What does it mean to be poor? Is it a bad thing, or a good thing, or neither, necessarily? How does it affect people, and do people have any control over those affects?
On the very same day, September 16, 2010, two reports on poverty in America were published, one by the U.S. government (as reported by the Washington Post), and one by The Heritage Foundation, a non-profit think tank. They are widely different in their statistics and interpretations. In this tale of two reports, we can see the idea of poverty, American style, and the profound abiguities concomitant.
Davey Crockett (1786-1836) said charity
was not the government’s job.
Plainly, the American concept of poverty is sheerly material. More accurately, it is based on mean dollars. The 2009 Census report, taken during Barry Soetoro’s first year of presidency, found that about 44 million Americans lived below the “poverty line, according to the Washington Post’s interpretation of the 2010 Statistic Abstract (presumably). The poverty level is set, for a family of four, under $22,000 of income per year. In other words, if you’re in a household whose income is less than $22,000, you’re considered “poor.”
Obviously, all sorts of circumstances are not taken into consideration in these gross generalizations. Nevertheless, the estimates well-suit the Democrat Communist regime in DC. More poor people mean more government programs and more government control. More poor people also mean higher taxes on those that do earn money, and less freedom for them. This is all according to plan.
But The Heritage Foundation has a different story.
First of all, the Foundation said (in 2007) only 37 million Americans live below the government poverty standard. A lot of Mexicans and Third World illegals have moved in since then, true. Secondly, the Foundation says the Census dramatically understates the living standards of low income Americans.
Robert Rector’s 2007 report seemed a stunning revelation, but, when understood, the information is rather obvious to all. Here are some examples of “poverty” from his research:
• Forty-three 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.
• Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, 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; 31 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.
• Eighty-nine percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and more than a third have an automatic dishwasher.
These things are fairly well-known. Rector reports on other “emotional” aspects of poverty, like food, clothing, education, etc. The Democrat Communist propaganda is that poor people don’t have the basics. Therefore, the government must provide. Thus, Communism disguises itself under the passion of charity, or “compassion.” Communism becomes a moral imperative in the American Christian environment. This is an amazing transformation of ideolgy. Tyranny and denigration of freedom becomes the solution to human suffering!
“We’re spending more money fighting poverty than ever before, yet poverty is up,” said Michael D. Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. “Clearly, we’re doing something wrong.” (Wasthington Post.) Yet, there are not really more poor people in America. According to the Heritage Foundation’s report of 2007, for example, it’s been about the same number for the last 20 years, between 11.3 and 15.1 percent. So when the Democrat Communists brag about how much money they’re spending, just remember that it is having no discernable effect.
Rector’s latest report shows that the real cause of whatever it is that the government calls “poverty” is immorality. He doesn’t use that word, but, he’s talking about unwed mothers. Illegitimate child birth. Children born out of wedlock usually have no fathers, and share no income that the father would normally provide. In a piece called “Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty,” which was published the same day as the Washington Post propaganda, Rector shows how unwed mothers are awash in dependency. From the top of the study:
According to the U.S. Census, the poverty rate for single parents with children in the United States in 2008 was 36.5 percent. The rate for married couples with children was 6.4 percent. Being raised in a married family reduced a child’s probability of living in poverty by about 80 percent.
If anything, the Democrat Communist spending extravaganzas only increase poverty. This is the design, of course. The true liberal doctrine is actually against marriage, against family, and against morality. Such social malaise is what enables the tyrants to ascend to power. Poverty is where street thuggery (as in ACORN, LaRaza, etc.) grows like weeds.
But, that’s real poverty–poverty of moral instruction and family stability. That may be found more often among those of lower income, but, immorality is not prejudiced. Wealth does not innoculate against immorality. And the “poverty” of propaganda is not so difficult, if measured merely by material possessions.
Neither are the poor exempt from greed, avarice, envy, hatred, and the more refined evils of human nature. Immorality is not a class condition. It is not related to materialism. This is a fatal error.
Immorality effects the economy, not poverty. To wreck the economy in the name of saving the poor is a Communist delusion here in post-modern America. The Christian ethos of American society is the last chance for Communism to grab at world power. As long as there is Christian charity in the air, Communism can breathe. It lives. Yea, it thrives. Christianity seems the perfect host to the parasite of Communism.
While the Bible does teach that some poverty is cause by abusive powers of wealth (James 5:1-6), it also teaches that the poor are equally responsible for morality before the Lord (Exodus 30:15). While there may not be such a thing as a static dollar, the wealthy are held responsible for any abuse of those under their power.
“The poor shall never cease out of the land,” saith the Lord, “therefore thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to the poor, and to the needy, in thy land.” Deuteronomy 15:11.
Poverty is not a sin, a curse, or a bad mark, in and of itself. Any government approach that attempts to remove poverty is blasphemy. Furthermore, the wide opened hand is to one’s own, “in thy land,” not to the Third World. Charity is at the discretion of the individual, according to his ability. It is not a government responsibility. Thus saith Davey Crockett.