Sunday, September 18, 2011

Obama, Being in Poverty Is Not That Bad in America

Obama's economic policy brought more people in poverty than any other president in American history. There are 22% of children living in poverty. There are 43.5 million people classified as poor. There are 42 million people on food stamps. Even though there are more poor people living in America, Obama doesn't seem to mind. He created this mess, but looking at the article, the majority of poor people living in America are doing better than poor people from other countries. This is the vision of Obama's America. He wants to create more poor people dependent on the government. It is a dream for anyone wanting to be a socialist dictator.

(Heritage Foundation) For two decades, the Census Bureau has reported almost yearly that more than 35 million Americans live in “poverty.” Last year, census officials grabbed headlines by saying 43.5 million persons were poor. That’s one in seven Americans.

But what does it mean to be “poor” in America? What is poverty?

For most U.S. residents, the word “poverty” suggests destitution: an inability to provide yourself and your family with reasonable shelter, nutritious food and clothing.

A Poverty Pulse poll taken by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, for example, asked: “How would you describe being poor in the U.S.?” The vast majority of responses focused on homelessness, hunger or inability to eat properly, and failure to meet basic needs.

The dominant news media amplifies this link in the public mind between poverty and severe deprivation. Most stories on poverty feature homeless families, or folks living in crumbling shacks, or lines of the downtrodden waiting to eat in soup kitchens.

Fortunately, such images have little or nothing to do with the actual living conditions of most of the more than 40 million Americans defined as “poor” by the Census Bureau.

The following was extrapolated from previous census survey:

1. The average poor household lived in a house or apartment equipped with air conditioning and cable television. The family had a car – and a third of the poor have at least two cars.

2. For entertainment, the average poor household enjoyed two color TVs, a DVD player and a VCR. If children were in the home (especially boys), the family had a video game system such as Xbox or PlayStation.

3. A microwave, refrigerator, oven and stove were all in the kitchen of the average poor household. Other conveniences included clothes washer and dryer, ceiling fans, cordless phone and coffee maker.

4. The home of an average poor family also was in good repair and not overcrowded, according to government data. In fact, the typical poor American had more living space than the average European. (That’s average European, not average poor European.)

5. Not only was the average poor family able to obtain necessary medical care, but when asked most families said they had enough money in the past year to meet all essential needs.

6. By the family’s own report, it wasn’t hungry. In fact, the average intake of protein, vitamins and minerals by poor children is indistinguishable from that of kids in the upper middle class. In most cases, it’s well above recommended norms.

7. Poor young men today are actually taller and heavier at age 18 or 19 than young men in the middle class were in the late 1950s. They’re also a full inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than American soldiers who fought in World War II.

8. The main dietary problem faced by poor Americans is eating too much, not too little. The majority of poor adults, like most Americans, are overweight.

Should a family that lives this way be considered poor? The overwhelming answer from the public is no.

Does this mean there are few poor families in the United States? Of course not. Many families experience significant material hardship. Fortunately, they are a distinct minority among the more than 40 million Americans the government calls poor.

During the recession year of 2009, for example, the majority of poor families had an adequate and reasonably steady supply of food. However, many worried at times about having enough money for food. One in five temporarily ran short on food at various times.

Although the overwhelming majority of the poor were well-housed, the government numbers show, roughly 4 percent became temporarily homeless during 2009.

Such problems remain a real concern. But effective government policy and programs must be based on accurate information, not sensation-mongering.

In the long run, grossly exaggerating the extent and severity of material deprivation in America won’t benefit the poor, the economy or society as a whole.