With American unemployment reaching an historic high and with 46 million people living in poverty, the American dream, opines The Globe & Mail's Michael Babad, is dead.
Two new reports this week illustrate the death of the American dream in the wake of the housing bust, the financial crisis and the recession.
The first, from the Brookings Institution, shows that the number of people living with poverty climbed by more than 12 million from 2000 to the end of the of the decade, bringing the overall number of impoverished Americans to an all-time high of 46 million.
That means more than 15 per cent of America's population lived below the poverty line, measured at $22,314 for a family of four, the group's study says.
"As the first decade of the 2000s drew to a close, the two downturns that bookended the period, combined with slow job growth between, clearly took their toll on the nationís less fortunate residents," Brookings said.
A second report, from the Pew Charitable Trusts, notes that by the third quarter of this year, about 32 per cent of America's 14 million unemployed had been without jobs for a year or longer.
This spans age groups, education levels and industries.