The US Government Bureaucracy has painted a picture of the poor in America. It is in the eyes of many, a bleak picture. Reinforced by news stories about the homeless and indigent. The the Government hits us with a number like 14 percent of Americans live in poverty. That would be over 30 million people.
Here is a report from Chicago.
The picture painted by these reports (by all means go to YOUTUBE and check more out) is a picture of potentially 37 million Americans living in boxes under highway overpasses and drinking themselvnes into a stupor. There is not doubt that a certain percentage of the impoverished are both homeless and addicted to either drugs or alcohol. We see them everyday on our city streets and even in our towns. But the living conditions of those classified as being under the poverty line is vastly different from the picture painted by the media and government. Here is a chart generated from answers provide by the very people we are talking about. Those below the poverty level. This from the Heritage Foundation
As we look at this list we see some things that we feel are necessary to survival in modern times. Ranges, refrigerators, and even washers and dryers. But look at some of the things that are being purchased. over 63% have cable! Folks I don’t know about you, but I hate my cable bill. It takes a nice hunk out of my monthly budget and I carry the least channels possible . No HBO in this house.
Look hunger is a horrible thing. But so is not feeding either yourself or your kids because you want to catch the next episode of Boardwalk Empire. We have the highest standard of living in the world. Our “poor” live in relative comfort of Air Conditioned spaces. Go look at the conditions of the poor in other countries. I doubt you will see many DirectTV antennas.
We need to be realistic about who is suffering and who is struggling. Until we separate the two we will help neither.
Have a look at the Heritage report.
We should be offering our poor a hand to help them up. Not a handout to hold them down.