The Poor in America.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by g5man, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. g5man macrumors newbie

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    #1
     
  2. bannedagain macrumors member

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    #2
    Where is the financial lie that defines poverty. In Australia the poverty line is an annual income of less that $12000AUD (~$9500USD.) The 'Avereage' poor US citizen however appears far better off.
     
  3. g5man thread starter macrumors newbie

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    There are actual statistics that are defined by the gov. but it is truly in the eye of the beholder.

    I have met people who make over 300K a year and they have the guts to state they are not that rich. When I here that I can just vomit.

    I have also seen those who barely make more than $15K a year and state how richly blessed they are.
     
  4. K4NN4B15 macrumors member

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    #4
    what's your point? if you dont have loans on a car, a house, ect ect.. why would you declare bankruptcy?
     
  5. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #5
    bannedagain, IIRC, the poverty line as defined by the US Govt is a family of three with a cash-flow income below US $20,000 a year.

    What isn't included in "income" is the summation of subsidies: Aid For Dependent Children, rental subsidies, utility subsidies. These can easily total another US $7,000 a year and more.

    We do have areas of third-world-style squalor, but these are of two main groups: Illegal immigrants (who often will have a dozen guys sharing a small apartment or other residence) and some inner-city black areas. There is a fairly sizable group of those who have figured out a way to survive from public assistance programs and deliberately shun work; the "voluntarily poor".

    'Rat
     
  6. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

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    #6
    The Poor UNDER CLINTON

    Go ahead, read the actual report.
    Page 15, graphic:
    "Percent of Poor Households that Were Able to Meet All Essential Expenses During Last Year*
    <graph showing 72% could>
    *Percentage of poor households that report being able to meet essential household expenses such as mortgage or rent, utility bills and important medical care.

    BUT, the report is from 1998!
    Does anyone think with a recession, almost 3 million jobs lost, and major cuts in social services that "the poor" are doing that well now?
    Not to mention the rising costs of fuel and home heating oil prices, due to the fraudulent war in Iraq.

    FYI - The Census Bureau defines an individual as poor if his or her family income falls below certain specified income thresholds. These thresholds vary by family size. In 2002, a family of four was deemed poor if its annual income fell below $18,556; a family of three was deemed poor if annual income was below $14,702.

    Also, the report uses specious comparisions.
    Example:
    Over three-quarters [of the poor] have air conditioning; by contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the general U.S. population had air conditioning.
    30 years ago, from the study date of 2001, is 1971. Home Air-conditioners were relatively new and cost much more. I remember my parents did not have AC until the 80s and it cost 1500 dollars then. Today you can go to your local discount store and pick one up for $150!
    So, while buying power has increased for AC, computers, etc, we should really examine Medical Costs, Housing Costs, Food Costs, etc.


    The Heritage Foundation is a radically conservative think tank funded by Paul Weyerich, Richard Mellon-Sciafe, and other radical conservatives.
    This site http://watch.pair.com/heritage.html details not only its roots, but its goals and some of its shadier connections, like Reverend Moon and Nazi sympathizers.
     
  7. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #7
    jb2000, I gotta disagree with you about A/C. Your cost numbers don't jibe with what I paid. In 1966 I bought my first-ever house. A top-of-the-line Friedrich 2-ton window unit cost me about $600. Today, you're not gonna get much over 1/2 ton for any $150, Wally World or no, Chinese slave labor or whatever.

    Look: The big problem is semantics. "Poor" versus "poverty", with too many folks somehow thinking that they're the same. I don't think any of us, liberal or conservative, are believing that there are no people with serious financial troubles or lousy living conditions. IMO, the primary arguments have to do with how to deal with the problems of true poverty--particularly that which is involuntary. "Who should be covered by a governmental safety net?"

    'Rat
     
  8. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

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    #8
    more bad statistics

    The HF report also shows a figure where the number of "Food Insecure with hunger" children dropped from 1995 to 2000, then went back up under Bush.

    “Food secure” means that all household members had access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. The remaining 12.1 million U.S. households (11.1 percent of all households) were food insecure at some time during the year. That is, they were uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food for all household members because they had insufficient money and other resources for food. About two-thirds of food-insecure households avoided hunger, in many cases by relying on a few basic foods and reducing variety in their diets. But 3.8 million households (3.5 percent of all U.S. households) were food insecure to the extent that one or more household members were hungry, at least some time during the year, because they couldn’t afford enough food.

    However, if you go to the actual USDA report you can find some statistics the HF chose to leave out.
    The following groups had rates of food insecurity substantially higher than the national average:
    • Households with incomes below the official poverty line (38.1 percent)
    • Households with children, headed by a single woman (32.0 percent),
    • Black households (22.0 percent), and Hispanic households (21.7 percent).


    The HF version of the report uses the most specific langague in the narrowest window. Its like asking someone, hey are you hungry? If they ate recently, the will say no. However, the question should be, as the USDA report does, Have you been hungry and unable to get food anytime within the past year?
    11.1 percent of housholds say no, and then numbers have been rising since Bush took office.
     
  9. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

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    #9
    Not sure about the Ton part, most AC in the US are measured on BTU.
    I found several 5000btu ACs for $100-$125 US. Now, I could not find a good reference for prices of ACs from 1971, but here are some Department of Energy Statistics showing (again) the HF report does not take into account the lower prices, higher effeciency, and higher availablity of AC.
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/consumptionbriefs/recs/actrends/recs_ac_trends.html

    DR - I am not saying you are wrong, just showing that the report as presented ignores reality and is outdated.
    I agree there needs to be a rational discussion of how big a Gov't saftey net should be, and what that net consists of.

    Personally, I was helped by President Bush's tax cuts, as a married person with no kids. However, I want to buy a house and have kids, and the increasing property taxes and tuitions resulting from those tax cuts will not help me.

    I don't think we should "punish the rich", but I fail to see why capital gains should be taxed lower than "income". Same with inheritance taxes. The point of those taxes is to ensure that all people have good schools, adequate health care, food, etc.

    If I made 300million last year (yeah, right :D ) and pay only 10% in taxes because it was capital gains, how is that fair compared to making 40k a year and paying 20%?
     
  10. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #10
    12,000 BTU = One ton of A/C.

    The mainest gripe against the tax on profits from capital gains is that the investment money is after-tax money. Pretty much the same for one's estate; whatever was acquired was bought with tax-paid money. Folks don't like being penalized for saving, and for being somewhat brighter than the average bear about what to do with their money.

    As long as we're drifting into taxes: The U.S. is the only country which taxes its citizens on their economic activity outside the country.

    jayb2000, looking at the groups you list as Food Insecure, doesn't that substantiate the various commentaries about the wisdom of marriage and education? Personal responsibility about relationships and staying together for the kids' sakes, and all that? Food Insecurity seems to be a by-product of the Right to be Irresponsible.

    'Rat
     

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