Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Poor in America

What does it mean to be poor in America? Hungry? Overworked? Thirsty? Cold? No, No, No and No. Here is a picture of the average poor person in America.

The typical American deemed poor in the United States has a car, air conditioning, refrigerator, stove, clothes washer and dryer, microwave, 2 televisions, cable or satellite, DVD player, and a stereo. He has access to medical care, his home is in good repair, and doesn't have to live with a house full of people. Don't believe me. This is compiled from information submitted by the "poor" who indicated as such to the census bureau and compiled by the Heritage Foundation.

Here are more results...

Forty-six percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.

Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.

The typical poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)

Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.

24 percent of poor households have a cell phone.

I have been saying for some time now that poor people are given too much by the federal government. They live too well to receive public assistance. Up until this point though, my evidence has only been anecdotes from my personal experience. A weak argument at best. So, in response I would always hear, "Sure you will get a few people who take advantage of the system, but it's worth it to help the masses."

As it turns out however I was right all along. Abuse of the system is not the exception to the rule. It is the rule. This is why when poor families receive their earned income credit, which they have not earned, they are able to spend it on a brand new 4-wheeler. Living on the government dole should be painful. It should be a very miserable existence. No cable, no cars, and no cell phones. There must be some incentive to work your way out of poverty.

You can't work your way out of poverty Jay. Really?

The average American poor family with children works only 800 hours a year. In case you don't want to do the math that is about 16 hours a week. Most of us do that in 2 days or less. If those same families were to have just one wage earner working 40 hours a week 75 percent of poor children would be lifted out of the poverty range.

Coming soon. My solution to poverty and the welfare state.


Anonymous said...

I love this!

These statistics absolutely are in line with my observations.

Thank you. While to my grave I will care about and contribute to those who are truly needy, including children who have no control over their situations, I resent my hard-working children being taxed to the hilt to support able-bodied people who will not work. It is not fair.

Again, thank you.

Shirley Buxton

All In said...

Thank you Shirley. I was sure I couldn't be the only person feeling this way.

Eve said...

Wowee. Are you kidding?

What's the census bureau definition of "poor"?

That's crazy, not to mention infuriating. I can't agree with Shirley more; our smart, hard working kids are being taxed to death to support their high school dropout peers who had babies without daddies and are sitting around watching soaps and getting high; and living in subsidized housing for about $24 a month. And having their groceries paid for. And getting EIC.

Oh, and money from the president.

All In said...

The values of course change based on the size of the family unit. In 2004 a family of 4 with 2 kids the threshold was just under 20 thousand dollars.

Mookie said...

"Coming soon. My solution to poverty and the welfare state."

My guess...WORK?

Good article. Since most of my arguments on such things are, as you said, based on experiences of observation, this was great to see backed up by actual facts. I'll be needing you for my "Official Presidential Debate Designated Hitter" when I run in 2016! LOL