| ||Squeezed by rising living costs, a record number of Americans -- nearly 1 in 2 -- have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income. The latest census data depict a middle class that's shrinking as unemployment stays high and the government's safety net frays. The new numbers follow years of stagnating wages for the middle class that have hurt millions of workers and families.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.
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