Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Poor is a Relative Term

Don't be fooled by the left and all their crying and hand-wringing about how bad the poor in America have it.  By both historical and current standards, the poor in this country live lives that the richest in the world of just a 100 years ago couldn't imagine.  And the poor in the US are among the most well off -- if not the most -- of the poor in any country around the globe.  This is a point I hammer home to my students every single semester, and it's a point the Heritage Foundation makes in a recent research paper on the topic of poverty.  Here's an excerpt from the Executive Summary:
In fact, other government surveys show that most of the persons whom the government defines as “in poverty” are not poor in any ordinary sense of the term. The overwhelming majority of the poor have air conditioning, cable TV, and a host of other modern amenities. They are well housed, have an adequate and reasonably steady supply of food, and have met their other basic needs, including medical care. Some poor Americans do experience significant hardships, including temporary food shortages or inadequate housing, but these individuals are a minority within the overall poverty population. [Emphasis Marc Street]