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Customer Discussions > Politics forum

what does it mean to be poor in the usa


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Showing 1-25 of 28 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 30, 2012, 10:02:16 PM PST
The federal government now considers a family of four
in New York City to be poor if its pre-tax income is below
$37,900. Even with full medical coverage.
The calculation helps explain why newly revised Census
Bureau figures hike the number of poor Americans to 49
million as of last year, further widening an already yawning
gap between ordinary perceptions of poverty and how
the government sees it.
This breathtaking number begs the question: What does
it mean to be "poor" in the United States?
To the average American, the word "poverty" means
significant material hardship and need. It means lack of a
warm, dry home, recurring hunger and malnutrition, no
medical care, worn-out clothes for the children. The mainstream
media reinforce this view: The typical tv news story
on poverty features a homeless family with kids living in
the back of a van.
But poverty as the federal government defines it differs
greatly from these images. Only 2 percent of the official
poor are homeless. According to the government's own data,
the typical poor family lives in a house or apartment that's
not only in good repair but is larger than the homes of the
average non-poor person in England, France or Germany.
The typical "poor" American experiences no material
hardships, receives medical care whenever needed, has
an ample diet and wasn't hungry for even a single day the
previous year. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
the nutritional quality of the diets of poor children
is identical to that of upper middle-class kids.
In America, about 80 percent of poor families have air
conditioning, nearly two thirds have cable or satellite tv,
half have a computer and a third have a wide-screen lcd or
plasma tv.
All these government statistics were based on the Census
Bureau's old definition of poverty. The new definition,
released last week, stretches that gap between common
sense and government perspectives even further.
Previously, a family of four was considered poor if cash
income was less than $22,800. ... Now, a family of four
with full medical insurance, living in Oakland, can be considered
"poor" if its yearly pre-tax income is below $42,500.
In Washington, D.C., the figure is $40,300; in Boston,
$39,500; in New York, $37,900.
Remarkably, for the first time these new poverty thresholds
are linked to an "escalator" that will boost them faster
than inflation year after year. ...
The goal of fighting poverty is no longer about meeting
physical needs; instead it has been covertly shifted to
equalizing incomes, or "spreading the wealth." Divorced
from actual living conditions, the new government report
on "poverty" is merely

Posted on Dec 1, 2012, 2:28:42 AM PST
D. Kneeland says:
Where are you getting these numbers?

Posted on Dec 1, 2012, 3:06:38 AM PST
it means relying on democrats to make sure taxpayers cover your ass

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 3:29:32 AM PST
Have you ever wondered why so many people actually gain weight while on diets? It is because they deprive themselves and then when the opportunity to eat presents itself, it is too often filled with overindulgence in "comfort" foods high in fat and carbs. Those who live in "poverty" do often go without nutritious foods and instead eat those less expensive foods higher in fat and carbs. You've never wondered why so many "poor" people are also fat? This is how it happens.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 3:33:08 AM PST
Axiomatic!!! says:
I didn't know Doritos were "less expensive"?

;)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 3:43:39 AM PST
Check it out. The generic brands of foods are higher in fat and sugar than the more expensive name brands. And yes, in general those foods that are highly nutritious, like fresh fruits and vegetables, non-processed meats, fish and poultry do tend to be more expensive in comparison. And you need to eat fewer Doritos to get a bigger caloric bang for the buck. In general, the American diet is too full of salt and WAY too full of sugar. Just read the labels and check the ingredients of most "processed" foods.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 3:51:56 AM PST
Axiomatic!!! says:
I don't eat chips but a couple times a year. But it's sad to see a whole family of obese people. Even young kids. When I see them passing a bag of chips between themselves, I just shake my head.

But whatcha gonna do?

Strange world.....

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 4:15:28 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2012, 9:18:53 PM PST
Voice of god says:
Geez, it's almost as if the cost living has increased over time, and that it's higher than average in urban areas.

Nah, that's impossible. Clearly the Democrats are cooking the books so they can keep giving voters free stuff.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 6:35:24 AM PST
D. Kneeland says:
Chaz the First says:
<<<Have you ever wondered why so many people actually gain weight while on diets? It is because they deprive themselves and then when the opportunity to eat presents itself, it is too often filled with overindulgence in "comfort" foods high in fat and carbs. Those who live in "poverty" do often go without nutritious foods and instead eat those less expensive foods higher in fat and carbs. You've never wondered why so many "poor" people are also fat? This is how it happens.>>>

Not to mention when you are only eating one large meal a day and snacking on fatty carbs in between it really does a number on your metabolism. It's messed up, but the junk food is often just filler.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 9:27:07 AM PST
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Posted on Dec 1, 2012, 9:32:59 AM PST
Poverty in the US today is nothing compared to many countries. Those with authoritarian governments who have adopted some type of centralized planning for their economy are usually the hardest hit. I have seen it replicated in well over a hundred nations and as usual it fails. The US may be heading that way but cultural differences play a role as well. We have been well warned to stay away from crony corporatism and union control of labor.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 12:08:30 PM PST
Don says:
I remember hearing, and it makes sense, that the poorer neighborhoods are less invested in by the types of stores that sell healthy foods so the residents' nearby resources are often only fast food or minimart-type places.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 12:15:06 PM PST
D. Kneeland says: "Where are you getting these numbers?"

Well, with them smelling like they do, that leaves just one orifice...

