How Would You Define “Poor” In America?

Rich vs. PoorGreg Hengler writes on TownHall:

The federal government says that 14% of Americans live in poverty. So here’s a list of luxuries that these households retain:

99.6% own a refrigerator; 81.4% own a microwave; 78.3% own an air conditioner; 73% own a car or a truck; 63.7% own cable or satellite television; 54.5% own a cell phone; 53.9% own an Xbox or PlayStation; 48.6% own a coffee maker; 38.2% own a computer; 32.3% own two or more televisions; 31% own two or more cars; and 25% own a dishwasher.

Do any of you remember John Edwards saying that there are 37 million Americans living in poverty and that their kids are going to bed hungry every night—43.6 million Americans living in poverty according to the NAACP President, Ben Jealous? Well, Robert Rector debunks that political talking point of the Left. Rector says that that only 2% experience hunger and it is only temporary. The word temporary is a key word in the poverty/rich debate too because both categories are primarily not permanent for Americans–the Left would like you to think so though.

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203 Responses to How Would You Define “Poor” In America?

  1. Jin The Ninja July 29, 2011 at 2:01 am #

    wtf kind of article is this?

    neo-con spin IS disinfo…..

    i may as well go troll fox news.

    • Disinformation July 29, 2011 at 2:11 am #

      Jin, posting is not advocacy, note the “How Would” … alternate definitions are welcome …

      • Redacted July 29, 2011 at 3:02 am #

        I’d define being “Rich” as being the one to blame for so many people being “poor”

        • Jin The Ninja July 29, 2011 at 3:07 am #

          and there i agree with you.

          even if you do like gundam:S

        • justagirl July 31, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

          wow.  spoken like a wise old elbow.

          • chonus August 1, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

            heh. do you speak spanish? i’m down in mexico and they call a stingy person “codo” down here, spanish for elbow. i just heard of it the other day so i was wondering…

          • justagirl August 2, 2011 at 9:11 am #

            only when playing mexican poker.  but, you know, those guys have a first class funny bone.

      • $1759962 July 29, 2011 at 4:37 am #

        “How Would” you define cop-out?  Or bullshit?  I think this post and your response to the criticism of it might give you a hint. 

        • Disinformation July 29, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

          How would you define being…? No one is forcing you to read this.

          • $1759962 July 29, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

            No one’s forcing you to be a tool and yet…

      • Lustxi July 29, 2011 at 7:54 am #

        Ridiculous. Posting links is implicitly advocacy unless you explicitly disclaim otherwise.

        Here’s a question. How would LordSatan suck goat dick? I’m not saying that LordSatan *does* suck goat dick. I’m just posting a hypothetical for the sake of discussion.

        • Disinformation July 29, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

          Well done Lustxi, great job on assuming all people are stupid and cannot make up their own minds …

        • justagirl July 31, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

          i would say that the blowjob has the potential to be quite toothy.  but, good nonetheless. 

        • chonus August 1, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

          “MMmmmAaaAaaaaAaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh,” bleated the goat since LS would be the only other to know and he’s got his mouth full.

      • Monkey See Monkey Do July 29, 2011 at 9:38 am #

        pushing these ideas into public thought space is fucking advocacy, no matter how you spin it.

        • Disinformation July 29, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

          Even in the form of a question?

          Let’s ask Alex Trebek, although he is recovering from his recent hotel robbery:

          http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20085383-504083.html

          You are being moronic, Monkey See Monkey Do, no matter how we spin it …

        • echar July 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

          It depends on if a person utilizes critical thinking.
          Awareness of other perspectives typically can be useful.  

      • Jin The Ninja July 29, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

        well i think naming the article, “the right wing on poverty in america” or ” poverty in america: right wing perspectives”  or “how the heritage foundation defines poverty in america” or ” the right’s war on poverty” ( a little tongue in cheek) would have saved you a lot of replies.

        • $1759962 July 29, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

          excellent point.  hard to believe it would be lost on anyone here.

        • Ajsilver42 July 29, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

          OMG!  You are playing into what the article itself sets-up as a premise: that it’s libs v cons, and if you believed in poverty, then you should question liberal policies.
          You know this site is called ‘Disinfo’, right?

          • Jin The Ninja July 30, 2011 at 12:35 am #

            OMG! yes! that is EXACTLY what i did!

            thank you so much for pointing that out!

            i never realised this site was called, “disinfo.”!

            I am such a HARDCORE american “liberal” that i would NEVER think to question their policies!
             
            wow, you really opened my eyes! thank you SO much!

            >.>

            (that was extreme sarcasm, in case you have as much trouble reading subtext as you do labeling frequent posters)

          • Ajdilver42 July 31, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

            In 20 years this poverty issue could change sides; there’s absolutely no point in using the terms ‘right-wing and left-wing’.
            I did not label you in any way.  I just think that there is enough bias inherent in these reports without Disinfo throwing more layers on top of it.

          • Jin The Ninja July 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

            What are you talking about? the “issue could change sides” !?!?
            No, i think you are deeply mistaken, the left (NOT the dems the real left) is inherently concerned with social justice. The only “side” whom attacks the poor is the right. Whether that refers to dems or repubs. they are the right. Whether neo-liberal or neo-conservative, they only are concerned with 1 issue. the colour of money. The ideological left is founded on the basis of equality, and civil rights. If the terms of the debate have moved to the right or towards the center that is a problem. When the right wing continuously tries to portray poverty as a non issue or a divisive issue that is a very real problem. You did label me. You inferred that i am some dem worshipping “liberal.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The article and it’s title frame the debate as some kind of re-definition of poverty, when really it was a scathing heritage foundation attack. Nothing is more offensive than that.

    • VoxMagi July 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

      I think the point of the post is to make the Disinfo crowd…which is generally savvy enough to draw their own conclusions…stop and look at what these fuckfaced douchebags are passing off as news…fucking word games that redefine ‘poor’ so carefully that almost no one qualifies for the term….which is bullshit disinformation that should be exposed for what it is…which is why its here, where it can outrage the shit out of us. ;-)

      • Jin The Ninja July 29, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

        i totally concur. it was the initial shock of heritage foundation rhetoric that gave rise to my initial reactionary response.

  2. Anonymous July 29, 2011 at 6:01 am #

    wtf kind of article is this?

    neo-con spin IS disinfo…..

    i may as well go troll fox news.

  3. Lucia F July 29, 2011 at 2:11 am #

    Hmm. Don’t feel so temporary when it’s you or your kids going hungry.

  4. Disinformation July 29, 2011 at 6:11 am #

    Jin, posting is not advocacy, note the “How Would” … alternate definitions are welcome …

  5. Lucia F July 29, 2011 at 6:11 am #

    Hmm. Don’t feel so temporary when it’s you or your kids going hungry.

  6. You July 29, 2011 at 2:21 am #

    Just because they own non-necessities, doesn’t mean they aren’t poor.

    I learned one important thing about “poor” people. When you never have enough to see it accumulate into even a small savings, it’s had to appreciate money. Frequently, any extra cash is spent without much thought on comfort purchases like licensed apparel, games, trinkets or items that give some outward appearance of self-worth. When I actually saw the first $100 I saved as a kid, all I wanted to do was get another $100. I knew that by blowing cash everyday on candy or expensive clothes, that wouldn’t happen.

    • quartz99 July 29, 2011 at 11:15 am #

      There’s also an entire industry whose sole business strategy is prying money from the poor, which accounts for a lot of “comfort” purchases. I know because I used to work for a store that was based on that premise. It was a jewelry store chain that sold solid gold jewelry. Everything was marked up to crazy heights and then most of it was “marked down” by 50-80% to something that was still several times the price of gold. There would be extra sales at the end of the week and on the 1st and 15th of every month — you know, when government benefit checks and paychecks were most likely to be issued. So people would think they were getting this great deal on solid gold jewelry and that they could hold on to it and sell the gold later if they were ever even worse off, so they were likely to buy something and view it as an investment rather than a luxury purchase. Problem was, even the marked down price was inflated far beyond the true worth of the piece. But how many poor people are obsessively checking the price of gold? There are places in all different types of “luxury” business using this model, not just jewelry. Think of name brand clothes. They sell you on the idea that you’re getting higher quality so it’ll last longer before you have to buy a new one — which is total BS but most people don’t know any better so they shell out more money thinking they’re investing in not having to pay more later.

  7. You July 29, 2011 at 6:21 am #

    Just because they own non-necessities, doesn’t mean they aren’t poor.

    I learned one important thing about “poor” people. When you never have enough to see it accumulate into even a small savings, it’s had to appreciate money. Frequently, any extra cash is spent without much thought on comfort purchases like licensed apparel, games, trinkets or items that give some outward appearance of self-worth. When I actually saw the first $100 I saved as a kid, all I wanted to do was get another $100. I knew that by blowing cash everyday on candy or expensive clothes, that wouldn’t happen.

  8. You July 29, 2011 at 6:21 am #

    Just because they own non-necessities, doesn’t mean they aren’t poor.

    I learned one important thing about “poor” people. When you never have enough to see it accumulate into even a small savings, it’s had to appreciate money. Frequently, any extra cash is spent without much thought on comfort purchases like licensed apparel, games, trinkets or items that give some outward appearance of self-worth. When I actually saw the first $100 I saved as a kid, all I wanted to do was get another $100. I knew that by blowing cash everyday on candy or expensive clothes, that wouldn’t happen.

  9. You July 29, 2011 at 6:21 am #

    Just because they own non-necessities, doesn’t mean they aren’t poor.

    I learned one important thing about “poor” people. When you never have enough to see it accumulate into even a small savings, it’s had to appreciate money. Frequently, any extra cash is spent without much thought on comfort purchases like licensed apparel, games, trinkets or items that give some outward appearance of self-worth. When I actually saw the first $100 I saved as a kid, all I wanted to do was get another $100. I knew that by blowing cash everyday on candy or expensive clothes, that wouldn’t happen.

