Modern Poverty Includes A.C. and an Xbox

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posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 09:18 AM
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Some interesting data about the "poor" in America. Depite the news reports of America's poor living in shanty towns and tent cities, the reality is far different.

"Data from the Department of Energy and other agencies show that the average poor family, as defined by Census officials:

● Lives in a home that is in good repair, not crowded, and equipped with air conditioning, clothes washer and dryer, and cable or satellite TV service.

● Prepares meals in a kitchen with a refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave as well as oven and stove.

● Enjoys two color TVs, a DVD player, VCR and — if children are there — an Xbox, PlayStation, or other video game system.

● Had enough money in the past year to meet essential needs, including adequate food and medical care."

www.heritage.org...

A few relevant statistics percentage of "poor" folks who have various items

65.1% have more than one TV
63%.7 have cable or satellite TV
54.5 have a cell phone
49.3 have a non-portable stereo
38% have a PC
29.3% have internet service
29.3% have a video gaming system

Lets not suggest that folks are not having difficulty maintaining their lifestyle during these economic hard times.

Lets stop with the nonsense that someone with two TVs, cable TV and video games is poor. These are the folks who receive tax payer subsidies, what the left calls a "safety net".

I doubt that most tax payers would consider satellite TVs and cell phones vital components of the social safety net. Most would consider food, medical care, clothes and housing a safety net.

Its time to call what the current debate is all about and that is about redistributionism and socialism. Is it any wonder that the minority of folks who pay the taxes in this country don't want to pay more?

Its about time we had an honest discussion about what the objectives of our social policy are really all about because the current one, the one we have employeed since the Great Society in the 60s has been plain old socialism. The debate today is all about how far we want to extend it.


.



edit on 19-7-2011 by dolphinfan because: (no reason given)



+33 more 
posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 09:25 AM
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reply to post by dolphinfan
 


Awesome post!

People in the US are really out of touch with reality. People here commit suicide over the possibility of losing amenities that are unheard of for regular folks in other areas! We don't have roving gangs kidnapping our teens and forcing them into revolutionary guards. We don't have roving gangs killing, ransacking, and kidnapping our wives and daughters. We don't have gnats and bugs and squalor eating at the eyes of our children. We don't have to walk for hours to the nearest clean water.

Does anybody realize what a daily shower is really worth? A daily shower in high-quality drinkable water, that just runs down our drains.

Does anybody realize what 4 walls and a door are worth? A place to escape the mosquitoes, flies, and gnats.

In my opinion, those two things along with a decent amount of rice and/or oatmeal puts a family in extremely better condition than many other areas.

Thanks for the reminder! We need it from time to time.


+37 more 
posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 09:27 AM
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reply to post by dolphinfan
 


We the average and the rich should not pay more taxes.

The 1% that owns 99% of our nations wealth (the ones that are untouchable) should pay a LOT more in taxes.

Now that is fair redistribution of the wealth, you do not get that powerful without being a crook.


+100 more 
posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 09:34 AM
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Originally posted by dolphinfan


What a ridiculous article. The obvious intent (from Heritage Foundation, no less) is to make "haaaard wurkin' non-welfare" people think that all of these people are leaching off the government and are not working.

Almost all of those people are hardworking and half the people that will get steamed towards the "poor" people reading this are poor themselves and just don't know it. Poverty line for a single person is $35,000 by most standards. There are a lot of "poor" people who don't even know they are poor. It's not their fault that people like Heritage Foundation are whining on their behalf.

It detracts from the very real problem of a large portion of American society who truly does struggle day to day in order to pay electricity and feed their families. This article is a work of obvious propaganda to foster a class-war. Disgusting.
edit on 19-7-2011 by Cuervo because: deleted long quote


+91 more 
posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 09:36 AM
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reply to post by dolphinfan
 


Poor people have refrigerators? Oh boy! They have cell phones (instead of land line?) so they can actually hold jobs. Oh boy! They have a $1000 worth of stuff to keep them entertained. Oh boy!

