Thursday, January 21, 2010

Are there still poor people in America?

Megan Cottrell takes a conservative to task for his beliefs that America is not full of poor people. Here's her response to that!
Poor people are morbidly obese because good, nutritious food is more expensive than cheap, high calorie junk food. Eating well is a luxury.

Poor people have cell phones because they’re cheaper than land lines, and they often have the pay-as-you-go plans, which means they’re shut off every other month when they can’t afford to pay anymore.

Yes, many poor people do have big screen TVs. But one, many poor people rent their TVs and appliances from places like Rent-A-Center because they rarely have enough cash on hand to make a big purchase. Rent-A-Center doesn’t rent out little economical TVs. Who wants to rent that? Second, upward mobility is so lousy in this country for certain groups of people that many people believe they’ll never be rich, so they might as well enjoy themselves now, rather than saving for the future. It might seem silly to you, but when you live paycheck to paycheck, you have a different attitude about the future.

Pretty much anyone who is poor in America and did own their own home are now in foreclosure. Like the TVs, some have fancy cars that they “own,” (and by own, I mean make the payments on until they can’t and the bank repossesses it), but many, many more take the bus.

Are there still “dirt poor” people in America? Hell yes, there are. Talk to homeless families and undocumented immigrants, living on the street. Talk to desperate families in rural America, killing squirrels and raccoons for food. Talk to families who live in rat-infested, moldy, rotten conditions because they have nowhere else to go.

If we’ve reduced poverty over the last 50 years, isn’t that a reason to celebrate and keep moving forward – not a reason to give up? The health care crisis is real. Even with medicaid, many poor and low-income families are in dire need of medical attention and preventative care.
Uh-oh, she done shot us the whole health-care argument and about how expensive it is. Although I do have my ideas on that issue I'm not exactly qualified to answer that issue. The main idea I have is that government isn't the best equipped to provide health care services of any kind.

Also it is my belief that there aren't dirt poor people in America. In some respects many of the poor in this country live better than the poor in other nations around the world. Of course this doesn't make the problem less stark.

Besides start off on her rant Cottrell makes good points. Healthy foods may be out of reach for low-income people. They may not be able to or may not be willing to afford fresh produce. That or they may not be educated enough to know that fruits & vegetables are good for them.

Many may have the very unfortunate belief that they may never rise out of their predicaments. Therefore they may not want to save their money not even in small amounts. So they may be forced to live paycheck to paycheck and live for now instead of thinking about either their future or their family's future.

Frankly aside from any type of government assistance there has to be a way to change that. If Americans prides this nation as the land of opportunity then hopefully there is a way to get those who are poor thinking that they can rise out of poverty. I say this know it's very optimistic.

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