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Old 08-29-2007, 08:22 AM
 
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While I don't discount the difficulties that being in the "poverty" bracket brings, I often wonder just how many in that bracket really belong there. My family spent 2 years in the "poverty" bracket when I was a child, yet I never felt poor.

When I picture poverty, I picture family's wondering how they are going to provide their next meal and stay warm and dry. I picture the worst of poverty to be masses of people huddled around filthy water with disease and swollen bellies from sickness.

However, that is not even close to the picture for the average family living in "poverty" in America, according to the info I ran across here in an article:



The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various gov*ernment reports:

Forty-three percent of all poor households actu*ally 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.


Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.


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


The average 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; 31 percent own two or more cars.


Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.


Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.


Eighty-nine percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and more than a third have an automatic dishwasher.




Would you consider this poverty, or is the standard poverty considerations in America much higher than a lot of other countries who experience true poverty such as not being able to eat or have a roof over their head?
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:30 AM
 
Location: West Palm Beach - Flamingo Park
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I don't judge the United States in comparison to the third world.

I judge the poor of the US vis-a-vis other industrialized, Western nations.
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:42 AM
 
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Poverty in the US is worse than in most developed nations, for the reason that American poor people face a much greater risk of being shot to death or victimized by gangs/violent crime than elsewhere.
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:54 AM
 
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Quote:
When I picture poverty, I picture family's wondering how they are going to provide their next meal and stay warm and dry. I picture the worst of poverty to be masses of people huddled around filthy water with disease and swollen bellies from sickness.
Let me clarify what I meant here:

I picture most poverty to be family's not sure of their source of food for the next meal, or the next few days worth of meals, and housing that is not sufficient to keep them warm and dry (homes in a state of disrepair, no electricity, no heat, holes in roof, or some other problems such as those).

I picture the worst levels of poverty to be those we see in 3rd world countries, which is quiet a step below what 99.99999% of the population living in industrialized nations, while it is very much a whole number percentage for conditions in third world countries, often a double digit whole number percentage.
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:13 AM
Status: "More snow please" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
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When I picture poverty I think of eastern Kentucky. This area is very large and contains many counties. The area was a coal mining region and now their is also mountaintop removal in the area causing serious erosion problems, water contamination problems, and adding to the flooding threat during heavy rains. In many of those counties less than 50% of the population has a high school diploma. In Appalachia people and families continue to live for generations in areas that are rural with fewer and fewer jobs over time. As I drove through the countryside I could see that their were many shacks and rundown cabins in what appeared to be the middle of nowhere. The per capita income in some of these counties is less than $9500 with poverty rates approaching 35% in some counties. Everyone always talks about how West Virginia is a poor state, but eastern Kentucky has a bigger poverty problem compared with most areas of West Virginia.
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tablemtn View Post
Poverty in the US is worse than in most developed nations, for the reason that American poor people face a much greater risk of being shot to death or victimized by gangs/violent crime than elsewhere.
How much of that is poverty and how much is "other issues" (read: inner-city ghetto culture)
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:08 AM
 
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How much of that is poverty and how much is "other issues" (read: inner-city ghetto culture)
Does it matter? If you're not poor, it won't be an issue for you.
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Your mind
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In the third world, poverty means starving and having your kids die from horrible diseases. In the first world, it often means living in crime-ridden, run-down, crime-ridden neighborhoods with little or no access to healthcare, nothing to eat that's good for you, in a lot of places no way to get around or get to a job, smoke-belching factories looming over the neighborhood, and horrible public services (potholed roads, underpaid teachers/police/fire etc.) because all the residents of your city with money moved right outside the city limits to set up their own little fiefdoms instead of pooling public resources together ... or it could mean being homeless... just because one's worse doesn't make the other one awesome. "Whoopee, they're not poor, they have a VCR, those cost 30 dollars or something, yay!"
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:24 AM
 
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nothing to eat that's good for you
There are no fruits or veggies for sale in the slums? Or do folks there simply choose a non-nutritious path?
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:24 AM
 
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Well, most first-world nations have universal health care, so that isn't an issue for poor people in developed countries outside the US.
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