Sounds so good that everyone should hope to be poor! I sure hope the OP is poor and can enjoy such a great life.

Two big thumbs down on this hateful post against 'poor" people. I see hundreds each day, with no roof over their head, no ac, no assets, nothing. I sure haven't seen any playstation under those bridges either.



posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 09:38 AM
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Originally posted by LoneGunMan
reply to post by dolphinfan
 


We the average and the rich should not pay more taxes.

The 1% that owns 99% of our nations wealth (the ones that are untouchable) should pay a LOT more in taxes.

Now that is fair redistribution of the wealth, you do not get that powerful without being a crook.


And that is exactly how it is. The average has not has a tax increase for a long time and is paying the lowest tax rate in modern history. Do some research instead of listening to that damn propaganda. If it comes out of the pundits mouths, chances are it is not true.



posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 09:39 AM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 


"Poverty Line" for a single person is about $10k!!

For a family making $30k to be considered "impoverished" they need to be a family of 7.

Federal Poverty Guidelines 2011

I know times are hard, and I know my family of 4 has an above average income, and lives a very nice lifestyle, but it doesn't seem like it! We barely get by from check to check. I know how things "feel tough," but are they really? I could sacrifice just about everything I am used to, and I could still find a way to make my kids happy and safe. In fact, we would probably be a better, and a closer family for it!



posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 09:42 AM
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reply to post by LoneGunMan
 


Making assumptions and basing policy on those assumptions is an extremely slippery slope. All rich folks were not crooks in the same manner that all great atheletes are not taking juice.

Improve laws that root out corruption if thats the issue, but based on the Obama class warfare schemes, the rich are not folks like Warren Buffett or the Kennedys. The rich are folks like Joe Blow who owns the plumbing supply store down the street and declares all of his business income as personal income.

Go ahead and take all the money from everyone who has more than $500M and see where your at. Not too hard to find that place because its where you are right now.

The problem is institutionalized entitlement. Lets all realize that many of the "poor" folks with the video games get:

Free medical care via Medicaid
Free or subsidized housing
Subsizided utilities including internet in some places
Free job training
Free schooling
Free mass transit passes
Food stamps and WIC cash

All of these things being paid for by others and they still have more than 1 TV and a cell phone? At least be honest. You don't like the fact that there are really rich folks and you want to take their money away. You want to define "fair". Thats cool, just be honest about it.



posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by sligtlyskeptical
reply to post by dolphinfan
 


Poor people have refrigerators? Oh boy! They have cell phones (instead of land line?) so they can actually hold jobs. Oh boy! They have a $1000 worth of stuff to keep them entertained. Oh boy!

Sounds so good that everyone should hope to be poor! I sure hope the OP is poor and can enjoy such a great life.

Two big thumbs down on this hateful post against 'poor" people. I see hundreds each day, with no roof over their head, no ac, no assets, nothing. I sure haven't seen any playstation under those bridges either.


Those are not "poor" people, those are homeless people. The vast majority of them are either mentally ill in some way, or criminal in nature. Blast me all you want, but I have worked closely with the homeless for years as well. It is very rare to see a family just down on their luck, it is much, much more common to see alcholics/drug addicts, criminals, and mentally ill.

The studies from the OP are from regular poor folks. They might be working for minimum wage, or they might be on government assistance, but they still have refrigerators, clean water, a secure home, television, radio, and in many cases video games and internet. Their kids are still being educated in a public school. They still have adequate healthcare.

The "poor" in the US do not compare with the "poor" in Africa! Not even close!


+22 more 
posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 09:49 AM
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Did they take into consideration that maybe these people have had most of this stuff for A LONG time? Take for instance--I have 3 tvs..2 are about 20 years old..you know the big boxy type that weigh around 300 lbs


My cell phone is about 5 or 6 years old..and I go with straight talk so my bill is extremely low.

