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“Poor” is relative, so is social consciousness

May 29, 2011

So I have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be poor, especially in America.  To get started, let’s check out some stats: (from wikipedia.org)

  • Last years poverty line was around 22,300 dollars (sorry it varies…the gubment likes to have multiple numbers to cook the books ya know)
  • In 2009, 43.6 million Americans were technically living in poverty
  • If you include all social welfare programs like Medicare and Social Security, half of all the money our Federal Government has spent in the 21st century has been spent on welfare

Interesting stuff isn’t it?  America has around 300 million folks living here, so those 43 million “poor” people represent about 14.5% of our population.  That’s a lot of poor people.  Some folks out there might be taken aback by my use of quotes around the word poor, as if I don’t actually believe we have poor folks in America – nothing could be further from the truth, though I will say nothing speaks more to the American Exceptionalism President Obama so hates as the fact that America is the only country in the world with a poor population that has an obesity problem.  Find me a fat poor kid in India and maybe we can start comparing apples to apples.

Speaking of comparing, lets look at another country’s stats, say China: (from Chinasavvy.com)

  • The average annual household income for an urban family in China is $1058.oo
  • The average annual household income for a rural family in China is a whipping $328.00
  • China’s population is over 1.3 billion

Okay, so first I must point out the obvious – if we go by American standards, the entire population of China is living in poverty.  That’s over 1.3 BILLION people!  Not a lot of fat Chinese folks if you haven’t noticed.

So this intel seriously begs the question, “If we are a kinder, gentler more globally focused United States; a country that no longer considers itself better than any other country; a country just trying to get along with everyone else; then why are we borrowing almost $400 billion from a country whose entire population is living off 4.5% of the income we consider poor in America?”

This is no joke.  In China, if you are fortunate enough to actually own a pig, you let it sleep in your house with you because it’s too precious to expose to the elements.  Besides our enormously piggish children, I am pretty sure our poor folks aren’t letting farm animals sleep in their Section 8 housing with them.

So how does the standard rank-n-file liberal jibe that obvious hypocrisy?  How do they explain the fact we are borrowing billions from a nation of extremely poor people to keep our poor people living in a lifestyle the average Chinese family couldn’t imagine?  Is this socially conscious?  Aren’t we all citizens of the world?  Do liberals think American poor people are more important than China’s, or India’s or Ethiopia’s?

Just for kicks, let’s do some math.

Childfund International, formerly Christian Children’s Fund (I wonder why the name change? /sarcasm), through its multiple commercials featuring an old dude making you feel guilty for not being starving, asks for $15 a month to help a child, or $180 a year.  I know it doesn’t sound like much, but hell, we are borrowing from folks only making $328 a year, so it must be enough to live on.

We have borrowed roughly $360 billion from China.  So…if we truly cared about poor starving NON-obese children of the world, we could use those billions and taken care of…wait for it…2 billion children for a year.

Oh damn, I forgot, poor kids in Africa don’t vote.  Nevermind.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 29, 2011 5:01 pm

    “Find me a fat poor kid in India and maybe we can start comparing apples to apples.”

    LOL really good point. I’ve never thought of all the borrowing from China this way. It is very much against the typical leftist mindset about fairness and poverty.

    But then, hypocrisy doesn’t seem to apply to them. Just water off a ducks back.

    cheers friend, and have a good Memorial Day.

    • May 30, 2011 9:01 am

      Yes, they are definitely being hypocrites on this one.

      Hope you have a good memorial day as well. =)

  2. May 29, 2011 5:05 pm

    Great points. Did you see No One’s post about homelessness? A woman owns an RV, all sorts of electronic trinkets and frequently buys tickets to Europe, and considers herself homeless. Very few people in this country are poor, and that’s probably because of mental disease. Many more can’t manage their finances, though.

    • May 30, 2011 9:02 am

      Yeah, our poor are mostly hard-off or can’t manage money like you said. Compare to Mumbai or Rwanda, our folks are living like kings.

  3. May 30, 2011 4:15 pm

    Poverty is relative without doubt. It may, however, be more painful here because so relatively few are in the same boat unlike India, for example. Here in the US, if you put aside for the sake of discussion the drug and alcohol addicts, the remainder I’m guessing are unwed mothers and second or third generation welfare families. It seems that being on the government dole is a self fulfilling prophecy to being poor.

    • May 31, 2011 6:14 am

      Most assuredly self-fulfilling, that is the design of our “social safety net”.

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  1. “Poor” is Relative, so is Social Consciousness | TheSwash.com
  2. “Poor” is relative, so is social consciousness (via Fleece Me) « That Mr. G Guy's Blog

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