Poverty in America, The Big Picture

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Johnny Oxygen
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Poverty in America, The Big Picture

Poverty in America, The Big Picture

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article24280.html

“In August 2004, the U.S. Census Bureau reported a poverty rate of 12.7 percent. This was the rate used by government economists and politicians to determine expenditures for numerous government programs.  

However, the Census Bureau added that this rate could be as high as 19.4 percent or as low as 8.3 percent depending on how income and basic living expenses were treated.  

I for one feel that the real poverty rate in America is much closer to the 19.4 percent figure (and most likely even higher) due to the unwillingness of Washington to update its criteria for poverty levels.  

And over the next two decades, as the majority of America’s estimated 76 million baby boomers are expected to retire in poverty, the real poverty numbers could easily surpass 30 percent (more on this in Chapters Eight and Nine). According to the U.S. Census’ conservative formula for poverty, in 2004 there were: 

• 37.0 million Americans in poverty (12.7%), up from 35.9 million (12.5%) in 2003 

• 7.9 million American families in poverty (10.2%), up from 7.6 million in 2003 

As defined by the Office of Management and Budget and updated for inflation using the Consumer Price Index, the average poverty threshold for a family of four in 2004 was an income of $19,307; for a family of three, $15,067; for a family of two, $12,334; and for unrelated individuals, $9,645.  

How is it that record oil prices have not allowed for upward adjustments in these levels? Keep in mind that inflation of basic necessities such as food, energy, and healthcare affects the poor by a much larger factor than wealthier Americans because they have less to spend on other items. Thus, inflation of basic necessities becomes a tax on low- and middle-income Americans.”

 

 

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deggleton
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Re: Poverty in America, The Big Picture

JO,

Thanks for this.  Because of the way we sort ourselves, the reality can be out of sight, out of mind.

David

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TNdancer
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Re: Poverty in America, The Big Picture

"Thus, inflation of basic necessities becomes a tax on low- and middle-income Americans.”

Well, given it is the policy of our government to have inflation via a debt based money system, seems the blame lies with CONgress that unconstitutionally gave over control of the money supply to a private banking cartel and continues to allow them to subject us to a debt based money system.   IF congress would remove the bankers hands filling the member's pockets and return us to an honest gold and silver based money, inflation would, for the most part, go away.

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Nate
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Re: Poverty in America, The Big Picture

I'll bite.

Poverty, A Bigger Picture.

The US represents 4% of the worlds population and consumes 25% of its energy.  Our "poor" today live better than the poor in most or the world and extremely better than the poor have in history.  What makes this generation of poor so special?   Or us working stiffs for that matter?

What is a larger problem in the US - hunger or obesiety?  Most of the medical issues of the poor in this nation are self induced.  Highest drinking and smoking rates?  Lowest activity rates?  Highest rates of STDs?

The inlaws delivered food baskets for "the poor" last Thanksgiving.  They got tired walking through smoky rooms and  stepping around empty beer bottles to deliver free food.  They got sick to their stomachs when whole turkeys were tossed in dumpsters.  They will not do this again.

Time to change my name.

Social Darwinist

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Johnny Oxygen
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Re: Poverty in America, The Big Picture
Nate wrote:

I'll bite.

Poverty, A Bigger Picture.

The US represents 4% of the worlds population and consumes 25% of its energy.  Our "poor" today live better than the poor in most or the world and extremely better than the poor have in history.  What makes this generation of poor so special?   Or us working stiffs for that matter?

What is a larger problem in the US - hunger or obesiety?  Most of the medical issues of the poor in this nation are self induced.  Highest drinking and smoking rates?  Lowest activity rates?  Highest rates of STDs?

The inlaws delivered food baskets for "the poor" last Thanksgiving.  They got tired walking through smoky rooms and  stepping around empty beer bottles to deliver free food.  They got sick to their stomachs when whole turkeys were tossed in dumpsters.  They will not do this again.

Time to change my name.

Social Darwinist

I think poverty encompasses more than food and social diseases. Are the 'poor' suppose to be more noble than others? Should they be held to a higher standard because they are poor? Or is what you are really saying is that poor people are lazy so they deserve to be poor and live in squaller, after all you don't have to be poor if you don't want to...right?

You should run for office. A lot of people would love to jump on your bandwagon of disgust for those wretched poor people. Maybe we could round them up and put them in a camp and placate them with cigarettes, booze and sex so we wouldn't have to look at them anymore.

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Nate
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Re: Poverty in America, The Big Picture

JO,

I'm taking a big picture view.  Is it equitable when 4% of the worlds population consumes 25% of the world's wealth?  I'm defining poor through the ages, not during peal oil and peak standard of living times.  We live in a very thin slice of time that is not sustainable.  Take a broader view.

My folks were part of a religious commune.  It survived from 1715 to 1932.  Why did it collapse?  The "lazy" people decided handouts worked fine for them.  The others said "I'm out of here".  So let's reinvent the flat tire.  Those that don't learn from history............

