Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
Interesting topic which has made many turns due to personal positions and opinions.
One of the things to be taken into consideration is the definition of poverty. How many of us really know what poverty is? How many of us know what being hungry really means? We have our own definitions based on our own lives, what we are accostumed to and what others have around us. The government sets a "poverty level". How ridiculous is that? As the flip side of the coin goes,"if you have to ask, you can't afford it", so goes the fact that, if you have to ask if you are impoverished or not - you aren't. We type on a computer, from our homes, and speak of poverty. Karen, I know how well you have fought the good fight. I can only imagine the hills you have had to climb and how far you have come based on sheer determination and a refusal to give up. What basically put you into that condition was one of the biggest natural disasters in recent history, though, not poverty....and look how far you have come. Yes, you and your husband have been making it back by your own determined efforts but, at least, the opportunity has existed for you to do so.
Hush, you speak of your friends with the 92 and 94 cars and college educations and make some point (?) that, when there's a car repair, they have to make adjustments...that has something to do with poverty? You and your boyfriend, both attending college, both with paid off cars and renting a place, eating a lot of noodles....this has something to do with poverty? You speak of the inner-city hospital patients you see. THERE I agree with you. There I am sure you see poverty. can you equate them with your friends or you and your boyfriend in college? I find it unlikely.
Brad, bringing Tony Snow up in a poverty topic makes no sense to me at all, except for laughs, I guess. Based on your location, I KNOW you know what poverty means.
Regina, I don't know any teacher who lives in poverty, either.
We are spoiled. Pure and simple. We complain about stations in life that millions of others would die for. We scream poverty from our houses, with cars in the driveway, clothes in the closet, tv and stereo going and we complain that we can't afford the new HD flat screens. At times like this, I can understand why much of the world despises Americans. We complain about old paid-off cars while millions have never driven a car. We complain about eating noodles once in a while while millions haven't eaten anything in days. We complain about hunger while there are hundreds of thousands in India and Africa who walk miles each days just for drinkable water. There are children who rely on scraps left on tables in outdoor restaurants to survive. There are other children who turn to prostitution even before their teenage years to feed their families. Hungry people - actual HUNGRY ones - can feel the pain of their bodies feeding on themselves while in pain due to lack of food. I've lived in countries where that happens. I've seen it.....and I still can't imagine how it actually feels. Neither can you.
It's not entirely our fault. That's our culture. That's how our "keeping up with the Joneses" attitudes develop from a very early age, like having to have an I-pod because all the kids have them. Poverty? Nobody reading this is in poverty. One of the most ridiculous things the government can do is to set a "poverty level", a line where one can claim with conviction that they are poor, verified by the government. John is right...it is ludicrous to set that level and apply it to people who have all the things he listed at the beginning of this thread. We should spend more time being grateful for what we do have and less time complaining about what we don't. There are a lot of people out there who would gladly trade places with you, believe me.