Skip to comments.'Poverty’ like we’ve never seen it
Posted on 12/05/2012 8:53:35 PM PST by JerseyanExile
The federal government now considers a family of four in New York City to be poor if its pre-tax income is below $37,900.Even with full medical coverage.
The calculation helps explain why newly revised Census Bureau figures hike the number of poor Americans to 49 million as of last year, further widening an already yawning gap between ordinary perceptions of poverty and how the government sees it.
This breathtaking number begs the question: What does it mean to be poor in the United States?
To the average American, the word poverty means significant material hardship and need. It means lack of a warm, dry home, recurring hunger and malnutrition, no medical care, worn-out clothes for the children. The mainstream media reinforce this view: The typical TV news story on poverty features a homeless family with kids living in the back of a van.
But poverty as the federal government defines it differs greatly from these images. Only 2 percent of the official poor are homeless. According to the governments own data, the typical poor family lives in a house or apartment thats not only in good repair but is larger than the homes of the average non-poor person in England, France or Germany.
The typical poor American experiences no material hardships, receives medical care whenever needed, has an ample diet and wasnt hungry for even a single day the previous year. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the nutritional quality of the diets of poor children is identical to that of upper middle class kids.
All these government statistics were based on the Census Bureaus old definition of poverty. The new definition, released last week, stretches that gap between common-sense and government perspectives even further.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
With the way rents are in NYC, that income really might be considered poor.
In the rural area I live in $37,900 a year are pretty good wages.
Duh, what if Poverty = $ 7.50 X 8 hours X 5 days X 52 weeks = $15,600 for a family of four? That is $ 42.74 per day, tax free.
What Obama and the Class divisionist’s don’t understand is you can make us all poor and there will still be envy.
All, Obama will accomplish is stifling ambition.
Between EBT, WIC and Section 8 housing, the *poor* in America have much more than the poor in other countries, and much more than most working class families in America have. It’s absurd what folks are given — so that they don’t have to *suffer*.
Thus insuring the Gov't has increasing amounts of dependents and justifies its programs - FOREVER
I was at a friend’s house recently, and he began slamming “rich” people saying they have to pay more taxes, are the root of the problems, etc.
I had to point out to him that once you start playing that game, there is no end to it, and had to point out to him that he had a job, a car, a house and a hot tub on a four season porch, and that he can take two week vacations in Montana and have season tickets to professional football games.
He doesn’t seem to realize that when you play that game, someone will point the finger at you, no matter how modest your means might be, simply because you have a little more than them.
The welfare class has the benefit of knowing that there will be another check in the mail every month. They may not have much money at the end of the month but they do know that there will be security which is a luxury that a working person does not have.
I always viewed the census as an apolitical process up until 2010. I was appalled that they got away with doing it as they did, in full view, and not a single Republican stood up and said anything.
It was an extraordinarily partisan abuse of a heretofore non-partisan event. They ran that census with a view to produce a certain result.
And once the slug that won’t work gets what you have, while getting the same you, You stop working too.
Then where is society?
It is in decline, and envy is still there.
Social disorder and chaos comes next.
In NYC, I’m sure there are places where dinner for 10 could come pretty close to $37, 900;)
Baloney. I'm too young for Medicare, and Medicaid was denied because I get Social Security income. It's less than $8k a year and I have no other income whatsoever. Nor any health insurance.
I find it hard to believe that anybody in this country is stuck with 8K a year even on honest disability.
Gosh, how do you survive on $665/ mo.? And yet still have Internet?
If that is true then most FReepers won’t criticize you for asking for food stamps and Section 8. AT least its real disability and not generational welfare.
It isn’t disability. You need a doctor for that, and probably a lawyer. I can’t afford either one.
Believe it. No food stamps, no medicaid, no freebies here. Just an early Soc Sec, which is discounted to around 70 percent.
And it isn’t too bad, except that there’s no way to afford medical care when needed.
Not complaining. Just noting that the oft-heard remark is untrue. The poor do not have medical care whenever needed.
I think I live on about 10K a year that I earn and when I get to the finish line they are going to steal anything I saved living frugally for 35 years.
Actually, I don’t have internet. I use the pc at a relative’s home now and then.
