THE MYTH OF POVERTY IN THE U.S.A.
By Ray Thomas
The Liberals running things here scramble to "raise the bar" on a regular basis, so the number of "poor" will continue to rise, giving the Liberals an excuse to operate as demagogues.
The word "poverty" suggests destitution: the inability to provide a family with the basics of life -- nutritious food, clothing, and reasonable shelter. A "roof over their heads and "food in their mouths," as it were.
But that's not how they define "poverty" in America. In America, anybody whose way of life doesn't come up to an arbitrary standard set by people who gain if poverty goes up is called "poor." I remember a day when my daughter came home and claimed we were "poor." She had learned that in school. At the time, while we weren't rich, I made a good living as a sign painter. I had two cars, a color television, a houseful of furniture, was able to afford a five-bedroom home for my large family to live in and for me to spend thousands of dollars on two -- count 'em -- TWO model train layouts. One for me and one for my wife. And the schools were teaching our kids that we were "poor."
Does this sound like we were "poor?"
No. Sounds like we were a little above the "norm," and could afford to get along on our own, without help from the "safety net" that has been set up, with our money, by the government, to aid people who made the wrong decisions somewhere along the line and were just "barely" getting by because they didn't bother to learn a trade that would make them enough money to do more than just "get by" with the help of others. If I did it, if I got to a point where my family and I could get along on our own, anybody can do it. All they have to do is work at it like I did.
Today, I make less than I've ever made before in my life, but I have more money to spend, because all my children are out on their own.
I recently had a small stroke and am laid up, being unable to hold down a job like I had before because it's all I can do to stand up and walk and am even now working to regain the use of my left side (it's not paralyzed, just weak and won't do everything I tell it). There are people out there who think I'll just "give up" because I can't work right now to make money. Fortunately, I have a son who has a dependable job, his own home, and can easily help me without "demanding" help from taxpayers. Too many people look first to the government for help in such cases when the first place to go for help should be your family.
People are always wanting to help me (not with money), and are surprised when I refuse, saying "I need to do it myself because you won't be around all the time."
That's the key to not being included in the number of "the poor" in America. I'm working hard to regain the use of my left side and am working as hard as I can at it. I refuse to "go on the dole" and let others support me against their will. I'm gaining more and more strength every day and I expect to be back at work within two weeks, supporting myself. I will not "give up" and just die. I'm too ornery for that.
The "average poor" in this country are NOT poor. Yes, they don't have all the money they need, and this country helps them all it can. The average "poor household" has, as a rule, at least one color television set, a car, and a large percentage of the "poor" own their own homes. This is not "destitution," as the rest of the world understands it.
What about the homeless?
What about them? There aren't nearly as many of them as our politicians (the Liberals, mostly) want you to believe, and their numbers have risen in recent years because of cuts in the budgets to take care of people with mental problems. Now, instead of living comfortably in insane asylums, they're on the street because they can't take care of themselves. Some are alcoholics on their last legs. Others just will not work, and most of them receive a check of some kind from various levels of government. One of the hardest jobs is to "collect" the homeless on extremely cold nights to take them to warm shelters. Many of them would rather freeze than be inside four walls. So every Winter a certain number of them die.
These people, for the most part, are there because they WANT to be there. Others are too mentally unbalanced to know better and to be able to take care of themselves. These are the "dregs" of society who have no goals in life and would rather stand on street corners for fourteen hours a day in all kinds of weather holding up begging signs than take a job. Meanwhile, jobs at all levels are going begging.
I look in the windows of small business all the time and see "help wanted" signs, which they ignore on their way to the package store or their "assigned" corner. There is no reason for there to be "poor" in this country, no reason to be "poor," as the rest of the world knows "poor." We have too big a "safety net" for people who can't take care of themselves. Big enough, in fact, to include those who WON'T take care of themselves, but are perfectly willing to let us take care of them. I've never been "poor" in my life, though there have been times when I made less than the politicians have set as the "poverty threshold." But I've always been able to take care of myself, or not go beyond my family for help when I couldn't (after a stroke).
Yes, most of those jobs don't pay much, but they pay enough to allow the homeless to not be homeless if they're willing to work. Other jobs paying more go begging because people have never trained to qualify for them. There are employers out there BEGGING for "qualified" applicants, but alas, none show up because people who are "homeless" now didn't train to qualify for such jobs during their youth. They just want the jobs without the bother of training for them.
The rest of the world should be as "poor" as we Americans are.
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