T Nation

Are You Actually Poor?

http://lifeinc.today.com/_news/2012/09/04/13592055-why-youre-not-actually-poor?lite

I came across the attached article a minute ago. I tend to agree with it. The working and middle class, more so politicians vying for votes, are crying about the gap between rich and poor. I think the article puts the topic in perspective. The vast majority of us make enough money to live comfortably, but because we feel entitled to buy so much materialist crap all of a sudden we are poor.

Does anyone care to comment/counter the article?

I agree with what she has stated, but would also like to add American’s inability to look at the rest of the world, and see that the poor here, are the 1% to much of the rest of the world.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
I agree with what she has stated, but would also like to add American’s inability to look at the rest of the world, and see that the poor here, are the 1% to much of the rest of the world.[/quote]

It amazes me how this simple fact escapes a lot of people. I spent a couple of months in Thailand, which isn’t even the worst Asian state as far as the poor go, and it was eye opening.

I’m surprised no one is in here talking about how my dollar isn’t worth as much as some rich guy’s dollar; therefore, I am poor.

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
I agree with what she has stated, but would also like to add American’s inability to look at the rest of the world, and see that the poor here, are the 1% to much of the rest of the world.[/quote]

It amazes me how this simple fact escapes a lot of people. I spent a couple of months in Thailand, which isn’t even the worst Asian state as far as the poor go, and it was eye opening.

I’m surprised no one is in here talking about how my dollar isn’t worth as much as some rich guy’s dollar; therefore, I am poor. [/quote]

Your dollar isn’t as productive as a rich man’s dollar, I suppose. But, that’s your own fault.

I should go on food stamps. lol.

[quote]Brother Chris wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
I agree with what she has stated, but would also like to add American’s inability to look at the rest of the world, and see that the poor here, are the 1% to much of the rest of the world.[/quote]

It amazes me how this simple fact escapes a lot of people. I spent a couple of months in Thailand, which isn’t even the worst Asian state as far as the poor go, and it was eye opening.

I’m surprised no one is in here talking about how my dollar isn’t worth as much as some rich guy’s dollar; therefore, I am poor. [/quote]

Your dollar isn’t as productive as a rich man’s dollar, I suppose. But, that’s your own fault.

I should go on food stamps. lol.[/quote]
I was referring to another poster constantly talking about the disparity in the purchasing power of my dollar (middle class) vs. a rich persons dollar, which isn’t my fault.

What I was trying to get at is that it’s about 1% of the issue if at all.

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]Brother Chris wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
I agree with what she has stated, but would also like to add American’s inability to look at the rest of the world, and see that the poor here, are the 1% to much of the rest of the world.[/quote]

It amazes me how this simple fact escapes a lot of people. I spent a couple of months in Thailand, which isn’t even the worst Asian state as far as the poor go, and it was eye opening.

I’m surprised no one is in here talking about how my dollar isn’t worth as much as some rich guy’s dollar; therefore, I am poor. [/quote]

Your dollar isn’t as productive as a rich man’s dollar, I suppose. But, that’s your own fault.

I should go on food stamps. lol.[/quote]
I was referring to another poster constantly talking about the disparity in the purchasing power of my dollar (middle class) vs. a rich persons dollar, which isn’t my fault.

What I was trying to get at is that it’s about 1% of the issue if at all.
[/quote]

I know, but that is dumb. There is some disparity in the purchasing power of the dollar across the US, but it is the reverse of what he is saying. That or he just doesn’t get how PP works. Which is understandable when you don’t study economics for a living and pretend to not be talking out the side of your neck.

Poverty is relative term.

I consider none to be poverty stricken that can increase their own access to productive means.

Poverty is therefore the result of one or more of three possible causes: 1) personal choices; 2) lack of legal access to competitive means; 3) theft and destruction.

Children are born into poverty, strictly speaking, but through their own personal development they are able to increase their productive capacities over time; the level of access to productive means they are born into (and are able to keep) will also affect their absolute level of productivity over a lifetime.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Poverty is relative term.

I consider none to be poverty stricken that can increase their own access to productive means.

