(via Reddit) Recent census data suggests that, financially, conditions in America are getting worse. According to USA Today, nearly 1 out of 2 people are low-income or below the poverty line, low-income being defined as between 100 and 199 percent of the minimum above-poverty income rate.
"The reality is that prospects for the poor and the near poor are dismal," he said. "If Congress and the states make further cuts, we can expect the number of poor and low-income families to rise for the next several years."
Mayors in 29 cities say more than 1 in 4 people needing emergency food assistance did not receive it. Many middle-class Americans are dropping below the low-income threshold — roughly $45,000 a year for a family of four — because of pay cuts, a forced reduction of work hours or a spouse losing a job. Housing and child-care costs are consuming up to half a family's income.(Source)