Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Are The Poor Getting Poorer?

by Walter E. Williams - October 31, 2007 -

People who want more government income redistribution programs often sell their agenda with the lament, "The poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer," but how about some evidence and you decide? I think the rich are getting richer, and so are the poor.

In this article it is noted that 46% of what are called poor in America own their own homes. 74% have a car and 30% own 2 or more. 97% have at least one color TV and 78% have a VCR. 76% have air conditioning. 73% have a microwave. 62% have cable.

In an earlier article about insurance it was noted that 34% of the poor smoke at least one pack of cigarettes a day . . . . which would pay for the health insurance that they don't have. However since they get free health care from the local hospital emergency room they don't bother to stop smoking. Why should they? They get free health care!

Our nation's dialogue about poverty would be a joke if it was not so corrupt. The poor in America live better than the middle class in most of the world. Why do you think so many poor pay up to $20,000 to "coyotes" to bring them to America? The poor are flocking to America while some of the poor here are waging class warfare against the people who make our economic system work. These same people who are waging class warfare are deriding the economic system itself, touting socialism, redistribution of wealth, as the panacea for everything. As if socialism has not failed everywhere it has been tried.

The primary people who are whining about the problems of the poor in America are the people who are high paid pimps for the poor. Politicians, bureaucrats and non-profit promoters who make their living insisting that poverty is out of control. No evidence will ever convince them that poverty is not getting worse because of their bias. Their high paid jobs depend on the chicken-little approach.

This is contradicted by the success of the poor. After 16 years, 95% of the poor in 1975 had not just moved out of poverty, but were in the top 3/5ths of income earners. 75% had moved up to the top 1/5th of income earners. There is no other country in the world where working hard provides such amazing upward mobility. It is the American dream.

This article compares some of the numbers above with our numbers from many years ago and proves the poor are much better off today than even 40 years ago. It is obvious, poverty in America is declining dramatically and the standard of living of our poor is better than ever. Today we have the highest paid "poor" in the world. I wonder if the poor of today will be motivated to earn the American dream?


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