Skip to comments.Obama’s New ‘Poverty’ Measurement
Posted on 03/08/2010 6:39:30 AM PST by reaganaut1
This week, the Obama administration announced it will create a new poverty-measurement system that will eventually displace the current poverty measure. This new measure, which has little or nothing to do with actual poverty, will serve as the propaganda tool in Obamas endless quest to spread the wealth.
Under the new measure, a family will be judged poor if its income falls below a certain specified income threshold. Nothing new there, but, unlike the current poverty standards, the new income thresholds will have a built-in escalator clause: They will rise automatically in direct proportion to any rise in the living standards of the average American.
The current poverty measure counts absolute purchasing power how much steak and potatoes you can buy. The new measure will count comparative purchasing power how much steak and potatoes you can buy relative to other people. As the nation becomes wealthier, the poverty standards will increase in proportion. In other words, Obama will employ a statistical trick to ensure that the poor will always be with you, no matter how much better off they get in absolute terms.
The Left has promoted this idea of an ever-rising poverty measure for a long time. It was floated at the beginning of the War on Poverty and flatly rejected by Pres. Lyndon Johnson. Not so President Obama, who consistently seeks to expand the far-left horizons of U.S. politics.
The weird new poverty measure will produce very odd results. For example, if the real income of every single American were to magically triple over night, the new poverty measure would show there had been no drop in poverty, because the poverty income threshold would also triple. Under the Obama system, poverty can be reduced only if the incomes of the poor are rising faster
(Excerpt) Read more at article.nationalreview.com ...
An inflation indexed poverty level. Well if you’re going to believe in poverty levels at all, then inflation indexing them would seem to make sense. But, will deflation cause these levels to fall?
Ah yes, the old change the game to match the new rules ploy.....
Yes. And we need to do the same.
The bible already says the poor will always be with us.
Median world income is $2/day per person.
If you’re making more than half the people on the planet, you’re not poor.
So Obama denigrates success and elevates failure. Whats new about that? Level the playing field doncha know. And add some numbers to it - call it science - worked for Algore.
“Under the Obama system, poverty can be reduced only if the incomes of the ‘poor’ are rising faster than the incomes of everyone else.”
Well, we’ve been GIVING ‘poor’ people money, cheap housing, free food, free medical, free education, free bus passes, not limiting them to the number of kids they can have and paying for each and every one for about 50 years now.
And they’re still poor...and there’s more of them than ever before! If you build it, they WILL come.
This is just another sneaky way the Left can conduct more wealth redistribution. They’re not fooling me...or many others, anymore.
I wonder what our future slave owners, the Chinese, think about this new waste of their money.
There is a vast poverty bureaucracy. This insures that its members will always be employed. Very clever move on their part.
Communism: Keep fixing it until it stays broke.
This should tick a lot of people off.
Just like this dummb move by zero.
Repeat after me...Socialism is your friend....Mmmm,Mmmm,Mmmm
Kiss this experiment goodbye, unless something is done real soon.
“An inflation indexed poverty level. Well if youre going to believe in poverty levels at all, then inflation indexing them would seem to make sense.”
Current poverty levels already ARE indexed for inflation, so that poverty-level purchasing power stays constant over time. But most families have incomes that beat inflation over time, i.e., their standard of living RISES as the breadwinners increase their earnings through promotions within their own companies, or take higher paying jobs at other companies (or start their own businesses etc.). Obama is proposing to tie poverty levels to median family incomes, which would mean a) the “war on poverty” by definition can never be won (as even if we triple our standard of living instantaneously, there always will be SOME families below X% of the median); b) ever-growing costs of government, since a large number of government benefits programs (Medicaid, SCHIP, Food Stamps, SSI, TANF) are tied to poverty thresholds, thus much larger numbers of people would qualify for benefits over time than would have qualified under an absolute (albeit inflation-adjusted) standard.
