We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
... “the greatest tool to lift children and families from poverty is one that decreases the probability of child poverty by 82 percent. But it isn’t a government spending program. It’s called marriage.”
Statistically probably close, but a lot of unmarried people are likely either not interested, or are not desirable "marriage material." And sex material and marriage material are not the same things. Duh. Ref: Human History 101.
Poverty stats in the US do not take into account governmental or charitable benefits, both of which are huge and widely available to those who want them. The semi-voluntary poor, of course (eg grad students, recent grads, Maine Guides, new immigrants, beginning entrepreneurs, people who chose their own lifestyles to pursue happiness, hippies, starving artists, ski bums, people who choose the dole as a life style, etc) are not isolated from the stats so the stats seem meaningless to me. (Not to mention the pitiful people who work the system, game the system, etc. for a few extra bucks from the workingman's pocket.)
Few would refuse a gift of wealth obtained honorably, but I do not think pursuit of wealth is a major driver in American life, or in human life in general. Fortunately, and to the benefit of the rest of us, wealth is a driver for some highly talented people with commercial abilities (eg Derek Jeter, John D. Rockefeller, Jeff Bezos, Henry Ford, Steven Spielberg, Bob Dylan, JP Morgan, George Washington, Warren Buffet, etc etc etc).
The 15% in poverty measure is the number of people who would be in poverty if we didn’t help them by giving them money, food, housing and health care. It is not the number living in poverty. It is the number in poverty before we help them out of poverty. And as to the comparison with the 1960s, in the 1960s it really was the number in poverty after we helped, now it’s the number before we help.
"Poverty" is a political concept. Many people want free goodies if they are available, but sacrifice a bit of their precious human dignity in the process. As SDA always asks, "Why is there always a wide-screen TV?"
A real working man has every reason for pride in his work, regardless of wealth. Not sure what Bob was thinking with this weary but hopeful lullabye. Probably some part of himself. Try to ignore the images.
"...but a lot of unmarried people are likely either not interested (in getting married), or are not 'marriage material.' "
Then they shouldn't be having kids! The fact that many unmarried people have kids even though they aren't married is a reflection and consequence of the federal government trying to diminish and abolish God and religion from every facet of our lives and replace them with moral relativism.
If someone chooses poverty, that's their choice - and their responsibility. Don't ask the rest of us for a handout when things don't work out like you hoped.
"The 15% in poverty measure is the number of people who would be in poverty if we didn’t help them by giving them money, food, housing and health care." This reminds me of the chicken and the egg. It's evident that many of the people we help are fully capable of providing for themselves, but choose to receive aid rather than work. In other words, there is a percentage of people who would NOT be in poverty even if we didn't help them as well as a percentage of people who would not be in poverty if they knew there was no safety hammock.
The only truly poor person I have known very well over a period of many years was my grandmother-in-law, may she RIP. Nora Theresa.
By cleaning houses and buildings, and taking in sewing etc, she raised five splendidly successful boys and a successful daughter. Husband, NYC policeman, died after the last kid was born. No government help, and too proud to take charity - but she would give it. Irish people, tough and determined.
When her brother made some money, he helped her raise her kids in a wholesome way.
Very fine kids, including my father-in-law who was here for my daughter's birthday last night.
The mentally ill do have high rates of poverty, though once they are in the system of receiving benefits it is seldom serious poverty. It's a hard life and you wouldn't want it, but none need go hungry or homeless unless they throw away opportunities given (by trashing your apartment, for example.) Drug users also have some pretty precarious times.
Assistant Village Idiot
I have thought about poverty for many years, and still have no clear definition, as the government changes its definition annually to determine benefits. (a formula)
It like the Supreme Court's decision regarding pornography. They knew it when they saw it, but found it difficult to articulate.
Do you have a definition of poverty that is absolute?
I'll bet if you ask all your readers to define poverty, most will list what it's not, and few can describe what it is. I would like to have a clear picture in my mind what poverty is.
Dictionary.com definition is relative, not absolute, IMHO.
I believe this to be part of the problem in any discussion about poverty.(A less than clear definition (of poverty)).
Comments and ideas are appreciated.
Poverty is having to give up things you like (like cigarettes, alcohol and drugs) just to afford things you must have, like food and shelter. Stupidty is not giving up cigarettes, alcohol and drugs and then not being able to afford food and shelter. We choose to subsidize stupidity and call it poverty.
Poverty is listed as a noun. I believe, (and I could be wrong on this-I slept through English (also)) your definition suggests it is an adverb. This is another example of the conflict I have with this word.