Home | About | Donate

2021 Update: Half of America In or Near Poverty

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/02/22/2021-update-half-america-or-near-poverty


Thom Hartnann has been screeming this for over 25 years .

Nobody listened.


Civilian Climate Corps? The times just might Joe a very good president despite some of our concerns. Let’s remember that he is going to do his presidenting now and not thirty years ago. The times scream for Progress so Progressives should be doing our best. The demographics are on our side. C’mon youth, teach your parents well.


This article and others addressing the abject failure of the American experiment of failed capitalism and neo-liberalism ought to be the leading article on Common Dreams every day. There’s nothing more relevant to the failing and increasingly desperate condition of the nation than the subject of this article. And there’s nothing more damning of the corrupt duopoly strangling the nation than the reality this article describes.

It’s the two traditional political parties that have taken the American people into this deep and still fast growing economic and financial crisis. It’s the Qanon Terror Party that’s responsible. And get this, all you writers featured on Common Dreams and well as the management at CD , it’s the irrevocably corrupted and unredeemable unDemocratic Party that’s responsible.

Yet Common Dreams very clearly continues its support of the unDemocratic Party as it essentially ignores the compelling need for a new, progressive party. That practice has become tantamount to supporting the policies having caused this great failure of the people. It’s beyond clear that the only way the masses might be saved, might ever again be represented in our governments, is through the creation and aggressive support of a new and genuinely progressive third party. Common Dreams must begin to meaningfully accommodate calls for just such a party if the forum is genuine in its desire for progressive policy in government. The duopoly will never be turned around. The unDemocratic Party will never again be “the party of the people”. Common Dreams, your responsibility to the nation and to the progressive community you profess to serve demands that you accommodate and facilitate coverage of alternative, genuinely progressive political parties on this forum.




Ever since Saint Ron turned on the trickle down shower that has been a consistent shade of yellow for 40 years, the US has been spiraling down to the extent that it is now a third world nation.


330.000.000 / 2 =


Walk down to The Capitol and talk to your Congress about the changes you’d like to make
(maybe Wall St. too).

1 Like

Trump is rumored to be creating his own party so why not add a progressive party to the mix? It would shake up politics like it hasn’t been for over 100 years. The Republicans are gutter dwellers, the Democrats reside at curb-height looking “good” only by comparison. The country has become something of a “sh*thole” (even outside Texas) and is going further down rapidly, eventually even the wealthy, god forbid, will by impacted. The wealth extremes are what underlie so many of our problems, some studies show that just 0.1% of the population has the same wealth as the lower 90%. It’s insane that this is tolerated.


Only the raw political power of votes cast by a new political party in the legislatures of the land and/or in the White House will create change. Nothing else. It damned sure ain;t coming from the duopoly. No new, genuinely progressive party means no change. Period.


Paul provides us to ponder.
1960’s were not increasing poverty nation wide.

We also have to consider that 50% of all our children are growing up in a single parent home.
Mom works, comes to cook, help with homework, wash clothes and clean. She has gotta be tired
and worried that there is enough money for food, clothes, gasoline, insurances, rent and phones.

In the middle 1950’s, 80% of our childrens grew up in a two parent home.
In Baltimore, an unmarried couple with a child gains almost $4,000 per year in MORE government aid that the married neighbors with a child. Maybe this deserves a look see.

I hate to quote Obama\Biden’s Status Quo TARP bail-out Secretary of Treasury and former Kissinger Associate and NY Federal Reserve Bank President Tim Geithner. Whose idea of presiding over Wall Street was to keep silent while bubbles built and burst all around him and even the corporate-captured media spent preceding years predicting de-regulated financial system collapse along with critical mass levels of institutional corruption —but what Geithner said and likely stole as part of his own “Folk Process of writing songs” is: "PLAN BEATS NO PLAN."

See Neil Barofsky the Special Investigator General of the Bush-Cheney-Hank Paulson Goldman Sachs structured tax-payer TARP bail-out of 2008, whose book BAIL OUT was written and published after he resigned in disgust after saving the U.S. tax-payers hundreds of billions of public dollars in fraudulent TARP bail-out Corporate Caliphate claims, in some cases having to claw them back after they were paid out up front. Then Barofsky and underfunded understaffed SIGTARP crew witnessing the Wall Street Apex Predators that Obama-Biden and the Democratic congress approved filling the key REFORM ADMINISTRATION cabinet posts in 2009.

The REFORM ADMINISTRATION that he placed his hope in and voted for himself. Like the rest of U.S. who voted for the Chicago Community Organizer, who were surprised to find Obama an even more adept Wall Street community of 1% organizer.

Apparently, Barofsky the relatively low-level Public Service appointee was buying Obama’s AUDACITY OF HOPE memoir that accentuated Obummer’s ‘idealism,’ and then delivered a “REFORM ADMINISTRATION” stacked with the Obama-Biden cabinet whose Chief Financial Adviser and White House Gate-Keeper was Larry Summers (the House of Clinton-Summers-Rubin De-Regulator in Chief) and Supermarket of Financial Services advocate of self-regulated markets are the best functioning markets.

According to Barofsky’s memoir Bail Out of his term as SIGTARP (Special Investigator General fo the TARP bail-out of the Wall Street list of trans national Supermarkets of Financial Services), not only was his tiny underfunded and understaffed office physically cramped and underground redolent of a nearby ill-functioning Washington Capital septic system, to add insult to injury he never once was given an audience with much less consulted by the former Wall Street Federal Reserve President named by Obama\bummer\Status Quo Joe Biden into the Reform Admin’s TREASURY SECRETARY!

