The elusive American dream: 4 in 5 in US face near-poverty, no work

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Badger55 Nibley, Ut
    Aug. 2, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    Yep...This economy is gaining steam. What a joke.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 31, 2013 10:39 p.m.

    the title of this article doesn't sound like hope and change have kicked in yet...5 years later. Oh I know .... it must be the Republicans fault. All I know is good leadership produces good results and bad leadership leads to growing poverty. Dare we say that Barack Obama gets an F on his report card as president? I think any honest liberal would have to say ...perhaps under his breath ... that this guy really stinks and we were all duped....

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    July 30, 2013 11:04 p.m.

    Poverty is a complex issue. You can't make blanket generalizations like all the poor are lazy and just want to live off the government like many conservatives do. The economy, disabilities, mental health issues, and yes lack of opportunity all are factors. And yes poverty is generational. Blaming the poor for being poor is a lame excuse for ignoring the plight of others who are struggling in a competitive capitalistic society. Read what King Benjamin said about this attitude in the Book of Mosiah. After all are not all of us all beggars. And no I am not a socialist or Obama supporter. And I don't believe that everyone voted for Obama because he promised free stuff. Don't be ridiculous.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    July 30, 2013 1:29 p.m.

    Kent C. DeForrest--

    * If you're right, why hasn't eight years of Clinton, and five of Obama, not changed Reaganomics?
    * Give some examples of how Reaganomics put us on our present course.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    July 30, 2013 10:49 a.m.

    I love it, some people blaming Reagan, of all people. I was prepared for at least Bush being blamed, and no farther back than 8 YEARS of Clinton. No, he had nothing to do with the economy, but it's Reagans fault. Yeah, I can see that. And after 5 years of Obama, that has absolutely nothing to do with the current economy. I guess we conservatives cannot begin to blame Obama until he has been out of office 30 years. Can't wait!

  • frugalfly PULLMAN, WA
    July 30, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    Kent, you need to study economy. The constant forces for centuries are those you speak of. When tractors, when looms when printing presses when inventions and when other technologies emerged it transformed the labor population. When the industrial revolution came, your arguments applied then. Don't politicize the issue. Your pinning of it on Reaganomics is only a myopic view and thus hurtful to those who need to change and who need to adjust. Railroad barons, land barons, plantation farmers, Lords, sports stars, Donald Trumps, Warren Buffets, Bill Gates have always existed. They always will. Wealth always flows to those who are willing and able to capitalize and those who have strokes of good fortune or extraordinary talent. But there are always cycles of turnover of wealth lost and industry turnover. What you don't find is Legacy fortune for more than about 2-4 generations. The Sears and Robucks, the Union Pacific all reach their term and the economy, technology move forward. New Bill Gates come along, new Warren Buffets come along. Extraordinary talent, vision, hard work and good fortune. A sun causes sunburn. Can't change the sun Kent. Time better spent adapting. Emphasis on my points produce more results.

  • aaron4byu Riverton, UT
    July 30, 2013 8:06 a.m.


    I know people with a half million dollars in the bank that are being included in this article because they were unemployed for half the year. Retired people are included.

    And really, the picture.... is that the new face of poverty in America? Compare that to the face of true poverty in any other country.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 29, 2013 10:02 p.m.

    Everyone, especially Kent
    How’s BO’s trickle-up poverty working for you?

    Bob from Portland,
    Racist? (NO DN, you CANNOT block this, Bob used the word!)

    Prior recoveries have had much better job growth, especially recessions as deep as this one. What has been the difference between then and now? BO is at the helm and his policies are slowing the recovery. Trying to shift blame from BO is like saying the sun does not produce heat.

    He’s five years in, at some point BO HAS to start accepting responsibility, as do his sheep.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    July 29, 2013 9:26 p.m.

    @Bob K--Where is Obama this very second? More tax payer money has been spent for his vacations than all other presidents combined. Isn't that a rich greedy person?

    If a person is smart, works hard, and earns money. Is this person greedy, or are the others envious?

    IMO, people are not the same. Due to motivation, ability, grit, etc,-people will and have always been at different levels of success.