We are by no means livin' large....



+17 more 
posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by getreadyalready
reply to post by Cuervo
 


"Poverty Line" for a single person is about $10k!!

For a family making $30k to be considered "impoverished" they need to be a family of 7.

Federal Poverty Guidelines 2011

I know times are hard, and I know my family of 4 has an above average income, and lives a very nice lifestyle, but it doesn't seem like it! We barely get by from check to check. I know how things "feel tough," but are they really? I could sacrifice just about everything I am used to, and I could still find a way to make my kids happy and safe. In fact, we would probably be a better, and a closer family for it!


If they are using census definition, then that's correct. I assumed they'd use the tax code definition. Regardless, the intent of the article is obvious. "Look at what them hard-working poor people got! Shouldn't us hard-working middle-class people have more than them?!"

Again, disgusting. I have worked with people who are truly poor. Both parents working (sometimes five jobs between the two) and kids barely eating... not drinkers, smokers, or drug users. Just plain old living expenses. X-boxes are about 35 bucks used, AC either comes with a home or not... these are not symbols of excess; they are cheap things in this nation that help keep the sanity of hard-working people, regardless of income.

How somebody can read this and not see what it is trying to do baffles me. Seriously, I'm a little ill. What's next? Let's write an article of how the poor kids get to eat as much as rich kids and how that's just soooo damn unfair (waaaaah!)?



posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 09:56 AM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 


Xboxes are free if you swipe them off your neighbor a few blocks over. The $35 ones in the Xbox probably came from the same place. OR, maybe it was charged to some idiots credit card for $299 and then pawned at the end of the month for $25 to pay some of the rent.


I read the article different than you. I read it to say, "things aren't so bad." Folks are literally committing suicide over what they consider failures or poor living conditions, but when taken in the context of the world, and our own history, our worst conditions are better than the best conditions of other cultures and societies!

Yes, some will use it as ammunition to limit public assistance, but some will see it as the success story of public assistance. Look at how far we have raised the standard of living in this country!! It is AMAZING!!

I don't mind my taxes going as a handout to someone in need. So long as that someone is appreciative of it, and realizes how good we have it in this country, and ideally it should be a temporary handout, not a career.


+8 more 
posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 09:56 AM
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Originally posted by dolphinfan
reply to post by LoneGunMan
 


All of these things being paid for by others and they still have more than 1 TV and a cell phone? At least be honest. You don't like the fact that there are really rich folks and you want to take their money away. You want to define "fair". Thats cool, just be honest about it.


Read again:

54.5 have a cell phone
49.3 have a non-portable stereo
38% have a PC
29.3% have internet service
29.3% have a video gaming system

This means 44% do not have a phone
62% do not have a PC
and 70.7% have no internet service or gamng system.

You can also get pretty cheap cell phones, PCs and gaming systems second hand.


+16 more 
posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 09:57 AM
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Originally posted by Neopan100
Did they take into consideration that maybe these people have had most of this stuff for A LONG time? Take for instance--I have 3 tvs..2 are about 20 years old..you know the big boxy type that weigh around 300 lbs


My cell phone is about 5 or 6 years old..and I go with straight talk so my bill is extremely low.

We are by no means livin' large....



Yeah, but the article is insinuating that you should have sold all of that to prevent being poor, you bum! I mean, for example, take three old televisions and cell phone you have! Given their age, you could have gotten at least 9 bucks total for them if you had a garage sale! That could have bought you an extra month's rent at the street corner!

