Tuesday, September 17, 2013


LIVING THE DREAMJohann Wagener 9-17-13

The American Dream survived the Great Recession. The rich are as rich as ever and the poor are just as poor as they ever were. The only thing that's changed is that those poor - poor folks are painfully aware that the American Dream is just that, a dream.

Retirement is now a thing to dream about, not actually do. The home you once thought was a bottomless pool of money is now nothing more than a dried up hole of pain and heartache.  Single family is a thing of the past just as single income has been. It takes multiple families with multiple incomes just to get by. Leaving anything for the next generation other than your reverse mortgage to tag on to their college loan is the norm.

The battle cry is "America Strong" which it's going to need if we are to survive this nightmare.

Amid the halting recovery, homelessness has increased in cities such as New York. Above, a homeless man sleeps under an American flag blanket on a park bench in Brooklyn.

 Poverty rates, median income unchanged in 2012, despite recovery

The number of people living in poverty stood at 46.5 million in 2012, representing 15% of the country's population for the second year in a row. In 2010, the poverty rate reached 15.1%, the peak of the recent business cycle.

The poverty figure was 12.5% in 2007, the year before the Great Recession.

At 15%, the poverty rate remains at close to the peak level since the War on Poverty began in 1965. The highest since then was 15.2% in 1983.

For 2012, the poverty rate for children was 21.8%, essentially unchanged from 2011.