    In a classroom, are honor roll students at fault for the students with lower grades?

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    July 29, 2013 9:12 p.m.


    Mostly, though, just since 1980, when Reaganomics turned us onto our present course.

  • frugalfly PULLMAN, WA
    July 29, 2013 8:53 p.m.

    To Kent,
    Tough to find people like we could in this country 50 years ago. Our shift in culture is 90% of the problem and what you state is more like 10% of the problem. Your arguments are the constants of the economy. There will always be and has always been the elements that you speak of in our economy and in ALL economies. Your arguments would have worked in the 1870's and 1880's and again in the 1920's. Those things you speak of are the norm. They have existed in some form for hundred if not thousands of years in economics. My points are the answer to how the individual can adjust and be prepared for your points. The individual can't control your points but they can control in some measure my points. That is the difference I suppose in our views of this. I talk of things that individuals can do, you talk of what the system of economic has been about for 1000 years....

  • dumprake Washington, UT
    July 29, 2013 4:40 p.m.

    Get used to it America, it's Obama's gift to the world, to bring the US down to the level of a third world country. And the Democrats and the media are 100% complicit in this devious scheme. IT doesn't have to be this way, our problems are easily fixed, but converting to Marxism, the Obama way, is guaranteed to make things worse. And we reelected this guy to impose his will and drag us down to this?

  • Bob K porland, OR
    July 29, 2013 4:37 p.m.

    Folks -- this huge recession started when GWB was still in office. Blaming President Obama makes one look ignorant and/or racist. You might note the life story of his wife, raised in working class circumstances that created her and her football coach brother. Laziness is the LAST thing that her family or his family would condone.
    The situation with jobs dates back 40 years, when corporations started to drive down wages in order to compete with foreign products, then eventually exported the jobs.
    People who favored Romney for President ignore the job destruction and blame Obama

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    July 29, 2013 3:49 p.m.

    I really have a hard time believing some of the comments posted here. Okay, I'll take that back. I'm used to seeing the callousness that results from conservative economic theory and the disconnect they experience with reality.

    Specifically addressing frugalfly's reasons for our problems, the actual reasons for the rapidly expanding gap between the rich and the rest, which results in too many people slipping through the economic cracks, are: (1) the unbridled greed of those who control capital; (2) shipping jobs off to Third World countries where they can pay low wages without benefits; (3) replacing human labor with technology, which shifts a share of revenue from labor to executive salaries; (4) squeezing wages in a very tight labor market; and (5) a short-sightedness among "job creators" regarding the role labor plays in creating demand for their own products.

    All this conservative nonsense about people wanting a handout places 100 percent of their attention on 10 percent of the problem. Come on, conservatives, for once deal with the real problems instead of trying to invent some way to justify your contempt for the needy.

  • jr85 United Kingdom , 00
    July 29, 2013 3:29 p.m.

    The day that the United States wakes up from this delusion of American exceptionalism the better. The American economy is built on greed and margin squeezing where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Other countries are doing things better now and the sooner the US can realise their own model is unsustainable the better. This is the result of inequality which apparently Jesus and LDS historical figures like King Benjiman denounced.

  • srw Riverton, UT
    July 29, 2013 2:07 p.m.

    "Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream."

    Wait a minute--why is that a sign of deteriorating anything? We can't tell which way things are changing from one data point.

    I would expect most people to be near poverty "for at least part of their lives".

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    July 29, 2013 1:58 p.m.

    America's children are tested, and scored regularly. Teachers are held accountable for their learning. Many don't have contracts renewed.

    If, "4 in 5 in US face near-poverty, no work",- shouldn't our leaders face the same accountability?

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    July 29, 2013 1:28 p.m.

    Remember the NAFTA free trade agreements. Shipping jobs to countries using slave labor, while our political leaders tighten the screws with stricter regulations for American businesses.

    Animals in a zoo wouldn't survive if returned to the wild. They've been fed so long by people, that they lack survival skills.

    Like the zoo animals, people have been driven to dependence, and have lost the grit for survival. We beg for benefits which a government in debt will soon, not be able to pay.