  10. Kevin McKinney July 29, 2011 at 2:46 am #

    So…a person isn’t poor if they have cable, a game system, a computer, a car, or more than one TV??? Maybe they scrimped and saved to buy these things. Maybe they didn’t realize that there is a rule against poor people owning nice things. Maybe they wanted their kids to have something nice in their lives. Maybe a family member or friend paid for it. What kind of garbage is this??? Refrigerators and air conditioning aren’t really luxuries…they kind of help people survive, doofus.  This is like some kind of anti-lower class propaganda crap that would normally spew forth from a dirtbag like Limbaugh or O’Reilly. I’d love an opportunity to pop Greg Hengler in the mouth for this. This is the dumbest thing I’ve had the misfortune of reading in a long time.

    • Caelidh Goode July 29, 2011 at 9:39 am #

      Yeah. I hear this argument all the time from the Right.. “oh.. we don’t have poor.. if you have a cell phone.. you are not poor”.. Uh.. so.. people are not supposed to have a way to communicate? Do they realise that the poor with cell phones are ones that have PREPAID phone cards because they probably have rotten credit and can’t get a phone any other way…

      just because our poor are not literally living in shanty towns (although some border on it).. that we can SEE.. or are climbing over piles of trash.. that they are not POOR?… and I am sure the RICH BILLIONAIRS don’t consider themselves RICH unless they have 3 Yachts instead of just 1… ??? Or they can afford more than 3 vacations in a year??..

      • quartz99 July 29, 2011 at 10:39 am #

        Not to mention, it’s cheaper to have a cell phone with two or three lines than it is to have a land line with long distance! I pay half — half! — as much for my two lines plus the cost of the phone (still paying it off) than I did when I had a land line!

      • Nouveaupoor October 26, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

        Oh yeah I have a cell phone with a pre-paid card, lol.  Or else how would I talk to all the people at my job at all hours of the day and weekends like you are required to do nowadays?

    • Tuna Ghost July 29, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

      Maybe they didn’t realize that there is a rule against poor people owning nice things.

      Nicely put.  I’m totally stealing this line.  

      I’d love an opportunity to pop Greg Hengler in the mouth for this.

      Shit, his mouth if he’s lucky.

  11. Kevin McKinney July 29, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    So…a person isn’t poor if they have cable, a game system, a computer, a car, or more than one TV??? Maybe they scrimped and saved to buy these things. Maybe they didn’t realize that there is a rule against poor people owning nice things. Maybe they wanted their kids to have something nice in their lives. Maybe a family member or friend paid for it. What kind of garbage is this??? Refrigerators and air conditioning aren’t really luxuries…they kind of help people survive, doofus.  This is like some kind of anti-lower class propaganda crap that would normally spew forth from a dirtbag like Limbaugh or O’Reilly. I’d love an opportunity to pop Greg Hengler in the mouth for this. This is the dumbest thing I’ve had the misfortune of reading in a long time.

  12. Guest July 29, 2011 at 2:52 am #

    Poor is poor.

    you can’t qualify it.

    • Richard July 29, 2011 at 10:47 am #

      Yet…if you’re living in an African village, a small black-and-white CRT TV, refridgerator and microwave are indeed huge luxuries.

      Or you could make $50,000 a year, but still be homeless if you live in Silicon Valley.

      Yeah, people aren’t falling over in the streets, dying of starvation, but what that article misses is the focus on quality of life…which isn’t great if you’re lower income or unemployed.

  13. Anonymous July 29, 2011 at 6:52 am #

    Poor is poor.

    you can’t qualify it.

  14. Anonymous July 29, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    I’d define being “Rich” as being the one to blame for so many people being “poor”

  15. Anonymous July 29, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    and there i agree with you.

    even if you do like gundam:S

  16. urza9814 July 29, 2011 at 3:10 am #

    So…even though we have people rich enough that they could probably wipe their ass with gold-plated TP and not dent their wealth, poor people aren’t really poor because they can manage to scrounge up enough money for a second TV? You can get a TV for free. You can get a fridge for free. I even know people who have gotten X-Boxes/PS3s for free. It doesn’t say they purchased them, it doesn’t say they were bought new. It doesn’t say how old they are (having a fridge doesn’t mean much if it’s 30 years old…)

    But even if they were, even if they’d just bought that stuff, brand new, high quality….that is the highest luxury they can afford. And the fact that we have people throwing away this shit that could make such an impact in someone else’s life…and they don’t even think, they don’t even care, they don’t even realize…they have no desire to help others, just get that next million for themselves….it’s absolutely disgusting. Anyone who says otherwise is one of those people who cares about nothing more than the size of their bank account.

    • Caelidh Goode July 29, 2011 at 9:44 am #

      Exactly.. this line of BS is making me sick….

      The uber rich probably think that all the poor just steal stuff.. Maybe they were fortunate to have been gifted it from one of the rare well off folks….  Sigh.. I don’t know why the uber rich give a crap about people who have less.. the uber rich own the world as it is… they have gated communties.. they are far too concerned about whether some poor slob is able to get a Pell grant (to go with that matching refrigerator that keeps their food cold)…. I swear.. we really have disintigrated back to a Feudal society… where the Corporate Uber Rich CLASS view the peasants as unworthy to lick their gilded boots

  17. Anonymous July 29, 2011 at 7:10 am #

    So…even though we have people rich enough that they could probably wipe their ass with gold-plated TP and not dent their wealth, poor people aren’t really poor because they can manage to scrounge up enough money for a second TV? You can get a TV for free. You can get a fridge for free. I even know people who have gotten X-Boxes/PS3s for free. It doesn’t say they purchased them, it doesn’t say they were bought new. It doesn’t say how old they are (having a fridge doesn’t mean much if it’s 30 years old…)

    But even if they were, even if they’d just bought that stuff, brand new, high quality….that is the highest luxury they can afford. And the fact that we have people throwing away this shit that could make such an impact in someone else’s life…and they don’t even think, they don’t even care, they don’t even realize…they have no desire to help others, just get that next million for themselves….it’s absolutely disgusting. Anyone who says otherwise is one of those people who cares about nothing more than the size of their bank account.

  18. Orgonebox July 29, 2011 at 4:02 am #

    You can read the real bias of the article at the end, when the author suggests that what “these people” need is a “new heart from god.”  The article’s view suggests the slightest amenity (a refrigerator) equals a lack of sufficient suffering.  When gladhanding godboy todddles down to poor town to hand out socks to “those people,” you know its only so he can feel like a contrite heavenbound schmuck sipping from the font of pity for the hellbound.  

  19. Orgonebox July 29, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    You can read the real bias of the article at the end, when the author suggests that what “these people” need is a “new heart from god.”  The article’s view suggests the slightest amenity (a refrigerator) equals a lack of sufficient suffering.  When gladhanding godboy todddles down to poor town to hand out socks to “those people,” you know its only so he can feel like a contrite heavenbound schmuck sipping from the font of pity for the hellbound.  

  20. Anonymous July 29, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    “How Would” you define cop-out?  Or bullshit?  I think this post and your response to the criticism of it might give you a hint. 

  21. Anonymous July 29, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    “How Would” you define cop-out?  Or bullshit?  I think this post and your response to the criticism of it might give you a hint. 

  22. Anonymous July 29, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    “How Would” you define cop-out?  Or bullshit?  I think this post and your response to the criticism of it might give you a hint. 

  23. Fabian Diaz July 29, 2011 at 4:53 am #

    In the southamerican country in which I live, people who own a car, an air conditioner and have cable tv are not considered poor but probably higher middle class….There are even middle class people here, like teachers, that dont own a car, and many car owners, like an army captain, have a very old used car and dont own AC

    • quartz99 July 29, 2011 at 11:05 am #

      In most places here in the states, a car is not a luxury. If you have any hope of getting or holding a job, you’re probably working upwards of fifteen miles from home (in some cases much much farther) and have no other option to get there. Buying a used clunker and working thirty miles away at a crappy minimum wage job is still better economic sense than not scraping for the car and being limited to no job because there’s nothing in walking distance. Doubly true since people in the city and suburbs aren’t allowed any means of supporting themselves otherwise (such as patches to grow their own food or to keep any kind of livestock or chickens to offset food costs)

      The air conditioner usually comes with the apartment and is not purchased or maintained by the person living there. In some places in the south they’re mandated by law as I recall. Because of the way our buildings are built, they’re also often (not always of course) not luxuries — in the height of summer apartments can easily get hot enough to kill kids or the elderly and frequently do, as many poor people can’t afford to keep the electricity running and therefore the AC doesn’t work.

      Cable also sometimes comes with an apartment. I’d guess most of the poor who have it aren’t actually paying for it. But these days if you have any hope to do more than pump gas or bag groceries, you need to be online, have a resume online, etc. And some schools are requiring kids to have internet access so it’s not always a choice. Cable is often the cheapest form of internet access so there’s a significant chunk of people who have cable but don’t even own a television or who got a thirty year old donated tv for $5 from Goodwill.

      Simply possessing these things doesn’t mean someone isn’t going hungry to pay their bills. Simply possessing them doesn’t mean that the person wasn’t better off at some previous point and has now lost their job or other means of support — given the unemployment rate there are a lot of people in that situation. According to this article, when a person loses their middle-class job I guess they’re just supposed to donate all their appliances and their vehicle and stop trying to compete in the online job market and thereby ensure they’ll never manage to find another decent job in the future.

  24. Fabian Diaz July 29, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    In the southamerican country in which I live, people who own a car, an air conditioner and have cable tv are not considered poor but probably higher middle class….There are even middle class people here, like teachers, that dont own a car, and many car owners, like an army captain, have a very old used car and dont own AC

  25. rtb61 July 29, 2011 at 4:59 am #

    Town Hall is a lobbyist controlled corporate funded site. Who is kidding who Oliver North, Anne Coulter, Michelle Malkin the B$ flies thick and fast on this web site.
    It’s like the second hand and junk market just doesn’t exist for those rich entitled arss holes, apparently they consider those things a luxury, yeah like there’s, no difference between a 2nd hand junk old rice burner and a brand new Mercedes convertible.
    If you want to read B$ by all means visit the professional liars at Townhall but personally why bother. It is basically right wing narcissist greed is God freakery only for those who already believe it.
    This site is populated by people making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, demanding the minimum wage be abolished because they are not making enough.

