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Thread: Truths about U.S. poverty

  1. #1
    Elite Member JamieElizabeth's Avatar
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    Default Truths about U.S. poverty

    By JAY AMBROSE
    Scripps Howard News Service
    Friday, August 31, 2007
    The poverty rate in America has declined, not a lot, but some, and for the first time in 10 years, which is very, very good news. The even better news -- hard to glean from headlines -- is that poverty in America is not what it used to be.


    For that matter, it's not what being middle class could sometimes be in my early childhood in the late 1940s. My family, which was far from rich but hardly poor by the calculations of the times, briefly rented a country house outside Paducah, Ky., and here is what we did not have: running water or any modern conveniences besides a washing machine (which you operated with a hand-driven wringer to squeeze the water out of the clothes). Oh yes, we owned a radio.

    Here is what the typical person below the poverty line in America has today: a dryer along with a clothes washer, air conditioning, a microwave, a DVD player, a VCR, two color TVs, a car, access to medical care and enough cash to meet essential needs.


    This information comes from a report by a Heritage Foundation research fellow, Robert Rector, whose probing of government data additionally tells us that most of the poor are well-nourished, that 46 percent are homeowners and that most have more living space than the average European.


    Some of these 36.5 million people are worse off than that, of course, and being poor is never something to sneeze at, but the exaggerations of some of our politicians pave the road for disastrous policies, which usually consist of more government spending, expanded, redistributionist social programs and increased infringements of one kind and another on the free market.


    Abide by such good intentions of the uninformed sort, and you could well undo the advances in the lifestyles of the poor brought about by the innovations and overall societal affluence that have come our way owing to the energies of a relatively unfettered free market. Bother to get informed -- learn what really lies behind most U.S. poverty -- and then you just might happen on policies that will achieve something.


    Rector reviews the causes and concurs with what a number of the most perceptive social analysts have been saying for years, starting with the fact that nothing contributes to poverty like unwed motherhood. Take a husband out of the family equation, and you are taking a lot of money out of the equation, as well. I don't myself see a government fix here. What's needed is a cultural revolution taking us back to an understanding that marriage really, truly is vital to society and that having offspring prior to marital vows can often be a form of child abuse.


    Next: As Rector points out, people who are poor are people who work far less than people who aren't poor. What's needed are job-creation policies (free trade, less regulation and low taxes being among the chief ones), still more emphasis on education and skills-training to equip people for decently remunerative occupations, an end to programs providing disincentives to work and -- a cultural issue, again -- the instilling of an ethic in every quarter that honest work is honorable and desirable.


    And then we have to do something about an immigration system that does next to nothing to prevent illegal aliens from pouring into the country and reconstitute legal immigration to put emphasis on needed skills. People arriving in America without even a high-school education on top of other handicaps in coping with our particular institutions do not advance the economy, despite ideological bunkum to the contrary. They bring poverty with them -- and it tends to hang on, generation after generation. Some businesses can get cheaper labor this way, but because of the disparity between what some immigrants contribute in taxes and what they consume in services, it is labor subsidized by taxpayers, as I am scarcely the first to note.


    It's not uncommon in our politics to indulge in overstated sentimentalism as an antidote to our social ills, to close one's eyes to progress and to accuse those who have better answers of hard-heartedness, as if realistic rationality were a fault. Cool reflection on the facts should lead none of us to shrug our shoulders about families trying to get by on $20,000 a year or less, but it can point us to intelligent solutions to their problems.


    (Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado. He is an uncompensated board member of the Heritage Foundation's Center for Media & Public Policy. He can be reached at SpeaktoJay(at)aol.com.)

    Truths about U.S. poverty | ScrippsNews

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I guess they forget to take into consideration that a radio now costs about 1/10,000 of what it used to back in the stone age, or whenever this guy lived.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Mr. Authority's Avatar
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    So according to this dolt from the Heritage Foundation (which is surprise- a right-wing group) poor people are so happy with their living situation that we should'nt invest in social programs to help them out of poverty (because they're happy); and that it's just immigrats that bloat the poverty statistic in the country (of course it's always the immigrants).

    Makes sense to me!

