And then there are the people who really are living on the edge of destitution, eviction and being frozen out of society (in the colder states, quite literally); the article Chart of the day: The working poor by Felix Salmon (Reuters) has this to say:
“Nearly 1 in 3 working families in the United States, despite their hard work, are struggling to meet basic needs. The plight of these families now challenges a fundamental assumption that in america, work pays. […] The workers in these families have a much greater risk of becoming unemployed than the population as a whole, and of course they’re financially much less prepared for any period of unemployment than most of the rest of us.”
The chart below shows the 200% of poverty level income for various family sizes. The census reports that 30% of the working families in America are at or below this line. More proof of the lopsided distribution of wealth and prosperity in an increasingly expensive society.