Doesn’t that sound like the sort of extremely important economic news that almost everyone would already know?
The post linked above at the excellent economics blog Angry Bear explains that in 2009…
6.3% of people in the USA suffered severe poverty, that is lived in households with income less than half the poverty line. This is the highest severe poverty rate on record.
That means that over 19 million people in the USA live in households with income less than half the poverty line (severe poverty implies income significantly less than $ 11,000 per year for a family of four).
Angry Bear makes a case that “Welfare Reform” is responsible for millions of people falling farther into poverty than ever, but whatever the real explanation may be, the brute fact of extreme poverty for millions of Americans is starkly represented in the table below from the Census Bureau.