Poor in America

Poor people in America have an awful life--at least that's what you'd think if you get your news from TV...and John Edwards. But here's a glimpse at reality (from Betsy's Place):

The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:

-Forty-six percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
-Seventy-six percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
-Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person. -The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
-Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.
-Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
-Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
-Seventy-three percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.

Yes, there are people living in genuine need. But if history shows anything, it is that such needs are much better addressed by individuals and local communities than by the feds. And the next time you hear someone talking about the awful plight of "the poor" in America, remember what those people actually have.


At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Rebecca said...

Amen and amen! When my children start to look at what others around them may have here, I will not let them say we are poor! No sir! We worked with truly poor people in Mexico for years. I tell the children that true poverty is a one room adobe hut with a dirt floor and a bucket for a chair! The truth is many who are "below the poverty line" here in the USA would be considered rich elsewhere around the world.


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