"Shame on you! Shaaaaaame on yooooooooo!"



posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 09:58 AM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


It is interesting that in-kind compensation is never included when determining who the "poor" are. Here are a few of the federal programs that you qualify for should you be classified as poor from the same source you listed:

Department of Health and Human Services:
Community Services Block Grant
Head Start
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Community Food and Nutrition Program
PARTS of Medicaid (31 percent of eligibles in Fiscal Year 2004)
Hill-Burton Uncompensated Services Program
AIDS Drug Assistance Program
Children’s Health Insurance Program
Medicare – Prescription Drug Coverage (subsidized portion only)
Community Health Centers
Migrant Health Centers
Family Planning Services
Health Professions Student Loans — Loans for Disadvantaged Students
Health Careers Opportunity Program
Scholarships for Health Professions Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds
Job Opportunities for Low-Income Individuals
Assets for Independence Demonstration Program

Department of Agriculture:
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly Food Stamp Program)
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
National School Lunch Program (for free and reduced-price meals only)
School Breakfast Program (for free and reduced-price meals only)
Child and Adult Care Food Program (for free and reduced-price meals only)
Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program
Department of Energy:
Weatherization Assistance for Low-Income Persons

Department of Labor:
Job Corps
National Farmworker Jobs Program
Senior Community Service Employment Program
Workforce Investment Act Youth Activities

Department of the Treasury:
Low-Income Taxpayer Clinics
Corporation for National and Community Service:
Foster Grandparent Program
Senior Companion Program
Legal Services Corporation:
Legal Services for the Poor

There are other items such as the EITC, another handout that go to folks who are over the poverty line. I'm also not including any state programs here.

Now you may feel that the poor are entitled to those items paid for from the tax payer and thats fine. The challenge of course is that the value of those items are not considered when factored into the calculation of poverty. Now if the standard for a given year to be considered was $30K for a family of 4, would you rather make $25K and qualify for all of the services above or make $35K and not get them. If you did an honest analysis of the value of those programs, it is clearly better to make the $25K and get them. And there-in lies the problem and that is the crux of the expanding welfare state. People on the margins have a financial incentive not to grow their wealth, but to actually supress it and have more children. That leads to fewer folks paying taxes and thus more folks relying on the programs, requiring them to get larger. That leads to higher taxes and a smaller percentage of the population paying those higher taxes.

Lets at least be honest about it. Lets determine what the value of these things are and the real poverty level with respect to access to things within a society. We hear the word poverty and hear a number of what that means but we don't ever hear the true income, inclusive of in-kind compensation that the poor receive.



posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 10:02 AM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


I think the Heritage Foundation would cry a little if they knew how you digested that article. If you truly did read that as an optimistic and uplifting take on how things aren't all that bad, then I gotta say I'm a bit jealous. I guess I'm just jaded by this kind of propaganda given my (and my wife's) work in the past where we see first hand how many lies are contained in this dangerous kind of writing.



posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 10:06 AM
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reply to post by dolphinfan
 



Now you may feel that the poor are entitled to those items paid for from the tax payer and thats fine. The challenge of course is that the value of those items are not considered when factored into the calculation of poverty. Now if the standard for a given year to be considered was $30K for a family of 4, would you rather make $25K and qualify for all of the services above or make $35K and not get them.


There was a time (not very long ago) that my young family received food stamps. We were getting about $700 per month (It was either $680 or $780 can't remember). I was making $24,000 per year at the time with 2 babies and a wife. She couldn't work, because the daycare cost more than her salary, so she had to stay at home until the babies were old enough for the daycare cost to drop.

I was thrilled to get a 10% raise at work! That 10% raise was $2400 per year or $200 per month. It made us completely ineligible for the food stamps! We had a net LOSS of $500 per month.

Since my #1 concern was taking care of my family, I went to my boss and tried to give the raise back or negotiate for a little more. Making $25,400 was not going to work for my family! The boss declined on both and was appalled that I would ask. My family had to make some major sacrifices to survive on my new "higher" income, and I kept the job and progressed over the next few years. Now I am making a lot more, and my wife has returned to work, and we are doing fine. Our situation was temporary, and the aid was used as intended.

