4 Out Of 5: Poverty Statistics Show American Dream Is Dying; 80 percent ‘Poor’

The Associated Press recently reported some damning results from a survey which looked at the financial circumstances of the population.

They found that a shocking four out of five Americans could be classified as “near poverty.” This is bad news for President Obama, as it comes just as he is embarking on a P.R. ‘blitz’ to convince the people that the economy is improving, and that job creation is his priority.

The problem is that the gap between rich and poor is getting wider. Joblessness is so bad that Irene Salyers, 52, of Buchanan County, Va. said: “If you do try to go apply for a job, they’re not hiring people, and they’re not paying that much to even go to work.” She added that the youth have, “nothing better to do than to get on drugs.” It’s true that this is only one person’s view, but there is widespread belief that she’s right.

The Oxford University Press survey, which AP saw in advance of publication, defined poverty as: “a year or more of joblessness, food-stamp usage or poverty-line household income.” Mark Rank, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, calculated the findings after discussions with the Census Bureau and other academics.

One of his conclusions was that it is no longer an issue of “them”and “us”, meaning the gap between whites, blacks, and Hispanics was no longer as wide as in the past. He said future support programs would have to aimed at a broader section of the people.

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