Here’s the Duopoly’s Wall Street Continuity soundtrack from the pride of Beaverton High turned East Nashville outcast Todd Snider, who wrote this song after having none other than Obama\Biden White House Chief of Staff turned Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel (another missionary spreading the Gospel of Cold War weaponized Neo-Liberal E-CONomics with its Privatization of every national resource doctrines and dogmas) who visited with reprobate bard Todd Snider backstage after a gig and explained the Goldman Sachs ABACUS bond scam structured as a legal banal and unregulated hedge fund deal involving John billionaire hedge fund director Paulson, who is not related to Bush-Cheney Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson.

That then Secretary of Treasury Hank Paulson also happens to be the father\funder of Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson. Bush-Cheney Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson happened to be a former CEO of Goldman Sachs. Here is that song: “New York Banker” which was never explained this clearly for those whose information comes every week from THIS WEEK ON WALL STREET or MARKETPLACE or PLANET MONEY or BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS or FREAKANOMICS or FORBES or BUSINESS INSIDER or the FINANCIAL TIMES…where most of indoctri-NATION or Food Stamp Nation or Wage Stag-NATION gets their info from in the vacuum of any Labor or Wage Slave or Planet of the Clock Punchers programming on U.S. air waves or in U.S. bid-net press.
~https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHwrZLrNc94 (“New York Banker” from Todd Snider’s album Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables )

Mitch Ritter\Paradigm Sifters, Code Shifters and Song Chasers
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa (Refuge of Atonement Seekers)
Media Discussion List and Looksee

This article should be shared everywhere, it is great! About 60% of workers earn very low wages, maybe 66%. The Social Security Ad. report on wage income says half of all workers, 84 million, earn less than $34,248, and the average income for these lower-earning 84 million is about $15,600. This should concern everyone. This is a fabulous article that should be shared everywhere. This is a picture of a failed economy and a struggling society. I’ll comment on the sentence from the Brookings Inst. report that says “Fifty-three million Americans, 44 percent of the labor force, earn low wages.” They are wrong, they report on only full-time year-round workers, leaving out all 50 million part-timers and partial year workers. Add the 50 million part-timers onto the 53 million, you get 103 million underpaid workers, that is 61% of all who worked in 2019. It says the yearly incomes for these “44 percent” is on average annual $18,000. Not so. The lower-earning 61% earn just under $20,000 on average (see the Social Security Admin. report). The Brookings report leaves out the very-low paid workers, 50 million. They reference only FULL-Time, Year-round workers, and leave out 50 million who are part-time and partial year. The impression is incorrect, it should say 103 million out of 170 million earn low wages, about 60%. And it could be even 8 million more if you add in those who have dropped out of the workforce. About 169 million worked in 2019, says the Social Security Administration report on wage income (see: ~http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/netcomp.cgi?year=2019) Half of all workers collectively make less than 8% of the national income. They need a raise, a minimum of $15 per hour. $34.248 is the median income for all 169 million workers in 2019, the lower half, 84 million workers, have an average annual income of almost $15,600, just above the $15,080 that a full-time year-round minimum wage worker earns in a year. – Try living on that income. And the United Way charity in its ALICE report says that perhaps 50% of American families experience “hardship” in 2020, the report is “On Uneven Ground”, page 11. This means they cannot afford seven basics of normal life: food, housing, utilities, healthcare, childcare, phone, transportation, taxes. - The Bureau of Economic Analysis, Dept. of Commerce, Table 2.1, says that the post-tax income per capita was $55,656 in March of 2020. A four person family would then earn $222,654 per year, on average, after federal taxes. The top 8% take in at least 36% of all income, and that reduces incomes for all the others. Paul B. gets the award for the finest article of the decade, really thorough, accurate and shocking. My blog: Economics without Greed, part two, see the first paragraph. ~http://benL88.blogspot.com

1 Like

After Trump, America needs a major rebuilding plan.

Stark info on poverty - adding to the “inequality” debate by refuting right wing arguments that ‘inequality is ok so long as those below are doing ok.’

The new-New-Deal-type government work project is important - both to educate about sustaining nature/sustainable energy, and because such govt. initiatives can not only help people, but are a model of government social programs to ‘provide for the general welfare.’

Also, govt conservation job training could link to career technical education (formerly ‘vocational’) programs in public schools - forming part of a career pipeline’ that prepares students for postsecondary training for skilled labor jobs.

from one of PB’s links:

"Sprenkel and O’Mara hope a revamped conservation corps could also provide opportunities like apprenticeships and on-the-job education to build career pipelines for long-term employment, especially for communities that have traditionally been left out of the conservation space.

Many in the Jan 6 riots had a history of financial difficulties. If they don’t pass the $15 an hour minimum wage proposal, we will then probably be seeing a lot more civil unrest.

After many compared the last administration to Rome’s Nero, the fiddling is continuing into the new administration, as the country burns for most of us.
It’s long past time to bring capitalism to it’s knees with a long term GENERAL STRIKE.


Yes – A Peoples Party is the only way that meaningful change will come.
An insurgent Eco- Socialist Peoples Party would change the dynamic.
Time to shake up the DNC and their cozy Neo-liberal ideology.
The fracture among Republicans over Trumpism might provide the opportune time.

The screw of austerity squeezes wage-slaves until the limit is reached; subsistence plus a bonus sufficient to raise baby replacement wage-slaves.