Poverty in America

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by QGator2414, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. QGator2414
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    QGator2414 VIP Member

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    While there is no doubt people struggle to make ends meet in this country...try to remember we are blessed to be born in this country!

    We have no clue what poverty is in this country considering we define it by making less than an arbitrary income that many will never make in a lifetime...

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  2. helix139
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    helix139 VIP Member

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    Compared to other countries there is very little true poverty here. Certainly not like in countries where they have to walk a half hour just to get their water for the day and that water is cloudy, contaminated, etc. and is as likely to make them sick as it is to sustain them, and where there is no infrastructure or industry whatsoever.
  3. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    Poverty isnt much of a blessing no matter where you live.
  4. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    People in those less advanced countries tend to have stronger family ties. Poverty may mean more material goods here, but it doesnt necessarily bring better quality of life than those people who live in remote agrarian villages with their kin, depending on how you want to measure these things.
  5. QGator2414
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    QGator2414 VIP Member

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    Exactly!
  6. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    And your point trivializes poverty here by basically stating it doesn't exist, when that couldn't be further from the truth.
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  7. QGator2414
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    QGator2414 VIP Member

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    Very few people in this country truly are not sheltered and starving. That is pretty much what helix said...
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  8. rivergator
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    rivergator Well-Known Member

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    It also depends on what we're comparing ourselves to: Western Europe or Central Africa.
  9. QGator2414
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    QGator2414 VIP Member

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    I have a feeling most in Western Europe have very little clue as to what real poverty is as well...
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  10. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    It's still a trivialization of the issue
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  11. vangator1
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    vangator1 Well-Known Member

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    wonder if any of those are in South Africa?
  12. MichiGator2002
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    Could be we need to remember that "poverty" isn't about comparing anyone to anyone other than in the most incidental ways or for purposes of categorization -- the contemporary American notion of poverty is ultimately the state of having less than others. But real and actual poverty, the sort that has and will plague mankind on earth forever, is that state of being unsure where the next meal or next safe shelter will come, or how long the current one might last. To be "struggling to survive" or "living day to day" in the literal sense. That exists in America, sure. But it sure isn't what we call the poverty statistic here.
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  13. QGator2414
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    QGator2414 VIP Member

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    Bingo

    Well Said!
  14. tegator80
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    tegator80 Well-Known Member

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    I believe that what we think of as poverty isn't about real hardship in the human (or animal) condition but relative to where the rest of our society is. We are wired to relativity and when we see people who are pretty well less prosperous than us (and what we think of as our position) we see them as "poor." But in comparison to what is true hardship in a global perspective, we are NO WHERE near what other people are coping without.

    And there are people out there who exploit that feeling of "not liking your position relative to mine" to where charity is more about guilt. And now we have a society that believes that everyone is equal and we should "normalize" over the wide spectrum of the human condition. And we are going to fail miserably in that attempt; it is just not obtainable. Once you are in the line for charity over a long period of time you are likely to expect it - entitled is a harsh word but not out of the realm of the human conscience.

    I remember many years ago when a retired judge in Jacksonville (Dorcas Drake) started a gift giving program. In the latter stages I remember a TV news person who was interviewing people in the line to receive a charitable gift for Christmas. The person was asked what they hoped to receive and that person said "I hope to get a leather jacket." And the only thing I could think of was WTH? You get an gift with no attachments and you are expecting something WAY up the ladder in need? It shows that we have a perverted sense of what is needed and what you receive. And that also goes with the absolutely silly idea of charging $200 for a pair of...Air Jordans or some other "sneaker." Certain people expect to own them, whether they can afford them or not.

    We are truly a country that has lost our way. JMHO
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  15. finorman
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    finorman Active Member

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    Maybe you should take a ride off the Sandals resort next time you are out of the US. I think you may find that the poorest of the worlds poor find their US counterparts to be filthy rich where 40% own their own homes, 80% have AC, 2/3 have cable and 75% have a vehicle and 1/3 smoke cigarettes.
    I'd also be willing to bet that the majority of the world's poor would give just about anything to switch fortunes with the poor in the US. I'm also willing to bet that given that chance they would be very successful in this country.
    Absolute poverty and Relative poverty are two completely different animals, and to compare the two is unfair for those who struggle day to day for the necessities of life in this world.
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  16. asuragator
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    I agree, it is unfair. So, if you believe absolute poverty and relative poverty are two completely different animals then why are you making comparisons? That is, if you believe they are different and really shouldn't be compared then you should have some agreement with my earlier notion at least in that such comparisons would trivialize the plight of the poor here in a kind of well just look how bad it is in [fill in the blank poor country], their poor would just love to trade places with ours sort of way, no?
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  17. channingcrowderhungry
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    channingcrowderhungry Well-Known Member

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    Poverty is all relative. What I like to pretend the difference is between our poverty and third world poverty is upward mobility. If you are born into poverty here you have a pretty good chance of moving out of it with enough personal effort. If you are born into third world poverty, you're pretty much screwed.
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  18. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    Compared to the 3rd world yes, compared to much of the 1st world, no.
  19. HallGator
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    When I was a kid I saw the inside of houses where they were using cardboard for walls. I had a girl classmate that had a couple of dresses she alternately wore to school. After being constantly late to school every day the teacher asked her , in a kind way, if they had an alarm clock and she replied "No mam." I had a friend that didn't want you to go into their house and found out later the reason was there were holes all in the floor that you could see the ground through.

    The thing was all of these people that I wrote about worked or had parents that did. In the latter case my friend started working at a very young age to help out his family which was quite large by today's standards.

    Personally I am glad you don't see as much of this kind of thing today but that doesn't mean we should say we have reached some kind of plateau where no more needs to be done. Or that just because other countries are worse off there are still not issues that need to be addressed. My desire would be for our rising tide to continue to affect other countries in a positive way.

    Jobs, along with people who want to work them, are a necessary ingredient for healthy populace. Our jobs need to be of enough variety where people can elevate themselves to better positions in life by smart, hard, work.
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  20. tegator80
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    The problem with relative poverty (yes it costs more to live in an industrialized country than in Haiti) is that we see all of the wealth around us and think we can assist people up to a "reasonable" level. And we fall into the trap of giving stuff and not the ability to make inroads into the systemic issues. And just like the other industrialized nations, we tackle it, fail to meet our goals and now are faced with either doing less or taking on unsustainable debt. I don't think this is going to end well and civil unrest (see minorities in Paris and London) will begin to raise its ugly head. JMHO

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