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  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    14 Sep '12 17:25
    According to this article in Forbes, US poverty figures don't account for government assistance and that, counting government, assistance, there in fact is little poverty.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/09/13/if-the-us-spends-550-billion-on-poverty-how-can-there-still-be-poverty-in-the-us/

    What I want to point out is that to an acceptable level of accuracy this is already done. $550 billion is indeed spent on the poor so therefore there shouldn’t be any poverty. The reason there still is, by the way we measure it, because we don’t count that $550 billion as reducing poverty. Which is a very strange way of doing things when you come to think about it.

    -snip-

    So, how come there are still these near 50 million poor even after we’ve spent enough money to have no poor people? Simple, we just don’t count the money we’ve spent on the poor as reducing poverty. I know, I know, it’s unbelievable, isn’t it, but here’s Census saying exactly that:

    The poverty estimates released today compare the official poverty thresholds to money income before taxes, not including the value of noncash benefits.

    That “before taxes” bit means that the EITC is not counted as that works through the tax system. Food stamps are aid in kind. As is Medicaid. As are many other programs like Section 8 housing vouchers (yes, it’s true, almost all of the money spent through HUD is not counted as alleviating poverty at all).

    And that folks is how the country spends enough money to entirely eradicate poverty without actually reducing the number of people in poverty at all.

    -snip-

    It’s actually really strange. The US spends half a trillion dollars a year on this problem. That’s $500,000,000,000 and more in reducing poverty. And the way it’s counted is that poverty has not been reduced by one, single, solitary person.

    You can even strip Medicaid out if you want: that’s still $125,000,000,000 a year spent without reducing poverty at all. Which, as I say, is a really, really, strange way of doing things.
  2. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    14 Sep '12 19:21
    Poor people gotta pay the rent. That money does not go towards reducing poverty.
  3. 14 Sep '12 19:26
    Neither does paying $4 per gallon for gas to get to work and back in the kind of car the poor can afford.
  4. 14 Sep '12 19:54
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Neither does paying $4 per gallon for gas to get to work and back in the kind of car the poor can afford.
    Poverty in the USA is not related to real poverty elsewhere on the planet, or even poverty in the USA a century ago.

    Why have anti poverty programs not eliminated poverty. Because when something is subsidized, you get more of it. We have made poverty fairly comfortable, taken away the stigma of receiving welfare, and for many generations turned it into a lifestyle.

    Many Americans no longer aspire to anything other than being poor.
  5. 14 Sep '12 19:59 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by normbenign


    Many Americans no longer aspire to anything other than being poor.
    I know I truly long to be poor. I wish I didn't have a job or a house to live in.
  6. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    14 Sep '12 20:02
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Neither does paying $4 per gallon for gas to get to work and back in the kind of car the poor can afford.
    Poor people tend to take the bus.
  7. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    14 Sep '12 20:05
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Poverty in the USA is not related to real poverty elsewhere on the planet, or even poverty in the USA a century ago.

    Why have anti poverty programs not eliminated poverty. Because when something is subsidized, you get more of it. We have made poverty fairly comfortable, taken away the stigma of receiving welfare, and for many generations turned it into a lifestyle.

    Many Americans no longer aspire to anything other than being poor.
    The crap you spout is contemptible.
  8. 15 Sep '12 00:47
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Poor people tend to take the bus.
    Not many buses run in rural areas where I live. Not everyone lives in big cities.
  9. 15 Sep '12 01:16
    Originally posted by PsychoPawn
    I know I truly long to be poor. I wish I didn't have a job or a house to live in.
    Clearly not paying attention to what was said. Of course you don't want to be poor. But if you already are poor, and it isn't so bad, and you don't have to work hard to maintain the lifestyle to which you've become accustomed, waiting on the mailman isn't so bad. It beat the crap out of real third world poverty, where starvation, not obesity is the biggest worry.
  10. 15 Sep '12 01:17
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    The crap you spout is contemptible.
    You are contemptible.
  11. 15 Sep '12 03:01
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Poverty in the USA is not related to real poverty elsewhere on the planet, or even poverty in the USA a century ago.

    Why have anti poverty programs not eliminated poverty. Because when something is subsidized, you get more of it. We have made poverty fairly comfortable, taken away the stigma of receiving welfare, and for many generations turned it into a lifestyle.

    Many Americans no longer aspire to anything other than being poor.
    I know they have it really good. I wish I was poor. I am thinking about quitting my six-figure job, selling my house in the suburbs, giving the money to the Obama campaign, and going to live in a shelter (if they have room) in the city.
  12. 15 Sep '12 12:58
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Clearly not paying attention to what was said. Of course you don't want to be poor. But if you already are poor, and it isn't so bad, and you don't have to work hard to maintain the lifestyle to which you've become accustomed, waiting on the mailman isn't so bad. It beat the crap out of real third world poverty, where starvation, not obesity is the biggest worry.
    So how come that some countries with vastly larger welfare states have vastly more people working?
  13. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    15 Sep '12 13:17 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Clearly not paying attention to what was said. Of course you don't want to be poor. But if you already are poor, and it isn't so bad, and you don't have to work hard to maintain the lifestyle to which you've become accustomed, waiting on the mailman isn't so bad. It beat the crap out of real third world poverty, where starvation, not obesity is the biggest worry.
    That's not what you said. To repeat your crap:

    norm: Many Americans no longer aspire to anything other than being poor.


    So PP WAS "paying attention to what was said".

    What was said is a contemptible lie. I've never met ANYONE who "no longer aspire to anything other than being poor". Many Americans do aspire to be rich so they don't have to work at all and can wait for the mailman to deliver checks (though that is anachronistic these days).
  14. 15 Sep '12 13:30
    Originally posted by sh76
    According to this article in Forbes, US poverty figures don't account for government assistance and that, counting government, assistance, there in fact is little poverty.
    Poverty is a relative concept. The poorest people in any country live in poverty.
    So the amount of poverty in a given country is related to the number of people in the 'poorest' category and how you measure that category.
    Here you are making the error of saying that the measurement is wrong and therefore there aren't many poor people when in reality the number of poor people is dependent on the measurement and the measurement cannot be wrong - as the measurement is part of the definition, and definitions are never wrong.
  15. 15 Sep '12 15:13
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Clearly not paying attention to what was said. Of course you don't want to be poor. But if you already are poor, and it isn't so bad, and you don't have to work hard to maintain the lifestyle to which you've become accustomed, waiting on the mailman isn't so bad. It beat the crap out of real third world poverty, where starvation, not obesity is the biggest worry.
    You clearly missed the point of my post.