Poverty is therefore the result of one or more of three possible causes: 1) personal choices; 2) lack of legal access to competitive means; 3) theft and destruction.

Children are born into poverty, strictly speaking, but through their own personal development they are able to increase their productive capacities over time; the level of access to productive means they are born into (and are able to keep) will also affect their absolute level of productivity over a lifetime.[/quote]

Chris Matthews would call you a racist for this post.

The only part I tend to take exception to, and maybe I am not uderstanding your point is the end. I don’t think anyone is limited in terms of absolute productivity over a lifetime unless they have a mental handicap, and that isn’t exclusive to being born in poverty.

In America, there really is no reason someone can’t be born dirt poor, and die wealthly enough for 2 generations.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
In America, there really is no reason someone can’t be born dirt poor, and die wealthly enough for 2 generations. [/quote]

I’m tempted to say genetics is a reason for many, they simply lack the skills, to put it bluntly, they are dumb. But I’m not relly looking for an argument, so yes, the road is open if you got what it needs.


[quote]kaaleppi wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
In America, there really is no reason someone can’t be born dirt poor, and die wealthly enough for 2 generations. [/quote]

I’m tempted to say genetics is a reason for many, they simply lack the skills, to put it bluntly, they are dumb. But I’m not relly looking for an argument, so yes, the road is open if you got what it needs.[/quote]

The less natural born skill you have the harder it will be.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
I agree with what she has stated, but would also like to add American’s inability to look at the rest of the world, and see that the poor here, are the 1% to much of the rest of the world.[/quote]

Spot on, beans. The US is an unbelievably wealthy country to anyone on the outside looking in. I think those living in it tend to forget that. It STILL remains the world’s foremost financial meritocracy.

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
I think the article puts the topic in perspective. The vast majority of us make enough money to live comfortably, but because we feel entitled to buy so much materialist crap all of a sudden we are poor.
[/quote]

Well poverty is relative. The concern is about the shifting power balance. Something which the article doesn’t even touch on.

Sure. You can live a decent life in DC on $40k/year. But you can’t save a whole lot. Which leaves you powerless.

Boss being a complete asshole and bullying you? Suck it up as you can’t afford to be out of work for even a month to find another job.

Girlfriend acting like a psychopath? Well you hate it but you can’t afford to cover the rent by yourself and don’t have anyone else who can move in at short notice so you put up with it.

A company threatens you with a bullshit lawsuit? Well there is no chance you can afford to take it to court so you will have to settle even if it is bullshit.

Etc, Etc, Etc.

I currently earn a fair bit less than $40k/year. But because I have significant savings and live in a much cheaper place than DC I’m in a much better situation than the writer.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Poverty is relative term.

I consider none to be poverty stricken that can increase their own access to productive means.

Poverty is therefore the result of one or more of three possible causes: 1) personal choices; 2) lack of legal access to competitive means; 3) theft and destruction.

Children are born into poverty, strictly speaking, but through their own personal development they are able to increase their productive capacities over time; the level of access to productive means they are born into (and are able to keep) will also affect their absolute level of productivity over a lifetime.[/quote]

Chris Matthews would call you a racist for this post.

The only part I tend to take exception to, and maybe I am not uderstanding your point is the end. I don’t think anyone is limited in terms of absolute productivity over a lifetime unless they have a mental handicap, and that isn’t exclusive to being born in poverty.

In America, there really is no reason someone can’t be born dirt poor, and die wealthly enough for 2 generations. [/quote]

Yes, I agree, one can be born dirt poor, as we all are, and die wealthy.

My point was that in absolute terms someone born to wealthy parents will be better off as they have an advantage having access to productive means that their poorer contemporaries may not have - education, capital, etc.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Poverty is relative term.

I consider none to be poverty stricken that can increase their own access to productive means.

Poverty is therefore the result of one or more of three possible causes: 1) personal choices; 2) lack of legal access to competitive means; 3) theft and destruction.

