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More Evidence That Half of Americans are In or Near Poverty


More Evidence That Half of Americans are In or Near Poverty

Paul Buchheit

Deniers like Nikki Haley refuse to admit that mass poverty exists in their prosperous nation. That would reflect poorly on their capitalist beliefs.


I insist a retraction be issued by this author for perpetuating the myth that “opioid painkillers” are the source of overdose fatalities in the so-called “opiate crisis”. This is false and has been proven so repeatedly over the last two years (and, incidentally, for nearly every study done pre-PROP going all the way back to the early 90s).

Chronic pain patients (CPPs) are dying in large numbers because of this lazy myth-enabling. The overwhelming number of fatal overdoses in this country are caused by non-prescription drugs, the two most likely being heroin and carfentanyl.

It is vital that so-called “progressive” pundits get this stuff straight once and for all. You got had by an engineered campaign to create a massive “new” class of addicts in the CPP community in order to make a ton of money.

Frankly, it’s disappointing as hell that an emerging holocaust here in the US–especially among veterans with severe disabilities such as myself----is completely uncovered in the “liberal” independent press while every fart or funny look from Trump is beaten to death.

Sorry to go off on what was a throw-away sentence in a larger piece, but I have to take any opportunity I can get to get this message out there.


Ah yes, more “evidence” demonstrating that capitalism is what capitalism does. Hard-hitting progressive research and journalism here. Duh!?!


“Inequality in the US is battering the poor” is not news…this has been happening for decades.

What is news is the ever increasing number of middle class Murkins falling into poverty and becoming poor with each passing month.

“Essential government programs” were put into a downward death spiral by Saint Ron and the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) more than three decades ago. The December tax cuts and upcoming additional tax cuts later this year will finish them off.


If there is any good news, the official poverty rate has declined in recent. However, there are too many people living pay check to pay check and to many debt including large student loans. This situation is in sharp contrast to our booming technology centers in Silicon Valley, in the Boston area, and on a smaller scale in other places and our booming financial industry which is centered in NYC. And there are also other booming areas such as Washington DC which is now surrounded by the wealthiest counties in the country on a per capita basis, and the entertainment industry in LA which seems to expand endlessly. But too many people are left out and as the boom areas increase in wealth accumulation the gap grows wider. The most straightforward answer is to vote the Republicans out of office because things are going as planned for the libertarians. For them this is the way things should be going only there are too many expensive social programs and they want these to be gutted. Basically they want to create what to the left would be a dystopia. If enough Republicans can be defeated in the upcoming election it should be possible to begin to address this problem of severe income inequality.


Of course what gets missed is that being “poor” in the US is still putting you in the upper middle income group of people worldwide. “Poverty” is a relative number.


Land of the wage slave. Home of the indebted.


US is a democracy. There isn’t one that is humane. US democracy is by far less humane than many other democracy.

What the world needs is a timocracy. In America, over 90% Americans are democratic; thus, constant, wars, threat of wars, demonization of some peoples, blaming, deceiving, lying, making poverty, shunning knowledge, fake news, etcetcetc.

US society, thus, will not ever become humane unless democrats give up on their democracy. 100% sure!!!


The only relevant comparisons are intranational, not international. Cost of living—which varies widely by country—matters too, lest we be distracted by meaningless absolute numbers.


You think “the poor” have it bad now? The next act in this shit show, coming soon to your town, will be the economic “shock” that justifies “austerity;” that is, the theft of safety net funds we all contributed and the reduction/elimination of benefits (not “entitlements”) for seniors, vets, the disabled, and the disadvantaged. Most people don’t recognize that we’ve been in a class war forever, that the tables turned in the U.S. with the election of Reagan, and that it ended with Citizens United. Working through both Republican and Democratic administrations since 1980, the neoliberal financial elite waged war on all of us who are not part of them. Guess what? “They” won. It’s plutocracy now; not democracy. There is no bigger pot of slowly heating frogs than the Trump base, unless it’s “moderates” in the middle class who still think the Democrats weren’t part of it to begin with and want to fix any of it now. In any case, get ready for the boil.


Yes. The politics of “left v. right” are a distraction. The real divide is top v. bottom, realization of which was crucial to recent Brand-D primary victories.


The optimist in me recognizes that victories such as Ocasio-Cortez’s are a good sign that an electorate understands and is responding. The pessimist reminds me that most of my sixty years have been spent watching “wake-up calls” go unanswered: the MIC, the environment, neoliberal fundamentalism, religious fundamentalism, drug wars, disintegration and exchange of the sorta-sometimes-reliable fourth estate of the 60s and 70s for corporate media… Oh, hell. Just read Chris Hedges’ column today (“America the Failed State”). That’s what I’m talking about.


Tell that to someone living in what used to be called the “Third World”. The “poor” in the US today live better than a majority of people in the world, indeed better than a majority of people in the history.


This is a direct reflection on the Democrats and Republicans inability to govern us.

Wise up and rise up.


I would like to chime in on another(never mentioned) statistic, cigarette smoking kills about 250,000 people a year. That’s more than all the drug OD’s, alcohol deaths, gunshot deaths and car crash deaths COMBINED!! Nary a mention that tobacco is subsidized by the govt. The poor are far more likely to smoke than the rich. The low wage workers are far more likely to smoke than middle/upper middle class workers. The lower 50% are working more for less every decade. The lower 50% are being crushed by under reported inflation that affects the poor much more than the richer counterparts. Income inequality is destroying America and the rich couldn’t care less as long as the can continue to exploit the poor. Time for real change.


Not only is it subsidized, but it is also a huge source of tax revenue - in most states the majority of the cost of cigarettes is taxes.

Just more proof that the government doesn’t actually care about its citizens



I find your use of irony quotes around the word “poor” interesting, in a ghastly sort of way. Personally, I’d much rather be poor in Cuba than in the US, where the consequences of being poor include being murdered by the state.


At the rate the number of people living on the streets in West Coast cities is increasing it won’t be long before Murkin poor people will be on par with the majority of poor people in third world nations, irrespective of the metrics or myths being used to evaluate poverty.

For at least three decades, poverty programs in much of the US have been limited to buying poverty cases a one way bus ticket to the west coast. Unless there is a nationwide program to reverse it, the depth of poverty and number of Murkins living in poverty will continue to increase.


In Cuba you’re only murdered if you disagree with the state. Or if you’re gay. I see more poor people fleeing Cuba than fleeing to Cuba.


I am so tired of this red herring argument of the right-wing wackos. It fully demonstrates that not one of you right-wingers have ANY integrity or intellectual common sense whatsoever.

Expenses such as food, rent and health care costs – as just three examples – are locally-based or regionally-based and can differ significantly (higher or lower) based on where you live … nationally or internationally. Also, more than any other factor, wages for the working class are based on local or regional standards as well.

Hence, saying that poverty is relative and comparing it as an international or national macroeconomic truth is pure right-wing, libertarian excrement.

Example: I am an American expat living in Ecuador. A family of four earning $22,000 annually is solidly in the middle class. This is not the case in the United States as a family of four cannot live on $22,000 annually … especially in any major city. They find themselves in poverty in the U.S.

Red Herring Argument
A red herring is something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important issue. It may be either a logical fallacy or a literary device that leads readers or audiences towards a false conclusion. A red herring might be intentionally used, such as in mystery fiction or as part of rhetorical strategies (e.g. in politics), or it could be inadvertently used during argumentation.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_herring