Home > The Economy > United States of Poverty

United States of Poverty

from David Ruccio

By the numbers:

sources: here, here, and here

  1. September 23, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Something you need to know about US poverty statistics. They’re calculated before the help and aid which is given to alleviate poverty.

    So what you’ve actually got here is the list of how much poverty there is, then the list of all the things done to try and alleviate that poverty.

    You know, the half a trillion $ spent on Medicaid, the EITC, housing vouchers, food stamps and the rest. You’re highlighting how much they try to do, not, as you think, how little they do.

    I’d actually be fascinated to see the same numbers for the UK. How much poverty is there before the NHS, tax credits, housing benefit and so on?

    • Mike Meeropol
      September 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm

      Please don’t combine Medicaid expenses in here. The EITC and FOOD STAMPS directly help poor people survive. Medicaid just pays inflated medical expenses. It doesn’t reduce poverty. (That’s why when your insurance company pays your inflated hospital and/or doctor bill, the IRS doesn’t charge you as if you received the income in kind.)

      I think David’s statistics demonstrate how BAD things are compared to just a couple of years ago — as evidenced by how many people need to have recourse to our (admittedly rather stingy) social safety net.

  2. October 8, 2010 at 7:29 am

    I think this statistics doesn’t representing the perfect picture of American’s poverty, but still we can understand how much recession effected our daily lives.

    • May 25, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      I do think these statistics represent a “perfect” picture of my American poverty.
      I’ve been living in poverty since 2011
      I’ve been on food stamps since February 2014
      I’ve being served by several anti-poverty programs (not even sure how many, I’d have to ask my social worker)
      I’ve been on Medicaid since 2012
      I lost my condo in 2007
      I’ve been on Unemployment three times in the last five years

      Genista Simon, class of 2008 (Over $40,000 in unpaid student loans)
      Diagnosed with late stage breast cancer in 2011 (Over $50,000 in unpaid medical bills)
      Fired from my job in February 2014 for missing too much work (due to illness & hospitalization)
      Terminated from my health insurance (it was through my former employer)

      Go USA!

  3. C-r D.
    May 26, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Thank you David Ruccio for this. It gives a vivid picture of the neo-liberalism philosophy in action.

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