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.