T Nation

War on Poverty: .5% Impoverished


As someone who is active in charity work, with the poor particularly, I found this report and Msgr. Charles Pope's comments reassuring.

Further reading: http://blog.adw.org/2011/08/on-being-poor-in-america-recent-data-reveal-some-surprising-facts/

Though, I give some credence to the government, I still point out that private charity is in the way we should go about business.

Any thoughts on the matter?


307,006.550 x.5 = 1,535,032 people do you think we have that many charitable people in America , I don't


I think this should be a government run program. However, it should be open and accountable to the public.

I remember seeing something somewhere where they uploaded some maybe some city financial records to the internet and "crowd-sourced" the search for inconsistencies and fraud. People downloaded the data, processed it themselves using whatever, and found a bunch of shit.

People tend to behave a bit better when there are eyes on them, and I think this would be a big part of removing some of the bullshit magic tricks politicians use to hide the truth of exactly what they are doing and where tax payer money is going.


Wrong data, there is 71.8 million families.

71.8m x .5% = 359,000 families are homeless

And, yes there are that many charitable families in America.


Where are they, then?

1 in 5 children live in poverty in the richest country in the world. Is that not a sin?

20 odd percent increase since 2000. Gee, what happened in those years?

People will give money to end a woman's right to choose, but not a penny for a poor minority family.

Isn't the Catholic church the largest land-owner in the world? Those assets are used to pay for defense attorneys for closeted priests and pedophiles.



I think you forgot to read the study I posted. As you can see from the graph, what is considered "poor" is actually quite comfortable. Just because someone is considered poor doesn't mean much when they actually with quite a wide range of amenities (30% of America is still considered below the poverty line).

Looking at this list of things, I'd have to consider myself a poor person (not sure if I am because I'm not sure where the poverty line is drawn).

It's easier to list what I have on that list then what I don't.

List of things on the chart that I have:

Stove & Oven
Cell Phone
Internet Service

Red herring. You are just using tactic of diverting attention away from an item of significance instead of making a point.

No, I believe that would be Queen Elizabeth II, but we are one the biggest charities in the United States (and world), and we have the smallest administrative cost (%). :slight_smile:


Forgot the chart. :slight_smile:


"Jacuzzi." I love it.

Mother: "Honey, how are we ever going to explain to little Johnny why little Ricky's family next door has a jacuzzi and we don't?"
Father: "Those...damned...CAPITALISTS!!"


In other words, most of those considered poor in America have access to amenities that kings and pharaohs of old could not even dream of.


Here is some background on how we measure poverty.


Seriously, if you had a household income of 17k for a family of 4, how would YOU classify yourself? Just because our poor are not as destitute as those in Bangladesh does not mean that they are not poor in comparison to the rest of the population.

Are you saying the poor have it good? Should we strive to be more like India or Brazil?

Dont get the point here?

Chris. Sorry about the land thing. I was wrong.

Guess they are #3 behind King Abdallah


But that is just the thing.

The way you define poor there always will be poor. Furthermore, by trying to reduce the income gap, you are making sure that they are relatively better off in the long run, but worse of in absolute terms.

Maggie, take it away:



Hear hear!


...I think you missed my point.

Here is a prelude I have no problem with helping the poor. I help the poor all the time, I cut 10% of my personal checks to go to charity, I volunteer at the soup kitchen twice a week, I fund raise for the local St. Vincent de Paul Society, I even pay for two young boys tuition and their mother's rent. The poor need...NEED to be taken care, this isn't something we can do to feel good, this is our responsibility.

My point though is that our efforts have been fruitful (but how fruitful, I am not sure) in helping those that are poor. What I am pointing out is that we have lowered the number of families that are homeless to .5% of all families. That is much better than what it was years passed.

However, we still need to work to get these people into homes, regular food source, &c. -- though it should be done through private charity. Just giving it to them indiscriminately without them willing to eventually support themselves is just enabling them. That is what the government is doing, enabling. There is several generations that have never held a job and relied on the government to pay for them.


I was looking for an Obama quote where he adressed this and stumbled about this:


What is so utterly hilarious is that not one proponent of redistribution answers the question "how much would be enough?"

They sidetrack, they use ad hominems, they muddy the waters, but they will not answer.


Garcia our poverty here in America are riches in a bunch of parts of the world. The poor have it better than those poor in Brazil, am I right or am I right?
The poor do need help and I agree that a lot of it should NOT be done by the government. That is too much red tape. If one really needs help one can easily find it here in America. Like Brother Chris says we only enable them with government handouts. With private charity it is harder to bullshit the system.


I agree with alot here. However, everyone should realize the corruption in private charities, as well.

United Way



In that case, I cancel my check to that charity and go somewhere else.

When a federal government imposes a corrupt system, I do what?


There you go again Orion. You must stop thinking and let the brainwashed government-worshiping automatons do it for you.For crying out loud people. Take a look at the national debts in the western countries. Haven't you people figured it out YET that government NEVER succeeds on the whole in anything it does except for killing and pillaging? How on earth can anyone think the government will take care of its poor while it spends itself and us into oblivion? THINK! Sheesh.


You were counting families , i was counting people


Love this clip