I survive, and am generally contented. :)
My wider point is that the folks that are working won’t have those things either if we continue down this path.
Freepers wont waste 75% of a dollar to send you a quarter.
Obama is going to destroy all compassion with envy and Gov waste.
Forgive my asking, but if it’s just social security at 70%, and NOT disability, wouldn’t that be a choice you made?
I am truly not understanding your condition. If you need SSDI and yes, an attorney is wise, they do NOT require any payment up front! They get paid on the back end.
As for medical care, I don’t understand your claim. I am uninsured and have no issue getting medical care, without medicare or medicaid.
I would like to understand what you are saying here. Thanks
You can receive medical care in any ER in America, and you cannot be refused care due to inability to pay. There are also clinics for the poor if need be.
I just don’t understand how you can pay rent and utilities, buy food, and have enough money for the Internet when you receive less than $665 a month from social security and have no other income. Please enlighten us with your magnificent budgeting secrets.
I think what they mean by “medical care when needed” is when a person is having a heart attack or needs hospitalization....insurance over the last 50 years has totally messed up our medical system...it used to be affordable to see a doctor for ailments needing attention because insurance (and government) was not involved. JMHO
That’s the standard of living for you. I knew a guy living on fixed income in Chicago, he had only a small apartment, and even then he got a discount from the landlord for doing work at the building. Moved down to Alabama and the same income got him a multi-acre spread and he didn’t have to work anymore.
Isn’t pride one of the 7 deadly sins? If I was truly in need of medical care and had no insurance, I would avail myself of any legal source of care I could find. If it involved charity, I would swallow my pride and accept their help.
People, this is where we find America.
This is a compassionate society that is taxing all accomplishment away to level the field.
When things were tempered, we had compassion for the unfortunate and the fortunate, as well as all in between.
We were a land of ambition and compassion.
Obama is stripping ambition.
I don’t wish to over analyze this.
Lord knows I aint rich, but I do not covet what others have.
I think I can say that honestly, and I think I can honestly say I have compassion for folks that have less than me.
I know one thing.
I can only take those things one at a time.
I can’t expect the politicians to spend the bounty wisely.
Witness Obama and Boehner
Ted Kennedy started us down this road with the HMOs
Prior to that and HIPPA a fellow could work out a payment plan with a side of beef or shingling a roof. Those things are verboten now and administrators will decide what is best for you.
Ask Mooochele. Shes been to all of them with groups of 100 or more.
Poverty statistics are phony. They only count income when they decide who is living in poverty. Non-cash benefits from the government - food stamps, medical care, housing, utilities, meals at school for the kiddies, the “free” education in government schools, and even a free Obamaphone are not counted as income. If you had all these things provided for you and had some income, would you call that living in poverty?
I know fellows that spent 25 years in service in the military in war zones for the last 12 years and Obama just axed their Tricare.
I have paid into the system since I was 14 and I can see they are going to pull the rug out just before I get there.
It stinks. But there it is.
Well, I manage. Living in a rural area where housing is dirt cheap, though utilities are not, I stay in my house until winter arrives (it’s paid for, taxes are peanuts, and its market value is under $10k) and then make myself useful at the home of a relative who needs company. I can’t afford heat, don’t pay rent, the kid is a self-supporting adult, I have no debts and own no cars.
What’s really amazing is not how I budget the income, but how little one needs to be happy, provided one hasn’t numerous obligations.
Don’t buy a house by incurring a mortgage; same goes for car; don’t use credit cards; don’t borrow money; go easy on the water and electric usage.
Incidentally, the last time I paid for internet, it was dialup and around $9 a month.
People don’t need a lot of money. They make choices — sometimes expensive ones — and then they think they can’t unmake them. Mortgages, student loans, car loans, credit cards, hobbies, habits...it sure adds up if you’re not careful!
Of course I chose it. I could either take early SS, or go on welfare. I believe welfare would have been a lot more: free food, free heat, and Medicaid. But it's mooching, so I took the Soc Sec instead. My late husband had to pay into the system, like it or not; the govt gambled he'd live longer than he did, and they lost!
I am truly not understanding your condition. If you need SSDI
Whether I need it or no, whether the lawyer is paid up front or no, the doctor most certainly needs to be paid. Who is to pay him? I can't. It's that simple.
