This is the quintessence of statistics-as-lie.
Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.Four out of five...struggle...with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for...wait for it...
See, this pasture-pies-masquerading-as-science study includes people like me, who 30+ years ago was a struggling 23-year-old newly married guy, living in a crappy part of Sacramento (on the edge of Oak Park, a notorious crime-ridden part of town), making under $10K per year. At that time in my life, it's safe to say that I was living in "near-poverty". But is my situation in 1982 really "a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream"? No more so than my economic situation now is a sign that Obamanomics lifted me from poverty to prosperity.
I'm not sure whom I'm more disgusted with: the quacks who published this study, or USA Today for giving it credence.