RANT: Poverty isn’t as “poor” here as elsewhere


Poverty just ain’t what it used to be
Posted: September 20, 2010
Roger Hedgecock  

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Government reports, cited by the Heritage Foundation, indicate that:

   * 43 percent of the “poor” own their own homes.

   * 80 percent of “poor” households have air conditioning. More than 67 percent of “poor” households have two or more rooms per person. The average poor American has more living space than the average resident of any major European city.

   * “Poor” American children eat more meat than higher-income American children and average protein intake 100 percent above the recommended levels. Obesity is the predominant health hazard to America’s “poor” children. “Poor” children in this country grow up to be on average one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than the average G.I. who stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II.

   * Some poorer families, of course, do experience temporary food shortages. But government surveys indicate that 89 percent of poor families have “enough” food to eat, while only 2 percent say they “often” do not have enough to eat.

   * Beyond the basics, according to the government, America’s “poor” are living better than most people on the planet.

   * 74 percent of “poor” households own a car; 31 percent own two or more cars.

   * 97 percent of “poor” households own a color TV; more than 50 percent own two or more color TVs.

   * 78 percent have a VCR or DVD player, and 62 percent have cable or satellite service.

   * 89 percent own microwave ovens, and more than one-third have automatic dishwashers.

The key to understanding the contradiction here is the way the government defines “poor.” An individual is poor (2009 figures) if making less than $10,830 a year. For a family of four, it’s $22.050. That sounds like real poverty given the cost of living these days. But the government does not count as “income” any income received from the government. If you get food stamps or WIC payments or Section 8 housing subsidies or a disability check, this income does not count as income.

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Like that African refugee said to the TV interviewer’s question: “Why do you want to come to America?”, this fellow, who was just skin and bones, responded “You have fat poor people there.”

We keep defining “poverty” strangely. It seems that our definition of poverty is very different form elsewhere. And, I am not in the least disparaging “the poor”.

• They’ve been imprisoned by the Gooferment’s propaganda and diktats.

• Throw in some self-delusion and some hustlers who make a living by flogging poverty while feathering their own nests.

• Stew in the inner city with the drug war, crime, and schools whose performance is criminal.

• Add a pinch of “liberal condescension” telling you that nothing is ever your fault and society owes you.

So how do we get out of this disaster.

☐ Ending the pseudo War on some Drugs would be a good start.

☐ Pardon non-violent drug offenders.

☐ Focus on crimes where there is a victim.

☐ End welfare for corporations; phase out welfare for people.

☐ End the warfare around the world and bring the troops home.

☐ End political pensions; convert bureaucrats’ pensions to 401ks.

☐ End Social Security and privatize it like Chile did in the 1970s.

☐ Nuke the FED and “commoditize” the dollar to restrict future Congresses from spending without taxing to pay for it.

And, recapture the American dream … … for everybody!

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