    • Jin The Ninja July 30, 2011 at 12:51 am #

      thank you. yes and yes.

    • eyebeam August 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

       Yes, I think Disinfo’s purpose in posting this was to poke a hole in that rotting carcass, so you could see the swarming maggots squirming inside. Fascinating!

  26. Anonymous July 29, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    Town Hall is a lobbyist controlled corporate funded site. Who is kidding who Oliver North, Anne Coulter, Michelle Malkin the B$ flies thick and fast on this web site.
    It’s like the second hand and junk market just doesn’t exist for those rich entitled arss holes, apparently they consider those things a luxury, yeah like there’s, no difference between a 2nd hand junk old rice burner and a brand new Mercedes convertible.
    If you want to read B$ by all means visit the professional liars at Townhall but personally why bother. It is basically right wing narcissist greed is God freakery only for those who already believe it.

  27. wizard July 29, 2011 at 5:21 am #

    poor is having bad taste in what you buy.

  28. wizard July 29, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    poor is having bad taste in what you buy.

  29. smartphone July 29, 2011 at 5:35 am #

    being a miser is poor 

  30. smartphone July 29, 2011 at 5:35 am #

    being a miser is poor 

  31. smartphone July 29, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    being a miser is poor 

  32. jk2001 July 29, 2011 at 5:44 am #

    I’d define it as “cannot afford health insurance” and “cannot afford to send kids to college.”  Also, I doubt if they “own” the air conditioner – they may have one as part of their apartment.  As for the other luxuries – fridges and microwaves are cheap, and necessary.  Cars are necessary in many places.  Computers are useful.  The other stuff – well, let’s just say that poor people aren’t always the best informed on how to spend their money.  Aside from that, how many of these poor people are under the age of 25 and getting help from their parents?

  33. jk2001 July 29, 2011 at 5:44 am #

    I’d define it as “cannot afford health insurance” and “cannot afford to send kids to college.”  Also, I doubt if they “own” the air conditioner – they may have one as part of their apartment.  As for the other luxuries – fridges and microwaves are cheap, and necessary.  Cars are necessary in many places.  Computers are useful.  The other stuff – well, let’s just say that poor people aren’t always the best informed on how to spend their money.  Aside from that, how many of these poor people are under the age of 25 and getting help from their parents?

  34. jk2001 July 29, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    I’d define it as “cannot afford health insurance” and “cannot afford to send kids to college.”  Also, I doubt if they “own” the air conditioner – they may have one as part of their apartment.  As for the other luxuries – fridges and microwaves are cheap, and necessary.  Cars are necessary in many places.  Computers are useful.  The other stuff – well, let’s just say that poor people aren’t always the best informed on how to spend their money.  Aside from that, how many of these poor people are under the age of 25 and getting help from their parents?

  35. echar July 29, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    .001 % is too much temporary or not. Some of you would be
    amazed by the amount of food that corporate companies waste. Some bean counter
    has been paid to figure out that the cost of disposing is cheaper than the cost
    of donating. How about that, the cost of being a human is more expensive than
    being a corporate cock sucker. 

    • eyebeam August 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

      Unfortunately, it has more to do with food safety regulations, and liability lawsuits. If a restaurant takes uneaten food, or food that has been sitting out too long, and donates it to the poor, then somebody gets sick, they could sue the restaurant out of existence, and the owners could be found criminally liable for violating health laws. Now, if the restaurant packages the food in a clean plastic bag, tosses it in the dumpster, and some hungry person digs it out, the restaurant is not liable. Of course, if that person gets sick and has no health insurance, she now has no recourse.

      On the other hand, if, say a corporate  caterer took the leftovers from a convention sandwich plate to a homeless shelter, and the shelter gave the food to their clients, and one of the clients got sick, the shelter would be liable for giving the bad food – and probably get sued & fined out of existence too.

      If you go somewhere at the right time, you can see the food getting taken out, and you might get it as fresh as you can. I got a garbage bag full of donuts this way when I went into a donut shop to buy a donut, but they had just closed, and thrown out the stock for the day. The lady in the shop had just put the donuts into clean bags and hadn’t thrown them in the dumpster yet, so she gave them to me.

  36. Monkey's Uncle July 29, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    .001 % is too much temporary or not. Some of you would be
    amazed by the amount of food that corporate companies waste. Some bean counter
    has been paid to figure out that the cost of disposing is cheaper than the cost
    of donating. How about that, the cost of being a human is more expensive than
    being a corporate cock sucker. 

  37. Monkey's Uncle July 29, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    .001 % is too much temporary or not. Some of you would be
    amazed by the amount of food that corporate companies waste. Some bean counter
    has been paid to figure out that the cost of disposing is cheaper than the cost
    of donating. How about that, the cost of being a human is more expensive than
    being a corporate cock sucker. 

  38. Elmyr23 July 29, 2011 at 7:32 am #

    this makes me mad becuase poor people should have nothing but a roof over thier head. no bed no pillows and should eat at a homeless shelter. I will not stop till this dream is true.

  39. Elmyr23 July 29, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    this makes me mad becuase poor people should have nothing but a roof over thier head. no bed no pillows and should eat at a homeless shelter. I will not stop till this dream is true.

  40. Lustxi July 29, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    Ridiculous. Posting links is implicitly advocacy unless you explicitly disclaim otherwise.

    Here’s a question. How would LordSatan suck goat dick? I’m not saying that LordSatan *does* suck goat dick. I’m just posting a hypothetical for the sake of discussion.

  41. Lustxi July 29, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    Ridiculous. Posting links is implicitly advocacy unless you explicitly disclaim otherwise.

    Here’s a question. How would LordSatan suck goat dick? I’m not saying that LordSatan *does* suck goat dick. I’m just posting a hypothetical for the sake of discussion.

  42. Tuna Ghost July 29, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    Simply having appliances like a microwave or a refrigerator mean nothing in terms of poverty in America–even the low rent housing I lived in came with those appliances, but it doesn’t mean you’ll have any damn money for bills and without electricity–a common problem in poverty stricken areas–those things are only useful as things to pawn.  

  43. Anon July 29, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    As an exercise, Google Image search the name of an agreed upon third world country + any of the ‘luxuries’ listed- instantly those countries aren’t poor anymore! Witness the power of the internets (and converse fallacy)

  44. Tuna Ghost July 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Simply having appliances like a microwave or a refrigerator mean nothing in terms of poverty in America–even the low rent housing I lived in came with those appliances, but it doesn’t mean you’ll have any damn money for bills and without electricity–a common problem in poverty stricken areas–those things are only useful as things to pawn.  

  45. Anon July 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    As an exercise, Google Image search the name of an agreed upon third world country + any of the ‘luxuries’ listed- instantly those countries aren’t poor anymore! Witness the power of the internets (and converse fallacy)

  46. Tuna Ghost July 29, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    From the article and guaranteed to piss off anyone who has experienced poverty or has watched someone close go through it:

    I’ve asked myself many times, “What do they need?” Why so much attention on these Americans? The answer to this question came in response to a friend’s question. He said something like this: “What these people need is motivation. They need to pick themselves up and get a job and do something with their lives.” I responded based on my talks, prayers with, and time spent around the Skid Row folks: “These people are highly motivated. They are just motivated to do bad things. They don’t need motivation. They need a new heart from God so their bad motives become good motives.” That’s the problem as I see it. It may sound quaint–but I’ve seen no better answer to their darkness–it worked for me.
    A new heart from God!  That’s all they need.  Of course, if you don’t believe in God, or in a different god than Robert Rector and Greg Hendler, you’re just shit out of luck and will die in poverty.  But that’s what you get for not getting a new heart from the Lord Our God.  It’s your own fault, really.  Not the systemic racism, not the corporations sucking the lower classes dry, not the government cutting programs that help the poor (not refering to welfare here–things like school lunches and public funding in general) while cutting taxes on the wealthy, not the rich white folk not giving a damn–it’s your fault for not going to God to get a new heart.  Thanks, Rick!  Thanks, Greg!  Here, open your mouth, I have a gift for you in thanks for your advice.  Is it open?  Okay, here it comes BBLLLOOOOOAAAARRRRGGHHHHHH

    And that’s from the heart, guys.  From the new heart God gave me.

  47. Tuna Ghost July 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    From the article and guaranteed to piss off anyone who has experienced poverty or has watched someone close go through it:

    I’ve asked myself many times, “What do they need?” Why so much attention on these Americans? The answer to this question came in response to a friend’s question. He said something like this: “What these people need is motivation. They need to pick themselves up and get a job and do something with their lives.” I responded based on my talks, prayers with, and time spent around the Skid Row folks: “These people are highly motivated. They are just motivated to do bad things. They don’t need motivation. They need a new heart from God so their bad motives become good motives.” That’s the problem as I see it. It may sound quaint–but I’ve seen no better answer to their darkness–it worked for me.
    A new heart from God!  That’s all they need.  Of course, if you don’t believe in God, or in a different god than Robert Rector and Greg Hendler, you’re just shit out of luck and will die in poverty.  But that’s what you get for not getting a new heart from the Lord Our God.  It’s your own fault, really.  Not the systemic racism, not the corporations sucking the lower classes dry, not the government cutting programs that help the poor (not refering to welfare here–things like school lunches and public funding in general) while cutting taxes on the wealthy, not the rich white folk not giving a damn–it’s your fault for not going to God to get a new heart.  Thanks, Rick!  Thanks, Greg!  Here, open your mouth, I have a gift for you in thanks for your advice.  Is it open?  Okay, here it comes BBLLLOOOOOAAAARRRRGGHHHHHH

    And that’s from the heart, guys.  From the new heart God gave me.

  48. Monkey See Monkey Do July 29, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    pushing these ideas into public thought space is fucking advocacy, no matter how you spin it.

