Dear Commons Community,
The U.S. Census Bureau reported yesterday that the number of Americans living below the official poverty line, 46.2 million people (15.1% of the population), was the highest number in the 52 years the bureau has been publishing figures on it. A NY Times article quoted Lawrence Katz, a Harvard economics professor, that this was the first time since the Great Depression that median household income, adjusted for inflation, had not risen over such a long period. Katz is quoted as saying:
“This is truly a lost decade…We think of America as a place where every generation is doing better, but we’re looking at a period when the median family is in worse shape than it was in the late 1990s.”
The poverty line in 2010 was defined as a family of four with an income of less than $22,314.
The saddest news is that there is no indication that the economy will be any better in the immediate future.