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.
...by simple, homey measures of comfort and convenience, the lowest rung on the income ladder lives better lives today than the average middle-class Americans of the last generation.
Poverty is not materially poor in the US. Sometimes I think it is just spiritually poor. What's a "good life"? Is it having a microwave? Not to me - nothing to do with a good life. I lack one, and do not want one. Not trying to be Marcus Aurelius or Thoreau here. I was under the poverty line for seven years - "working poor" - and I had a great simple life in poverty-stricken, jobless, but scenic western MA. Now I am making money in New York, and my life sucks more in many ways. I do meet more delightful females but, for one thing, I have less time for the fall hunting season. I do love the City, however, and feel invigorated every time my feel hit the sidewalk in the morning and I see the hustle and bustle and all the beautiful, slinky HOPAs and MILFs headed to work in their cool New Yorky outfits.
Plus I love the endless demands and rigors of my job, which test and stretch my brains and character every day and often all night too. I am trying to figure out what I really want in life besides beer, money, pals, dogs, guns, and fun sex. I realize now that I do not know, but that as a Yankee I know I do not want it to be easy. I want to work at least as hard and long as my old man did and does, and I know I need more God in my life.
I will not burden our readers with my inner confusions (but it is why I have been semi-AWOL here since my August boating adventures. I explained that to our Editor a while ago, and he was kind, understanding, encouraging, and teasing as he always is).
Don't know where you live, but if you want more God in your life, there are a surprising number of vibrant churches in NYC. You think everybody is into having a lazy brunch on Sunday morning until you walk into a church. My Lutheran church in Park Slope has a lot of young media types, you'd never think they'd be into traditional Christianity, but they are, and we grow theologically together.
NJ, I don't want to get picky since I don't know you and it sounds like you have been going through an emotional moment....but if you start off your list of things you want with beer and end it with fun sex, you may want to think about your priorities. Not that there is anything wrong with all those things on your list, sounds like a good start. But women may not appreciate that "caring relationship" or some such thing does not appear on there somewhere. Just sayin'.
I know, it's that Mars-Venus thing.
Regarding forest's comment about the poor being fat - often true enough, but I think the appropriate focus should be more on health than body size. You can be starving unhealthy or obese unhealthy, neither sounds very good although admittedly, the "solution set" is vastly different.
was a bit of an uproar here some time ago when social services decided that a 40" TFT television, cable or DSL internet, and a 3 week vacation abroad were human rights to be paid for by social services for those on the dole.
Of course for those with fulltime jobs paying midrange incomes who can't afford all that, there was no compensation but tax increases...
I would personally define poverty approximately this way: if you're having to choose between second-hand boots or groceries, you are probably poor. Defining a "decent" lifestyle is nearly impossible because different people value different things, but if your resources can't stretch to keep you warm, fed, and safe -- you're poor.
I'll go further and say you're poor if your own resources -- before charitable assistance and government assistance -- won't keep you warm, fed and safe. If you have assistance and you are warm, fed and safe -- you're still poor.
I have a sister who can't work and never will be able to do so. She was on public assistance until my parents were able to provide a trust for her. I suspect the problem was that the trust had to be inheritance for tax reasons. In fact, my parents provided for two siblings this way.