Remember that book titled “The Millionaire Next Door?” It was about ordinary people, perhaps your neighbors, who had worked hard and lived modestly and, as a result, had accumulated millions of dollars despite relatively modest incomes.

I have an on-going argument with my lunatic mother-in-law. Actually, I have many on-going arguments with my lunatic mother-in-law, but the one I’m referring to in this case revolves around the poor. She says America is filled is poor, downtrodden wretches who have nothing. I say America’s poor are the envy of most of the world’s population.

I don’t deny the possibility that both positions are possibly true, but I think my position is reinforced by a new study by the Heritage Foundation:

For decades, the U.S. Census Bureau has reported that over 30 million Americans were living in “poverty,” but the bureau’s definition of poverty differs widely from that held by most Americans. In fact, other government surveys show that most of the persons whom the government defines as “in poverty” are not poor in any ordinary sense of the term. The overwhelming majority of the poor have air conditioning, cable TV, and a host of other modern amenities. They are well housed, have an adequate and reasonably steady supply of food, and have met their other basic needs, including medical care. Some poor Americans do experience significant hardships, including temporary food shortages or inadequate housing, but these individuals are a minority within the overall poverty population. Poverty remains an issue of serious social concern, but accurate information about that problem is essential in crafting wise public policy. Exaggeration and misinformation about poverty obscure the nature, extent, and causes of real material deprivation, thereby hampering the development of well-targeted, effective programs to reduce the problem.

This may describe the current condition of so-called poverty in the United States, but this site is called EconomicCollapse.net and I fear that this may be the high water mark for America’s lower classes.

At the rate we’re going, America’s poor may soon find out what the rest of the world means when it talks about poverty.

Source: Heritage Foundation


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Pete July 24, 2011 at 11:29 pm

If I am going to be ‘poor’, I sure as hell do not want to be ‘poor’ in your United States.

Poverty might smell good in the states compared to countries in africa, or central america, but not when compared to other western countries in Europe, Australia or Canada. Let me be poor in those countries before I am ever poor in the U.S.

Your article highlights why I and most other people of welthy nations think the way I do – because your ambivalence to the poor is appauling.

I cannot make you understand this and I am not going to even try. Why should I? I blame you for your own ignorance. Let’s just say that we in other countries have been able to care for our own a lot better than you in the states have.

Your nation is dispicable, and your adhorent debt crises is only a reflection of the greed that has perversed your nation.

May you experience poverty 1st hand, you dispicable twit.

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Dave July 25, 2011 at 1:12 am

I agree with Pete above. You have no idea what you’re talking about. The US has squandered its wealth on endless and meaningless wars instead of taking care of its own people and infrastructure. Being “poor” is a relative term, depending upon what country you’re in. In the rest of the developed world, the “poor” live MUCH better than in the poor in the US. Yes, the US poor live better materialistically (not socially) than someone on a dirt floor in the 3rd world, but most of the world isn’t like that. Stop listening to the US chest-thumping propaganda! Most developed countries take care of their citizens and place value on their lives and don’t leave them to the wolves, like the US does. Not only that, the US fosters a mentality of “if they’re poor, they somehow deserve it”, as if the poor were somehow lazy or actually wanted to be in their situation. You obviously aren’t poor and have never had everything taken away from you, like millions of formerly middle-class Americans have. Look around you!

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hefsmaster July 25, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I got a problem with everybody today. 1. Lee, you are amazing in your ability to do nothing but copy and paste articles from others. Seeing as you get 2 comments a day then they leave. Why bother having a box here asking for people to contribute to your c&p journalism. 2.pete and dave, you objective morons. The U.S has been picking up the tab of your military security for the last 3/4 of a century. Don’t go harping up your superiority. Had you paid for all things being required of each individual entity to subsist. You wouldn’t have all your fancy “socialistic” programs. As for our debt problem, When the whole world piggy backs your ass for so long it is bound to happen. Get a clue. BTW, what crap hole countries you morons posting from, so i can get a little more personal on your own problems. Because, You self tooting high falooting asses seem to think you are above america?

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Pete July 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Hefmaster –
As we have been saying, it does not take much for other countires to have a better track record of looking after their poor than the U.S. since the U.S. craps on their poor. So yup, we are better.

The U.S. spends all its money on defense and demands to be the go to nation then complains about the responsibility it demands to have? Can’t have it both ways sweetie. Besides, the u.s. wants to be that country since it can then determine foreign policy the benefit of its corporate bitches.

If the u.s. goes away and it looks like its hell bent on doing that, another nation or nations will fill the void and do much better job of it as well – without rubbing everyone else\s face in it.

So, piss off..
No one respects you anymore…

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hefsmaster July 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Still don’t want to confess to where you live. Must not be proud… As for respect, your “unnamed country” never even had it. More people people still choose to come here than anywhere else in the world. Thats a fact and a testament that more people would rather suffer their own peril than take it as the govt. would have it for them. So take your socialist progressive ways and piss on them right back. They are not superior at all. They destroy free will and ambition, and creates mindless zombies to the state.

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Kip Hooker August 7, 2011 at 10:33 am

“If the u.s. goes away and it looks like its hell bent on doing that, another nation or nations will fill the void and do much better job of it as well – without rubbing everyone else\s face in it. “

Yes, there will always be an empire. And I hope you enjoy the Chinese one. Seems like they might have an old score to settle over some Opium.

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Marie November 20, 2011 at 2:06 am

+++I fear that this may be the high water mark for America’s lower classes.+++

Hopefully it will be the “highwater mark” for jackasses like the Heritage Foundation.

