The poor will stay poor if they believe that they cannot partake in the American dream.

Broken homes, single parent households and lack of proper education provided in today’s public schools attribute to the lack of principals and motivation to many who believe they will never amount to anything. They learn to get by on government assistance as their job and the politicians offer the handout for the vote to keep them in office.

Federal mandates from various government agencies are diminishing employment opportunities, closing factories under the auspicious of free trade, and taxing the innovators of new product and markets from fueling the economic growth once prevalent in our Republic.

The states need to fight against the illegal polices and shady contracts of the various Federal government agencies to relieve themselves of the burden of over regulation.

The States that obtain Sovereignty will prosper and provide opportunity through local education policies (reducing the cost of administrators) and gain high employment rates for many in despair. Many of the poor will find their first real job and grow in knowledge and work experience. The poor when taught pride in accomplishments will prosper.

The issue is that too many make the claim to be poor and they are not. They are stealing from the needy.

In recent years, the United States has established a reasonable record in reducing child poverty. Successful antipoverty policies were partially implemented in the welfare reform legislation of 1996, which replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with a new program called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).

A key element of this reform was a requirement that some welfare mothers either prepare for work or get jobs as a condition of receiving aid. As this requirement went into effect, welfare rolls plummeted and employment of single mothers increased in an unprecedented manner. As employment of single mothers rose, child poverty dropped rapidly. For example, in the quarter century before welfare reform, there was no net change in the poverty rate of children in single mother families; after reform was enacted, the poverty rate dropped in an unprecedented fashion, falling from 53.1 percent in 1995 to 39.8 percent in 2001.

Perhaps the best news is that the United States can readily reduce its remaining poverty, especially among children. The main causes of child poverty in the United States are low levels of parental work and high numbers of single parent families. By increasing work and marriage, our nation can virtually eliminate remaining child poverty.

For most Americans, the word “poverty” suggests destitution: an inability to provide a family with nutritious food, clothing, and reasonable shelter. But only a small number of the 35 million persons classified as “poor” by the Census Bureau fit that description. While real material hardship certainly does occur, it is limited in scope and severity. Most of America’s “poor” live in material conditions that would be judged as comfortable or well-off just a few generations ago. Today, the expenditures per person of the lowest income one fifth (or quintile) of households equal those of the median American household in the early 1970s, after adjusting for inflation.

The following are facts about persons defined as “poor” by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:

  • Forty six 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.
  • Seventy six percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, 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; 30 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.
  • Seventy three percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.

The living conditions of persons defined as poor by the government bear little resemblance to notions of “poverty” held by the general public. If poverty is defined as lacking adequate nutritious food for one’s family, a reasonably warm and dry apartment to live in, or a car with which to get to work when one is needed, then there are relatively few poor persons remaining in the United States. Real material hardship does occur, but it is limited in scope and severity.

The typical American defined as “poor” by the government has a car, air conditioning, a refrigerator, a stove, a clothes washer and dryer, and a microwave. He has two color televisions, cable or satellite TV reception, a VCR or DVD player, and a stereo. He is able to obtain medical care. His home is in good repair and is not overcrowded. By his own report, his family is not hungry and he had sufficient funds in the past year to meet his family’s essential needs. While this individual’s life is not opulent, it is equally far from the popular images of dire poverty conveyed by the press, liberal activists, and politicians.

But the living conditions of the average poor person should not be taken to mean that all poor Americans live without hardship. There is a wide range of living conditions among the poor. Roughly a third of poor households do face material hardships such as overcrowding, intermittent food shortages, or difficulty obtaining medical care. However, even these households would be judged to have high living standards in comparison to most other people in the world. The reforms that we provide in the Regeneration Platform will address the poor by radically reducing the amount of poor.

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