Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - Poverty in America

There are poor in this country, but government-defined-poverty does not equal real-poverty.  The government does a disservice to the truly poor with their definitions and statistics. - Opinion: Notable & Quotable


The Census Bureau reported last fall that 43 million Americans—one in seven of us—were poor. But what is poverty in America today? The most recent government data show that more than half of the families defined as poor by the Census Bureau have a computer in the home. More than three of every four poor families have air conditioning, almost two-thirds have cable or satellite television, and 92% have microwaves. . . . The typical poor family has at least two color TVs, a VCR, and a DVD player. One-third have a wide-screen, plasma, or LCD TV. And the typical poor family with children has a video-game system such as Xbox or PlayStation. . . .

The poor are r arely overcrowded. In fact, the average poor American has more living space than the average non-poor European. How about hunger? Activists proclaim, "At the end of the day, 17 million children go to bed hungry." TV news reports wail that America faces a "hunger crisis" in which "nearly one in four kids" is hungry.

But the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which conducts the nation's food-consumption and hunger survey, says otherwise. The USDA reports that 988,000 children (or 1.3% of all American children) personally experienced very low food security—which means "reduced food intake and disrupted eating patterns"—at any point in 2009. During the full course of the year, only one child in 67 was reported "hungry," even temporarily, because the family couldn't afford enough food. Ninety-nine percent of children did not skip a single meal during 2009 because of lack of financial resources.




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