Joe Levi:
a cross-discipline, multi-dimensional problem solver who thinks outside the box – but within reality™

What do "poverty" and "poor" really mean?

Did you know that your tax dollars are paying for someone else to have an Xbox?

That’s because poverty in America is not what any other country would consider poverty. In America, poverty simply means wanting something you don’t have and don’t feel like working for. People in America expect far more than they are willing to work for, and we are the ones paying for them.

Talk to your friends or pay attention at the grocery store, countless stories exist of the “poor” living it up on your tax dollar by using food stamps to offset income.

Some “poor” people will buy hundreds of dollars worth of DVDs and video games, and then pay for their groceries with food stamps.

Or they’ll spend their food stamps on luxury foods like crabs (which isn’t even what food stamps are supposed to pay for, by the way.)

All this, paid for by you.

Our classification of poverty is flawed; families considered “poor” in America receive on average about$10,000 a YEAR from the government as supplemental income. Yet, this is never counted as income on tax returns and census reports. Thus, every penny spent on poverty seems to disappear. Which is why every year, liberals want to spend more and more on welfare. To date we’ve spent TRILLIONS on the war on poverty, yet somehow 30 million Americans are still poor.

Are they?

What do you consider poor? Does owning a refrigerator, television, stove, microwave and air conditioner sound like a poor household to you? 99% of “poor” households own a refrigerator, and nearly 80% have air conditioning. Oh, by the way, the vast majority of the “poor” live in homes or apartments that are in good repair, and they have more living space than the average European.

Does this sound “poor” to you?

Every year, Congress spends more of your money trying to “end poverty,” but all they’re really doing is discouraging work. If a person makes more than the poverty line, they can’t receive that extra $10,000 a year from the government, they’d actually have to work to earn their money, so why put in the effort?

Taxpayers spend nearly a trillion dollars a year taking care of the “poor.” And each year, the amount paid to them is increased while the average earnings of the middle class decrease.

Every year we spend more and more on the “poor,” which translates into higher taxes for those of us who actually work to provide for our families. Our tax burden is growing, along with our national debt because we provide a free ride for those unwilling to work.

We must break this cycle of government dependence. If we continue down this path without encouraging or forcing the able-bodied “poor” to get jobs and take care of themselves, then when the money stops, they’ll riot. Look at Europe now that the government can’t afford to give everyone a free ride they are rioting in the streets. They just can’t fathom having to work for themselves because the government has always provided.

We can’t afford to let America turn into Europe.

For the past two decades, the Census Bureau has claimed that one in seven Americans are poor. That means you couldn’t go almost anywhere without running into someone on government assistance. This also means that you can’t go most places without running into someone you’re supporting via your taxes.

Most of us believe that real poverty means an inability to provide food, clothing and shelter for yourself or your family. Yet that is not the case for the “poor” in this country. Only a small fraction of the 30 million people that the Census considers poor are actually poor. By all accounts, poverty in America is grosslyoverstated. Scholar James Q. Wilson said:

“The poorest Americans today live a better life than all but the richest persons a hundred years ago.”

We could go so far as to say the poorest Americans today live a better life than even middle class Americans did 50 years ago.

According to analysis of amenities in poor households, more than 50% of “poor” households had the following 19 amenities:

  • air conditioning, a personal computer, Internet access, a computer printer, a ceiling fan, a cell phone or phones, a cordless phone, and a coffee maker.
  • two color televisions, cable or satellite TV, a DVD player, and a VCR.
  • a refrigerator, an oven, a stove, an automatic dishwasher, and a microwave.
  • a washing machine and dryer.

Again, does that sound poor to you?

According to our own Census Bureau, the poor are not hungry and had enough money to cover all essential needs. Yes, they struggle to make ends meet (don’t most middle class families as well?) but what they’re “struggling” to pay for is cable TV, not food.

Yet every year we give them more and more money, and they work less and less, which in turn makes them rely on government more and more.

But what about the actual living standards?

Government surveys show that “poor” Americans are well housed and rarely overcrowded. 43% of all poor households own their own homes. The average “poor” home has three bedrooms with one and a half bathrooms, a garage and a porch or patio.


Only 1 in 10 has moderate damage to the home. Only 2% has “severe” damage.

Then they must be hungry?

Wrong. Again, government surveys show that poor families are well-nourished. The average intake of protein, vitamins and minerals is almost the same for poor and middle-class children. Poor children actually consume more meat than higher-income children. “Poor” children today are actually overweight. 92.5% of “poor” households say they’ve always had enough food to eat.

It is absolutely absurd for the media to try an claim that so many Americans are living in poverty. It’s actually an insult to people in other countries who actually are impoverished. The problem with the “poor” in America is a lack of will to improve their lives. The average “poor” able-bodied adult works just 16 hours a week. If they just worked 40 hours like the rest of us, they’d be out of poverty.

Here’s the biggest insult: Barack Obama is planning to implement a new way to measure poverty in America.

Currently, poverty is measured if a family’s income falls below certain specified standards. But Obama plans to insert a “spread the wealth” message into a new way of measuring.

He’ll do this by building in an escalator clause, which will raise the poverty threshold in direct proportion to any rise in the standard of living of the average American.

Basically, as the nation becomes wealthier, the poverty standards will increase and the percentage of “poor” Americans will never decrease. The only way for the number of “poor” Americans to decrease is for their household incomes to increase faster than every other hard-working American. This will make the case for “spreading the wealth” or vastly increase the amount spent on poverty.

Obama’s measure will compare purchasing power of the poor relative to other people.

According to Obama, economic growth will have no impact on poverty. His new measure literally counts income “inequality.” He’ll claim he’s fighting poverty, but in reality he’s fighting what he feels causes all the problems in the world: income inequality and he will use this new measure to try and force not socialism, but communism onto the United States.

We cannot let America be turned into a country where no matter how hard you work, you earn as much as the laziest among us. Please Fax every Member of Congress now and stop them from giving more and more money every year to the poor, because it only creates government independence.


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