The Invisible Poor

Are more and more people in the western world dropping off the radar and becoming the invisible poor or is the opposite happening? At we like to think of ourselves as the working persons finance site. As part of our commitment to promoting responsible borrowing and lending, (see is this recession becoming another great depression to see what happens if people don’t follow that rule!) we are always interested in looking at the financial health of people. We recently heard that an astounding 46 million Americans are officially below the poverty line (That's $23,050/year for a family of four according to the official sources). To help visualise the USA statistics, consider the fact that there are about 62 million people in the UK at the moment, which means (if my maths is correct) that it would be equal to 74% of ALL people in the UK living below the poverty line. Big numbers for a big country I guess!!  That number really caught our eye and as such we decided to do a little more digging to help put some more facts and figures around it. The below is a nice visualisation of the results we came up with.

Year after year, under Labour, the poverty rate decreased in the UK. Experts say that it is mainly due to various government aid initiatives, and many say that it was at the expense of a more sustainable long term plan -  well, looking at the deficit they just might just have a point!  Managing an entire country's budget, much like managing a personal budget, is without a shadow of a doubt hard. You need to balance and instill the right work ethic in the population and match that with a competitive global presence and mix that with jobs. Overall, you need to bring in more than goes out and you do so mainly by producing things, or offering services and selling them to people outside your economy - in doing so, you build up a surplus.  Are the American (and possibly other western populations) poor really in this mess because they are lazy (27% of Americans think so) or is it because they don’t have the right work ethic (49% of Americans think this is all it would take!)?

I’ll leave this article with a famous quote from the Conservative MP Norman Tebbit when responding to a question on unemployment “I grew up in the 30’s with an unemployed father. He didn’t riot. He got on his bike and looked for work, and he kept looking ‘til he found it.”


Add this infographic to your blog or website

975 pixels wide:

550 pixels wide: