(NaturalNews) It is a sad, shocking statistic that demands answers, though you shouldn't expect any soon from a government whose power-mad leaders are preoccupied with issues the vast majority of us care nothing about.
However bad you thought the U.S. economy to be, a new survey performed exclusively for The Associated Press found that it is much, much worse than we are being led to believe.
According to data compiled during the most recent AP-GfK poll, an astounding four out of five Americans "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," AP reported.
Income gap widens as economic opportunity vanishes
The data all points to a worsening economic condition for an ever-growing portion of the U.S. population, AP said. In addition, the figures show that there is a yawning gap between rich and poor Americans as well, and that the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs is one of the reasons for this trend.
Not so ironically, the data comes as the president launches yet another campaign-style tour of the country, on our dime, for yet another "re-focus" on the economy - which has been underperforming since his first day in office. Granted, the nation was suffering from a recession that grew worse during Obama's first couple of years, but the president has "owned" the economy since, and it's been terrible.
In particular, according to the AP survey, economic hardship is particularly on the rise among whites, "based on several measures." Also, pessimism among whites about the economic future for their families is now the highest since at least 1987. And in a recent survey, a commanding majority - 63 percent - now describe the economy as "poor."
"I think it's going to get worse," Irene Salyers, 52, of Buchanan County, Va., a declining coal region in Appalachia, told AP. She and her boyfriend run a dilapidated fruit and veggie stand, but it doesn't earn them much. They mostly survive off government disability payments.
"If you do try to go apply for a job, they're not hiring people, and they're not paying that much to even go to work," she added. Meanwhile, she said kids have "nothing better to do than to get on drugs."
More from the AP report:
While racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to live in poverty, race disparities in the poverty rate have narrowed substantially since the 1970s, census data show. Economic insecurity among whites also is more pervasive than is shown in government data, engulfing more than 76 percent of white adults by the time they turn 60, according to a new economic gauge being published next year by the Oxford University Press.
The survey gauges "economic insecurity" as anyone who experienced unemployment at some point in their working lives, or those who utilized at least a year's worth of government aid, such as food stamps, or earned income below 150 percent of the federal government-defined poverty line. When measured across all ethnicities, AP noted, the risk of economic insecurity skyrockets to 79 percent.
American dream is fading, dying
Other disturbing figures from the survey include:
-- More than 19 million whites are below the poverty line for a family of four - $23,021 - which accounts "for more than 41 percent of the nation's destitute, nearly double the number of poor blacks";
-- In 2011, a snapshot of poverty in America showed 12.6 percent of adults who were in prime working ages between 25 and 60 years old were living in poverty;
-- Poverty risks have increased in recent decades - the same period in which manufacturing jobs have declined by the millions - particularly for those between 35-45.
Our country - our people - are growing poorer by the year, and there are no reasonable solutions on the horizon emanating from Washington. But that's as it should be; the federal government has never been good at creating anything except bureaucracy.
In fact, it could be argued that Washington is the problem. Inertia, combined with political posturing and stifling government regulations, are working against Americans to destroy what was .
They say we Americans get the government we ask for, but when, exactly, did we ask to become impoverished?