Barack Obama is still highly interested in “redistributing the wealth.” This is a process known as socialism. The standard way of describing socialism is that “misery loves company.” That is, in enforcing their ballyhooed “equality,” socialistic countries bring the populace down to a miserable level of existence.

If that’s true, and Rajjpuut suggests it largely is, than perhaps capitalism ought to be described as “a rising tide raises all boats.” What does that mean? Let’s start with that poverty line statistic: 15% of Americans, 40 million that is, live at or below the poverty line standard of $22,000 income for an urban family of four. But the “rough conditions” for the nation’s poor have been documented over the last twenty years and the results are surprising . . . in a 1990 study talked about below, Nationwide, some 22,000 "poor" households actually had heated swimming pools or Jacuzzis.

"Poor" Americans both then and today are better housed, better fed, and own more property than did the average U.S. citizen throughout much of the 20th Century. In another 1988 study, the per capita expenditures of the lowest income fifth of the U.S. population exceeded the per capita expenditures of the median American household in 1955, after adjusting for inflation. There's that "rising tide" of capitalism Rajjpuut was mentioning. But Obama would have us all equal just a bit above the poor folks' level.

The poverty line established by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2009, means sadly that the average "impoverished" American lives better off than at least 88%^^^ of the world’s peoples. For example: Robert Rector, the researcher at the Heritage Foundation collected data in 1988 and published in 1990 from several government sources for a report titled “How Poor Are America’s Poor?” Recently the study was redone ahead of the new census and conditions for American poor had improved further yet from in the relatively “wealthy” earlier study, today:

  • 43 percent of all poor households own their own homes, the average home having three bedrooms, one-and-a-half baths, a garage and a porch or patio.
  • Two-thirds of poor households have more than one room per person, and the typical poor American has more living space than the average — not necessarily poor — individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, and other European cities.
  • 80 percent of poor households have air conditioning, nearly three-quarters own a car, and 31 percent own two or more cars.
  • 97 percent of poor households own a color television, more than half own two or more color TVs, and 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
  • 89 percent own a microwave oven, and more than a third have an automatic dishwasher.

Walter Williams, an economics professor at George Mason University and a syndicated columnist, writes in the Jewish Daily Review after examing and analyzing the study, “poverty as it has historically been defined barely exists in the United States.” He added lower income households are “poor” only in relation to the rest of the American population, but not compared to the rest of the world. Material poverty can be measured relatively or absolutely,” Williams observes. “An absolute measure would consist of some minimum quantity of goods and services deemed adequate for a baseline level of survival. Achieving that level means that poverty has been eliminated.”

Poverty levels are typically decided upon by the census bureau. A key reason that the Census undercounts the financial resources of the "poor" is that, remarkably, it ignores nearly all welfare spending when calculating the "incomes" of persons in poverty. Thus, as far as the Bureau is concerned, billions of dollars in in-kind benefits to poor Americans have no effect on their incomes. Out of $184 billion in welfare spending, the Census counts only $27 billion as income for poor persons. The bulk of the welfare system, including entire programs that provide non-cash aid to the poor, like food stamps, public housing, and Medicaid, is completely ignored in the Census Bureau's calculations of the living standards of the "poor." The missing welfare spending that is excluded from the Census Bureau poverty reports comes to $158 billion, or over $11,120 for every "poor" U.S. household.

Williams thinks the Census Bureau's poverty reports should be replaced by a new survey that counts income and assets accurately. With accurate counting, the number of poor persons would be shown to be only a small fraction of the Census Bureau's current estimate of 40 million. Now getting back to brass tacks, perhaps, Mr. Obama ought to help the truly poor by cutting government spending and taxes and allowing the private sector the honor of creating jobs***?

Ya’all live long, strong and ornery,

Rajjpuut

^^^ Think of that, our poor are wealthier than 88% of the world's peoples and a good percentage of those wealthier 12% of world citizens are found in this country, so if it weren't for rich Americans, poor Americans could definitely regard themselves as among the very richest folk in the world, capitalism is so, so cruel

*** "Barack Obama," as another blogger put it, "has NO INTENTION of expanding the economy, he only wants to control it."
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