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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Authority View Post
    So according to this dolt from the Heritage Foundation (which is surprise- a right-wing group) poor people are so happy with their living situation that we should'nt invest in social programs to help them out of poverty (because they're happy); and that it's just immigrats that bloat the poverty statistic in the country (of course it's always the immigrants).

    Makes sense to me!
    Totally agree..anything by the Heritage Foundation is suspect-let's see this corroborated by a not-so-partisan source. And for what the below-the-pverty-line household has(that stupid list) I call bullshit. On alot of it(airconditioning and washer dryer..please..in rural poverty pockets and in inner city slums?) plus if they had enough cash on hand for their needs THEY WOULD NOT BE POOR FOR CHRISTS SAKE!!
    Don't slap me, cause I'm not in the mood!

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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    Yes and women better start to realize that they better have a husband before they have kids or it is child abuse! The fact that women are making almost as much as men has nothing to with anything right? The fact that the fastest growing group of unwed Moms are working professionals over 30 who own their own homes is a problem too - right?

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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluce View Post
    Yes and women better start to realize that they better have a husband before they have kids or it is child abuse! The fact that women are making almost as much as men has nothing to with anything right? The fact that the fastest growing group of unwed Moms are working professionals over 30 who own their own homes is a problem too - right?
    fastest growing means shit. There could be 1000 of those working professionals..and 100,000 of the unwed welfare moms...and the 1000 could be growing at a 50% rate while the other is growing at a 45% rate..big fucking deal. We all know the reality of the situation of unwed moms-most are NOT in a good situation. And if you are going to use statistics-what about children growing up with no fathers having 3 times the liklihood of getting into trouble with crime/drugs? c'mon!
    Don't slap me, cause I'm not in the mood!

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    Elite Member crumpet's Avatar
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    The even better news -- hard to glean from headlines -- is that poverty in America is not what it used to be.

    Right wing or not, that part is true. The poor in this country can still call themselves poor even though they have indoor plumbing, electricity, color tv, cell phones......You would never see the poor in third world places with those things. Our poor, generally speaking, live like kings compared to the poor in other places. Don't y'all ever watch those Sally Struthers commercials where a 3 yr old is drinking out of the same pond that a cow is bathing in?

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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    ^^true enough..although we know that kid is starving cause Sally ate everything in sight..lol


    *sorry sluce I did not mean my post/response before to come off so assholish-ly. ok?
    Don't slap me, cause I'm not in the mood!

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    Elite Member JamieElizabeth's Avatar
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    I had the same emotion coming off too, Sojita. More power to those women that are successful, and for raising the standards.



    Don't y'all ever watch those Sally Struthers commercials where a 3 yr old is drinking out of the same pond that a cow is bathing in?

    Um, no.
    Last edited by Tati; September 4th, 2007 at 03:41 PM.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I'm too busy learning home air-conditioning repair.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Gold Member piperdiva's Avatar
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    Ha! Like you need it where you live, Grimm

    People in poverty having access to air conditioning? Most of the older apartments/slums in the cities do not have it.

    The author of the news brief was not talking about lawful immigrants. He was talking about illegal immigrants. And yes, they do consume a lot of our resources. Just walk into our local Childrens Hospital ER on any given night.
    Coffee is my happy drug

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    Elite Member lalala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by piperdiva View Post
    The author of the news brief was not talking about lawful immigrants. He was talking about illegal immigrants. And yes, they do consume a lot of our resources. Just walk into our local Childrens Hospital ER on any given night.
    Actually iillegal migrants working with faulse social security numbers are enriching the system

    Illegal Immigrants Are Bolstering Social Security With Billions

    The earnings recorded under false social security numbers are placed in an "earning suspense file" - $189 billion worth of wages ended up recorded in the suspense file over the 1990's, two and a half times the amount of the 1980's.
    In the current decade, the file is growing, on average, by more than $50 billion a year, generating $6 billion to $7 billion in Social Security tax revenue and about $1.5 billion in Medicare taxes

    Illegal immigrants help even more because they will never collect benefits. According to Mr. Goss, without the flow of payroll taxes from wages in the suspense file, the system's long-term funding hole over 75 years would be 10 percent deeper.

    The New York Times > Business > Illegal Immigrants Are Bolstering Social Security With Billions

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    Elite Member JamieElizabeth's Avatar
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    ^OMG. That needs to go in it's own thread. that's prob a major issue.

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