Spoiler Alert – If you are an insurance industry executive reading ThePopTort today, stop now or this might really spoil your day.
The nation's poverty rate increased to 15.1 percent in 2010, up from 14.3 percent in 2009 and the highest level since 1993, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's annual Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage report for 2010. An additional 2.6 million people landed in poverty last year, bringing the total to 46.2 million -- the highest number since the government started tracking poverty in the 1950s.
"Income down, poverty up, health insurance coverage down or flat," said Ron Haskins, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, in a statement. "The news on economic well-being in the U.S. is not good. Worse, children’s poverty increased for the fourth year in a row and at 22 percent is the highest since 1993. Child poverty has been higher than the 2010 level in only three years since the mid-1960s."
This is bad enough. But to be defined as poor in this country, you need to be a family of four with annual earnings of less than $22,314. I'm guessing there are lots more poor people than this.
In 2007, U.S. income inequality hit its highest mark since just ahead of the Great Depression in 1929. And that was before the current recession brought joblessness and financial peril to scores of Americans, most of whom are on the wrong side of the wealth divide. … "We have this growing elite that makes the economy of the United States look more like a banana republic than an economic democracy," says Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois.
(She’s not talking about the clothing store with its limited edition Man Men collection.) But speaking of mad men, hey insurance execs you can start reading now. You'll love this! According to a new Center for Justice & Democracy fact sheet,
As the insurance industry pushes for laws that deprive sick and injured Americans of their right to be fairly compensated for harm caused by corporate wrongdoing, insurance executives continue to collect millions of dollars in compensation. A recent study in the July 2011 edition of the Insurance Forum shows that insurance executives were collectively paid hundreds of millions of dollars in 2010.
For example, according to the SEC, “114 insurance executives received compensation of $5 million or more in 2010, with 30 receiving $10 million or above.”
Anyone going bananas yet?