The following are facts about persons defined as “poor” by the Census Bureau, taken from a variety of government reports:
• 46 percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.<br/> • 80 percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.<br/> • Only six percent of poor households are overcrowded; two thirds have more than two rooms per person.<br/> • The typical poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)<br/> • Nearly three quarters of poor households own a car; 31 percent own two or more cars.<br/> • 97 percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.<br/> • 78 percent have a VCR or DVD player.<br/> • 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception. <br/> • 89 percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a more than a third have an automatic dishwasher.
As a group, America’s poor are far from being chronically undernourished. The average consumption of protein, vitamins, and minerals is virtually the same for poor and middle-class children and, in most cases, is well above recommended norms. Poor children actually consume more meat than do higher-income children and have average protein intakes 100-percent above recommended levels.
This combined with the whole topic that Simon Heffer covers below, basically explains my whole antipathy to helping poor people. Sorry, “poor” people. Do the deserving poor exist anymore? Either they’re not, as itemized above, necessarily very poor, or else they’re on drugs, or they’re criminals and shouldn’t deserve help. If they do deserve help, they probably don’t want it and wouldn’t take it anyway (people like this do exist, I’ve seen them). Meanwhile, there are legitimately poor people in the world who, besides being in actual need, don’t call me a racist and whatever else practically to my face.
So there, that’s my rant, I’m an awful person, and I’m tired and cranky and think society is going to hell in a hand basket.
(And if anyone tries trotting out some poor single mother who can’t afford a winter coat when a winter coat costs $14.99 at the Walmart which the liberals won’t let near the inner cities, so help me.)