  49. Caelidh Goode July 29, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    Yeah. I hear this argument all the time from the Right.. “oh.. we don’t have poor.. if you have a cell phone.. you are not poor”.. Uh.. so.. people are not supposed to have a way to communicate? Do they realise that the poor with cell phones are ones that have PREPAID phone cards because they probably have rotten credit and can’t get a phone any other way…

    just because our poor are not literally living in shanty towns (although some border on it).. that we can SEE.. or are climbing over piles of trash.. that they are not POOR?… and I am sure the RICH BILLIONAIRS don’t consider themselves RICH unless they have 3 Yachts instead of just 1… ??? Or they can afford more than 3 vacations in a year??..

  50. Caelidh Goode July 29, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Exactly.. this line of BS is making me sick….

    The uber rich probably think that all the poor just steal stuff.. Maybe they were fortunate to have been gifted it from one of the rare well off folks….  Sigh.. I don’t know why the uber rich give a crap about people who have less.. the uber rich own the world as it is… they have gated communties.. they are far too concerned about whether some poor slob is able to get a Pell grant (to go with that matching refrigerator that keeps their food cold)…. I swear.. we really have disintigrated back to a Feudal society… where the Corporate Uber Rich CLASS view the peasants as unworthy to lick their gilded boots

  51. Monkey See Monkey Do July 29, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    The real issue isn’t poverty. Its inequality, think about that…..

    By the way, anything other than “temporary” hunger is called starvation you dumb fucking neo-conmen!

  52. Monkey See Monkey Do July 29, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    The real issue isn’t poverty. Its inequality, think about that…..

    By the way, anything other than “temporary” hunger is called starvation you dumb fucking neo-conmen!

  53. D Ledeek54 July 29, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    We really need to work on the quality of our poor.

  54. D Ledeek54 July 29, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    We really need to work on the quality of our poor.

  55. D Ledeek54 July 29, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    We really need to work on the quality of our poor.

  56. Tonya Simmons July 29, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    I am still trying to figure out how a Refrigerator is considered a luxury. All apartments come with one, same with an air conditioner, your can’t survive the summer in most states without one. Also Microwaves are dirt cheap now a days. I see them at the Walmart for at least $30. 

    The first indicator is your income. Can you make your rent/mortgage? Your basic bills (Electricity, gas and water?) Do you have to make sacrifices in order to make your food bill? These are the basic things to think about when considering the poor. 

    “Being poor” is something that has evolved over time with our society. Being poor in American doesn’t mean your out with your bowl begging for bread. Unfortunately conservative world views seem to not evolve with the time, seeming to be stuck in 1953, being poor means your destitute, you live in your shack without a refrigerator and your near starvation. There is such a thing as working poor. Where in you have a job, have an income, but you live paycheck to paycheck, no way to save and barely scraping by with your bills. (I have lived this way with children. You feel awful inside everytime you say the words “We can’t afford it” on a constant to a toddler. Or having to constantly go to family for help when you can’t make an important bill. Even now I have to rely on my state’s medicaid for health insurance for my children.)

    I might be bias since I have been in these positions before. 

  57. Tonya Simmons July 29, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    I am still trying to figure out how a Refrigerator is considered a luxury. All apartments come with one, same with an air conditioner, your can’t survive the summer in most states without one. Also Microwaves are dirt cheap now a days. I see them at the Walmart for at least $30. 

    The first indicator is your income. Can you make your rent/mortgage? Your basic bills (Electricity, gas and water?) Do you have to make sacrifices in order to make your food bill? These are the basic things to think about when considering the poor. 

    “Being poor” is something that has evolved over time with our society. Being poor in American doesn’t mean your out with your bowl begging for bread. Unfortunately conservative world views seem to not evolve with the time, seeming to be stuck in 1953, being poor means your destitute, you live in your shack without a refrigerator and your near starvation. There is such a thing as working poor. Where in you have a job, have an income, but you live paycheck to paycheck, no way to save and barely scraping by with your bills. (I have lived this way with children. You feel awful inside everytime you say the words “We can’t afford it” on a constant to a toddler. Or having to constantly go to family for help when you can’t make an important bill. Even now I have to rely on my state’s medicaid for health insurance for my children.)

    I might be bias since I have been in these positions before. 

  58. Mysophobe July 29, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    Right away, the “99.6% of people in poverty own a refrigerator” looks just made up. I think it’s a fair assumption that most of these folks below the poverty line are renters, and I’d say well north of 75% of rental properties come equipped with refrigerators. A slightly more honest statement would be: “99.6% of people in poverty who have adequate shelter have access to the LUXURY of storing fresh food for several days.” Thanks for the honest debate, Heritage Foundation. Stay classy

    • Adam July 29, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

      “I think it’s a fair assumption that most of these folks below the
      poverty line are renters, and I’d say well north of 75% of rental
      properties come equipped with refrigerators.”

      Thank you; my thoughts and personal experience exactly.

      • nouveaupoor October 26, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

        No I hang my groceries out the window when the temperature is below 55 F…

        In Jersey City I had to buy my own frige for my apartment, btw.  I bought a used one for $100 refurbished by some other un-poor person who needed the extra income.  I guess my second hand frige also makes me un-poor from this perspective.

  59. Mysophobe July 29, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    Right away, the “99.6% of people in poverty own a refrigerator” looks just made up. I think it’s a fair assumption that most of these folks below the poverty line are renters, and I’d say well north of 75% of rental properties come equipped with refrigerators. A slightly more honest statement would be: “99.6% of people in poverty who have adequate shelter have access to the LUXURY of storing fresh food for several days.” Thanks for the honest debate, Heritage Foundation. Stay classy

  60. O. Spengler July 29, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    I would define “poor” according to Lao Tse’s axiom: “Those who know they have enough are rich”. There are a lot of poor millionaires and billionaires out there.

    • Micho_rizo July 29, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

      I was actually thinking along the same lines. There ain’t a coffee maker, refrigerator, TV, Xbox, Air Conditioner, car etc. worth more than me as a person. The TRUE poor souls are the one’s who will continually do whatever they have to do to get more…STUFF, because they’ll never be fulfilled.

      However, unfortunately the vast majority of poor people fall into this category as well, and they will continue to suffer and to GIVE power to the “rich” by buying into the lies and propaganda that one’s self-worth is determined by what kind of stuff you own.

  61. O. Spengler July 29, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    I would define “poor” according to Lao Tse’s axiom: “Those who know they have enough are rich”. There are a lot of poor millionaires and billionaires out there.

  62. Anonymous July 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Not to mention, it’s cheaper to have a cell phone with two or three lines than it is to have a land line with long distance! I pay half — half! — as much for my two lines plus the cost of the phone (still paying it off) than I did when I had a land line!

  63. Richard July 29, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    Yet…if you’re living in an African village, a small black-and-white CRT TV, refridgerator and microwave are indeed huge luxuries.

    Or you could make $50,000 a year, but still be homeless if you live in Silicon Valley.

    Yeah, people aren’t falling over in the streets, dying of starvation, but what that article misses is the focus on quality of life…which isn’t great if you’re lower income or unemployed.

  64. Jda1500 July 29, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    This running theme of blaming the weakest among us for our fiscal problems really speaks to the character of our country. “Poor people caused the housing bubble/crash”, “Illegal immigrants take all our good jobs”, “People in poverty are living the high life off of my taxes.” This recession was caused by the ultra-privileged for their own betterment. Any “study” that purports otherwise is deflection. Foster conditions in which an average person can earn a decent, living wage and afford health care and watch most of our country’s fiscal problems melt away. Easier said than done, I know. 30 years of trickle-up brainwashing is not easily undone.

    • Micho_rizo July 29, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

      Good points. I think it’s funny when someone bitches about the “welfare queens” and how illegal immigrants live such a fantastic life off of the government. My reply is always: “Well then, quit your job, give up your house and cars and get on welfare if it’s so great. Or get a new identity as an illegal alien.” I mean, really, it’s not that hard to live that kind of lifestyle if it seems so wonderful to you….

  65. Jda1500 July 29, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    This running theme of blaming the weakest among us for our fiscal problems really speaks to the character of our country. “Poor people caused the housing bubble/crash”, “Illegal immigrants take all our good jobs”, “People in poverty are living the high life off of my taxes.” This recession was caused by the ultra-privileged for their own betterment. Any “study” that purports otherwise is deflection. Foster conditions in which an average person can earn a decent, living wage and afford health care and watch most of our country’s fiscal problems melt away. Easier said than done, I know. 30 years of trickle-up brainwashing is not easily undone.

  66. Anonymous July 29, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    In most places here in the states, a car is not a luxury. If you have any hope of getting or holding a job, you’re probably working upwards of fifteen miles from home (in some cases much much farther) and have no other option to get there. Buying a used clunker and working thirty miles away at a crappy minimum wage job is still better economic sense than not scraping for the car and being limited to no job because there’s nothing in walking distance. Doubly true since people in the city and suburbs aren’t allowed any means of supporting themselves otherwise (such as patches to grow their own food or to keep any kind of livestock or chickens to offset food costs)

    The air conditioner usually comes with the apartment and is not purchased or maintained by the person living there. In some places in the south they’re mandated by law as I recall. Because of the way our buildings are built, they’re also often (not always of course) not luxuries — in the height of summer apartments can easily get hot enough to kill kids or the elderly and frequently do, as many poor people can’t afford to keep the electricity running and therefore the AC doesn’t work.

    Cable also sometimes comes with an apartment. I’d guess most of the poor who have it aren’t actually paying for it. But these days if you have any hope to do more than pump gas or bag groceries, you need to be online, have a resume online, etc. And some schools are requiring kids to have internet access so it’s not always a choice. Cable is often the cheapest form of internet access so there’s a significant chunk of people who have cable but don’t even own a television or who got a thirty year old donated tv for $5 from Goodwill.

    Simply possessing these things doesn’t mean someone isn’t going hungry to pay their bills. Simply possessing them doesn’t mean that the person wasn’t better off at some previous point and has now lost their job or other means of support — given the unemployment rate there are a lot of people in that situation. According to this article, when a person loses their middle-class job I guess they’re just supposed to donate all their appliances and their vehicle and stop trying to compete in the online job market and thereby ensure they’ll never manage to find another decent job in the future.

