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Bad Trend Alert
Published on December 15, 2011 by Sara Foss

Chatter about the shrinking middle class and rising poverty is more than just a bunch of crazy talk.

According to the latest Census data, one in two Americans are poor or low-income.

Reports the Associated Press:

"The latest census data depict a middle class that's shrinking as unemployment stays high and the government's safety net frays. The new numbers follow years of stagnating wages for the middle class that have hurt millions of workers and families.

'Safety net programs such as food stamps and tax credits kept poverty from rising even higher in 2010, but for many low-income families with work-related and medical expenses, they are considered too 'rich' to qualify,' said Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan public policy professor who specializes in poverty.

'The reality is that prospects for the poor and the near poor are dismal,; he said. 'If Congress and the states make further cuts, we can expect the number of poor and low-income families to rise for the next several years.'"

In related news, six members of the Walton family (the original owners of Wal-Mart) have more wealth than the bottom 30 percent of Americans.

 

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