Posted on Dec 1, 2012, 12:35:02 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2012, 12:41:03 PM PST
Let's see what homeless people would describe as "welfare"...let's hear from wounded Vets, hungry children, old people unable to afford heating/food; would Romney charge them for food, shelter, air, health care and education for their children?
More American children are living below the poverty level than during the Great Depression; at least FDR helped by creating WPA and CCC....here comes the screamers yelling SOCIALIST! They deny his ideas which could be utilized today creating work and ability to care for one's family.
I believe we are in another Great Depression; Great Recession is simply an attempt to quiet the masses, mollify Wall Street and deny economic reality. The
Fiscal Cliff is distraction from unemployment; if Romney/Obama really gave a whit about "creating" jobs
they'd stop yapping and get to work, themselves.
WE pay THEM to produce while we receive disdain for speaking up. Our great leaders only care about keeping their wealthy donors happy, not the "rest of us"who pay for their keep. Talk about welfare!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 2:22:28 PM PST
witchie+ says:
I think that Obama tried to create a WPA/CCC type system, but the Republicans blocked it--it was called the JOBS act. The present negotiations going on include more stimulus $$$ to help with unemployment. Contact your Congress person and Senator and let them know what you want to happen, especially if you live in a Republican dominated area. I live a very blue area so my input is not too important. However, he hears from me on a regular basis.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 2:33:36 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2012, 2:36:50 PM PST
Kathleen,
I'm not wealthy so my "voice" goes unheard, unheeded. The only concern "my" Rep has is taking care of the wealthy Whiners of Napa Valley.
As to the Jobs Act, Obama is NOT helpless; his reaching across the aisle has not helped one person "out here". Couldn't he utilize Executive Order and sign the Jobs Act at least temporarily? He would have had my vote had I not researched his donors, including Goldman Sachs. Ultimately I did not vote as a matter of conscience.

Unfortunately I am a complete cynic about "our" government and do not envision any changes within either party.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 3:45:33 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2012, 3:46:59 PM PST
witchie+ says:
You and I have the same Congressman--Mike Thompson, at least until January when we get our new one. Thompson has done well by us in this area. I have found his staff her locally to be responsive when I contact them. I just called his local office yesterday about a Medicare issue regarding my 95-year old mother who has dementia, is in a care home, and I manage her medical care and finances. They were very helpful.

The problem with the JOBS act is that Obama cannot create $$$ out of thin air--that is up to Congress to authorize the money to fund the program. The Republicans still control the House due to gerrymandering [the Democrats actually received a higher vote total in this last House election].

I voted for Obama because the alternative, Romney, was so awful that I could not stomach allowing him a chance to get in. Yes, Obama is way to conservative for me, but compared to the alternative, there was no option. Remember, the perfect can be the enemy of the good.

People in government are just like us--human beings, complete with all of our failings and weaknesses. I just see them as part of what I deal with in my life.

I no longer trust the Republican party at all after Bush, II. I have a realistic view of the Democrats. They, at least, make an effort to keep welfare programs going. The tea baggers in the Republican party would let the poor die or, turn them over to private charities, which would never work. Have you heard their spokes people & the libertarians in these forums talk about the undeserving poor? We need to make an effort to pressure the politicians to save Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid as well food programs for the poor and in our schools. We also need to put pressure on Congress to put $$$ out there for the JOBS act and other stimulus measures.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 3:55:06 PM PST
Axiomatic!!! says:
His local office is responsive. I've delt with them a few times.

I wasn't nearly as happy with his decision to request stimulus funds to build a bike trail in Sonoma County.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 3:56:20 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2012, 3:58:21 PM PST
witchie+ says:
Didn't know about the bike trail, but it got $$$ into the area and went for wages, which is what stimulus $$$ is all about. Our area got lots and lots of major road work done.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 4:33:01 PM PST
D. Kneeland says:
electronics guy says:
<<<Well, with them smelling like they do, that leaves just one orifice...>>>

I kinda figured as much, but I was mainly wondering who's orifice this bs came out of. I suppose it doesn't matter since **** is just **** after all.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 4:44:24 PM PST
CalTrans is a major employer here...they are currently attempting to remove a trail here
(despite many public hearings over this project) and rip out the native grasses which keep the sand from eroding. Instead CT plans to build a wall between ocean and town.
CT is a short time employer wasting funding for make-work rather than establishing actual long term, ecologic works. In the immediate future they plan to asphalt a pristine road from the beach to the surf.
I'm out of patience with government projects and the inherent waste(s).
I could never vote for a Repugnant; it's difficult to see the difference in the two parties.
OpenSecrets.org has a chart on which candidate received the biggest donors this
election.
Wish I could keep the faith about our country; check out Susan Rice and her investments in the Keystone company. The WH plans to appoint her as SecState despite her anti-environmental stance.

Wish I could agree with you, Kathleen!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 5:12:04 PM PST
Luke Davis says:
It came from the Heritage Foundation (Robert Rector) and deserves to be mocked. They come out with a new report on the subject every few years.

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/393168/july-26-2011/-poor--in-america

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcJohfS4vTQ

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/poverty_like_we_ve_never_seen_it_1Tm0h9YpmVsEc2gHYm6DaN

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 5:30:46 PM PST
D. Kneeland says:
Luke Davis says:
<<<It came from the Heritage Foundation (Robert Rector) and deserves to be mocked. They come out with a new report on the subject every few years.>>>

So this came from Rector's rectum is what you are saying. ;p

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 6:12:50 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012, 6:18:21 PM PST
So what would you consider government jobs? Those jobs are continually created and I don't any see inflation; the fiscal cliff is another attempt at distracting us from the reality of our government.
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Discussion in:  Politics forum
Participants:  12
Total posts:  28
Initial post:  Nov 30, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 2, 2012

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