Obviously, most answerers did NOT read the article. I can't see how anyone could make such crass remarks about the poor if they had. SEVERE POVERTY!!! It's growing in this country! Why? Corporate profits?? Yes, that's one reason. So, closing tax "loopholes" and making sure that big business is taxed (and PAYS) more heavily would be a start.
Education! I can't say that loud enough or often enough. We are NOT educating our young people to take their places in the world of the future. Jobs are not the same as they were even 10 years ago, so we need to put some real thought into what we are teaching our children. (When I was in high school [The Dark Ages, for those who really want to know], we were taught that the biggest problem we would have with our career-lives would be what to do with our leisure time; supposedly we would only need to work 20-hr. weeks to make a very good living, and we would all need to consider something else to fill up our days. Wasn't that a pleasant dream??? Unrealistic?? Oh! Hell, yes!!)
"Welfare" has nothing to do with this new statistic! (Unless you count our BILLIONS sent to other countries as welfare...) We are talking about newly poor people, people who used to have jobs, or people whose jobs once paid enough to house them, feed them, clothe them! I can't believe someone said that the poor have cars and televisions, computers, etc. On $5000.00 per year??? I doubt it!! (And, even if they do, so what??? Those things, especially a car, may be necessities.) What should the "poor" have? A pup tent in a public park?? A can of beans over an open fire? What about health care?? Most companies in my area of the US, (Midwest) have cut employees' hours so that they don't qualify for benefits, or they have just cut health care out altogether!
We COULD cut out "corporate welfare" and the subsidies that are paid to campanies NOT to manufacture here, or to farmers NOT to grow things here!
And, to those who say a wide gap between the "monied" and the "poor" proves a large "middle class", I ask, "What schools did you go to???" A wide gap means that the rich are richer than they were before and the poor are even poorer--It does NOT mean there is anything in between. (There COULD be, and, of course, there IS, but there does not have to be.) (Example: Stand ill Gates next to me. Now you have a HUGE gap between our "incomes". The fact that we can see that and say that does not mean that there is anyone or anything in between!)
Take the blinders off, Folks! We need to do something, and do it in a hurry!! When the divide is finally complete, do you really think you're going to be on the "rich" side??