About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Poverty Deception

Thanks to a subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net for providing this video concerning those living in so-called poverty in America.  Many of you may be surprised to learn the small difference between your standard of living & many who fall in the government's poverty classification. 
As a supplement to the video I present the Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector's stats & facts about people defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:
  • Forty-six percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three bedroom house with one and a half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
  • Seventy-six percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
  • Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two thirds have more than two rooms per person.
  • The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
  • Nearly three quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.
  • Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
  • Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
  • Seventy-three percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.
The problem starts with poverty being defined by the government as a function of income not wealth.  This provides the deception for how many of the over 47 million people in America collect food stamps.  The Census Bureau's poverty figures measure only pretax income & therefore does not include such non-cash benefits like food stamps & subsidies for housing or rent, or the cash benefits of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or entitlements like Medicaid.  As an illustration, the Census Bureau says that if the value of the federal EITC offered to working poor families was included in the poverty figures 5 million people would have been lifted out of poverty in 2004 & the number of children in poverty in 2007 would have been cut by 2.4 million.  It is important to realize that many people reading this message could manipulate their incomes so that they would fall under the government's definition of poverty & collect benefits accordingly.
The above photo provides an excellent example of the poverty deception.  The cost of the bowl of soup @ the homeless center or having MO serve the government funded meal costs the people in the photo nothing.  His Black Berry cell phone costs about $500.
I encourage everyone to click on to A Comparison Of The FairTax Prebate To The Earned Income Tax Credit To A Negative Income Tax To The Flat Tax – a piece I originally wrote in 2009 that shows how four programs attack poverty through tax systems. 
Poverty should be eradicated wherever we find it – but to solve the problem we should start by asking those in real poverty to explain how they got there & what they are doing themselves to get out of it before we plunge in individually or through some government program.  We should have a different approach for those who manipulate the system to live like leeches on the rest of us.

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