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  1. 19 Jul '11 20:58
    The Heritage Foundation published a report today examining what an average poor household looks like in the U.S., remarking such families have more living space than the average European, enjoy standard kitchen amenities and purchase entertainment systems like video game consoles and cable or satellite television.

    From the report:

    As scholar James Q. Wilson has stated, “The poorest Americans today live a better life than all but the richest persons a hundred years ago.” In 2005, the typical household defined as poor by the government had a car and air conditioning. For entertainment, the household had two color televisions, cable or satellite TV, a DVD player, and a VCR. If there were children, especially boys, in the home, the family had a game system, such as an Xbox or a PlayStation. In the kitchen, the household had a refrigerator, an oven and stove, and a microwave. Other household conveniences included a clothes washer, clothes dryer, ceiling fans, a cordless phone, and a coffee maker.

    […]

    Consumer items that were luxuries or significant purchases for the middle class a few decades ago have become commonplace in poor households. In part, this is caused by a normal downward trend in price following the introduction of a new product. Initially, new products tend to be expensive and available only to the affluent. Over time, prices fall sharply, and the product saturates the entire population, including poor households.

    As a rule of thumb, poor households tend to obtain modern conveniences about a dozen years after the middle class. Today, most poor families have conveniences that were unaffordable to the middle class not too long ago.

    […]

    The home of the average poor family was in good repair and not overcrowded. In fact, the typical poor American had more living space than the average European. (Note: That’s average European, not poor European.) The average poor family was able to obtain medical care when needed. When asked, most poor families stated they had had sufficient funds during the past year to meet all essential needs.

    […]

    The average intake of protein, vitamins, and minerals by poor children is indistinguishable from children in the upper middle class and, in most cases, is well above recommended norms. Poor boys today at ages 18 and 19 are actually taller and heavier than middle-class boys of similar age in the late 1950s and are a full one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than American soldiers who fought in World War II. The major dietary problem facing poor Americans is eating too much, not too little; the majority of poor adults, like most Americans, are overweight.

    The writers of the paper conclude, “Sound public policy cannot be based on faulty information or misunderstanding . . . In the long term, grossly exaggerating the extent and severity of material deprivation in the U.S. will benefit neither the poor, the economy, nor society as a whole.”

    Other studies looking at the nation’s poor consider items not related to material bounty.

    A 2009 FDIC report noted over a quarter of Americans are unbanked or underbanked, meaning they rely on alternative financial services like payday loan lenders, pawnshops or rely strictly on cash. The underbanked may have a checking account but rely heavily on these fringe financial services to access credit. A book by Gary Rivlin, Broke USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty Inc. How The Working Poor Became Big Business, noted payday loan lenders charge an effective borrowing rate of 400 percent, with $2,000 going into paying off a $500 advance when all fees and late payment fines are calculated.

    And in a recent study titled “Flexible Workplace Solutions for Low-Wage Hourly Workers,” low-wage workers struggle to find work stability and regular hours, suffering a strain in family life for the high volatility that comes with low-paying jobs. The study found a quarter of Americans fall into the category of low-income status. Lack of adequate health care, benefits and scant opportunities to take time off make this population particularly prone to poor health and squeeze families financially when the worker’s hours are whittled down.
  2. 19 Jul '11 21:06
    In other news, the Cuban government published a report on the benefits of communism...

    I wonder if those "poor" people would trade their bigger TV for health care, safe streets or education for their children if they could. Also, what's the point of comparing to the "average European"? Do you think Eastern and Southern Europe is comparable to Western and Northern Europe? The differences are far, far bigger than between e.g. Mississippi and Vermont. Take a look through Naples and through Helsinki... it's night and day.
  3. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    20 Jul '11 17:48
    I guess that means we don't need jobs right?
  4. 20 Jul '11 18:25
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    I guess that means we don't need jobs right?
    I dunno what it means. I found it interesting though.
    I bold texted the other studies conclusions at the end because I feel those points have merit that were over looked in the heritage study.
    What do you think about the heritage findings? Some truth to it of is all poppy-cock ?
  5. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    20 Jul '11 18:54
    Originally posted by utherpendragon
    [b]The Heritage Foundation published a report today examining what an average poor household looks like in the U.S., remarking such families have more living space than the average European, enjoy standard kitchen amenities and purchase entertainment systems like video game consoles and cable or satellite television.

    From the report:

    ...[text shortened]... e to poor health and squeeze families financially when the worker’s hours are whittled down.[/b][/b]
    I suppose the millions of people in America living in there cars, cardboard box's and doorways of office buildings are far better off than those in Europe Huh?? Leave it to some right wing idiots to spread lies like this. Too bad simpltions like you believe this garbage!
  6. 20 Jul '11 18:56
    Originally posted by bill718
    I suppose the millions of people in America living in there cars, cardboard box's and doorways of office buildings are far better off than those in Europe Huh?? Leave it to some right wing idiots to spread lies like this. Too bad simpltions like you believe this garbage!
    Before you call someone a simpleton maybe you should take the time to make sure you are spelling it correctly, so you don't look like one.
  7. 20 Jul '11 19:04
    Leave it to some right wing idiots to spread lies like this. Too bad simpltions like you believe this garbage![/b]
    I'd like to no why in the debating forum people like you (and no1 to name another name caller) feel the need to call someone people "idiots" because the have an opposing point of view or wish to discuss an aspect of an issue you deem settled/ irrelevant/ or non-progressive.