  67. Anonymous July 29, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    There’s also an entire industry whose sole business strategy is prying money from the poor, which accounts for a lot of “comfort” purchases. I know because I used to work for a store that was based on that premise. It was a jewelry store chain that sold solid gold jewelry. Everything was marked up to crazy heights and then most of it was “marked down” by 50-80% to something that was still several times the price of gold. There would be extra sales at the end of the week and on the 1st and 15th of every month — you know, when government benefit checks and paychecks were most likely to be issued. So people would think they were getting this great deal on solid gold jewelry and that they could hold on to it and sell the gold later if they were ever even worse off, so they were likely to buy something and view it as an investment rather than a luxury purchase. Problem was, even the marked down price was inflated far beyond the true worth of the piece. But how many poor people are obsessively checking the price of gold? There are places in all different types of “luxury” business using this model, not just jewelry. Think of name brand clothes. They sell you on the idea that you’re getting higher quality so it’ll last longer before you have to buy a new one — which is total BS but most people don’t know any better so they shell out more money thinking they’re investing in not having to pay more later.

  68. Tio Holtzman July 29, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    Maybe we can get a study put together by a group that is not funded by the folks who want to make the rich richer and the poor poorer?  Maybe there’s a group that doesn’t want to misdirect the anger of (what’s left of) the middle class towards folks who are suffering instead of the ultra-rich who are responsible?  Maybe there’s some group out there with the ear of the people and doesn’t want to feed them anymore bullshit?

    No, probably not.

  69. Tio Holtzman July 29, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    Maybe we can get a study put together by a group that is not funded by the folks who want to make the rich richer and the poor poorer?  Maybe there’s a group that doesn’t want to misdirect the anger of (what’s left of) the middle class towards folks who are suffering instead of the ultra-rich who are responsible?  Maybe there’s some group out there with the ear of the people and doesn’t want to feed them anymore bullshit?

    No, probably not.

  70. Danny Adams July 29, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    The author of the article ought to have pointed out that Robert Rector works for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank, and does not specify how he came up with his 2% figure.

  71. Danny Adams July 29, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    The author of the article ought to have pointed out that Robert Rector works for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank, and does not specify how he came up with his 2% figure.

  72. Joni Donze July 29, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    I’m appalled that refrigerators, microwaves and coffee makers are considered “luxury” items.

    • Grimsby July 30, 2011 at 3:16 am #

      This just shows what a spoiled  brat you are

      • Jin The Ninja July 30, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

        And you just proved what an @$$ you are.

      • Tuna Ghost July 31, 2011 at 11:54 am #

        These things generally come with any rental property.  Anyone who has ever rented an apartment would know this.  Its appalling that the writers did not.  

  73. Joni Donze July 29, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    I’m appalled that refrigerators, microwaves and coffee makers are considered “luxury” items.

  74. Disinformation July 29, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Even in the form of a question?

    Let’s ask Alex Trebek, although he is recovering from his recent hotel robbery:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20085383-504083.html

    You are being moronic, Monkey See Monkey Do, no matter how we spin it …

  75. Disinformation July 29, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    And you have done a great job of reading the terms of the site … well done Lustxi.

  76. Disinformation July 29, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    And you have done a great job of reading the terms of the site … well done Lustxi.

  77. Disinformation July 29, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    And you have done a great job of reading the terms of the site … well done Lustxi.

  78. Micho_rizo July 29, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    Good points. I think it’s funny when someone bitches about the “welfare queens” and how illegal immigrants live such a fantastic life off of the government. My reply is always: “Well then, quit your job, give up your house and cars and get on welfare if it’s so great. Or get a new identity as an illegal alien.” I mean, really, it’s not that hard to live that kind of lifestyle if it seems so wonderful to you….

  79. Hadrian999 July 29, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    being poor doesn’t mean being a homeless vagabond , It means having no control, you can have a car an apartment and all the trappings but if you have no control over your life and no ability to actually choose the direction you are heading then you are poor, who cares if you have a ps3 and hdtv and all that if you are locked into wage-serfdom

  80. Hadrian999 July 29, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    being poor doesn’t mean being a homeless vagabond , It means having no control, you can have a car an apartment and all the trappings but if you have no control over your life and no ability to actually choose the direction you are heading then you are poor, who cares if you have a ps3 and hdtv and all that if you are locked into wage-serfdom

  81. Micho_rizo July 29, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    I was actually thinking along the same lines. There ain’t a coffee maker, refrigerator, TV, Xbox, Air Conditioner, car etc. worth more than me as a person. The TRUE poor souls are the one’s who will continually do whatever they have to do to get more…STUFF, because they’ll never be fulfilled.

    However, unfortunately the vast majority of poor people fall into this category as well, and they will continue to suffer and to GIVE power to the “rich” by buying into the lies and propaganda that one’s self-worth is determined by what kind of stuff you own.

  82. Micho_rizo July 29, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    I was actually thinking along the same lines. There ain’t a coffee maker, refrigerator, TV, Xbox, Air Conditioner, car etc. worth more than me as a person. The TRUE poor souls are the one’s who will continually do whatever they have to do to get more…STUFF, because they’ll never be fulfilled.

    However, unfortunately the vast majority of poor people fall into this category as well, and they will continue to suffer and to GIVE power to the “rich” by buying into the lies and propaganda that one’s self-worth is determined by what kind of stuff you own.

  83. Grover Lembeck July 29, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Most consumer goods like televisions, gaming systems etc. can be had for free, or for pennies. Furthermore, many of the poor are not included in the statistics due to the fact that they are arrested and put in jail, or they ARE living in tent cities.
    I know of two tent cities in forested areas near me, which most people living in the vicinity are completely unaware of, or they would be cleared out. We have a real tendency to not count people once they reach a certain point, and there are more and more people reaching that point.

  84. Grover Lembeck July 29, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    Most consumer goods like televisions, gaming systems etc. can be had for free, or for pennies. Furthermore, many of the poor are not included in the statistics due to the fact that they are arrested and put in jail, or they ARE living in tent cities.
    I know of two tent cities in forested areas near me, which most people living in the vicinity are completely unaware of, or they would be cleared out. We have a real tendency to not count people once they reach a certain point, and there are more and more people reaching that point.

  85. Monkey's Uncle July 29, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    It depends on if a person utilizes critical thinking.
    Awareness of other perspectives typically can be useful.  

  86. Monkey's Uncle July 29, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    It depends on if a person utilizes critical thinking.
    Awareness of other perspectives typically can be useful.  

  87. Josh Adkisson July 29, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    This article takes advantage of the average person’s lack of terminological knowledge. There are two kinds of poor–absolute poor and relative poor. Absolute poor are considered as such based on some objective standard applicable to all human beings. In terms of absolute poverty, America is extremely well off, and the statistic of 2% may well be right. Relative poverty, on the other hand, depends on the difference between members of a society, and the conditions of people based on the “norm” of a society. America has rather substantial relative poverty. The authors of this article ought to know better, and likely do, but do not wish to impede the “education” of their audience by confusing them with such troublesome facts.

  88. Josh Adkisson July 29, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    This article takes advantage of the average person’s lack of terminological knowledge. There are two kinds of poor–absolute poor and relative poor. Absolute poor are considered as such based on some objective standard applicable to all human beings. In terms of absolute poverty, America is extremely well off, and the statistic of 2% may well be right. Relative poverty, on the other hand, depends on the difference between members of a society, and the conditions of people based on the “norm” of a society. America has rather substantial relative poverty. The authors of this article ought to know better, and likely do, but do not wish to impede the “education” of their audience by confusing them with such troublesome facts.

  89. Disinformation July 29, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    How would you define being…? No one is forcing you to read this.

  90. VoxMagi July 29, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    Gosh…Even by his definition…my friends and I qualified as poorer than the poorest Americans…since out of all that stuff the poor ‘own’ or have access to…we had the coffeemaker. (Garage sale…cost 1$…its in my kitchen right now…22 years later, still brewing strong!) We’re all much older and have jobs that pay too little and might not be considered wealthy now…but then…in our late teens and early twenties, packed in 5 or 6 to a rented house with a fridge we didn’t ‘own’ and no AC…walking everywhere and using payphones…scraping by on a few hundred dollars a month each…there were no luxuries. Food was a luxury. Clothes were goodwill finds or army surplus and black RIT dye. We had no cars, no Cable, no computers, no TV…just a battered boombox for cassettes and CDs that constantly played to amuse (also now located in my storage room, dented and worn…but still barely functional).

    End point…there are plenty of luxuries that come with being an American…if you weigh us against Haiti…we’re all rich as kings…great…yay us…but back to fucking reality bitches…this ain’t Haiti…this ain’t Somalia…this ain’t the slums of New Delhi…this is the USA…and we weigh wealth or poverty against the average and norms of the USA. Poor here is still poor for here…and poverty sucks. When the fatcats that write their little screeds have spent three days drinking water out of public fountains to make their stomach ‘feel’ full because they have no food…I’ll be ready to here what they have to say…but since they collect fat checks to mouth platitudes for their masters…fuck them…what they know about poverty could fit in a thimble and leave room for the thumb.

  91. VoxMagi July 29, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    Gosh…Even by his definition…my friends and I qualified as poorer than the poorest Americans…since out of all that stuff the poor ‘own’ or have access to…we had the coffeemaker. (Garage sale…cost 1$…its in my kitchen right now…22 years later, still brewing strong!) We’re all much older and have jobs that pay too little and might not be considered wealthy now…but then…in our late teens and early twenties, packed in 5 or 6 to a rented house with a fridge we didn’t ‘own’ and no AC…walking everywhere and using payphones…scraping by on a few hundred dollars a month each…there were no luxuries. Food was a luxury. Clothes were goodwill finds or army surplus and black RIT dye. We had no cars, no Cable, no computers, no TV…just a battered boombox for cassettes and CDs that constantly played to amuse (also now located in my storage room, dented and worn…but still barely functional).

