I am somewhat suspicious of where the poverty line is drawn in the United States. However, the fact that more are sliding below the line that is drawn is further evidence that this country is moving toward one where there are the haves and the have nots.
It is not a coincidence that this is occurring at a time when the government is playing a more intrusive role in the life of all Americans. That intrusiveness creates an entire class that expects things to be handed to them. Then comes another tier that would like to better their situation but it is made extremely difficult to impossible for them to do so because of the regulations that prevent them from advancing on their own. Regulations, certificates and the like are required to cut hair, cater food etc. And woe to the person who just wants to go out and earn a living without a government stamp of approval.
According to the latest Census Bureau numbers, the poverty rate rose to 14.3% in 2009, the highest since 1994, up from 13.2% in 2008. Last year there were a record 43.6 million people in poverty,m according to CB's definition. Meanwhile, real median household income in 2009 was $49,777, not statistically different from the prior year. However, real median income fell 1.8% for family households, and rose 1.6% for nonfamily households