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Passions in Poetry

Poverty

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Brad
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75 posted 09-09-2007 10:47 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Indeed, it is.

But I don't see any numbers. I don't know, I don't think you know either.

Does anybody know?

We drop the 37 million, see, but we can't come up with another number. How can we talk about poverty in America on a national scale if we can't come up with another number?

Ultimately, I think, its less that we can't and more that we don't want to.

TomMark
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76 posted 09-09-2007 11:53 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Brad, Give me your definition of  poor then I will go google for you. Will you believe Whatever comes out?
Brad
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77 posted 09-10-2007 12:06 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I'd be interested in anything you came up with.

Poor: having little or no money, goods, or other means of support

Its a vague term and therein lies its beauty.
iliana
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78 posted 09-10-2007 12:08 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Here 'ya go:

"In 2005, the number of people living in extreme poverty, that is, with incomes below half the poverty line, remained the same at 15.6 million people. The number of Americans living in extreme poverty remains the highest level on record, since data first became available in 1975.*"
http://www.nccbuscc.org/cchd/povertyusa/povfacts.shtml


Balladeer
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79 posted 09-10-2007 12:23 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Of course I don't know, Brad. That was not the point of this thread. You say drop the 37 million but, according to Edwards, the 37 million of people living in abject poverty IS the number. This thread initially was about Edwards using that number to paint an unrealistic picture in the brains of those without brains and get their votes as the man who would change this horrific situation of one out of every eight Americans living on scraps. Edwards - champion of the poor? Barf bag, please....

Heck, if he could change to 100 dollar haircuts, he could donate 300 to soup kitchens and feed a lot of people every time the bangs get clipped!
iliana
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80 posted 09-10-2007 12:25 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

From 2005 when over 15 million were considered well below the national poverty levels:  
http://www.nccbuscc.org/cchd/povertyusa/tour.htm

The important thing here is that this video was based on the national poverty line -- so this is what applies to the over 37 million people in our nation today and the people to which John Edwards referred.  This is worth the watch for anyone who doesn't understand what poverty in this country means.  We are not talking about poverty in third-world countries, where I could buy food for my entire household for a month for less than $50.  It is not appropriate to compare the two.  We are not talking about survival in a third-world country; we are talking about survival here in the U.S. where the cost of living is much different.  
TomMark
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81 posted 09-10-2007 12:31 AM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Brad http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/censusstatistic/a/aaprisonpop.htm
iliana
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82 posted 09-10-2007 12:39 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

What's your point, Tom?  That people go to prison because they are poor?
TomMark
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83 posted 09-10-2007 12:42 AM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Dear sir Brad gave me a definition of poor and I tried to find a number to fit in it.
Balladeer
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84 posted 09-10-2007 12:52 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The important thing here is that this video was based on the national poverty line -- so this is what applies to the over 37 million people in our nation today and the people to which John Edwards referred.

Actually, Iliana, the important thing here is that Edwards knows full well that the figure of 37 million does not represent those living in abject poverty and deplorable conditions and yet he used it anyway. The actual figure, which you provided the link to, was far less than half that. if you could find that info in minutes, why couldn't he?
iliana
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85 posted 09-10-2007 01:30 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Obviously, Mike, you did not watch the last video I posted.  Over 15 million with incomes half below the poverty line.....I appreciate the way you put that... what was it you said...."far less" than the 37 million?  Well, to me, Mike, over 15 million does, indeed, represent an extremely significant number.  And....remember those numbers were from 2005 when our economy, by your standards, was still growing.  Data from last Friday indicates the economy is not only at a standstill but is declining.  Let's hear your argument on that (but please pull up the old thread where you disputed that rather than continuing to distract and detract from the true discussion here).  

Also, I want to point out that the article which John used to start this thread was taken from a William F. Buckley publication, well known to be an ultra-conservative and slanted publication (not that I don't appreciate some of what Buckley has to say).  

When I was 18 years old I had a summer job taking census and working for the Headstart program.  Part of the job entailed interviewing the poorest of poor in my county as well as carting kindergarten aged kids to the doctors, dentists, etc.  I have seen the other side of the fence here in the U.S. starting way back then when opportunity was much stronger.  Much of what I saw then was single mothers or people plagued with horrible illnesses who not only could not put food on the table even with the help of food stamps, but could not care for their children's severe medical problems which ranged from malnutrition to rotten teeth to loss of hearing in several children due to lack of medical treatment for things like ear infections that went untreated -- oh, and let's not forget cancer.  

All of this since the late 60s has not disappeared.  My work then was in a prospering county in Ohio.  But even in that prospering county, there was poverty.  The headstart program helped.  It did not solve anything.  Habitat for Humanity helps but it is not a permanent solution.  Are we just suppose to accept the fact that there are poor, really poor, among us and that that's life.  Or are we suppose to care and try and make a permanent difference, addressing the real causes of poverty in this country?

[This message has been edited by iliana (09-10-2007 04:10 AM).]

iliana
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86 posted 09-10-2007 01:47 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

"Total Americans BELOW the official poverty thresholds numbered 37 million.
Since 2000, the number of poor Americans has grown by more than 6 million.
In 2005, the number of people living in extreme poverty, that is, with incomes below half the poverty line, remained the same at 15.6 million people. The number of Americans living in extreme poverty remains the highest level on record, since data first became available in 1975.*" [Emphasis added; figures from 2005.]

