America By the Numbers — A National Disgrace

By Pam Martens: September 13, 2012

The U.S. Census Bureau reported yesterday that annual household income fell in 2011 for the fourth straight year to an inflation-adjusted $50,054.  That figure is 8 percent lower than in 2007 and 1.5 percent lower year over year. 

The $50,054 figure represents the Nation as a whole.  The West and the Midwest showed even sharper declines year over year, losing 4.1 and 2.1 percent, respectively. 

The U.S. poverty rate, which is defined as an annual income of $23,021 for a family of four, was 15.0 percent in 2011 versus 15.1 percent  in 2010.  That figure translates into 46.2 million of our fellow Americans living in poverty – a national disgrace by any interpretation. 

On September 22, 2010,  Forbes magazine released its annual list of the 400 richest Americans.  Their combined net worth climbed 8% that year, to $1.37 trillion.  More recently, from 2010 to 2011, Charles and David Koch, owners of Koch Industries, each saw their net worth climb from $21.5 billion to $25 billion, an increase of 14 percent year over year. And yet, these two men lead the political money machine that is waging an all-out war against regulating corporations; regulations that are critically needed to stop the wholesale wealth stripping of the poor and middle class. 

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