Needless to say, that’s the whole point: when put into legislative form, this should be titled the Federal Bureaucrats Full and Permanent Employment Act since that is effectively the really motivation behind this proposal.
Yeah, but the leftists are (as usual) propagating their paychecks at our expense and at the expense of future American generations.
We need to stop this madness. Any way we can.
Obama must have been sleeping in church this day:
Romans 12 v 4 - 6
In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we're talking about is Christ's body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn't amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvellously functioning parts in Christ's body, let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't.
Leftism is a sin.
Let me know if you would like to be on or off the ping list...
They are waging war on all fronts.
Poverty equals less than 2 cars, 2 televisions, 2 game systems, a fully stocked bar, frozen food and potato chips, and a carton of cigarettes
You forgot the expensive cellphone for every member of the family.
Part of the “Spread the Wealth” campaign....surprised he has not declared a ‘Man-Caused Poverty Contingency Operation’...... =.=
...the new income thresholds will have a built-in escalator clause: They will rise automatically in direct proportion to any rise in the living standards of the average American.The federal graduated income tax, on the other hand...
The existing poor standards in the U.S.A. is repetitively wealthy by other EUROPEAN standards!
How much higher will they go?
Since the average American standard of living is falling, that means these folks will get LESS, right? Right?
Median world income is $2/day per person.
If youre making more than half the people on the planet, youre not poor.
I don’t know if that is a real statistic or not but if it is it is a very misleading one. It is obvious that anyone with an ACTUAL total income of two dollars per day is going to die.
And that, my FRiend, is exactly what they want. That includes the traitors that voted for them.
This is not measuring poverty. This is measuring economic inequality. This is institutionalizing class warfare.
Argh, you beat me to it.
I was going to say exactly the same thing.
Don’t forget the 50’ sailboat in the marina, too!
That’s an inherent human right, right there... ya know!
It ceases to be a matter of sustenance and becomes a matter of pride and envy. Have to give the Rats credit for being audacious, but none of this stuff is going to last once the Pubs wrest control back.
Real statistic. There is, for most practical purposes, no poverty in America - only class envy, and gross ignorance about what most humans live on.
Yes, you can live on $2/day.
In particular, when your government does not mandate living standards so high it seems impossible.
“Yes, you can live on $2/day.”
Yeah, right. A person can live on zero cash income if he can go out in the wilderness and survive on wild game and fish etc. but there is no way that a person can buy the barest necessities of even the most minimal life on two dollars a day. If I grow my own food or catch my own food I am not living on two dollars a day even if that is all the cash income I have.
[shrug] And so ignorance becomes policy.
Okay, I have never enjoyed being ignorant, so tell me how a person lives on two dollars a day and don’t say he grows a garden, catches fish, builds a hut out of sticks etc. I want to know how a person BUYS the necessities of even the most meager existence with two dollars a day, please.
Fine. I won't.
“Fine. I won’t.”
Then I must be right, no one can “live” on two dollars a day. They may very well be able to survive on two dollars a day or less in actual money but that is not taking into account imputed income. Back in the seventies my wife and I were spending an astonishingly small amount at the grocery store but we were growing huge gardens, catching fish from the stream bordering our land, growing chickens for eggs and meat, growing rabbits for meat etc. All that has a monetary value. I have always done my own home repairs including roofing, electrical work, flooring etc. I maintain eight acres with grape vines, berry bushes etc. I work on my own tractor, I have a small backhoe that I have kept running by doing my own repairs. If I tried to live the same lifestyle and pay someone else to do everything I couldn’t come close to doing it on the income that I have now as a retired person. My imputed income is at least equal to my actual cash income.
Suit yourself but you haven’t shown any evidence that what I say is wrong. I guess I won’t get to hear how someone actually lives on two dollars a day. Claiming non sequitur (the dash is not needed by the way) is an easy way out I suppose.
