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The true poverty level

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posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 09:46 PM
Let me start by saying i am new here and this is my first real post i'm sorry if i put this in the wrong section but i think it fits. I read a blog post about the real poverty level and it is nothing like the 9% you would see in the mainstream media. Here is a link if you want to check it out i hope you find it as interesting as i did.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 09:56 PM
I would like to discuse this with people who read this

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 09:57 PM
Ehh i dunno about that list, i could and do chop a ton off that list. That list is the list of someone that needs to keep up appearances. I drive a $1000 car that works fine, so no car payment. I live with two people and my rent is $270. $332 a month on food can easily be cut by shopping at the right place.i go without health insurance, my employer doesn't offer it anyways. I almost hit the floor laughing at Life Insurance being a Necessity, yea that's out the door. Savings as well, that's a laugher these days. i don't have cable, just internet. i personally do not have a student loan but that's reasonable for others.

No matter how ya chop it the amount of people actually in poverty is a lot higher than 9% agreed with the OP. then there are the people that have the house and cars but are in debt up to their eyeballs and its just a matter of time before stuff starts going.

I just thought that list was a list of someone trying to keep up appearances and not truly living on a budget because at 70K a year I'd be made in the shade son. even at 35K a year I'd be just fine by myself. unfortunately i make a lot less than both those numbers so i feel justified in commenting on poverty.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 10:02 PM

The Monthly Foundational Basics

Rent – $1,000

Car Insurance – $144.66

Cell Phone – $73

Utilities – $264.33

Cable/Internet – $100.63

Food – $332

Gas – $220

Car Payment – $466

10% savings for retirement – $385

College loan payment – $575

Life Insurance – $33

Health Insurance – $402

As you can see, there is nothing “excessive” on the above list and I know we can all agree that this looks pretty basic and sound. Do you know what this means? It means you need to make, as a single adult, $69,600 a year ($70 grand) to have NO money left over! Let me say it again:


Your source

I think this guy does have a point but, a lot of things on that list are NOT my idea of necessities.

Cable bill and saving for retirement? Pffft. Not in the real world if you are just scraping by. Also, how many single people really pay $1000.00 a month for rent? That would get you a pretty fine apartment in most markets.

Real people live in crappy apartments, drive crappy used cars and still manage to live off a lot less than this guy is estimating.

The inflated numbers blow his whole argument. He needs to find out what REAL people pay for their expenses and recalculate if he wants any credibility.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 10:02 PM
I agree that people don't need all of those things but alot of people do have most of those payments. Either way the news tries to make it sound better then it really is.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 10:04 PM
reply to post by FortAnthem

Where i live the very cheapest apt is 600 a month i know cuz i live in one lol. I know some people around here that pay around 950 for a one bedroom. It sounds crazy but its true.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 10:12 PM
Our income is about 35k a year for a family of 3.
These numbers are off to me -
Cell Phone, cable tv, car payment - all luxuries to me
Food is MORE than that by a bit to feed everyone since we rarely eat out but we like to eat good food.
No way I can save that much tho.


The weird thing that drove it home to me was my husband talking about how men used to go to the barber shop.
I can REMEMBER all the men going once every week or two for a cut and shave and the women going every week - even the 'poor' women.

Now everyone I know is trying to do their hair at home with clippers and Loreal.
edit on 15-3-2011 by hadriana because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 10:19 PM
reply to post by FortAnthem

In there he even says "Yes, you can get 5 roommates and cut that rent payment down, yes, you can go without cable to save some cash, but even if we cut this list in HALF..IN HALF, you still would have a practical poverty level of $35,000/yr and remember, that is still going to be with no furniture, no books, and no batteries for your remote." I think for anyone that lived in a city would agree with this.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 10:23 PM

Originally posted by badgerman24
reply to post by FortAnthem

Where i live the very cheapest apt is 600 a month i know cuz i live in one lol. I know some people around here that pay around 950 for a one bedroom. It sounds crazy but its true.

