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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Chuck Currie: Senator John Edwards Speaks Out On Poverty In America

Chuck Currie posted about a recent speech that John Edwards made regarding poverty in America. Edwards said:


"It may seem like an impossible goal to end poverty, but that's what the skeptics said about all of our other great challenges. If we can put a man on the moon, conquer polio, and put libraries of information on a chip, then we can end poverty for those who want to work for a better life."

To John I say, "It is an impossible goal to end poverty if the US government continues to define poverty in relation to others as opposed to an objective measure. Poverty cannot continue to be defined simply as the bottom 20%. This definition does real damage to those in 3rd World countries who are truly in poverty."


Update: Here is some additional information about "poverty" in the US.

The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:
  • Forty-six percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
  • Seventy-six percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
  • Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
  • The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
  • Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.
  • Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
  • Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
  • Seventy-three percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.

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