The Working Poor

The Working Poor

The working poor are people with jobs whose incomes are below the poverty line. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 10.4 million individuals were among the working poor in 2009. That means 47 million Americans in all - half of whom are children - currently live in poverty, and that number could reach 50 million in the next few years. Those statistics are actually deceiving; When you factor in the near poor - the poor who are just above the poverty line - almost one in three working families are now struggling.

Depending on which side of the political isle you listen to, there are different explanations to why there are so many working poor. The answer is actually simple, less than fair working wages. While corporate giants like McDonald's and Walmart are posting record profits, their workers can barely get by. 52 percent of fast-food workers' families receive public assistance - to the tune of $7 billion annually! 60 percent of Walmart's 1.3 million workforce earn less that $25,000 a year, which means many are on public-assistance. Corporations fail to pay their workers a living wage, and as a result, many, if not most, need public assistance just to get by. While Walmart takes home billions in profits, we the taxpayer partially pay for Walmart employees.
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