A new, more accurate measure of poverty shows the low income group is 47% of the society or nearly 150 million people.
Also, under this new measure, the rate of poverty for people older than 65 nearly doubles, from 9% to 16%.
Poverty means an income of less than $24,000 a year or four people ($11,000 for an individual).
49 million people, 16%, are poor.
Low income is defined as between $24,000 – $48,000 (100- 200% of poverty) for a family of four. This group is now 98 million people, or 32%.
Adding the poor and low-income groups together — all families with incomes below $48,000 — is 48% of the country.
The low-income section of the population is increasing not because people are being lifted up out of poverty because more and more people are falling in to poverty.
Finally, the well-off group falls from 35% of the society to 17%; families of four with incomes of $97,000 or greater. The drop is due to including medical costs and taxes which erode what appeared to be gains in income.
The new measurement shows a sharper and clearer picture of the United States — much poorer, with a much smaller middle class.
All to benefit the 1% and the 0.1%. They are hoarding the wealth of the society at the expense of everyone else.
For Michigan Welfare Rights these numbers are closer to the truth. They show that we, and other welfare rights unions across the country have 150 million potential members and allies.
We are the majority of the 99%! (See NY Times, Sunday November 20 page 10)