Well, Maybe not everyone.
Back during the Regain Presidency, many institutionalized people were turned out onto Americas streets. Social Welfare programs were cut to the bone forcing those with marginal incomes into homelesness as well. With no or seriously reduced resources some gravitated to homeless camps. Others wandered aimlessly as the so called "street people.
But that wasn't the only attack he made on the humble. Many living in poverty were driven into homelesness by the reductions the Reagan administration made to social services. The services keeping those in poverty afloat. Without these support programs the poor had no choice but to sink into the ranks of the homeless.
In the homeless camps, like the one shown on the upper left, you might see a variety of shelters from refrigerator boxes to beat up tarps to worn out tents, most likely scavenged from curbside trash. Nothing is permanent.
The street people carried what little worldly goods they had in plastic bags, the luckier ones perhaps a beat up back pack. Still luckier were those who managed to latch onto a bent and beat up shopping cart with a cracked wheel that thumped along to the rhythm of their steps.
Approximately 0.02% of the U.S. population is homeless. That's around half a million people.
The current poverty level threshold for an individual is $12,700 annually. In New York state, except for the New York City and surrounding areas, the minimum wage is $9.70. If your lucky enough to have a 40 hour per week, 50 week per year job, that amounts to $19,400 annually. Fine, and good luck with that!
For a family of four the poverty level is $26,000. At 9.70 per hour, it would take around 2,680 hours, 53.6 hours per week minimum, to earn that amount! Really good luck with that.
13% of the U.S. population lives at or below this level. This class may not be homeless, but they struggle. Working at or below their State's minimum wage, with limited hours, few benefits and hard, hard work, they barely stay afloat even with public assistance like food stamps. For families, decisions that need to be made are brutal; do we eat today or do we buy our medication. But for now, they are better off than the homeless, a class above. Most of the time, they have shelter, food on the table and clothes on their backs. For the single parent, the demands are more brutal still.
If they're lucky, they may be living in pubic, rent assisted housing like shown on the right. If not so lucky, they may find themselves at the mercy of a slum-lord's rundown but still standing excuse for living space.
But still, compared to the Homeless, they have hope. Hope for a higher paying job that can lead the out of poverty and into the Working-class. But for now, these are the folks doing the work no one really wants to do.
The Working Class is the backbone of the U.S. Economy. The goods they manufacture and the services they provide are the product that represents our National Wealth. This class includes those who have retired from the workforce to enjoy their "Golden Years."
Most of these folks live in fine homes, often have his and her automobiles parked in their two-car garage, have a well stocked freezer/refrigerator, an education fund for their children's Collage edrucation and a cache of dollars for their retirement (if they're not already enjoying one).
These are the folks who define our Society. As a group, they provide everything we need to feed, shelter and keep ourselves safe; the butchers, the backers and, yea, the candle-stick makers. For many, being part of this class represents the "American Dream."
The Ten Percenters
The One Percent