While for some time now the overall opinion is the economy is doing just fine, the average American can strongly disagree. According to a survey published by the Associated Press, US poverty is expected to reach highest rate since the 1960s.
For the most part, politicians stay away from uttering the words poverty and US together. From their point of view the economy is fine, but could do better and each of them has a plan to do that. But when you ask economists, think tanks and academics, you’ll find the average and low-income Americans are having a hard time.
Associated Press’ report reads that the US poverty rate is expected to rise anywhere between a modest 0.1 percent to a 0.6 percent. It might not sound like much, but even with the modest 0.1 percent increase, the US poverty rate is going to reach the highest level since the 1960s.
In 1965, the US poverty rate was at 17 percent. The United States invested “untold trillions” to redress the situation, but without much success in the beginning. Eventually, the poverty rate declined year after year, until it reached 8.8 percent in 1973 thanks to welfare programs such as Medicaid and Medicaire. From there on it began rising once again, “spreading at record levels across many groups”, according to the Associated Press.
A report published last year read that 48 million people in the United States were poor. We’re basically talking about 1 in 6 people. But the rate would be even higher if the report would have taken into account the 9 million people that received food stamps and tax credits in 2010.
The Census 2011 won’t be released until close to November’s elections. Experts expected all the poverty rates to spike. 2010’s suburban poverty was record breaking at 11.8 percent, and it is estimated to be even higher for 2011. Same goes for poverty among people 65 and older as well as child poverty.
The real problem is that whatever politicians might preach, demographers are strongly convinced the US poverty rate will continue to stay high and won’t decline to the rate ahead of the recession for years to come.