There was no relief for the average American: The median household income, after adjusting for inflation, dropped 1.5% in 2011 from the previous year to $50,054. That is now 8.1% lower than in 2007, when the recession began late that year.
The biggest hit fell on the middle- and lower-income groups, while upper-end households saw their incomes essentially unchanged. That raised one common index of inequality in America to an all-time high.
And the US Census Bureau notes some details of the study:
- In 2011, the family poverty rate and the number of families in poverty were 11.8 percent and 9.5 million, respectively, both not statistically different from the 2010 estimates.
- In 2011, 6.2 percent of married-couple families, 31.2 percent of families with a female householder and 16.1 percent of families with a male householder lived in poverty. Neither the poverty rates nor the estimates of the number of families in poverty for these three family types showed any statistically significant change between 2010 and 2011.
- As defined by the Office of Management and Budget and updated for
inflation using the Consumer Price Index, the weighted average poverty
threshold for a family of four in 2011 was $23,021.
(See <http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/data/threshld/index.html> for the complete set of dollar value thresholds that vary by family size and composition.)
- The poverty rate for males decreased between 2010 and 2011, from 14.0 percent to 13.6 percent, while the poverty rate for females was 16.3 percent, not statistically different from the 2010 estimate.
Race and Hispanic Origin (Race data refer to people reporting a single race only. Hispanics can be of any race.)
- The poverty rate for non-Hispanic whites was lower in 2011 than it was for other racial groups. Table B details 2011 poverty rates and numbers in poverty, as well as changes since 2010 in these measures, for race groups and Hispanics. Among all of these groups, only Hispanics experienced a decline in their poverty rate.
You can read the full report the report Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011 for more. The teachers' strike is on day three in Chicago. Joseph Kishore writes about it at WSWS:
This assault on teachers’ job security will allow the city to push out better-paid, more experienced teachers and replace them with ones who are younger, less experienced and lower-paid. Similar motives are behind the administration’s drive to more closely tie teacher evaluations—which are the basis for pay and tenure decisions—to test scores.
The claim that these measures are motivated by a desire to do “what is best for the kids” and to hold teachers “responsible” turns reality on its head. It is the teachers who are seeking to defend the rights of the students and opposing the attack on the public schools being carried out by the so-called “reformers.”
Many teachers on the picket lines have pointed to the devastating impact of budget cuts and poverty on the ability of students to learn. Schools have been allowed to fall apart, with many lacking air conditioning and other requirements of a decent learning environment.
Conditions of poverty and mass unemployment dominate large parts of cities such as Chicago. Over a third of Chicago’s children live in poverty and more than 80 percent qualify for free or subsidized lunches because their families are low-income.
Think about the teachers and think good thoughts. They are taking a stand the way I think every worker in the country should be doing. I wish them all the best and pray they win.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Friday: