Maybe it's the other way round? Systemic and increasing poverty is a sign of a weakening country, unemployment is high and the country is bitterly divided on what should be done about it all these things contribute to a weaker Union.
This nation has already been weakened. It may be attributed to poverty but I think that it is greed that is weakening America. Trying to get every ounce of profit from the consumer has given us the likes of pink slime meat, out of control medical costs, gas prices jockeyed by Wall street speculation, gas and oil drilling that threatens the ecololgy, genetically altered food, Bernie Madoff, inside trading by Congressmen, improperly tested pharmaceuticals, oil spill in the Gulf, childrens toys with lead paint, legislation paid for by lobbyists and a dwindling middle class.
The country is already weakened by explosive expansion of government and a quasimonopolistic corporate system that is effectively a part of the state. The decline of independent small business, a commensurate rise in poverty and powerlessness among private people, and the erosion of the middle class are results, not causes. To alleviate those symptoms, it is necessary to cure the underlying disease, which is to say first to reform and dramatically reduce government, its authority, its wealth, and its ability to make up the law as it goes along. Whether or not the American people are still in any position to do that is the real question.