“The government’s own data show that the typical American defined as poor (according to the traditional, pre-Obama poverty measure) has two color televisions, cable or satellite service, a VCR or DVD player, and a stereo. He also has a car, air conditioning, a refrig erator, a stove, a clothes washer and dryer, and a microwave. He is able to obtain medical care. His home is in good repair and is not overcrowded. By his own report, his family is not hungry, and he had sufficient funds in the past year to meet his family’s essential needs. While this individual’s life is not opulent, it is far from the stark images conveyed by the mainstream media and liberal politicians.”
I see him saying so. I do not see him offering any references. You'd think it would be a simple matter, though, for him to offer them if they are at hand. If you've seen them somewhere, John, I'd appreciate any memory you have of where , though I understand you might not have any exact memory either.
I might believe the media stuff, because, over the years, that's gotten a lot cheaper and you can get it on lay-a-way or you can rent it in some places. Cars are pretty much essential for most adults, though the sorts of cars poor folks get are often cheap used cars that require large amounts of money at unpredictable intervals to keep them running. They're often more expensive in the long run than a modest low cost new car if you can swing the down payment. I don't know who this guy at the national review is checking with, but in the poor neighborhoods I lived in, there were a lot of laundromats, and they were social centers. If you had a lot of furniture, it was often rented, as were computers printers, refrigerators. t.v.'s. Child-care was often a big problem. Depending on how the job market was doing, you might be on food stamps or not. The notion about having enough to eat at the poverty line is not really very easy to swing.
But, I'll tell you what, it's been a while since I've been poor that way. Here's what I suggest to you as an experiment. Go to one of the government web-sites and look up what the current povery level is for however many people you have in your family, and then, as an experiment, put exactly that much money aside for all your needs for one month — rent, food, car payments, electric, gas, water, fuel, entertainment, the whole shebang, and see how easy it is for you. If it's simple, try it for three months, and see if that makes any difference. Make a point of not spending any more on medical than you'd be able to spend at a poverty level, either. Accept no more medical care than what you'd be able to get if you had poverty level and you had to fill out forms for medical treatment to qualify for any medical treatment under hospital medical treatment programs, and go wait in whatever lines that somebody on those programs would have to wait in. See if you'd be accepted for whatever program you applied for or not. Check and see how you're treated. See if there's enough food, and see if the quality is the kind you'd feel happy with. If your mortgage is paid off, chexck and see what sort of housing you'd be able to afford on the amount of money that somebody living at the poverty level would be able to fork out, and see what sort of appartment space that would buy you in which neighborhoods.
What would your neighbors be like?
How would you be able to afford to dress yourself and, if you're talking about family, the others in your household?
This can be a very interesting experiment. Try it.