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  #41  
Old 26 August 2008, 10:16 PM
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For qualifying for some programs, what you pay out is almost as important as what you take in; some people with extrordinary expenses, like HIV medicines, or lots of children (this applies to several Orthodox Jewish families I know), or a parent in a nursing home, may make quite a bit, but still not have a lot of disposable income, and trouble paying bills.
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  #42  
Old 26 August 2008, 11:16 PM
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Cowboy Joe Cowboy Joe is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali Infree View Post
We are second in the US in the rate of mobile home ownership (to Wyoming)
WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, Baby! We're #1!

In Your FACE West Virginia!

(Actually, DW and I are considering ordering a new modular home for about $100 K. Those puppies aren't cheap. And we have to provide our own car bodies to put on blocks!)
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  #43  
Old 27 August 2008, 02:27 AM
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If being poor is so great as the OP says, then why aren't more people giving away their money and trying to live on 20,000 a year? After all, they've got it great.
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  #44  
Old 27 August 2008, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claudia View Post
I've mostly been living on less than $25K for the past several years (one person in Ohio); but I have a paid for house and funds that I can tap if need be. The problem with extreme frugality is that after a while stuff starts wearing out/falling apart.
Think how much faster stuff would be falling apart (and that is a very true observation I have made myself during the lean years - I discovered what it meant to actually NEED to buy new jeans) if there were four other people living on that amount of money, which is what the particular government example I was looking at claimed was not poverty. And if those five people lived in LA, it would *still* not be poverty. Yeah, right.
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  #45  
Old 27 August 2008, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Avril View Post
No kidding! In the end, my extreme frugality in seminary (at one point I earned a little over $8000/year) cost quite a bit. When I left, I needed to replace just about everything I owned. Shoes, socks, underwear, etc.--you have to buy these things on a fairly regular basis. Yes, you can put it off, but if you do for a long time--everything gets holes and rips and becomes useless.

Avril
That is so true. I have heard this called - iirc - a "pent up need to consume." After so many years of never replacing anything, when you finally do get a break or a raise or something, it takes a long time to catch up on the basics.

Worn out cars can really cost you.
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  #46  
Old 27 August 2008, 12:28 PM
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Mosherette Mosherette is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
Coming after the homeowners stat, the one about AC was a little misleading. Around here, rental units must have AC now. I think it's a city ordinance that's been in effect for about 5 years. Anyway, it means anyone in poverty who happens to rent will have AC. Doesn't mean they can afford to run it, just that they have it.
That's what I was thinking on that one - it's all very well living in a place with air conditioning and/or central heating, but being able to afford to run either of those things is a completely different matter.
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  #47  
Old 27 August 2008, 03:44 PM
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Ali Infree Ali Infree is offline
 
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Quote:
Cowboy Joe sez:(Actually, DW and I are considering ordering a new modular home for about $100 K. Those puppies aren't cheap. And we have to provide our own car bodies to put on blocks!)
I don't think they count modulars as mobile homes--around here the mobile home never moves. And the Census takes no account of house ornamentation like cars on blocks! I like the reuse of old hot water tanks as flower pots, set on their side and half the tank removed. And the wooden ladies bending over to show their underwear, much like these.

If it weren't for air conditioning, the population redistribution to the south might never have happened. What are the odds that the original writer lived in the North? Cooling in the summer is as important a need as heat in the winter, especially for low-income folks.

Ali "everyone gets their share of ice..." Infree
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  #48  
Old 27 August 2008, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali Infree View Post
I don't think they count modulars as mobile homes--around here the mobile home never moves. And the Census takes no account of house ornamentation like cars on blocks! I like the reuse of old hot water tanks as flower pots, set on their side and half the tank removed. And the wooden ladies bending over to show their underwear, much like these.

If it weren't for air conditioning, the population redistribution to the south might never have happened. What are the odds that the original writer lived in the North? Cooling in the summer is as important a need as heat in the winter, especially for low-income folks.

Ali "everyone gets their share of ice..." Infree
I think the difference is whether or not it exists on a permanent foundation. Some do, some don't and some modulars (like ours) are set up in trailer parks. It is not an ideal situation, but for us it makes sense right now. Housing prices here are outrageous. $200K to even begin thinking about buing a house. It is an inflated market due to a huge economic boom taking place in Wyo. We have an inverse economy - when the rest of the nation is in the crapper we are doing well and vice versa. Does that happen in WV because of the coal industry?

BTW I did my MA thesis on the black lung compensation struggle in WV.

As for the OP, I wonder how often they update the guidelines for poverty. Does that happen annually, ever census or on another schedule?
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  #49  
Old 27 August 2008, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snapdragonfly View Post
Not even a program that would teach people like this how to use the correct homonym? (oh noes, that might give them teh gay!)

My cable bill, as high as it is, is not a fraction of my health insurance cost. In fact, our families phone bill, cable bill, electric bill, and cell phone bill all together come to just about what my husband's boss has to pay for our premiums. If we cut out cable altogether as well as just about every non necessity we indulge in, it would still equal less, monthly, than decent insurance.
What's that rule called about pointing out other people's grammar mistakes? (I'm anxiously looking forward to seeing where mine is now ).


Of course the American poor have it "better" than the poor of, say, Ethiopia. That still doesn't mean there aren't kids who would go hungry if it weren't for government assistance. I think everyone's already done a good job pointing out why owning a color TV or a stereo doesn't change that.
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  #50  
Old 27 August 2008, 05:21 PM
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Ali Infree Ali Infree is offline
 
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Quote:
As for the OP, I wonder how often they update the guidelines for poverty. Does that happen annually, ever census or on another schedule?
It is updated annually, here are the 2007 standards.

They are the basis of eligibility for a number of federal and state programs.
And as has been previously noted, lots of working people fall within these income levels.

Ali "one chart shall bind them" Infree
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  #51  
Old 27 August 2008, 09:27 PM
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Ariadne Ariadne is offline
 
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I used to teach at a school with a large population of poor children. We had several workshops on understanding poverty, and they were very enlightening. The most important thing I learned was that the culture of poverty is very different from the culture of the middle class--we attempt to view the poor in a way shaped by our own social constraints and thus have a hard time understanding differences in priorities. For example, middle class values (and I realize this is very generalized) tend to include things like education, a good career, personal achievement, and home ownership. Those who live in poverty, however, due to their more transient lives, tend to place the highest value on family and personal relationships and do not make as many long-term goals. Thus, if a middle class person were to, say, win $1000 in the lottery, he or she might invest it, use it to pay off bills, or improve his/her home, while a poor person would be more likely to buy something immediate, like a TV or stereo (again, a generalization, but you see the point). It seems counter-intuitive, since one would think someone in poverty would use extra money to buy needed items or start a bank account, but buying a more exravagent (as in, not necessary for day-to-day life) item is a short-term way to make life more enjoyable for the family. It also explains the stereotype of unkempt houses with satellite dishes, and the difficulty families have in escaping the cycle of poverty.

I don't know if I have explained this well at all, as it has been several years since I attended these workshops, but I hope it sort of makes sense. Basically, it comes down to a huge difference in values between poor and middle class people, which results in differing priorities.
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