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Joe Bob November 29, 2011 at 10:44 am

America’s poor may be richer than other nation’s poor. But at least dirt-poor africans don’t have to put up with the Media and Advertising telling them how inadequate they are. At least they’re not in culture-less and materialistic consumer society, and they can still live off the land, even though that’s brutal. Ever spent time outside in an Illinois winter?

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Sunday January 22, 2012 at 8:40 am

Pete and Dave are right. In Canada, the amount of public assistance you receive is equivelant to almost $30,000 a year. In the US, you will receive about $5,000 a year with a family of four. How do I know, its from experience. When both me and hubby didnt have jobs (with two kids too) Welfare only gave us $200 for food stamp and $240 a week for unemployment. Now if your apartment cost $750 a month (which is very cheap and we lived in a bad neighborhood) then you only have $160 left to either: to pay your $160 electricity bill(which is cheap for arizona), necessities($50), manditory car insurance($150), phone bill($40), water bill($35), diapers($100 for two babies), etc. Do the math. You have to pick and choose. I have medical issues and no health insurance either since the state has stopped the public insurance program. So try looking for a job via bus, and having to turn down jobs because you cant drive your car to get to them. You cant drive your car because you cant afford to pay the insurance. Also most jobs now require that you have good credit to get hired. There were several jobs on a busline that I couldnt get due to my credit history. Why is my credit history bad. Well when you are sick, and you dont have health insurance, you will rack up debt. Then to add salt to the wound, imagine hearing republicans and right wing “christians” scream “cut welfare” and “get a job” or ” I dont want people living off my tax dollars.” Brother, im not living off your tax dollars, im starving off your tax dollars. Once I get myself together Im getting a passport for me and my family and getting out of this country. This country has not been compassionate to the poor and will soon see its judgment. Countries that have been compassionate, “like Australia and Canada” will be safe from this judgment.

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Sunday January 22, 2012 at 8:44 am

BTW, before you ask why two adults only received $240 a week for unemployment, just remember that you can only receive unemployment if you were laid off.

If you were fired or quit, you cannot receive unemployment. In my case, I got ill, and FMLA only applies to people who have worked at a company for over a year. Since I was not one of those people, they did not have to hold my job.

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Anonymous February 3, 2012 at 4:00 am

I agree with many of the above. I know people from both the US and Europe that are on disability because of health problems and the one person in Europe is receiving much more help than are the US citizens.

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keith May 14, 2012 at 11:56 am

wow. Whos got the bigger stick, My @!(k is bigger than yours, your country my country, my countries poor is richer than yours. the truth of it is that in the end the civilians are going to feel the brunt of this economic downfall. i live in the U.S. and there are over 200 multi millionaires in congress, so i know they dont care about us. and the commentors from other countries probably have wealthy corrupted leaders as well. i dont adhere to no party cause they have both proven to be ineffective an could care less about the average citizen. i love my country and im proud to be an american, but i hate what my government is doing.

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LibrlRevolution June 10, 2012 at 6:22 pm

I think everyone is ignoring the fact that it is not, and should not be the government’s responsibility to take care of people. That is what family, charities, and churches are for. Before the fascist takeover of the US via the “New Deal” and the “Great Society” that was how it worked. And for the most part everyone was taken care of. Another fact that people fail to realize is that, if the government stays out of people’s business and doesn’t harass and steal from the wealth creators, there would be more jobs to go around and the only people unemployed would be due to frictional unemployment. There would also be more opportunity for those to get by who couldn’t find a job.

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ru4real June 11, 2012 at 7:11 am

The new deal also created FDIC insurance. Im sure you would like to go back to the days when your bank money wasnt guaranteed.

Before the New Deal, some churches offered assistance, but most offered VERY little assistance. Even today, many churches cannot offer assistance unless they receive federal grants. The outcry from the public was so great that it caused FDR to create the New Deal.
http://www.servicelearning.org/filemanager/download/8356_hungerPovety.pdf

Even during the Reagan era, when taxes were at all time low, the poor was receiving “expired foods” as an act of charity from the churches.

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bon July 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm

How silly you folks do not realize that it’s the “in thing” to hate Americans now. I’m poor. I’m poor because of greed and graft in light of my honesty in addition to self-serving and selfish Americans who continue to deplete their brains of the genuine cause of poverty. Most fail to realize the poor make up the bulk of expenses paying far more in fees, interest and late payments than any middle-income person. We work harder, pay more and receive less. The class division is becoming problematic and the attitudes as expressed within this article are complicit of this problem. It is easy to compare the poverty and down-trodden to a 3rd world country having the comparison favor American. But when the poor in Europe are compared to the poor in the United States we look like those in 3rd world countries. My problem in my area with poverty is oppression by the local government in spite of liberal efforts of subsidies and welfare (which I don’t like). My problem with me is: I am education and highly skilled but because I cannot afford sustainability to function as an upper “class” no one gives me a chance. Because the federal government is hostile to small businesses my successful small manufacturing plant had to shut down.

It’s an endless circle and I cannot work hard enough to get out after ten years. Note: Eight of those years was without insurance and a broken back. I now have access to healthcare because of Obamacare. Those doctors have almost killed me because of their stupidity and my foolish trust.

I can do better without intervention. It is freedom of speech and information that allows me to operate at a higher level of education than those of the 3rd world country. Because of ignorance such as displayed in this article, it no longer matters. I agree with the first post. I hope you endure poverty, so you can know first hand how much we pay for your sorry opinions.

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