$600 sounds more realistic to me. The people paying $1000 for a single either don't know how to shop around or they are paying for luxury amenities like swimming pool and exercise room access.

The article says the govt calls $10,830/yr the poverty level for a single person. Maybe if they live at home and their parents pay for their food. Otherwise that's WAY less than anyone could live off of in this country.

He says that this is based on "foundational expenses"; IMO, that would be rent, food and utilities ONLY.

His list makes him sound like a spoiled rich kid who doesn't know what life is like in the real world yet. I think he's trying to make a good point about poverty in America but, like I said, his numbers are WAY off base and hurt his credibility.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 10:28 PM
Just wondering do you live in a big city or more of a rural area?

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 10:33 PM
ok how about real figures

my rent 700 month... i share rent with a family they pay 1100
Car/gas/auto insurance..couldn't afford those sold my car
insurance and maintenance..................................................................................... 0

cell phone--- requirement from work they pay half so my portion..........................45

utilities --- i pay the electricity and gas they pay water garbage and sewer......325

cable/internet--- i don't go out because it cost a fortune to go to the movies... 125

food --- 300 is 10 dollars a day i buy my food separately from my roomies ... 350

college loan payment--- only 12k left on it though ................................................250

health/life/dental/vision--- my employer pays for 100% of that 7,800 a year for
myself. However the divorce decree ordered that if my employer supplies it i
must purchase it for my children i personally never use it.....................................465

(I have no problem with the above or below item, i would gladly go without food
etc. to make sure my children are cared for.)

child support................................................................................................................300

that's 2560.00 a month that's 30,720.00 a year i must take home to break even...
i earned 42k last year i took home 28k
( i didnt include federal/ state or city taxes in my figures i am taxed at 28% about) sales tax here is 8.75%)
and no im not dating...who can afford that?
not complaining just saying that is the typical position i and 99% of my friends are in right now...

that is why our nation is in a poverty crisis
BTW in my city the cheapest apt. i know of....i used to live there, is 1050.00 for a 1 bdrm
edit on 15-3-2011 by CaDreamer because: dang typo faries !!!

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 10:37 PM
wow cadreamer The money may be spent on diff things but the outcome is still the same.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 10:43 PM
i agree that's why i posted my living expenses .. the article rang true and i felt that the list was a bit wrong as well if your poor... you don't have luxuries like listed there but your right i am still underwater no matter how you slice it... i should have put my dental bills and credit cards too but then it would have been too depressing...i maxed out all my cards on dental and medical yes i said i don't use my insurance practically though i use my dental a lot and that runs over 1000 a year and my Dr visit co-pays ... my Dr drives an Aston martin...i drive a Schwinn

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 10:43 PM
If I had health insurance, life insurance, car insurance, a car payment, a house payment/rent, or TV I would be dirt poor, but since I do have the internet I am rich beyond my years!

To be honest I have only had health insurance twice in my life, only once I took advantage of it and had a hernia repair.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 10:50 PM
I just think its amazing that this list dosn't contain any extras, like going to a movie or even getting a red box movie twice a week. NOTHING other then (what most people consider) needs.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 11:03 PM
I agree with what most everyone has said here. The original article is written by someone who has never been dirt poor.

My experience and that of most of the people I know has been first, you pay the student loan then, when that's paid you might indulge in the luxury of a car payment for 1 or 2 cars and then, you MAYBE think about planning for retirement, if you choose to have no children.

What's really sad is there is still this layer of people that really do think what was in the original article is bare bones. I work with one... she thinks she's suffering when she can't take her dog in for a professional bath. Mind you, her dog is a 10 pound short hair russell terrier.

One additional comment... it's really sad if you're carrying that kind of debt load from student loans and can't secure a job with said education that will pay enough to MORE than offset the payments.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 11:08 PM

Originally posted by badgerman24
reply to post by FortAnthem

The article says the govt calls $10,830/yr the poverty level for a single person. Maybe if they live at home and their parents pay for their food. Otherwise that's WAY less than anyone could live off of in this country.