The 37 million includes people who have to make a choice about giving up one or more of the following:  food, shelter, medical care, or transportation.  It's that simple, Mike...all four are necessities in this country to get out of the cycle of poverty.  


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87 posted 09-10-2007 03:37 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Also, I want to point out that the article which John used to start this thread was taken from a William F. Buckley publication, well known to be an ultra-conservative and slanted publication (not that I don't appreciate some of what Buckley has to say).

Iliana, whatever you think of Buckley, I feel assured he doesn't make up quotes. In the past, Edwards has claimed that poverty in America is a “plague” which forces 37 million Americans to live in “terrible” circumstances. According to Edwards, an amazing “one in eight” Americans lack “enough money for the food, shelter, and clothing they need,” caught in a daily “struggle with incredible poverty.”  Those are Edwards' quotes. However you wish to try to sidestep it, Edwards claims that 37 million Americans live in "terrible" conditions and "struggle with incredible poverty".  You can try to talk around it if you wish but the facts are that he said them and they are lies. Period.

15.6 million does indeed represent a formidable number but my comment stands that it is a far cry, more than 50% less than the figure Edwards used. Yes or no?

In your work for the Headstart program, Iliana, how many millions did you see? Of course you saw poor people. There are poor people in every city. How many of those people you saw lived in 4 room houses with two baths and a car  in the garage? Not many, I would guess and yet those are the ones Edwards chooses to use to come up with his scaremongering tactics.

remember those numbers were from 2005 when our economy, by your standards, was still growing.   Well, my standards must be fairly good, then, since every economist in the country (not running for office) agrees.

The 37 million includes people who have to make a choice about giving up one or more of the following: food, shelter, medical care, or transportation. It's that simple, Mike...all four are necessities in this country to get out of the cycle of poverty.

Yes, it also includes, redheads, brunettes, blondes and left-handed people. The question to be asked is - how many?

Are we just suppose to accept the fact that there are poor, really poor, among us and that that's life. Or are we suppose to care and try and make a permanent difference, addressing the real causes of poverty in this country?

The answer, Iliana, to that is....both.  There will be always be poor, in any country, no matter what. That has not changed since the beginning of mankind and you're not gonna change it. Mental illness is one big issue. Let me know how many doctors you can round up who will treat them. Apathy is another. There are actually people who want to live that way, who want nothing to do with society, responsibilities, or rules of any kind. You won't change them. Others are from lack of education. The percentage of destitute persons who never finished high school must be formidable. what do we do there? As the article sated, a large percentage of them come from illegals, who never finished any formal education in their countries. The solution to that would be to keep them out but look what happens when that issue is brought up.
You and I, Iliana, cannot make a permanent difference....but we can make temporary ones. I can continue handing out meals at the shelter, lecturing at the Outreach clinic  and you can continue with whatever programs you engage in which provide aid to those in need. Every once in a while perhaps we can convince someone that they really do matter and that there are people who care what happens to them and just maybe it will propel them enough to make changes in their lives for the better. That's the best we can hope for....
iliana
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88 posted 09-10-2007 04:45 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

"In your work for the Headstart program, Iliana, how many millions did you see? Of course you saw poor people. There are poor people in every city. How many of those people you saw lived in 4 room houses with two baths and a car  in the garage? Not many, I would guess and yet those are the ones Edwards chooses to use to come up with his scaremongering tactics."

In my work for Headstart, none of the children I helped had parents who owned cars.  Most lived in less than four rooms.  Some did not have proper bathrooms at all.  All were malnourished. Most did not have electricity or phones.

Of course, I did not see millions, Mike.  I only worked one county.  But if you took that as an average of what exists in each county in each state of the U.S., it would certainly add up to millions.
Brad
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89 posted 09-10-2007 09:41 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I just wanted to say that the information is much appreciated.
iliana
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90 posted 09-10-2007 10:01 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

YW, Brad.  
Balladeer
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91 posted 09-11-2007 02:46 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Yes, Iliana, it would add up to millions....15.6 to be exact, not 37.

By the way, you didn't answer my question...
The actual figure, which you provided the link to, was far less than half that. if you could find that info in minutes, why couldn't he?

Is it too hard to acknowledge that he purposely used the wrong numbers?
iliana
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92 posted 09-11-2007 04:12 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Those figures are from 2005, Mike.  I have no idea what they really are now.  The information is not available on the internet as far as I can tell.  Perhaps, since Edwards has been very directly involved with the Center on Poverty, he has better figures than I was able to obtain.  Perhaps, you'd best ask him.  
Huan Yi
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93 posted 09-11-2007 07:55 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Then why is there
the problem
that so many people
are or are trying to get in
than get out?


.
Balladeer
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94 posted 09-12-2007 01:46 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Aha, I see. So you think it's possible that the figures have gone from 15.6 to 37 million in the past two years then.

I should ask John Edwards? Let's leave it at that. I don't want to make you continuing to sidestep to not answer. Obviously you are not either capable or interested in acknowledging his actions. That's fine with me.
 
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