America The Poor?: Reflections on Poverty in America
The past three and a half years has been the greatest recession since The Great Depression – God, I don’t know how many times I have heard that cop-out sentence. Yes, the “Global Financial Meltdown” of 2007 was indeed a disaster. Of course, habitually, it was a disaster created by the one single entity that could allow such market dislocations to occur – you guessed it – the benevolent governments. Folks, the story to be told to my daughter in ten years is that this was the worst recovery since The Great Depression. That little factoid will be the take away for the history books, at least the ones who are interested in the truth and not just covering up another Progressive ideological catastrophe. Truth being my interest here, the recovery strung together by Reagan during 1981-1983 had arguably a worse starting location (leading up to the 1980 Presidential Election). However, if it the right leadership was running the show – we would be out of this mess and back humming right along for at least a year by now. A recent Forbes article illustrated what worked (Reaganomics) – contrasted against what will never work (Obamanomics). So I have set you up for what I want to talk about in this article today – and that is poverty.
There is no doubt there are too many honest people out there who are hurting because of failed promises and dumb-headed policy during the revolving “Summer(s) of Recovery” – third edition. It would easily follow that during these stagnate years of economics growth there would be an increase in number of families/individuals living below the “poverty line”. What the hell is that anyway – well hardly anything more than a Progressive “victim” line of demarcation. It is an arbitrary line that settles where the uber-humans “feel” the standard of living should be. Irrespective of lifestyle choices or work ethic of course on the part of “household” – it is minimum wage of life, so to speak.
I have always been mindful of those in need. I am not a heartless bastard that has no empathy or sympathy for those in need of assistance. But of course I am like EVERY other conservative/libertarian/white male/hunter/blue-eyed/tall/republican, in that I am selfish and self-centered who only wants to make money and the hell with everyone else – especially black, gay, lesbian, Muslim, ohh and female “subjects”! Right? I mean that is how I, a white male, am portrayed. After all, there are no white males struggling below the poverty level – well maybe the pesky 1%’ers. The Progressives think you are that stupid to believe their line of bulls*** – hook, line, and sinker. They don’t have the respect to tell you the truth – poverty is a human condition and has impact upon all colors and creeds. But are Americans really in poverty? I am shrewd enough to understand the vitriolic nature of social welfare as the generations pass by and what it does to the human spirit – it softens it and tempers the desire for anything else other than the hand-out.
I would argue that American has become so prosperous that the poorest among us are vastly better off than the “poorest” in other less lavish countries. It is time for a “relativity” check. I heard about a noteworthy Heritage Foundation report, published last year, on poverty in America on the “bigoted” Rush Limbaugh Show earlier this week. I decided to look into the report deeper. The report was written by Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield, both from the Heritage Foundation. The report is titled “Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America’s Poor“; it highlights the amenities that “poor” people possess (irrespective of credit or cash). I could embed several of the empirical graphs in the post, but instead I will leave it up to you to indulge your curiosity. The report reflected the Census Bureaus’s claim that a record number, 46.2 million people, were poor in 2010. The follow list are taken from various government reports as definitions of “poor” by the Census Bureau:
- 80 percent of poor households have air conditioning. In 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
- 92 percent of poor households have a microwave.
- Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks.
- Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite TV.
- Two-thirds have at least one DVD player, and 70 percent have a VCR.
- Half have a personal computer, and one in seven have two or more computers.
- More than half of poor families with children have a video game system, such as an Xbox or PlayStation.
- 43 percent have Internet access.
- One-third have a wide-screen plasma or LCD TV.
- One-fourth have a digital video recorder system, such as a TiVo.
Are we honestly suppose to believe if individuals would turn these goods and services, that are “nice-to-haves”, into savings or investments to pull them out of poverty – that there would be anyone in poverty? Ideally speaking there would not be, but realists do not get to practice theory in the real-world. Only Progressives get to try their academic experiments out on live specimens – on which they are always given a sticker for trying so hard. Back to my thought, so why are their people still living around the poverty line? The answer – drum roll please (ba-boom-ba-tshh) – because you get all of the above listed stuff without having to care for the rest of your responsibilities (I could not resist including the adjacent photo – perfect). Your disposable income is given to you by US – the bleeding heart American taxpayer. After all, you deserve it for being picked on all your life by those more fortunate than you. This is what Mr. President means when he says ” A new vision of American in which prosperity is shared”. The “spread the wealth around” utopic argument – say it once – agghhh, now don’t you feel better about being over-taxed and under-represented? Enough of the sarcasm, down to the serious business at hand.
I was working my way through my current book, The Morality of Capitalism, last night and sure-enough there was an essay right on point, titled “Liberty and Dignity Explain the Modern World” by Deirdre N. McCloskey. In the essay Deirdre highlights the spark (catalyst) of the Industrial Revolution (during the 15th-18th centuries) was the “changes in the way people thought, and especially how they thought about each other?”. She argues that the materialist story says “that the Industrial Revolution came from material causes, from investment or theft, from higher savings rates, or from imperialism”. Deirdre continues on to claim that in a two hundred year span, ~1800 – 2000 (lets say), the gross commerce (income and expenses) of the average person increased 3333% to $100/day from $3/day. That is certainly an exponential rate of increase! This standard of living growth factor has been coined – The Great Fact. Why?
The modern Progressive would argue, certainly Marx and Engles would, that the wealth was built on top of the backs of proletariat (working class). If that were the case then those people would have gone nowhere, right? Stuck in a epic struggle with the bourgeois (owners, employers, philanthropists, equity managers). Of course this is one of the greatest lies ever told – which is also why so may people believe it – a mighty vortex can entrain a great amount of fluid. The truth is driven home again by Deirdre when she says “Give the middle class dignity and liberty for the first time in human history and here’s what you get …”. Deirdre continues with the statement “The result was that uniquely in history the ordinary people and especially the very poor, were made much, much better off … The poorest five percent of Americans are now about as well off in air-conditioning and automobiles as the richest five percent of Indians.”.
So, would we as Americans be better off spreading the wealth around or embrace the dignity of the individual to take earnest ownership of their lives for the betterment of society? Imagine, as John Lennon like to do, what the world would be like if we allowed the human spirit to accelerate – unmolested – by government for their success? If the tax burden was limited to those powers enumerated by the Constitution – not the economic plunder that supports the parasitic welfare class we have today, what amount ? The latter retards the potential for a vast majority of people to ever reach their potential. Obviously, a more free society would require a more self-reliant individual. That includes depth and breath in education (math, science, literature) and civics (fallacy of human nature, government competencies, etc.). This social structure certainly is more work than the social safety net structure that worthlessly attempts to equated everyone’s outcome from cradle to grave. Of course the assumption that everyone wants the same outcome is the first incorrect tenet of any Statist’s scheme. It fails because all of us are different. Each of us want different things because we were created by God for a unique purpose at a unique time in history, that is the way it is – pretty simple really. For you atheists out there, you too have to believe in phenomenology (can’t scientifically explain everything otherwise there would be World Peace) – so the mutually exclusive human is your phenomena! So is the reward of a more free society worth the risk? Or are you happy having more security and less freedom? The conundrum is that the latter can not work without the whole being forced to participate.
I will ask a very similar question again, what kind of life do you want — capped or un-capped? Who keeps you in poverty from generation to generation? Why do they want you there? Absolute authority is why. It has nothing to do with the kindness of their hearts. Those Utopic Statists are used as pawns – a necessary accomplice to fulfill the goal. Are you their pawn or are you your own King/Queen?