U.S. Sets New Records in Poverty, Loss of Homes

foreclosed U.S. Sets New Records in Poverty, Loss of HomesToday is rapidly turning into a banner day horrible economic headlines, as several historic superlatives cross the wires. Thank goodness the world’s greatest deliberative body stopped its petty squabbling long enough to intervene!

For starters, the Census Bureau said the percentage of Americans living in poverty rose to 14 percent in 2009 from 13 percent in 2008 in what it called “the second statistically significant annual increase in the poverty rate since 2004.” There were 43.6 million people living below the poverty line, the largest absolute number of impoverished Americans on record. We can thank the Census Bureau for that news — hey, if you can’t save the economy, you might as well collect and distribute bad news about it instead, right?

And then there’s the data out from RealtyTrac, the company that has tasked itself with the depressing job of tallying foreclosures. According to its survey, one in every 381 homes has received a foreclosure filing at the end of August. Banks foreclosed on 95,364 homes, during the month, the highest monthly repossession rate on record.

Take heart, America. Even amid all the calamity, the number of millionaires in the U.S. has risen 8% for the year ended in June. Hooray.