He says that this is based on "foundational expenses"; IMO, that would be rent, food and utilities ONLY.

Ok I just have to:

According to your "foundational expenses", A person would have to basically:

Get up in the mourning, eat and walk to work naked and stinky. No sundries,or clothing in your "foundational expenses". No transportation either (weather it be mass transit, your own car or car pooling , all involve money). Of course there is no room in your "foundational expenses" for cookware or any of the basics for cooking either, but I will assume the person has them and they never need to be replaced.

Work and walk home from work. (All this walking, how many miles away do you feel a person should be able to walk to work and back everyday regardless of weather..again naked.)..

Get home, eat and basically stare a a blank wall till they fall asleep on the floor.
Remember, no entertainment, cable, TV, Movies, Dating (At least for the guys, women possibly could get away with no money for this..but again naked and stinky..well maybe naked would help
, maybe books if they can walk to the library and back after walking to and from work everyday. Really no social life at all, of course there are some free things to do, but the vast majority of the time when people socialize, it involves at least some money. No furniture, so that means the floor for everything, relaxing, sleeping, eating etc, also does not help for a social life.

Sleep, get up (again assuming they have a clock..again not included in your expenses) to work.......

What about days off, stare at a wall, I guess the library would work, but honestly, is it really appropriate to expect one to read and stare at walls on all their "living" time? I guess they could walk to a second job, but then we are talking about the poverty and today's economics.

Now I was being silly with some of the post (the naked and stinky...hehehe), but the point is somebody could not be expected to live their lives this way. We need more than just to be drones to the workplace and have nothing else but the basics to survive, what is the point of surviving like this. More than likely one who has to live this way would either turn to crime or end their lives.

I agree that the numbers in the OP article are high, and honestly most people do live well on less, but people need more than just enough to survive, I am not talking about fancy cars or even cars at all for that matter, or big screen televisions,top end cable packages or other luxury items but when considering poverty, you must also consider there is more to life than just the basics of roof, food and utilities.

edit on 15-3-2011 by Dreamwatcher because: Quote fail

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 11:09 PM
S. Frog i know quite a few people who can NOT find jobs for what they went to school for.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 11:27 PM
plus if you do own a car with gas prices now i think people pay more then $220 a month.

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 11:43 PM
If anything this article, and the replies, show me that we're becoming conditioned to the concept of poverty and to a kind of elitism towards those who fall into financially dire straits. Seventy grand may bit a bit more than "bare necessities", but it is arguably close. At least if one feels that a good worker is entitled to the expectation of some sort of quality of life. Working people do deserve to have more than just exactly what is required for subsistence, no?

Unfortunately we've become a minimum wage nation. And we have a hypocrisy about it all. We still buy into the paradigm of feeling that anyone working for minimum wage deserves to be making minimum wage - even as our local Taco Bells get staffed, more and more often, by people with degrees who cannot find other work. We still hang on to antiquated ideas, such as that people with jobs have access to medical insurance. This is increasingly untrue.

If a full time worker cannot exist on their wage, do we question the system? Nope. We blame the worker. We think, to ourselves, "Lazy ass needs to get a second job if he likes eating so much." Never mind looking at the trillion dollar multinational that insists on paying a minimum wage to its workers. Trying to make businesses pay a reasonable living wage is "socialism". I hear this often on ATS.

Just as I hear the mindless mantra, when anyone posts about money troubles, "You can't be that broke - you have a computer and Internet." Well... I am close to broke and have Internet. It's cheap Internet and, for the price of a few DVD rentals I have entertainment and information 24/7. It's a bargain.

I think that, ultimately, we need to stop worrying about how minimalistic we can get poor people to live - and start worrying about the fact that we live in a culture that seems hell bent upon decimating the middle class and determined to make workers into wage slaves.


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