    End point…there are plenty of luxuries that come with being an American…if you weigh us against Haiti…we’re all rich as kings…great…yay us…but back to fucking reality bitches…this ain’t Haiti…this ain’t Somalia…this ain’t the slums of New Delhi…this is the USA…and we weigh wealth or poverty against the average and norms of the USA. Poor here is still poor for here…and poverty sucks. When the fatcats that write their little screeds have spent three days drinking water out of public fountains to make their stomach ‘feel’ full because they have no food…I’ll be ready to here what they have to say…but since they collect fat checks to mouth platitudes for their masters…fuck them…what they know about poverty could fit in a thimble and leave room for the thumb.

  92. VoxMagi July 29, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    I think the point of the post is to make the Disinfo crowd…which is generally savvy enough to draw their own conclusions…stop and look at what these fuckfaced douchebags are passing off as news…fucking word games that redefine ‘poor’ so carefully that almost no one qualifies for the term….which is bullshit disinformation that should be exposed for what it is…which is why its here, where it can outrage the shit out of us. ;-)

  93. chinagreenelvis July 29, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    And how much money does Greg Hengler make each year?

    Musing about how “rich” the “poor” are in America is a pasttime appropriate only for someone who is considered to be poor. For someone who is not poor to do this is like shitting on someone else’s head, looking down, and telling them that it could be worse because you could be murdering them and that all they have to do in order to not be shit on is move further down the block, and then when they pick up and go, following them and shitting on them again.

  94. chinagreenelvis July 29, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    And how much money does Greg Hengler make each year?

    Musing about how “rich” the “poor” are in America is a pasttime appropriate only for someone who is considered to be poor. For someone who is not poor to do this is like shitting on someone else’s head, looking down, and telling them that it could be worse because you could be murdering them and that all they have to do in order to not be shit on is move further down the block, and then when they pick up and go, following them and shitting on them again.

  95. chinagreenelvis July 29, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    And how much money does Greg Hengler make each year?

    Musing about how “rich” the “poor” are in America is a pasttime appropriate only for someone who is considered to be poor. For someone who is not poor to do this is like shitting on someone else’s head, looking down, and telling them that it could be worse because you could be murdering them and that all they have to do in order to not be shit on is move further down the block, and then when they pick up and go, following them and shitting on them again.

  96. Anonymous July 29, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    i totally concur. it was the initial shock of heritage foundation rhetoric that gave rise to my initial reactionary response.

  97. Adam July 29, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    “I think it’s a fair assumption that most of these folks below the
    poverty line are renters, and I’d say well north of 75% of rental
    properties come equipped with refrigerators.”

    Thank you; my thoughts and personal experience exactly.

  98. Anon July 29, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    the shorter the time between seeing an ad and then buying the product, the poorer the person is

  99. Anon July 29, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

    the shorter the time between seeing an ad and then buying the product, the poorer the person is

  100. Anonymous July 29, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    No one’s forcing you to be a tool and yet…

  101. Anonymous July 29, 2011 at 11:58 pm #

    well i think naming the article, “the right wing on poverty in america” or ” poverty in america: right wing perspectives”  or “how the heritage foundation defines poverty in america” or ” the right’s war on poverty” ( a little tongue in cheek) would have saved you a lot of replies.

  102. Anonymous July 30, 2011 at 12:32 am #

    excellent point.  hard to believe it would be lost on anyone here.

  103. Stevebeer60 July 30, 2011 at 1:24 am #

    If you are poor, know it, and see no likely future change in that circumstance, why have kids? Why subject kids to that miserable existence?

  104. Stevebeer60 July 29, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    If you are poor, know it, and see no likely future change in that circumstance, why have kids? Why subject kids to that miserable existence?

    • Jin The Ninja July 30, 2011 at 12:56 am #

      oh that’s exactly what was lacking from this discussion: a eugenicist troll.

      thanks for the “insight” into the mind of a dick.

    • Ajsilver42 July 31, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

      Well, because some people actually love their lives and themselves, and won’t let a buch of ads tell them that what they have isn’t good enough to raise their kids with love.
       Besides, most of my rich friends are self-critical assholes who get upset if someone burps in front of them.  And they have no idea what they’re doing with their lives.  They have no compass.  They do not know how to live a meaningful life.  And worst of all, the majority of them are so brainwashed by lifestyle marketing, that even with all their money they never make a damn decision on their own.

    • ItJustMakesSense July 31, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

      I completely agree, and this is why I will continue to advocate for the legalization of enforced parental licencing… 

  105. Linsang811 July 30, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    Someone please tell me this is tongue in cheek. 

  106. Linsang811 July 29, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

    Someone please tell me this is tongue in cheek. 

  107. Tuna Ghost July 30, 2011 at 3:51 am #

    Maybe they didn’t realize that there is a rule against poor people owning nice things.

    Nicely put.  I’m totally stealing this line.  

    I’d love an opportunity to pop Greg Hengler in the mouth for this.

    Shit, his mouth if he’s lucky.

  108. Ajsilver42 July 30, 2011 at 3:54 am #

    OMG!  You are playing into what the article itself sets-up as a premise: that it’s libs v cons, and if you believed in poverty, then you should question liberal policies.
    You know this site is called ‘Disinfo’, right?

  109. Anonymous July 30, 2011 at 4:35 am #

    OMG! yes! that is EXACTLY what i did!

    thank you so much for pointing that out!

    i never realised this site was called, “disinfo.”!

    I am such a HARDCORE american “liberal” that i would NEVER think to question their policies!
     
    wow, you really opened my eyes! thank you SO much!

    >.>

  110. Godozo July 30, 2011 at 4:43 am #

    Okay…let’s look at their list and see how the right wishes for the rest of us to live:

    99.6% own a refrigerator…so I guess we’re supposed to go around buying food on a daily basis because we’re worried about it spoiling?

    81.4% own a microwave…so we’re supposed to eat all our food raw, or eat out? (yes, I know there’s ovens, but with time tight for many the idea of cooking meals in microwaves makes sense).

    78.3% own
    an air conditioner…ever try sleeping at night without it? Try going to work when you’re halfway tired from no AC and your coworkers have snoozed in the cool of their AC-filled night? Guess who gets laid off.

    73% own a car or a truck; 31% own two or more cars…Four words: Mass Transit in America. I lived in a city that had good Mass Transit; felt like a noble walking around Lansing (Michigan) because I knew I could get where I needed (or wanted) to go without driving. Of course, I wonder how long that will last.

    54.5% own a cell phone; 38.2% own a computer…and you can’t get a job nowadays without a computer to put in an application. And try to find a pay phone that works nowadays.

    The rest I’ll set aside, but understand: I don’t live in Haiti (where a well-built house is a luxury) nor as a Christian in Arab Islamic lands, nor as a peasant in western China; I live in America where these things aren’t so much rarities as needs. That the Radical Right in America has no problem saying I should go without this stuff shows what they have in store for us.

  111. Godozo July 30, 2011 at 12:43 am #

    Okay…let’s look at their list and see how the right wishes for the rest of us to live:

    99.6% own a refrigerator…so I guess we’re supposed to go around buying food on a daily basis because we’re worried about it spoiling?

    81.4% own a microwave…so we’re supposed to eat all our food raw, or eat out? (yes, I know there’s ovens, but with time tight for many the idea of cooking meals in microwaves makes sense).

    78.3% own
    an air conditioner…ever try sleeping at night without it? Try going to work when you’re halfway tired from no AC and your coworkers have snoozed in the cool of their AC-filled night? Guess who gets laid off.

    73% own a car or a truck; 31% own two or more cars…Four words: Mass Transit in America. I lived in a city that had good Mass Transit; felt like a noble walking around Lansing (Michigan) because I knew I could get where I needed (or wanted) to go without driving. Of course, I wonder how long that will last.

    54.5% own a cell phone; 38.2% own a computer…and you can’t get a job nowadays without a computer to put in an application. And try to find a pay phone that works nowadays.

    The rest I’ll set aside, but understand: I don’t live in Haiti (where a well-built house is a luxury) nor as a Christian in Arab Islamic lands, nor as a peasant in western China; I live in America where these things aren’t so much rarities as needs. That the Radical Right in America has no problem saying I should go without this stuff shows what they have in store for us.

  112. Anonymous July 30, 2011 at 4:51 am #

    thank you. yes and yes.

  113. Anonymous July 30, 2011 at 4:56 am #

    oh that’s exactly what was lacking from this discussion: a eugenicist troll.

    thanks for the “insight” into the mind of a dick.

  114. jasonpaulhayes July 30, 2011 at 5:26 am #

    Jesus never had no iPad !

  115. jasonpaulhayes July 30, 2011 at 1:26 am #

    If you’re hungry or need counseling to talk about any problems with your quality of life just call the County Medical Service so they can tell you where the nearest Catholic Dioceses is and you can confess you’re a Socialist for a small donation. The less you can give to and get from Social Services the stronger the Church grows in it’s place and in your community.

    The Devil built your Refrigerator so don’t worry, the Church is there for you when everything becomes a LIVING HELL!

  116. Anonymous July 30, 2011 at 6:59 am #

    I think this article was written for the percentage of millionaires who think that they’re not rich unless they have at least 7 million in the bank. I can see where they sad sack who only has 3 million can look at his life and think, “Hey, I’m poor, and I’m not doing so bad. The rest of those chumps just need to suck it up!”

  117. Artor July 30, 2011 at 2:59 am #

    I think this article was written for the percentage of millionaires who think that they’re not rich unless they have at least 7 million in the bank. I can see where they sad sack who only has 3 million can look at his life and think, “Hey, I’m poor, and I’m not doing so bad. The rest of those chumps just need to suck it up!”

  118. Katie July 30, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    So you’re trashing the word given by one person, and your evidence is something someone else said? I’m convinced.

  119. Katie July 30, 2011 at 3:04 am #

    So you’re trashing the word given by one person, and your evidence is something someone else said? I’m convinced.

