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#1 Stains_not_here_man

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 04:52 PM

This story claims that 48% of Americans are now "low income."Now, I'm not a math major or anything but something about that doesn't add up. I know, they're using specific numbers for "poverty" but it seems like, since "low" vs. "high" income is basically relative wouldn't it stand to reason that 48% of Americans actually make "average or below" income?
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#2 DuncanDad

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 04:56 PM

Let's look at it this way:we have 2 people.Person#1 makes 1,000,000.00/year.Person #2 makes 25,000/year.Average wages for the two that year are $512,500.00. Not bad you say, just looking at the average but, person #2 isn't making $512,000.00/year.The numbers are showing the gap between rich and poor.
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#3 Stains_not_here_man

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 05:01 PM

Sure, but you'd have a hard time convincing even me that 48% of Americans are actually "poor."
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#4 DuncanDad

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 05:10 PM

I can believe it.10% unemployment.Many that aren't unemployed have had hours cut or wages cut. Say, 20% of people have had hours/wages cut? Maybe more?How many on this board have had their hours/wages cut or a spouse who's hours/wages cut?
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#5 Stains_not_here_man

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 05:12 PM

Sure, and how many on this board still own 2 cars both of which were built in the last 5 years and a house that's worth six plus figures?
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#6 Stains_not_here_man

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 05:13 PM

I'm not saying there aren't people hurtin' out there.I just ain't buying that HALF of people are "hurtin'."That ain't what it looks like when I look around.
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#7 DuncanDad

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 05:15 PM

Sure, and how many on this board still own 2 cars both of which were built in the last 5 years and a house that's worth six plus figures?

Damn few I would guess.Most houses have taken a dump in resale value-I know first hand. Our house was valued at over 100k just 4 years ago. Now, we might get 65k for it.Most guys on this board, (including me) will drive their cars into the dirt before trading.
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#8 DuncanDad

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 05:16 PM

I'm not saying there aren't people hurtin' out there.I just ain't buying that HALF of people are "hurtin'."That ain't what it looks like when I look around.

You looking in the wrong neighborhood. You live around Denver, right?Come down to GA. It rather sucks here. Florida, Alabama, South Carolina are all sucking hind teat.
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#9 SchwanzBrewer

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 05:32 PM

You looking in the wrong neighborhood. You live around Denver, right?Come down to GA. It rather sucks here. Florida, Alabama, South Carolina are all sucking hind teat.

And that teat don't give too good.
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#10 ANUSTART

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 05:43 PM

Ask the average American if they're below the poverty line. Once they look up what the poverty level is on their smart phone, they'll determine that they are below that level.
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#11 Stains_not_here_man

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 05:46 PM

You looking in the wrong neighborhood. You live around Denver, right?Come down to GA. It rather sucks here. Florida, Alabama, South Carolina are all sucking hind teat.

I lived in South Carolina from 2001 to 2004 and to be honest, that's what it was like then, too. No offense intended here but I don't think anywhere in the South is a good place to look to get an idea of the economic health of the entire country.You could probably say the same about my area, but in the opposite direction. Businesses are hurting here, alright -- hurting for good people to support their expansions.My point is, though, that I think we really do need to look at how we define "poor" if we're going to say half of people are poor. That's not logical. Half of people can't be poor. "Poor" is a relative term.

Ask the average American if they're below the poverty line. Once they look up what the poverty level is on their smart phone, they'll determine that they are below that level.

Plus, this.
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#12 VolFan

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 05:52 PM

Ask the average American if they're below the poverty line. Once they look up what the poverty level is on their smart phone, they'll determine that they are below that level.

I'll even give the Gator fan an amen on that one.
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#13 Thag

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 05:54 PM

My point is, though, that I think we really do need to look at how we define "poor" if we're going to say half of people are poor. That's not logical. Half of people can't be poor. "Poor" is a relative term.

Since when did poor and poverty become a relative term? Poverty is a defined term, not a relative term. If the the poverty line is $23K a year and 75% of the people in the state are below that income level, then 75% are poor. They are living in poverty. Saying poor and poverty is a relative term makes no sense.
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#14 Stains_not_here_man

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 06:01 PM

Since when did poor and poverty become a relative term? Poverty is a defined term, not a relative term. If the the poverty line is $23K a year and 75% of the people in the state are below that income level, then 75% are poor. They are living in poverty. Saying poor and poverty is a relative term makes no sense.

