Near Poverty

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Only the progressive press is telling us the truth about the unjust economic system we are living under. The 99 percent are struggling to make ends meet while the wealthy have never been better off. Record corporate profits, CEO pay, and stock market have not even trickled down. It is pure economic tyranny:

The poverty threshold is still based on a formula from the 1960s, when food expenses were a much greater part of the family budget. It hasn’t kept up with other major expenses. Since 1980, food costs have gone up by 100%, housing 250%, health care 500%, and college tuition 1,000%.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) says, “If the same basic methodology developed in the early 1960s was applied today, the poverty thresholds would be over three times higher than the current thresholds.” Three times higher!

The median household income in the U.S. in 2016 was $59,039. The Economic Policy Institute’s 2015 Family Budget Calculator determined that the median budget for a two-parent, two-child family is $63,741. As CRS concluded, that’s about three times higher than the current poverty threshold.

In 2014, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, median household expenses were $36,800, against income of about $54,000. But that includes very little for wealth-building investments, such as short- and long-term savings, college education, and life insurance. After accounting for annual outlays for these essential and/or typical family expenses, the median household in the lower third was $2,300 in debt. For the middle third of households, which reaches well into the “middle class,” only $6,000 remained for wealth-building and other discretionary expenses. That $6,000 dissipates quickly. Says Pew Research: “Because income is measured before taxes, some families will have had even less slack in their budgets than this figure implies.”

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