I am uninsured and have no issue getting medical care, without medicare or medicaid.
Glad to hear it. But where I live, there are no doctors who do freebies, and the hospital ER will provide little besides references to individual physicians elsewhere -- FAR elsewhere -- unless the patient is suffering a hemorrhage, a heart attack, or some other condition liable to result very soon in a dead patient on the premises.
I would like to understand what you are saying here.
I'm saying that although nearly everyone seems to believe it, the poor do not enjoy access to health care. Hospitals do what they must to avoid legal repercussions, but doctors are still asking -- quite properly -- to be paid for their services.
Pardon me for not addressing this in the previous post. (It is so past my bedtime!)
But no, you can NOT receive medical care in any ER in America, and I don't recommend that you try, unless you can afford the insane ambulance fee. Nor are there free clinics within everyone's reach.
You can say it over and over, like an article of faith; everyone thinks it's true; but it simply isn't true. In fact, even if you have a life-threatening condition, it's no guarantee you'll get care. You'll get some attention, but not necessarily care.
Now I really must bid you good night, sweet Prince.
Where (approximately) do you live? I live (by choice) in the northeastern Texas Piney Woods, and the living standard here is pretty low...
Do min wage workers not pay any withholding tax either? It’s really unreal. They need to be paying more.
You got it. I wonder if a future age will peg ours as "Tammany Hall got into the morals line."
The scary part is, once some of them do realize it they react by dehumanizing the rich. Dehumanizing is the standard way to cut off empathizing with a certain group of our fellow humans.
Which is the entire purpose of the welfare system. A lady I know is on S-8. She works part time and received a promotion to supervisor increasing her pay by about $325/month. S-8 reevaluated her and lowered her subsidy by $350.
Taking the promotion would cost her $25/month. She declined it. Face to face true story. I have more. The system is designed by the Devil to destroy human integrity and families.
Exceelent & true. It’s how human beings can sacrifice babies to dumb idols or put people into ovens. What horrors will the 21st century see?
“Non-cash benefits from the government - food stamps, medical care, housing, utilities, meals at school for the kiddies, the free education in government schools, and even a free Obamaphone are not counted as income. If you had all these things provided for you and had some income, would you call that living in poverty?”
You forgot the obesity & diabetes that seems to plague our starving masses...
“She works part time and received a promotion to supervisor increasing her pay by about $325/month. S-8 reevaluated her and lowered her subsidy by $350.”
That scenario is playing out nationally as our decent jobs are shipped overseas, except it doesn’t revolve around declining promotions; it is about declining work in general. The “safety net” has become so profitable that there is no motive to work; high taxes on the middle class have created an anomaly where low-wage jobs simply offer nothing the nanny-state wouldn’t have provided (without the 40 hours of effort). This dovetails with the whole argument that illegals are doing “jobs Americans don’t want”. Americans always did those jobs when they could earn a living; now they can “earn a living” staying home, while those jobs are done by illegals.
Oh no, I don’t believe Rector. He’s citing facts and detailed information. But movies, tv, and the media have told me there are countless millions of homeless and starving Americans. They’re all over the place. I haven’t seen any personally (I have seen a lot of very well-fed Americans), but the people on the tube have reliably informed me about all the starving, homeless people. Who should I believe: facts from people like Rector or the lib media and entertainment industry? (snicker)
Try walking into the emergency room.
what is Medicaid?
I recently saw something where you’d have to make $69K per year, with a family of four, to offset the combination of government benefits and salary that a $29K salary provides.
And as your own math suggests, a single hard-working earner, with two 40-hour per week, minimum-wage jobs, or two minimum-wage earners each working 40-hours per week, would therefore make the equivalent of $69K per year, which is well over the median in this country. Truly, there’s no excuse for a healthy, married couple not to be able to raise kids in at least moderate comfort.
Wish I knew why my little comment is raising such confusion. The poor do not always get Medicaid. I speak from experience. Clearly in the category, yet overqualified for Medicaid.
You can only get on disability if you’re already getting some other form of “assistance”.
That way they can be assured that the “right” type of people are getting it.
If you’re truly disabled, plan on a huge legal fight and a 4 year wait.