Thanks for the reply but apparently I am not making myself clear. What I am saying is this, the only standard I have to judge by is what two dollars a day in American money means IN AMERICA. Figures for other nations should be adjusted to equivalency. I still defy anyone to explain to me how someone can live on two dollars a day in America or the equivalent purchasing power in some other country. I still say it is not possible regardless of what claims are made.
Two dollars a day in this country will not buy food to keep one person alive let alone any of the other necessities. I saw a program on TV years ago about factory workers in Mexico, the storyline was that American manufacturing was going to Mexico because they could pay the workers something like eighty cents an hour. Then they showed film of these factory workers going out at night and dancing to live music, they were all wearing nice clothes and had their hair looking as though it was professionally done.
The point is that while the company may have been spending eighty cents an hour American to hire those workers they were able to buy far more with the pesos they were paid than anyone can buy with eighty cents an hour in this country. Apparently the exchange ratio was very favorable to the Mexican workers but it was being reported simply that they were living on “eighty cents an hour”. In reality eighty cents an hour at the time would not have paid the expenses of going to work if it bought no more than it buys in this country.
Am I making myself clear or is this all non sequitur too? Or maybe it seems nonsensical, I don’t know, it seems clear to me. Here is an excerpt from one report on India.
“While the World Bank standards are serviceable as benchmarks for progressif fewer people are living on $2 today than were 10 years ago, that’s greatthey don’t give an accurate picture of poverty in an individual country. For example, nearly 70 percent of Indians still live in villages, many in rent-free ancestral homes. They won’t soon buy a Nano, but they can easily feed and clothe themselves and their children. Their main worriespoor schools, contaminated water, and limited access to health carearen’t necessarily solved by a modest income hike. In contrast, a $2-per-day laborer in Mumbai would spend nearly his entire income on a modest shanty in one of Mumbai’s notorious slums.”
“Mindful of this difference, the Indian government uses a flexible poverty line that varies with area of residence. Those who live in rural areas are considered impoverished if they makes less than 66 cents per day; the threshold for city-dwellers is 83 cents per day. India also adjusts the status for people who are cash poor but enjoy family assets, like a house or arable land.”
This makes it obvious that they cannot be talking about the same thing as two dollars a day in America. It says they can easily feed and clothe themselves and their children. Try that in America on two dollars a day!
Two dollars a day may buy enough of the Indian currency to feed and clothe them and their children but to claim that they are supporting their family on two dollars a day is very misleading.
Point made, but disagreed with.
If you are better off than half the people on the planet, you are doing well enough to take care of yourself and not give Leftists an excuse to steal more out of taxpayer pockets.
Apparently the point was totally lost because I have no idea what on Earth you mean by that reply. Let’s not waste each other’s time. Have a good life.
And it seems you missed mine from the beginning. Ah well...
(Just 'cuz the subject amuses/interests me...)
Actually, yes. I can easily live on $1 per meal (look for my new blog soon!), and can reduce that to $1 per day for food if need be (and yes that's store-bought food; for $1 I can buy enough seeds to grow food providing sustenance for weeks). You may be shocked at how little other FReepers live on according to the ongoing Living on Nothing thread (a great read!).
This nation was pioneered by people who had little or no income, going deep into the woods and growing/building everything from there; they turned nothing into success.
Even today, there is far more available in this country for dirt-cheap or free than you realize. Education? the whole of MIT coursework for free. Land? several towns will give you land outright if only you build a house on it (with "house" loosely defined). Food? seeds from the Dollar Store and a shovel for next to nothing.
Try that in America on two dollars a day!
Many do, and get by quite nicely. Yeah, it's not "up to par", but it's certainly no reason to rob taxpayer pockets in the perpetuation of class warfare.
I probably know more about growing food than you do, I grew up walking behind a mule, LITERALLY, no joke, Okay?
Get over this idea that if you buy a dollars worth of seed and grow enough food for weeks you are eating for weeks on a dollar. You are eating for weeks on a dollar and a lot of labor, just because you are not paid in cash for that labor does not mean that it has no value.