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TNdancer
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Re: Poverty in America, The Big Picture
Johnny Oxygen wrote:

 Maybe we could round them up and put them in a camp and placate them with cigarettes, booze and sex so we wouldn't have to look at them anymore.

 

Rounding them up isn't required..take a tour of any public housing project.

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wvcaveman
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Re: Poverty in America, The Big Picture

Having a discussion about poverty and didn't invite me?

 

Nate: "The US represents 4% of the worlds population and consumes 25% of its energy.  Our "poor" today live better than the poor in most or the world and extremely better than the poor have in history."

 

Agreed. The U.S. and other 'industrialized' regions use a rather disproportionate amount of the world's resources. Of course when you're saying that the poor live better it still depends on what poor you're talking about, and what historical times and places you're talking about, and what you mean by 'living better.'

On the first point, while a 'poor' person such as myself may enjoy all the basic ammenities of modern life, there are some who don't have a car, a roof, or any secure food supply. On the second point, it depends what time and place you're talking about. Some people in history have endured severe hardship on a daily basis trying to eek out survival. Others may have had little, and certainly had their hardships, but had their basic human needs met and were relatively happy. On the third point, what is living better? Is it having a car? A gas furnace? Electricity? In my view all the material wealth in our country does little to make life better. The average middle class person is a slave to meaningless work and a social standard that deprives one of their basic human needs better than it supplies them. In terms of friendships, meaning, personal reflection, opportunities to be meaningfully creative and a sense of connection, United Statesers as a whole are far poorer than many people throughout history, even in times and places that are considered as having been rough. That is of course a little off the point of the article though, which is relative poverty. According to countless studies in human perception, it doesn't matter how much you have, you feel poor if you are relatively poor according to your society's standards. Meaning of course that just because I have a car and some basic comforts, I should still feel poor because I cannot afford more than just the very basics. My biggest 'extra' expense is the internet that I'm using right now, and such things as new clothes are a luxury. Should, because I am poor by my society's standards, but there's a personal element to it as well: On public assistance I'm living far better in terms of material wealth and food security while supporting a child than I did before I had a child, when I was living with my brother and working at a minimum wage job. During that time I was practically starving, I would actually walk for miles in the blazing heat of the summer or in the pouring rain of fall for a bowl of top ramen. On the other hand I was far happier at that time because I had liberty and control over my own life.

 

Nate: "What is a larger problem in the US - hunger or obesiety?  Most of the medical issues of the poor in this nation are self induced.  Highest drinking and smoking rates?  Lowest activity rates?  Highest rates of STDs?"

 

Those problems are hardly unique to the poor in the United States, but in any case you're dealing with a population that has become largely hopeless. The same MSM that indoctrinates middle classers to behave foolishly (debt, false needs) indoctrinates the poor to be hopeless about their condition, on top of the hopelessness that they naturally feel. Drugs and sex offer escape. Furthermore, the 'affordable' food is grossly unhealthy. Many fat united statesers are nutritionally starving. Oh yeah, not to mention we've all been indoctrinated to eat this way... And while we're on the subject of health, the main killer for the poor is the same as for the middle class: stress.

 

Nate: "The inlaws delivered food baskets for "the poor" last Thanksgiving.  They got tired walking through smoky rooms and  stepping around empty beer bottles to deliver free food.  They got sick to their stomachs when whole turkeys were tossed in dumpsters.  They will not do this again."

 

Dingy living conditions, refer to point above, people with no hope. Good food thrown away, disgusting but on the other hand, we are in a throwin' awayin' culture and the poor are by no means exempt. This is again a result of indoctrination, and quite deliberate. I have a number of things that were perfectly good and destined to be hauled to a landfill before I intervened. I know people who get a new toy, device, whatever you want to call it and throw the old one (still perfectly good) away. Good food thrown away by supposedly needy people because they didn't feel like dealing with a whole turkey? Somehow I'm not any less sympathetic after all of the perfectly good stuff I've seen thrown away by people who figure their 'wealth' excuses them from caring than for those throwing away turkeys.

I'm not excusing anything, mind you. My point is this: Social Darwinist? Fine, just as long as you don't exclude the U.S. middle class from the 'destined for extinction' category.

Furthermore, we'd all be a lot richer by remembering what real wealth is and getting back to our roots as human beings. I point out that we've been indoctrinated to be the creatures we are, but to nature that's no excuse and the choice is ultimately ours how we will live or die collectively.

 

TNdancer: "Rounding them up isn't required..take a tour of any public housing project."

 

Rode on a plane lately? I think you're in the camp too...

 

-wvcaveman

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xraymike79
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Posts: 2040
Re: Poverty in America, The Big Picture

Beautiful post, WVcaveman.

I especially like this line:

"Furthermore, we'd all be a lot richer by remembering what real wealth is and getting back to our roots as human beings. I point out that we've been indoctrinated to be the creatures we are, but to nature that's no excuse and the choice is ultimately ours how we will live or die collectively."

Words to ponder.

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