Still, it seems like a ridiculous system to work in such a manner? Ridiculous that daycare costs more than a job making $10 per hour. Ridiculous that a very small raise can result in complete loss of benefits. Ridiculous that my boss didn't have enough common sense or courtesy to look at the whole picture. And we are one of the lucky ones! One of the success stories. I'm sure there are others that didn't turn out quite as well.



posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 10:07 AM
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reply to post by dolphinfan
 

You're absolutely right on


65.1% have more than one TV
63%.7 have cable or satellite TV
54.5 have a cell phone
49.3 have a non-portable stereo
38% have a PC
29.3% have internet service
29.3% have a video gaming system


5 TV''s - 1 cable service that includes my land line phone, 4 DVR boxes, and internet - I gave up the cellphone but the Mom still has one (kids do not) - no stereo in the house - 4 running pc's - already mentioned the internet
- 2 xBox 360's, 1 PS2, 1 PS3, 1 Nintendo Wii, 2 PSPs, 3 DS's - and a collection of approximately 550 DVD's

and yes, I'm poor


oops - forgot the 4 running A/C's
edit on 19-7-2011 by Forevever because: probably forgot other stuff too


oh and for the record, I receive no benefits except medical coverage which I do not utilize unless its an emergency (and I should be...)
edit on 19-7-2011 by Forevever because: afterthought



posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 10:08 AM
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Originally posted by dolphinfan

65.1% have more than one TV
63%.7 have cable or satellite TV
54.5 have a cell phone
49.3 have a non-portable stereo
38% have a PC
29.3% have internet service
29.3% have a video gaming system


I dont have cable or satellite.
I have one small TV that's 10 years old.
I have only a cell phone and it's a "pay as you go" type. Costs me about $10 a month. No land line.
No stereo.
Work gave me an 8 year old laptop.
No internet at home.
No video game system at home.

And my taxes just went up.

My fault for living with all this splendor I guess.
edit on 19-7-2011 by thisguyrighthere because: (no reason given)


+4 more 
posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 10:08 AM
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reply to post by dolphinfan
 


Look, open your mind and think a little bit.

Just because someone has a flat screen tv, cable and x-box doesn't mean they are not poor! You have to take into account HOW they acquired those things. I can obtain any of those things on the street for a fraction of what you think they paid.

When I was doing bad, meaning homeless, I still had a x-box and big screen television. I purchased both from this woman who sells such things for $20-$40.

You have to take into account how our world has changed also. Of course poor people now have a/c, it's a part of our society now. Most places come with a/c in this day. While in the past only the well-off had such amenities. As a matter fact, a/c is no longer considered an amenity but a necessity.

Look poor people do come across nice things from time to time. A woman may have a boyfriend who sells drugs and every now and again he gives her a gift or some money. However, it isn't anything consistent. One day he brings her a 42" plasma tv and then doesn't give her anything else for 8 months. Someone looks in her apartment and assumes, "Oh she has a 42" tv, she's obviously not poor!" Does what I state make her middle class all of a sudden?

Many people are fighting the good fight for the wealthy elite and do not even realize how they are being used. Let me give you a parody.

Wealthy guy: Hey man living in the filthy trailer come here. Have you noticed how those commie liberals are trying to make our wonderful country of America into socialist Europe? They're actually trying to tell me.....err ummmm....I mean us...that we can't make as much money as WE want! You don't want our government to tell you how much money you can make do you? One day you may be rich like me and they'll try to tax you too!!

****Never mind that the Right supporter HASN'T any money****

Poor Conservative: You know what Wealthy guy...you're right! This is America and we don't support Socialism! I know that I don't have much but I be darned if you should have to pay more just because you have 1 million times what I have. You earned that and the government has no right to try and make sure America doesn't go broke because you sit on your money or spend it in another country.

****After all there is a finite amount of money****

Wealthy Guy: Yeah they should do away with these Unions and minimum wage things too huh!

Poor Guy: Heck yeah, they can't tell you what to do with your money! If you want to pay me $1 per hour...well hey that's up to you. It's up to me to go find another job that pays what I want.





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