If someone offered me the run of an abandoned junkyard and I managed to piece together a running automobile after weeks of hard work would you say I got a free car? If the answer is yes then you just have no idea what I am trying to say to you.
Every time someone like you has told me how to live on nothing it turns out that they mean do without all but the most basic things and ignore completely the concept of imputed income.
I know all about those pioneers, they didn’t live on nothing, they lived on hard work, the kind of hard work that very few people now can even conceive of. I CAN conceive of it because I did that kind of hard work for most of my first eighteen years and what I got for it was food, clothing, shelter, a high school education and a very few non necessities and probably a total of a hundred dollars to spend as I saw fit in the whole eighteen years. Did I live eighteen years on a hundred dollars? I don’t think so.
If some people heard of a man who was offered a bunk in a six by eight foot storage building and food to eat in exchange for working on a farm every day with no cash income offered they would claim he had discovered how to live on zero income.
The original statement said nothing about “imputed”.
You’re arguing about something other than what I posted.
The original statement said nothing about imputed.
That is true and that is why I said that it is a misleading statistic. A person’s TRUE income is his cash income plus his imputed income, for some people the cash income is all of it but for others the imputed income is far greater than the cash income. I have a fireplace and I have plenty of hardwood trees, if I turn off the central heat and cut wood to heat my house am I heating for nothing? Not in my book. I am simply working cutting wood for IMPUTED income rather than selling the firewood for cash. That is why I quarrel with reports that report a miniscule income and say that people are “living” on that income. That is why I don’t believe that all these people are “living” on two dollars a day or less. There was one news report that showed pictures of a man who claims to be Barack Obama’s half brother and he is reported to be “living” on less than a dollar a month! Tell me that isn’t absurd. Without consideration of imputed income a person who survives without any cash income is “living on nothing” as the title of your thread implies. Show me someone who actually lives on “nothing” and I will show you a dead body.
Actually imputed income is much to be preferred because at this time the vampires in DC haven’t figured out a way to tax it. They are working on it though, schemes have been proposed but not passed into law...YET.
As an aside to this, have you seen the reports of people who have a net worth of over a million dollars but are listed by the government as living below poverty level? It actually is possible in this country, a family can own a farm or ranch worth a million or more, grow their own food, drive old vehicles and tractors that they maintain for themselves and live on a cash income that is a dollar less than the official “poverty” line and be listed as living in poverty.
Ok, so we're on par. My family grew half our own food; I don't consider it "imputed income". We DID buy a dollar's worth of seed and grew enough food for weeks, ergo we were eating for weeks on a dollar. We cut & split wood for heat for free (if felling trees ourselves) or cheap (if having whole logs dumped). We even made our own maple syrup. We could have raised _all_ our own food, meat included, but chose to draw the line where we did. Being industrious, laboring to enjoy the fruits thereof without involving someone else's currency, is laudable - and my very point in such discussions as this.
If someone can own or rent property, and cultivate it for adequate sustenance, with otherwise little or no actual income, then they fit the original scale I referred to. Free run of a junkyard to build, with effort, a "free" car? sounds like a $0 win to me! Yes, I understand what you mean, and reject the notion: creative effort and opportunities taken DOES let one live on few dollars per day. There are towns that will GIVE you land, if only you build a humble home thereon - sounds like free real estate to me, so long as your creativity can produce a house for cheap (yes, that's doable too; I've been offered free houses for the taking, in whole or pieces). $1 at the Dollar Store garners a whole lotta seeds; plant them well.
I understand, but reject, your use of "imputed income" here, and that includes barter. I'm not saying that one's work has no value. I'm saying that with very little currency (or trade plainly in lieu thereof) one can indeed get by, providing for one's own basic sustenance. It's the core notion of independence.
What this little exchange does point out is the fuzziness of the notion of "income". As we head for Galt's Gulch, exploring this fog is a worthy endeavor. Living on nothing does not preclude hard work.