    We've been scammed, and will soon be in total subjection of political leadership.--Hope I'm wrong.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    July 29, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    This article fails to segment the population it talks about. Large numbers of lower-income college-aged people are in this group, as are large numbers of retirees who don't have but really don't need the income they had in their more productive years. The real risk is to the middle class of productive years who are finding it harder to make ends meet.We are paying the price for 30 years of Reaganism, i.e., "I've got mine, and you're on your own."

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2013 11:27 a.m.


    I take it back! Everyone wants to work....for the government or some other freebie "career" where benefits are guaranteed and performance doesn't matter! No one can ever be fired etc. etc. etc. All paid for by taxes.

    You got me!

  • frugalfly PULLMAN, WA
    July 29, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    The more correct diagnosis of our problem in this country are 1. poor education/preparation/skills of too many of our population to help contribute to society. Look at the picture you see accompanying this article. Would you want this person assisting your dentists or managing your taxes or caring for your child in day care? I am being judgmental and going off what I see but I can't tell you what I would hire or want this person to do for me including prepare food, clean a house let alone make the lug nuts which hold my tires on my Honda. 2. decline in culture of work ethic and willingness to start low. We expect immediate benefits, high dollar income and we aren't willing to be the kind of workers where our performance demands increased income/benefits. We expect them first! 3. We hurt ourselves financially with the personal decisions we make about our families/marriages/health. We are obese, we get sick easy, we have unstable mental health, we create families with "dysfunctional" people, we spend more than we make, our consumer debt is like no other time.

  • WRK Riverton, UT
    July 29, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    Another thing I have noted (and photo shows) is that when you talk about people in poverty from other nations and people in poverty from the US, there is a very large weight difference. Those from other nations look like there are in poverty and have gone without food. The US poor look like they have spent their poverty time and one to many fast food joints.

    Just an observation.

  • WRK Riverton, UT
    July 29, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    To those who say the rant about "they don't want to work" is ridiculous, I had a brother who told me and showed me how I was stupid for working because you could get everything you needed from the "system". He said he made more from government handouts than I did working.

    I have talked with others on the government paycheck that say the same thing, so, yes there are more than you think that "don't want to work" and are living off the hard work of others...

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    If you race Obama with Uerkle, you would see the economy improve....Obama is a disaster and has killed jobs and the American dream and turned it into share the wealth which now means share the poor,

  • Madden Herriman, UT
    July 29, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    What this article essentially says is that way too many of us live paycheck to paycheck. I know in my early married life, while I had a good education and job, if that job had been cut, our family would have been in big trouble. We are fortunate to be past that stage now, having put some funds away, but this report shows pretty clearly that most people have not gotten past that phase yet.

    The economy certainly makes it much harder to get past that phase, but it can be done, even in these uncertain times. While there are people out there who expect the world to be handed to them on a platter, I think that vast majority want to work and live a good life, but there are more debts piled up and unstable circumstances all around, which makes it that much more difficult. We are used to growing prosperity being the norm in the US, and it is time for people to realize that it isn't the norm any longer...we therefore need to think, plan and live differently, and drop our all-out worship of consumerism.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    July 29, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    When a majority of the wealth goes to the top 1 to 5 percent what do you expect. This whole rant about "they don't want to work" is ridiculous, and uninformed. If it were true you have no one to work labor jobs, or service industry jobs. The whole economy would collapse. Our current economy relies on the majority of people willing to work their butts off for nothing and then except some kind of help. Look around Red. It's the middle age women stocking the shelves in Wal-Mart that is getting your tax dollars for food stamps.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    Private enterprise will fix things. The corporations cannot be making huge profits, or can they?

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    Work? They don't want to work!

    That is why they voted for Obama!

    We have unraveled the fabric of America by trying to guarantee everyone everything. It just doesn't work that way.

  • sigmund5 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2013 7:31 a.m.

    Let the blame the victim start. Other pending thoughts to avoid thinking or doing anything about the problem: It is Obama's fault, people are lazy, I got out of poverty so can everyone else, if they didn't have so many babies, welfare reform, welfare fraud, taking god out of schools, turn to churches.