    • Jin The Ninja July 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

      What???

  120. Anonymous July 30, 2011 at 7:10 am #

    Let’s see how I do on the list; I’m a renter, so I have access to a couple things, but I don’t own them. I don’t own a fridge, but I do have a microwave ($15 at Goodwill) an air conditioner and a car. (got windfall money from my dad) I don’t own any kind of TV (killed it 15 yrs ago) or gaming console. I have a cell phone (cheaper & more useful than a landline) and a computer, (obviously) but no coffee maker or dishwasher. Rent & bills are due in a few days, and I have less than $50 in the bank. Am I “not poor?”

  121. Artor July 30, 2011 at 3:10 am #

    Let’s see how I do on the list; I’m a renter, so I have access to a couple things, but I don’t own them. I don’t own a fridge, but I do have a microwave ($15 at Goodwill) an air conditioner and a car. (got windfall money from my dad) I don’t own any kind of TV (killed it 15 yrs ago) or gaming console. I have a cell phone (cheaper & more useful than a landline) and a computer, (obviously) but no coffee maker or dishwasher. Rent & bills are due in a few days, and I have less than $50 in the bank. In the past month, I’ve skimped on meals twice so I could feed my kid. I’d have done it more if I didn’t share custody with his mom. Am I “not poor?”

  122. Grimsby July 30, 2011 at 7:16 am #

    This just shows what a spoiled  brat you are

  123. Elphaba July 30, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    His numbers seem impressive. Makes me wonder if he’s borrowed Bill O’Reilly’s habit of making up facts to suit his needs.

  124. Elphaba July 30, 2011 at 3:17 am #

    His numbers seem impressive. Makes me wonder if he’s borrowed Bill O’Reilly’s habit of making up facts to suit his needs.

  125. Anonymous July 30, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    What???

  126. Anonymous July 30, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    And you just proved what an @$$ you are.

  127. Odinmchaggis July 30, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    I define rich as being able to maintain your chosen life style whether you were to continue working or not. In other words maintaining your lifestyle and choosing how you want to spend your time.

  128. Odinmchaggis July 30, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    I define rich as being able to maintain your chosen life style whether you were to continue working or not. In other words maintaining your lifestyle and choosing how you want to spend your time.

  129. Tuna Ghost July 31, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    These things generally come with any rental property.  Anyone who has ever rented an apartment would know this.  Its appalling that the writers did not.  

  130. Ajdilver42 July 31, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    In 20 years this poverty issue could change sides; there’s absolutely no point in using the terms ‘right-wing and left-wing’.
    I did not label you in any way.  I just think that there is enough bias inherent in these reports without Disinfo throwing more layers on top of it.

  131. Ajsilver42 July 31, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    Well, because some people actually love their lives and themselves, and won’t let a buch of ads tell them that what they have isn’t good enough to raise their kids with love.
     Besides, most of my rich friends are self-critical assholes who get upset if someone burps in front of them.  And they have no idea what they’re doing with their lives.  They have no compass.  They do not know how to live a meaningful life.  And worst of all, the majority of them are so brainwashed by lifestyle marketing, that even with all their money they never make a damn decision on their own.

  132. Anonymous July 31, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    What are you talking about? the “issue could change sides” !?!?
    No, i think you are deeply mistaken, the left (NOT the dems the real left) is inherently concerned with social justice. The only “side” whom attacks the poor is the right. Whether that refers to dems or repubs. they are the right. Whether neo-liberal or neo-conservative, they only are concerned with 1 issue. the colour of money. The ideological left is founded on the basis of equality, and civil rights. If the terms of the debate have moved to the right or towards the center that is a problem. When the right wing continuously tries to portray poverty as a non issue or a divisive issue that is a very real problem. You did label me. You inferred that i am some dem worshipping “liberal.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The article and it’s title frame the debate as some kind of re-definition of poverty, when really it was a scathing heritage foundation attack. Nothing is more offensive than that.

  133. StillAtMyMoms July 31, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    God damn if this doesn’t make me loathe anything remotely associated with the conservative/right-wing label, it would be other than the mere fact that they are a fucking walking contradiction.  I’m emotionally riled, so bear with me.  They, Republican blowhards, advocate for the free market by which our globalized, corporate-dominated economy creates this very issue through means of outsourcing and downsizing due to deregulation of these profit-hungry corporate powerhouses.  One of these despicable fiends then has the audacity to proclaim that our nation’s poverty class needs to become motivated?  WTF!  If that editorial really wanted to help, why did he not have an one-on-one discussion with each of the inhabitants on Skid Row, ask each what skills they possess, and then set them up with a job and temporary housing in order to get back on their feet?    Why that would be practical instead of telling them to pray to a false deity (ouch!) in which subtly suggests to join their congregation in order to get an extra dollar in the pot.  Oh wait, there are no jobs!  And Hobo Jones would not adhere to strict corporate policy due to appearance and HR would give him the run around with reference checks.  And yet Republicans bitch and moan about the very bureaucracy practiced in our “big government”.  Define hypocrisy?  More proof there is really a false left-right paradigm.  And yes I’m generalizing every corporate employer because 1) I am currently looking for a job and can attest to hiring processes of various corporations and 2) Corporations have to do to this due to their legal department saying they have to in order to mitigate litigation.  Again, ALL ABOUT MONEY.  Ned Beatty on “Network” was absolutely correct: “The world is a business, Mr. Beale! It has been since man crawled out of the primordial slime…”    And with all these “unnecessary amenities” they complain about, maybe people wouldn’t feel obligated to purchase them due to being subjected to essentially brainwashing thanks to an onslaught of marketing and advertising they experience on a daily basis.  Which by their GOP cocksuckers advocate for via deregulation and pro-capitalism.  It’s a vicious and sickening cycle.

    My advice is this: Hug a poor person, give them a hotel room, and food.  Do not judge them.  Assist them in bettering themselves by whichever means of acquiring a job or obtaining essentials for the future.  Remember, we all originated from the Big Bang or the point of origin (depending on your stance) together.  (Props to Alan Watts.)  When we deliberately deprive another (not limited to just humans either) of their rights or opportunities for the sake of our own selfish well-being, we as a species, have failed miserably.  Altruism all the way.  Peace out.

  134. Anonymous July 31, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    God damn if this doesn’t make me loathe anything remotely associated with the conservative/right-wing label, it would be other than the mere fact that they are a fucking walking contradiction.  I’m emotionally riled, so bear with me.  They, Republican blowhards, advocate for the free market by which our globalized, corporate-dominated economy creates this very issue through means of outsourcing and downsizing due to deregulation of these profit-hungry corporate powerhouses.  One of these despicable fiends then has the audacity to proclaim that our nation’s poverty class needs to become motivated?  WTF!  If that editorial really wanted to help, why did he not have an one-on-one discussion with each of the inhabitants on Skid Row, ask each what skills they possess, and then set them up with a job and temporary housing in order to get back on their feet?    Why that would be practical instead of telling them to pray to a false deity (ouch!) in which subtly suggests to join their congregation in order to get an extra dollar in the pot.  Oh wait, there are no jobs!  And Hobo Jones would not adhere to strict
    corporate policy due to appearance and HR would give him the run around
    with reference checks.  And yet Republicans bitch and moan about the very bureaucracy practiced in our “big government”.  Define hypocrisy?  More proof there is really a false left-right paradigm.  And yes I’m generalizing every corporate employer because 1) I am currently looking for a job and can attest to hiring processes of various corporations and 2) Corporations have to do to this due to their legal department saying they have to in order to mitigate litigation.  Again, ALL ABOUT MONEY.  Ned Beatty on “Network” was absolutely correct: “The world is a business, Mr. Beale!
    It has been since man crawled out of the primordial slime…”    And with all these “unnecessary amenities” they complain about, maybe people wouldn’t feel obligated to purchase them due to being subjected to essentially brainwashing thanks to an onslaught of marketing and advertising they experience on a daily basis.  Which by their GOP cocksuckers advocate for via deregulation and pro-capitalism.  It’s a vicious and sickening cycle.

    My advice is this: Hug a poor person, give them a hotel room, and food.  Do not judge them.  Assist them in bettering themselves by whichever means of acquiring a job or obtaining essentials for the future.  Remember, we all originated from the Big Bang or the point of origin (depending on your stance) together.  (Props to Alan Watts.)  When we deliberately another (not limited to just humans either) of their rights or opportunities for the sake of our own selfish well-being, we as a species, have failed miserably.  Altruism all the way.  Peace out.

  135. ItJustMakesSense August 1, 2011 at 12:26 am #

    I completely agree, and this is why I will continue to advocate for the legalization of enforced parental licencing… 

  136. justagirl August 1, 2011 at 2:29 am #

    i would say that the blowjob has the potential to be quite toothy.  but, good nonetheless. 

  137. justagirl August 1, 2011 at 2:33 am #

    wow.  spoken like a wise old elbow.

  138. Nuggett August 1, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    They don’t “own” any of that shit because they bought it with the big plastic corporate “IOU”…

    They’re poor, very poor.  They just don’t know it because corporations give them toys and claim that they’re “better off”.  

  139. Nuggett August 1, 2011 at 7:58 am #

    They don’t “own” any of that shit because they bought it with the big plastic corporate “IOU”…

    They’re poor, very poor.  They just don’t know it because corporations give them toys and claim that they’re “better off”.  

  140. Flimbo August 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    Definitely more right-wing nonsense. I remember this sort of thing from the 1980s in the Uk when consumer tech took off and started to become cheaper – ‘oh they’re not poor they own a TV’.. as for the stuff they list well clearly a cell phone is pretty much essential nowadays, as is a computer for seeking work and I’d guess a car is essential in the US. Microwaves are dirt-cheap, as are small fridges and there’s a huge second-hand market in old consumer goods (and cars) that poor people may still be able to use.

