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16 million Americans living in "deep or severe poverty"

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Just as a select few executives are hitting highs never seen before, millions of others are dropping to depths not seen in decades. Even more predictably the negative growth has accelerated during the Bush years.

Based on the latest available US census data from 2005, the McClatchy Newspapers analysis found that almost 16 million Americans live in "deep or severe poverty" defined as a family of four with two children earning less than 9,903 dollars -- one half the federal poverty line figure.

For individuals the "deep poverty" threshold was an income under 5,080 dollars a year.

"The McClatchy analysis found that the number of severely poor Americans grew by 26 percent from 2000 to 2005," the US newspaper chain reported.

"That's 56 percent faster than the overall poverty population grew in the same period," it noted.

The surge in poverty comes alongside an unusual economic expansion.

"Worker productivity has increased dramatically since the brief recession of 2001, but wages and job growth have lagged behind. At the same time, the share of national income going to corporate profits has dwarfed the amount going to wages and salaries," the study found.
Well, at least our corporate executives are doing better than ever and that's all that really counts, right?

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