My theory is that anyone living in poverty only has themselves to blame, strictly based on mathematics and analysis based on my accounting back ground. Environmental factors, opportunities, blah blah blah, your mileage may vary. So lets take a look at the numbers. 2011 HHS Poverty Guidelines Poverty level for the US 48 is $10,890 for a single person, with an increase of $3,820 for each additional person. If we look at the math, someone earning only minimum wage 7.25, working a full year 40/52, should earn 15,080. We could throw taxes in the mix but lets face it, anyone in this income level is not going to be facing more than a combined effective tax rate of more than 20%, so even reducing the 15,080 by 20% still leaves 12,064. Based on assumptions of the job market, if you make yourself available for any shift, for any type of work, in any industry, in any part of the country, you WILL be able to secure a job making this minimum wage. If you cannot secure work you are either too proud, lazy, or have a criminal record that you are responsible for and is ultimately determining your employment or lack there of. And I firmly believe that not only would you be able to find one job, but you could have multiple jobs, whether you needed to or not. So now the most glaring factor to the poverty levels to me, would be the addition of people into a household, with a constant earning potential. If you're working a minimum wage job and you have a couple trophies at home, all the sudden you are again responsible for being below the poverty level. So this all comes back around to the all time high level of poverty thats been in the news recently. It just makes me wonder if this could have been prevented if people took a little more responsibility for their futures. Opinions?