U.S. Income Gap Widens As Poor Take Hit In Recession

Newly released census figures show the recession has hit middle-income and poor families the hardest.

The economic gap between the richest and poorest Americans has gotten wider as rippling job layoffs ravaged household budgets.

The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans, those making more than $138,000 each year, earned 11.4 times what those living near or below the poverty line made in 2008. That ratio was an increase from 11.2 in 2007 and the previous high of 11.22 in 2003.

Household income declined across all groups, but at sharper percentage levels for middle-income and poor Americans. Poverty jumped sharply to an 11-year high.

Analysts attribute the widening gap to the wave of layoffs in the economic downturn that have devastated household budgets. They say while the richest Americans may be seeing reductions in executive pay, those at the bottom of the income ladder are often unemployed and struggling to get by.

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  • by Matt Location: NC on Oct 4, 2009 at 08:43 PM
    The middle class has LONG paid for the welfare of others. I for one say we don't owe anyone welfare. Get a freaking job and become a productive member of our society. Get off your butts, get your lips off that 40 and work! I'm for taking care of the handicapped and the elderly but, for the rest, I say get a job. If they can play basketball all day they can work. The ones out of work don't want to work. That's the TRUTH. It may not be what you want but, it will get the children fed and the economy going.
  • by Barlow Location: Winterville on Sep 29, 2009 at 11:11 AM
    Over 10 years: Wages up 29% Insurance Premiums up 120% Insurance Profits up 428% Fair enough?
  • by Barlow Location: Winterville on Sep 29, 2009 at 11:01 AM
    The wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few in this country. Every attempt to make them accountable to pay their taxes, to treat people fairly, to have health care for allis met with "Communist!" "Socialist!" and anything else the rich ruling class in this country want the weak minded to think. And so it goes, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
  • by JOETHEPLUMMER Location: WHITEHOUSE on Sep 29, 2009 at 07:34 AM
    Obama said time for a change,what a change the poor keeps getting poorer and those peoples unemployment has run out and still can't find a job.Thats a big change,WHAT NOW OBAMA WHY DON'T YOU BAIL OUT THE POOR AND UNEMPLOYMENT.YOU CAN BAIL OUT THE RICH,BANKS,CARDEALERS.THERE IS NO THEM IN USA JUST US AMERICA.OUR GOVERMENT BAILS OUT OTHER COUNTRIES WHEN OUR COUNTRY IS IN TROUBLE.POWER TO THE BLACK MAN!!!!
  • by d on Sep 29, 2009 at 07:10 AM
    let's stop being taxed. no more roads, no more public schools, no more firemen and police who are funded by those taxes...man people get so fired up over wanting to help fellow americans. just goes to show how this country is going down when everyone is only out for themselves and care more about the rich...
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Sep 29, 2009 at 06:21 AM
    Well, when you tax the poors smokes, alcohol, energy, gas,, what did you think would happen? The middleclass is not as affected by this.
  • by Devil Dog Location: Greenville on Sep 29, 2009 at 04:52 AM
    OBAMA's plan is to redistribute wealth and establish a Socialist/Marxist society. Just look at who he surrounds himself with. By taking money from the rich, you have less rich and more poor people who become dependent on the government. His goal is to generate a total collapse of our financial institutions which will give more power to the federal government. WAKE UP people!!!!

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