    The idea that anyone gets to define the ground rules of what can be discussed (especially when you are insulting the person who started the thread) is far more offensive to me than just about any opinion or suggestion that you may have.
  8. 20 Jul '11 20:20
    I think this is the link to the article:

    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2004/01/understanding-poverty-in-america
  9. 20 Jul '11 20:23
    Originally posted by bill718
    I suppose the millions of people in America living in there cars, cardboard box's and doorways of office buildings are far better off than those in Europe Huh?? Leave it to some right wing idiots to spread lies like this. Too bad simpltions like you believe this garbage!
    Millions?
    Where do you get that figure from?
  10. 20 Jul '11 20:34
    Originally posted by Eladar
    I think this is the link to the article:

    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2004/01/understanding-poverty-in-america
    No. My apologies for not posting the link. This is it here.

    http://www.americanindependent.com/194074/heritage-foundation-study-on-poverty-dwells-on-material-bounty
  11. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    20 Jul '11 20:35
    Originally posted by utherpendragon
    [b]The Heritage Foundation published a report today examining what an average poor household looks like in the U.S., remarking such families have more living space than the average European, enjoy standard kitchen amenities and purchase entertainment systems like video game consoles and cable or satellite television.

    From the report:

    ...[text shortened]... e to poor health and squeeze families financially when the worker’s hours are whittled down.[/b][/b]
    The word "average" is a mathematician's way of avoiding talking about the majority that aren't average. There is poor and there is poor. Poor people who own a trailer or even have their own home are much different than urban homeless but both could have similar incomes.

    Kitchen amenities are very important, but there are many who don't have them. The presence of entertainment is a result of supply side economics that constantly mass produces and then intentionally obsoletes entertainment electronics in order to get money from the middle class. TVs and video game consoles are everywhere. Not always the newest, but still. Like cell phones, these resources are far more available than the stuff people need.

    Now the cable TV/satellite TV thing is different, as it cell phone service, as they require constant funding. It can be turned on or off though as money comes in and out, and poor people need ways to handle the stress of life even if they can't "afford it".

    “The poorest Americans today live a better life than all but the richest persons a hundred years ago.”

    That is nonsense, and even if it seems true, conditions a hundred years ago were miserable due to unregulated capitalism.

    I notice the "typical household defined as poor by the government" and am suspicious. Cars are excellent resources for the poor - emergency shelter and for work. Besides, like electronics, supply side economics creates a large supply of things that are not intended for the poor's needs and are intentionally made obsolete on a regular basis.

    Go to Goodwill, a junk shop or yard sale and you can see the stuff a few bucks can buy a poor person.

    Poor kids are often kept inside for reasons of safety, and video game systems help keep them inside for like a hundred bucks or less.

    The washer and dryer I am quite surprised by. I don't know anyone with those things except my upper middle class brother. The other stuff is helpful - cooking is cheaper than eating out. Ceiling fans are everywhere - it's not like you get to design your apartment. Likewise with the other gizmos.

    Some talk about trickling down of conveniences, well yeah that's true, but they're conveniences. The poor don't need them, but hey, they're available because of supply side thinking.

    This talk about poor people with homes is making me wonder who the heck these people are. This doesn't resemble the poor people I have ever known.

    There's lots of calories available, addictive calories so you keep buying their product, but healthy food is harder to get. 2 tacos from Jack in the Box is a pretty good deal for calories, as was the old dollar Whopper. My friend used to eat them for that reason; his metabolism was really active and he'd waste away if he didn't eat but he was poor and had to pay the rent.

    The banking issue is true. Part of that is because banks use bean counting small print tricks to suck money out of poor people via overdraft fees and the accounts get shut down and the bills start coming.

    The last part is pretty much true.
  12. 21 Jul '11 15:01
    Originally posted by Zapp Brannigan
    Millions?
    Where do you get that figure from?
    You dont see them?! I cant even walk down the street with out stumbling over a card box with a family of four living inside !
  13. 21 Jul '11 15:14
    Originally posted by utherpendragon
    You dont see them?! I cant even walk down the street with out stumbling over a card box with a family of four living inside !
    LOL yes once or twice a year I see people I suspect are homeless but they are always addled by drugs and alcohol. Help is available if they want it, anyone living in a carboard box is doing it by choice.
  14. Subscriber WoodPush
    Pusher of wood
    21 Jul '11 15:42 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Zapp Brannigan
    Millions?
    Where do you get that figure from?
    According to US department of housing and urban development:

    http://www.huduser.org/Publications/pdf/ahar.pdf

    1,560,000 people used shelters and transitional housing programs in 1 year between 2008-2009.

    That doesn't include people that weren't able to get access due to overcrowding / unavailability. Or put another way, the people living on the street.
  15. 21 Jul '11 16:24
    Originally posted by WoodPush
    According to US department of housing and urban development:

    http://www.huduser.org/Publications/pdf/ahar.pdf

    1,560,000 people used shelters and transitional housing programs in 1 year between 2008-2009.

    That doesn't include people that weren't able to get access due to overcrowding / unavailability. Or put another way, the people living on the street.
    Or in other words the people you mention in various programs weren't homless they were being taken care of and the people you say weren't being taken care of is just a figure you are grabbing out of your butt because you don't know.

    There aren't "millions of people living in their cars " as you claimed.