Children are born into poverty, strictly speaking, but through their own personal development they are able to increase their productive capacities over time; the level of access to productive means they are born into (and are able to keep) will also affect their absolute level of productivity over a lifetime.[/quote]

Chris Matthews would call you a racist for this post.

The only part I tend to take exception to, and maybe I am not uderstanding your point is the end. I don’t think anyone is limited in terms of absolute productivity over a lifetime unless they have a mental handicap, and that isn’t exclusive to being born in poverty.

In America, there really is no reason someone can’t be born dirt poor, and die wealthly enough for 2 generations. [/quote]

No there isn’t, but it seems that everyone thinks they are special and that if they just have self esteem (like what you think of yourself matters or will get you a job) they’ll be on the high road. BS, most people (all) have weak minds, weak wills, and weak bodies. Most people won’t leave anything for their kids because they don’t have the will or the systems to make or keep the money.

With the right systems, you could throw me (or anyone) in the jungle and in a year I’d have dominated the whole place and made everyone my subject, not because I’m special and I have high esteem.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Poverty is relative term.

I consider none to be poverty stricken that can increase their own access to productive means.

Poverty is therefore the result of one or more of three possible causes: 1) personal choices; 2) lack of legal access to competitive means; 3) theft and destruction.

Children are born into poverty, strictly speaking, but through their own personal development they are able to increase their productive capacities over time; the level of access to productive means they are born into (and are able to keep) will also affect their absolute level of productivity over a lifetime.[/quote]

Chris Matthews would call you a racist for this post.

The only part I tend to take exception to, and maybe I am not uderstanding your point is the end. I don’t think anyone is limited in terms of absolute productivity over a lifetime unless they have a mental handicap, and that isn’t exclusive to being born in poverty.

In America, there really is no reason someone can’t be born dirt poor, and die wealthly enough for 2 generations. [/quote]

Yes, I agree, one can be born dirt poor, as we all are, and die wealthy.

My point was that in absolute terms someone born to wealthy parents will be better off as they have an advantage having access to productive means that their poorer contemporaries may not have - education, capital, etc.[/quote]

Yeah yeah, we are on the same page.

I walked into a train station in the dead of night in New Delhi once. Limbless stubs of human bodies were huddled around fires. When they saw me they started crawling and shimmying toward me, presumably to beg for money. It was one of the most jarring things I’ve ever seen in my life. THAT is poverty. There is no one in the United States without a cognitive or psychological disability who lives like that.

[quote]smh23 wrote:
I walked into a train station in the dead of night in New Delhi once. Limbless stubs of human bodies were huddled around fires. When they saw me they started crawling and shimmying toward me, presumably to beg for money. It was one of the most jarring things I’ve ever seen in my life. THAT is poverty. There is no one in the United States without a cognitive or psychological disability who lives like that.[/quote]

Ah yes, strategically placed quadriplegics in a train station to waylay travelers - oldest trick in the book.

I hope you did not fall for it.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

[quote]smh23 wrote:
I walked into a train station in the dead of night in New Delhi once. Limbless stubs of human bodies were huddled around fires. When they saw me they started crawling and shimmying toward me, presumably to beg for money. It was one of the most jarring things I’ve ever seen in my life. THAT is poverty. There is no one in the United States without a cognitive or psychological disability who lives like that.[/quote]

Ah yes, strategically placed quadriplegics in a train station to waylay travelers - oldest trick in the book.

I hope you did not fall for it. [/quote]

What was the trick exactly? Hands inside their shirts?

[quote]sufiandy wrote:

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

[quote]smh23 wrote:
I walked into a train station in the dead of night in New Delhi once. Limbless stubs of human bodies were huddled around fires. When they saw me they started crawling and shimmying toward me, presumably to beg for money. It was one of the most jarring things I’ve ever seen in my life. THAT is poverty. There is no one in the United States without a cognitive or psychological disability who lives like that.[/quote]

Ah yes, strategically placed quadriplegics in a train station to waylay travelers - oldest trick in the book.

I hope you did not fall for it. [/quote]

What was the trick exactly? Hands inside their shirts?[/quote]

The trick is how they got there in the first place.