Although we didn't know it for a while, my siblings and I grew up relatively poor on Chapman St. in Presque Isle, Maine. Yes sir, and it sure didn't help that we were half Native American either.

My dear old, blue-collar dad--who by the way passed away in 2010 at the tender age of 95--worked his butt off at the Coca Cola Bottling plant for many years to feed a houseful of 6 kids (eventually 8 kids as we had two cousins move in). It was tough, but we managed to get by. We all learned to work at menial and back labor jobs to pay for the things we needed to make it. I share this because I have a great deal of empathy for those trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty.

What's unfortunate is that poverty in America today has grown exponentially. There are so many contributing factors it's ridiculous. It's safe to say that many poor Americans have or are just about ready to throw in the towel.

24/7 Wall Street has released a report on the 10 poorest states in America. You may find some comfort in knowing that Maine is not on the list. Mississippi, however, grabs the number 1 spot as the place considered an economic black hole. In fact, there are many southern states on the list.

It's a pretty eye-opening story. Click here and check it out for yourself: 10 Poorest