Ah, to be poor.

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But what does it exactly mean to be poor?

That is where the so-called Poverty Line comes into play.

According to Wiki, the Proverty line (also known as the poverty threshold, poverty limit or breadline) is, "the minimum level of income deemed adequate in a particular country.  The poverty line is usually calculated by finding the total cost of all the essential resources that an average human adult consumes in one year."

Okay, sounds simple enough, right?

Well, it isn't because these numbers are wildly disheartening.

According to APP.com,  "a single working parent with two children in New Jersey could survive on just under \$21,000 in 2019," based on federal standards.

Twenty one thousand dollars? For an entire year? For THREE people?

Yea, maybe they could survive if they eat bologna and cereal for 365 days straight.

When looking 2022 numbers, a family of three would need \$23,030 according to federal guidelines. That number gets raised to \$32,470 for a family of five.

Luckily, officials are speaking up because this number is bogus, unrealistic and is setting up people for failure.

"Anyone living in New Jersey knows that's not accurate," Shivi Prasad, director of the Poverty Research Institute according to APP.com.  "The key thing to really talk about whenever you want to address something or fix something is, the first thing you need to do is acknowledge the problem."

Yea, you ain't kidding.

Let's say the average monthly rent is \$1,450 per month - which is on the low end of reality. Each year, that comes to \$17,400 in living expenses alone. That is 82% of income when on this "poverty line."

Therefore, officials are calling for a different equation be used for New Jersey since we have a higher cost of living than in other states.

According to APP.com, when numbers are crunched according to actual cost of living, the new poverty line for a family of three in New Jersey is \$70,372 to "escape poverty." To get by, that number is raised up to \$74,372.

A family of five needs at least \$99,112.

These numbers are wild to me and I am going to tell you why.

When you first get out of college, most occupations are not offering much over \$50K for a first job.

I remember thinking, "Okay, I am supposed to be poor in my 20's to put my time in."

Then you have to work your way up. The average raise in New Jersey is no more than 3.17% which equates to about \$1,500 give or take.

Working your way up to an affordable salary takes years in the Garden State with most hourly jobs coming nowhere close to sufficient.

Do you want to know what these numbers scream to me? That we are trying to make it difficult for people to survive here.

The elite 20% richest in the world are not the only ones who should be able to afford a decent home, a beach house for a week or vacation at the shore during the Summertime.

And people should be able to do so without working three jobs to make it happen.

I don't know what the answer is because part of things being more expensive is because of things happening outside this country.

But something needs to be done fast before New Jersey has a population of 20 -- because they will be the only ones who can afford it here.

Speaking of:

## LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.