4 out of 5 Americans feel the sting of insecurity
Poverty, welfare and joblessness are striking every corner of the country, both whites and minorities.
While many Americans still view their country as the land of opportunity, it's increasingly a place where citizens are more likely to have brushes with poverty than with wealth.
About four out of five Americans will experience economic uncertainty during their lifetimes, encountering near poverty and joblessness or receiving government aid, The Associated Press reports.
The findings, based on survey data exclusive to AP, come as President Barack Obama says one of his goals is to rebuild opportunities for the middle class.
Poverty and economic turmoil are spreading among whites, the news service found, although racial and ethnic minorities are still more likely to live in poverty. More than 76% of white adults will be financially insecure by the time they turn 60, according to an economic measure that will be published next year by the Oxford University Press, AP noted.
That may be one reason so many Americans are pessimistic about the economy despite reports that the country is recovering from the recession sparked by the 2008 financial meltdown. Indeed, more than half of Americans think that that country is still in a recession, according to a poll published Wednesday. Only about one-third believe it's over.
At the same time the economy has supposedly recovered, food stamp use has surged. About one in seven Americans now receives government aid to buy groceries. The $75 billion food stamp program is under fire from congressional Republicans, who are mulling a work requirement for recipients.
Struggling whites are more pessimistic about the future than minorities, who are more hopeful after Obama's re-election, William Julius Wilson, a Harvard professor who studies poverty and race, told AP.
"There is the real possibility that white alienation will increase if steps are not taken to highlight and address inequality on a broad front," Wilson said.
About 19 million white people live in poverty, or about 44% of all Americans living below the poverty line, according to the U.S. Census. In small rural towns, more than 60% of the poor are white, AP reported.
While the economy is slowly rebounding, new job creation has occurred mainly in low-paying industries. Half of the jobs created so far during this recovery are low-wage positions, such as entry-level jobs at Wal-Mart (WMT) or McDonald's (MCD). America also now has a record 2.7 million temp workers, many of whom work for minimum wage and get no benefits from their employers.
That is spreading insecurity across America, prompting Washington University professor Mark Rank to say: "Poverty is no longer an issue of 'them.' It's an issue of 'us.'"
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
Government and its massive wealth redistribution schemes isn't the answer to our problems, it is the problem.
The US is experiencing what happens to all the great empires throughout history. They eventually run their course and fail. Can you say British empire, Roman empire? Don't forget, the Netherlands was the richest country in the world when Columbus supposedly "discovered" America. Now what is it? A little country that no one hears from. Welcome to the new America, a third world toilet of corruption and incompetence. Every leader in Washington should be put in prison for life for what they have done to this once great nation.
Obama - quite a guy isn't he.
Everyone says Obama failed...not so...he succeeded in destroying any hope of economic recovery.
He succeeded in dividing this country both politically and racially in a way never seen before.
He succeeded in taking this once great country and turning it into the laughing stock of the world.
Just think...we have a few more years of successes like this.
Thanks for voting for Obumma! We have BIG problems in this country. I am not here to blame JUST Democrats either. The whole Republican v Democrat thing is to me a simple set up to distract you from the fact that the "party" that really runs things is going to do what they need to do, and get who they need to get into office one way or the other.
What we have is a problem with those who really run things controlling the media, and everything else. We need people to think critically, and not let them divide the people based on political party, race etc. We are definitely under attack by all those in the BIG $$ industries. Oil, pharma (rx drugs), Banks/Lenders, politicians etc.
The problem is all the corruption and greed deeply woven into the fabric of this country. It make take a lot of time and some serious action to ever be able to correct it. Start by waking up, and spending time thinking about what you hear, versus what makes sense. THINK!
Why are there only 2 groups of people being considered for this study/article?
"Whites or minorities"
Seriously, there are more than 2 groups of people out there!
There has been massive Wealth Redistribution, and it has gone strictly to the very top. Corporate America is the problem, the folks in Government are just the puppets.
Complex problems have simple, easy to understand, wrong answers. This isn't about whites vs. minorities. It isn't about young vs. old. It isn't even about the formerly middle class vs. everyone else. In fact, it isn't even a U.S. Exclusive problem. The bottom line is:
Business has become very greedy, and has been allowed (by consumers as well as governments) to make record breaking profits each quarter (oil, sugar, grain, companies, etc.) for the shareholders to enjoy.
Lobbyists in D.C. are allowed to do what no other American citizen can; it's legalized bribery.
The U.S. government... and governments of other countries... have failed (epically) to hear the voices of those who elected them, and what's worse, they really don't care. The polarization of parties is global.
Many U.S. government programs have needed overhauling for decades; they simply aren't sustainable. We've seen this with other countries, and yet somehow think we're immune to the economic realities of Greece, Spain, etc.
Poor performance is rewarded with bail out funds and other government perks, rather than allowing failure... which, in the long term, improves the overall health of banking, commerce, etc.
Printing more money only serves to shift attention away from the hemorrhage. Voters don't want more taxes. Government doesn't want to do the heavy lifting necessary to overhaul its programs. No one wants to "go without" in the short term for better long term fiscal health.
everyone is greedy and votes whats best for themselves in the short term.
A future for all cannot be built on the best choices for one.
Sometimes It must be understood that for all to have a chance , someone must give that chance.
Handouts destroy people, but complete education health care , vacation, retetirement is not a handout if WE ALL work towards it. All the sucessful nations offer a life worth living and striving for, to build a nation fit to live in. We can slide down to a crime ridden third world has been nation , or we can stand up like Switzerland , Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany and many other nations that we send triilions of dollars of corporate profits to. They are smarter than we are, by investing in a future , they have one. All we have is freedom , to what?
"By The Associated Press
Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream. Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend. The findings come as President Barack Obama tries to renew his administration's emphasis on the economy, saying in recent speeches that his highest priority is to "rebuild ladders of opportunity" and reverse income inequality."
This is- FAILURE. Anyone wants to take sides and point to Democrats or Republicans or Obama or Congress or whoever... STOP. Point at EVERY SINGLE PERSON engaging in market investing while Ben Bernanke arranges the end of America. Globalization is an EXCUSE. There isn't ONE real business in America today-- they all look and operate the same... a small group of educated paper and button pushers playing administrative games without actually conducting enterprise of any kind. If they want to play, they HAVE to PAY and release us 100% from the obligations that are destroying our nation. We could EASILY be building a 21st Century nation with sustainability and commonsense infrastructure instead of deadhead business practices. What the HELL are we able to do with 300,000 new millionaires a week, except to EAT THEM?
If more than only 50% of the middle class voted we wouldn`t have so much corporate
welfare and tax breaks for the rich.
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A basic income policy can actually ensure a decent standard of living for everyone.
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