    Furthermore many of these goods have no resale value so if somebody bought, say, a PC when they had a job they’d only get a few dollars from selling it (assuming average PC, not some super-Mac thing). Consumer goods also change over time – in the 1920s lots of poor people owned hand-made furniture, iron beds, radios with valve amplifiers and even a piano – now such things would be seen as yuppie luxuries…

    We get these arguments trotted out here all the time and I agree with another poster – if its so great being on welfare then give up your job and sign up for it. The Daily Mail in the UK runs this type of story every day and is full of people moaning that they’re ‘really’ poor because they only earn £60,000 a year while these welfare people live the life of riley (£65 a week dole with a 20% sales tax slapped on anything that isn’t food or books…) It really is like a parallel universe of Orwellian Newspeak – rich are poor, poor are rich…

  141. Flimbo August 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    Definitely more right-wing nonsense. I remember this sort of thing from the 1980s in the Uk when consumer tech took off and started to become cheaper – ‘oh they’re not poor they own a TV’.. as for the stuff they list well clearly a cell phone is pretty much essential nowadays, as is a computer for seeking work and I’d guess a car is essential in the US. Microwaves are dirt-cheap, as are small fridges and there’s a huge second-hand market in old consumer goods (and cars) that poor people may still be able to use.

    Furthermore many of these goods have no resale value so if somebody bought, say, a PC when they had a job they’d only get a few dollars from selling it (assuming average PC, not some super-Mac thing). Consumer goods also change over time – in the 1920s lots of poor people owned hand-made furniture, iron beds, radios with valve amplifiers and even a piano – now such things would be seen as yuppie luxuries…

    We get these arguments trotted out here all the time and I agree with another poster – if its so great being on welfare then give up your job and sign up for it. The Daily Mail in the UK runs this type of story every day and is full of people moaning that they’re ‘really’ poor because they only earn £60,000 a year while these welfare people live the life of riley (£65 a week dole with a 20% sales tax slapped on anything that isn’t food or books…) It really is like a parallel universe of Orwellian Newspeak – rich are poor, poor are rich…

  142. Anonymous August 1, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    i own many of those items… does not mean i bought them new or paid full price for them. They are all handed down or found on the sidewalk. I have yet to buy one piece of furniture. I have not had cable tv since 2002 and have never owned an Xbox or any gaming system.  I work full time and still qualify for food- stamps.
    So… these statistics don’t necessarily mean what the author wants them to mean.

  143. samthor August 1, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    i own many of those items… does not mean i bought them new or paid full price for them. They are all handed down or found on the sidewalk. I have yet to buy one piece of furniture. I have not had cable tv since 2002 and have never owned an Xbox or any gaming system.  I work full time and still qualify for food- stamps.
    So… these statistics don’t necessarily mean what the author wants them to mean.

  144. Flimbo August 1, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    Another thing that drives me mad about the welfare debate is that conservatives make a two-pronged argument against support for the poor a) It makes them dependent and b) There’s fraud in the system.

    Now if we look closely at the modern America (or Europe – is the same here in many countries) workplace employers often control whole chunks of a person’s life, tell them how to dress, demand drug tests and so on. In many places other jobs are hard to find so the employee becomes dependent on their employer for pretty much everything and as such usually end up being exploited – if they lose their job then its no health insurance, no house, no car payments…. When workers complain about employers taking over their lives they’re told to suck it up, get another job or its pointed out ‘its a business, they pay you they can do what they want’.

    Similarly if anything from the past five years has shown us there are epic levels of fraud in almost all large institutions – be it government (military contracts, lobbyist bribes, pork barrel projects) or private business (the bankers, insurance companies).

    Yet mysteriously the right never argue for the shutting down of the Insurance industry due to its endemic fraud, or the private medical industry or for 90% cuts in military spending (apologies to the few Conservative that do – am talking about your general GOP types here). But they think welfare can be improved by destroying it.

    Nor do the right (again, in general) argue against the weird corporate communism that exists or demand better worker’s protection.

    We get the same in the UK. Welfare bad with lots of stories of some teen mum and her 75 kids followed by comments to lock her up/sterilise/shoot her/ban all dole payments.

    And then we have stories of tax-evading billionaires with lots of comments about how cool they are for creating jobs.

    Again, parallel universe.

  145. Flimbo August 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Another thing that drives me mad about the welfare debate is that conservatives make a two-pronged argument against support for the poor a) It makes them dependent and b) There’s fraud in the system.

    Now if we look closely at the modern America (or Europe – is the same here in many countries) workplace employers often control whole chunks of a person’s life, tell them how to dress, demand drug tests and so on. In many places other jobs are hard to find so the employee becomes dependent on their employer for pretty much everything and as such usually end up being exploited – if they lose their job then its no health insurance, no house, no car payments…. When workers complain about employers taking over their lives they’re told to suck it up, get another job or its pointed out ‘its a business, they pay you they can do what they want’.

    Similarly if anything from the past five years has shown us there are epic levels of fraud in almost all large institutions – be it government (military contracts, lobbyist bribes, pork barrel projects) or private business (the bankers, insurance companies).

    Yet mysteriously the right never argue for the shutting down of the Insurance industry due to its endemic fraud, or the private medical industry or for 90% cuts in military spending (apologies to the few Conservative that do – am talking about your general GOP types here). But they think welfare can be improved by destroying it.

    Nor do the right (again, in general) argue against the weird corporate communism that exists or demand better worker’s protection.

    We get the same in the UK. Welfare bad with lots of stories of some teen mum and her 75 kids followed by comments to lock her up/sterilise/shoot her/ban all dole payments.

    And then we have stories of tax-evading billionaires with lots of comments about how cool they are for creating jobs.

    Again, parallel universe.

  146. Anonymous August 2, 2011 at 2:27 am #

    heh. do you speak spanish? i’m down in mexico and they call a stingy person “codo” down here, spanish for elbow. i just heard of it the other day so i was wondering…

  147. Anonymous August 2, 2011 at 2:32 am #

    “MMmmmAaaAaaaaAaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh,” bleated the goat since LS would be the only other to know and he’s got his mouth full.

  148. Anonymous August 2, 2011 at 2:32 am #

    “MMmmmAaaAaaaaAaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh,” bleated the goat since LS would be the only other to know and he’s got his mouth full.

  149. justagirl August 2, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    only when playing mexican poker.  but, you know, those guys have a first class funny bone.

  150. maria y August 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    What if you own a bunch of nice shit and then you lose your job, do you automatically have to give it all away because you no longer deserve it?  Even the refrigerator? Even if you live in a shitty apartment that came with the refrigerator?
    And do you know how many people comprise 2% of the American population (even if that is even accurate)?  Still a staggering number. I think if you were to report 2% of Americans have Bubonic Plague, the number might concern you, no?

  151. maria y August 2, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    What if you own a bunch of nice shit and then you lose your job, do you automatically have to give it all away because you no longer deserve it?  Even the refrigerator? Even if you live in a shitty apartment that came with the refrigerator?
    And do you know how many people comprise 2% of the American population (even if that is even accurate)?  Still a staggering number. I think if you were to report 2% of Americans have Bubonic Plague, the number might concern you, no?

  152. Anonymous August 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    Unfortunately, it has more to do with food safety regulations, and liability lawsuits. If a restaurant takes uneaten food, or food that has been sitting out too long, and donates it to the poor, then somebody gets sick, they could sue the restaurant out of existence, and the owners could be found criminally liable for violating health laws. Now, if the restaurant packages the food in a clean plastic bag, tosses it in the dumpster, and some hungry person digs it out, the restaurant is not liable. Of course, if that person gets sick and has no health insurance, she now has no recourse.

    On the other hand, if, say a corporate  caterer took the leftovers from a convention sandwich plate to a homeless shelter, and the shelter gave the food to their clients, and one of the clients got sick, the shelter would be liable for giving the bad food – and probably get sued & fined out of existence too.

    If you go somewhere at the right time, you can see the food getting taken out, and you might get it as fresh as you can. I got a garbage bag full of donuts this way when I went into a donut shop to buy a donut, but they had just closed, and thrown out the stock for the day. The lady in the shop had just put the donuts into clean bags and hadn’t thrown them in the dumpster yet, so she gave them to me.

  153. Anonymous August 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

     Yes, I think Disinfo’s purpose in posting this was to poke a hole in that rotting carcass, so you could see the swarming maggots squirming inside. Fascinating!

  154. Nouveaupoor October 26, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    I have an eleven-year-old Saturn that has mechanical problems, I have no TV, I have not bought new clothes in over three years.  I do have a computer but that is only because I need it for work.   I have negative four dollars in the bank, a $40,000 student loan.  I work.  As I write, I now have no money to either buy gas for my car (that luxury item as you call it…), pay tolls on the highway where I need to go for work, buy food or feed my cat.  I do not have 89 cents for a can of cat food.  Right now, I have, drum roll please, forty one cents.  That counts the change in my car I usually use for tolls.  There’s an air-conditioner that belongs to my landlord who also pays the utilities, God bless him, so I guess I am not poor in your opinion. 

  155. Nouveaupoor October 26, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    I have an eleven-year-old Saturn that has mechanical problems, I have no TV, I have not bought new clothes in over three years.  I do have a computer but that is only because I need it for work.   I have negative four dollars in the bank, a $40,000 student loan.  I work.  As I write, I now have no money to either buy gas for my car (that luxury item as you call it…), pay tolls on the highway where I need to go for work, buy food or feed my cat.  I do not have 89 cents for a can of cat food.  Right now, I have, drum roll please, forty one cents.  That counts the change in my car I usually use for tolls.  There’s an air-conditioner that belongs to my landlord who also pays the utilities, God bless him, so I guess I am not poor in your opinion. 

  156. Nouveaupoor October 26, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    Oh yeah I have a cell phone with a pre-paid card, lol.  Or else how would I talk to all the people at my job at all hours of the day and weekends like you are required to do nowadays?

  157. nouveaupoor October 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    No I hang my groceries out the window when the temperature is below 55 F…

    In Jersey City I had to buy my own frige for my apartment, btw.  I bought a used one for $100 refurbished by some other un-poor person who needed the extra income.  I guess my second hand frige also makes me un-poor from this perspective.

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