The problem of povertyMore than 46 million Americans live below the official poverty line—which is now approximately $22,314 for a family of four—and 16.4 million children are poor in this country. Inequality of wealth has reached record highs—it is greater than at any time since 1929. Growing portions of the nation’s wealth are concentrated in the possession of a small fraction of households, while more than one third of the U.S. population is trying to get by on incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty line—or about $44,000 for a family of four. Well before the current economic crisis, 6 million low-income households were paying more than half their income on rent and utilities, or lived in severely substandard housing. And the most recent data for 2010 revealed that 48.8 million people, including 16.2 million children, lived in a household struggling against hunger.