Skip to comments.HOW POOR ARE WE, REALLY?
Posted on 07/20/2011 6:32:21 AM PDT by shortstop
Poverty rose significantly in America last year.
Thats what the government says.
Common sense, however, says something different.
Common sense says that, compared to the standard of history and the rest of the world, there is no poverty in America.
Dont shoot me yet.
Im not saying people dont have it hard. Im not saying people dont have financial catastrophes. Im not saying there isnt an economic underclass. Im not saying people dont go to bed wondering where theyre going to find the money they need.
I know about financial hard times.
And I know about doing without.
But I dont think there is poverty in America.
Not true poverty.
Face it, most of our poor people are fat. And have cable TV.
And a cell phone, with customized rings. And a bed and a roof and inside plumbing and a benefits card to keep the refrigerator filled.
Poor people in America can afford cigarettes and beer, or marijuana. Poor people in America get the best health care in the world.
That all may sound like an unfair indictment of the poor, or as some insensitive screed, but the simple fact is that, no matter how hard things get, nobody in America needs to go to bed hungry or go to bed outdoors.
Many do, but mostly it is because of their own choices or incompetence or because of the neglect of their parents. Services and benefits are available to all, from the government and from charities, and those who end up going without are usually those who have squandered their opportunities or allotments.
Compared to what our ancestors knew, or what the rest of the world faces, American poverty is a walk in the park. Poor people in America live better than hundreds of millions of people in nations around the globe. They have not only the necessities, but many of the luxuries of life.
And yet there is great discontent, as entitlement has replaced gratitude and extravagance has become a right. We see suffering where there truly is none and identify poverty where it doesnt truly exist.
The question is: Why?
The answer is that poverty, as we define it, has become a powerful tool for social engineers and politicians. Specifically, it is the lever being used to push our country into socialism.
By broadly and incorrectly declaring poverty, activists attack our economic system from the top and from the bottom. By creating the perception of poverty, they give themselves an argument for more social welfare programs. By pointing at the supposedly impoverished, they make the argument for expanded government compassion.
That increases the load on taxpayers and hastens the transfer of wealth from those who produce to those who dont produce. It creates the social expectation contrary to our national tradition that the poor have claim on the resources of the non-poor.
By doing this, the concept of individual property rights is eroded. If money is the means of acquiring property, and increased amounts of money can be taxed to support the poor, then the possession of property is substantially jeopardized. And a fundamental American freedom is endangered.
Broadly defining poverty also creates class envy and division, which is the engine of socialism. Increasing the number of people who see themselves as poor increases the constituency for more entitlement programs or policies. It also fosters anger on the part of the supposedly impoverished, which creates social instability.
As poverty grows, so does the government. As taxation rises, freedom falls.
Both dangerous trends are encouraged by our mistaken concept of poverty. It seems like a minor matter, just one more government statistic, but it is a major thread in the spiders web that entangles our national liberties.
Certainly, times can be hard. Money can be exasperating. Bankruptcy and economic failure are real. Many families struggle throughout their lives with money issues.
But nobody said life would be free of struggle.
And nobody should think that the difficulties faced by the poorest of Americans are anything like the daily reality of millions around the globe.
Who would be offended if you told them they were poor.
The question is: Why?
Because We have discovered that We can vote ourselves largesse from the public treasury.
we kill babies by the million each year. we’re less than zero.
People in our country don’t know what poverty is. They should all spend some time in a third-world country watching people eat out of garbage dumps and sleeping in cardboard shanty towns.
One would think the present state of affairs would inspire patriotism in the high minded. That the country that helped them out today will be the same country they aspire to be in a position to help out tomorrow. However, not too many can accept welfare with that kind of dignity and resolve, instead throwing themselves pity parties. Like the article says if you want to see POOR then go visit a place like Calcutta and its cardboard shacks.
A large portion of the county is very low income folks that have traditionally lived on government subsidy or retired union and education workers who are collecting pensions. None of them feel any pain as their lives have not changed other than the price of gas and commodities.
The main industries here are charitable non-profits, second hand stores, food banks and farmer's markets. The most populated district is in the only incorporated town that is home of the county seat. It is home to an aging population of hippies and people dependent completely on subsidies of some sort has 80 - 85% voter turn out and votes well over 70% democrat.
“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” Albert Camus
By historical and world standards, every person in this country is wealthy. Most of them fabulously wealthy.
A guy Mark Steyn was interviewing on Rush’s show yesterday claimed the Federal government spends 4X more on poverty programs than it would if they just wrote checks to bring everyone in the country below it up to the poverty line (which is pretty darn high actually). That doesn’t even count all the state and local programs.
Hundreds of thousands of people in the poverty industry would be out of work if our statistical people didn't proclaim a ridiculous percentage of the country to be poor.
Being broke is a temporary economic situatio. Being poor is much more permanent because it is a state of mind.
The US poverty line is 20x the world median income.
If you’re making more - a lot more - than half the people on the planet, you’re not poor.
Our poor are fat and irrigate their lawns with drinking water.
How crazy wealthy is that?
Exactly, there are no poor in this country. Poor is an absolute, not relative, term.
“how rich are you?”
In my circle of acquaintances, the loudest “tax the rich” mouths are a curious bunch. They come from upper middle class homes, live in upper middle class neighborhoods, privately educate their children and are well educated themselves.
One lives in a house that would go on the market for 500K, drives a Mercedes, has at best guess a $20K-25K private school tuition bill (the family lives within walking distance of one of the best public high schools in the state), and this is the first year the family has vacationed in the US in the past few years and that was due to a family reunion.
I NEVER see/hear about participation in fundraising/charities outside of school auctions.
I am wondering if class warfare is more for a certain group to “Keep up with the Jones’s” without the discipline and the work ethic of the Jones’s.
We are not really poor we are criminally mismanaged.
I plugged 23500, the poverty level for a family of four, and it shows that family in the top 3% of the richest people in the world. Then the site asks for money....
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