If $23k a year buys you a nice house in the country, 2 cars, a flat screen TV... are you poor?I know, $23k doesn't buy you those things today. I'm just making a point. And that point is, you can't measure "poverty" by a number alone.

Edited by the_stain, 17 December 2011 - 06:01 PM.

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#15 thool

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 08:19 PM

The word "poverty" is an awfully charged word. Most people envision kids with dirt on their faces, eating out of garbage cans, parents saving cardboard to patch holes in shoes, begging, run-down homes with hounds sleeping under the porch...Sure, you can define it using absolute terms, and the government has done that, but so what? If 20 rich guys in a particular county made $25 million a year each, then nearly everyone else in that county would be below the poverty level, right? But they may be quite content; I'd argue they'd be doing quite well because of the taxes these 20 rich guys pay into the community by means of property taxes and (if it exists) sales taxes.Today's poverty means that you don't have enough money for cable TV and you only have 2 fridges.
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#16 zymot

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 10:22 PM

If the point of the story is, "OMG so many poor people! We have to do something about it!"

The struggling Americans include Zenobia Bechtol, 18, in Austin, Texas, who earns minimum wage as a part-time pizza delivery driver. Bechtol and her 7-month-old baby were recently evicted from their bedbug-infested apartment after her boyfriend, an electrician, lost his job in the sluggish economy.After an 18-month job search, Bechtol's boyfriend now works as a waiter and the family of three is temporarily living with her mother.

I am sorry, is this is the best example they can come up with to support the story, I am not impressed.
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#17 thool

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 06:29 AM

If the point of the story is, "OMG so many poor people! We have to do something about it!"I am sorry, is this is the best example they can come up with to support the story, I am not impressed.

Agreed. This sounds like a combination of poor planning, bad prioritization, bad decisions, and possibly a lack of solid parental guidance. These are important when the economy is good, because it conditions one for when times get bad.
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#18 DuncanDad

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 07:02 AM

Poor is well defined as 100-199% of the poverty level of the US.It's not some abstract as you want it to be.Poverty is defined as a family of 4 with a household income of $22,350 or less per year.So, for a family of 4 to be defined as poor they would have a yearly income of between $22,350- about $42,000 per year.Granted, the article didn't use the best example but, 2 adults working full time, (not likely) at minimum wage is only $30,160 per year before taxes. They would be considered poor, for a family of 3, by definition.
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#19 thool

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 08:04 AM

Poor is well defined as 100-199% of the poverty level of the US.It's not some abstract as you want it to be.Poverty is defined as a family of 4 with a household income of $22,350 or less per year.So, for a family of 4 to be defined as poor they would have a yearly income of between $22,350- about $42,000 per year.Granted, the article didn't use the best example but, 2 adults working full time, (not likely) at minimum wage is only $30,160 per year before taxes. They would be considered poor, for a family of 3, by definition.

So what if a family of 4 lived in an area where the cost of living was very low? That $22,350 to about $42,000 per year would go a lot further, especially if they managed to avoid/minimize debt. Then on the opposite side of the spectrum, people living in a HCOLA would need to be pulling in 6 figures to be able to afford to live at a similar comfort level.I guess what I'm saying is that "household income" is really a poor indicator of ACTUAL poverty. A better measure would be net worth, but that is difficult or impossible to measure, because most people aren't necessarily willing (or sometimes even able) to put together a assets-versus-liabilities summary.
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#20 DuncanDad

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 08:09 AM

So what if a family of 4 lived in an area where the cost of living was very low? That $22,350 to about $42,000 per year would go a lot further, especially if they managed to avoid/minimize debt. Then on the opposite side of the spectrum, people living in a HCOLA would need to be pulling in 6 figures to be able to afford to live at a similar comfort level.I guess what I'm saying is that "household income" is really a poor indicator of ACTUAL poverty. A better measure would be net worth, but that is difficult or impossible to measure, because most people aren't necessarily willing (or sometimes even able) to put together a assets-versus-liabilities summary.

If you were to use the net worth model, I would guess the picture would be much more grim.People making $42,000/year for a family of 4 usually don't have a house, (they rent) no stocks/bonds and probably don't have any kind of retirement. No matter where they live.
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