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  #141  
Old 21 April 2015, 04:14 PM
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wanderwoman wanderwoman is offline
 
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Bill, I read back over your posts trying to understand your point, and I really disagree.

If I use a term that is well-defined, it is not misleading just because someone who has a different idea fails to look up the definition. It's confusing to me that you would think so.

The information from the study in the Fox News report is publicly available on the Heritage Foundation website, and they took their information from a government source that defines its terms quite well.
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  #142  
Old 22 April 2015, 03:02 PM
Bill Bill is offline
 
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Responding quickly to some of these posts, since they seem to refer to my posts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
Are those things true, at least in part, because of assistance they receive as a result of programs created after the Great Depression? Because I hope that the safety nets created since then are keeping anyone from having to experience the worst of Depression era poverty.
They may be, and I agree that such programs are a good thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
The purpose of such reports is to fire up anger by insinuating that such items were purchased with welfare or food stamp money or by making it seem that the benchmark for "poor" is so high that people who are under the poverty level really are quite well off and so poverty isn't really a problem.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
What term would you consider less "misleading"?

I use quotes because IMO, the problem is not the terminology, but people's ignorance and prejudices.
Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
And I'm still not sure what your point is. There's a statistic that 14% of people are living in poverty. You want to point out that they don't have it as bad as what you think of when you hear the term "poor," so using the term "living in poverty" was misleading? But no one should make fun of those people. Just, I guess, point out that they aren't what you mean by "poor."
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderwoman View Post
Bill, I read back over your posts trying to understand your point, and I really disagree.

If I use a term that is well-defined, it is not misleading just because someone who has a different idea fails to look up the definition. It's confusing to me that you would think so.

The information from the study in the Fox News report is publicly available on the Heritage Foundation website, and they took their information from a government source that defines its terms quite well.
For the other viewpoint on this, we could look at the study.

The study claims that the common perception of "poverty" is something more dire than the "official" definition. The portion quoted below is from the summary, but there are more detailed examples earlier in the study. I agree with that part of it, and that's my general perception of the term, too, given my experience (in earlier posts and elsewhere).

The study continues to try to make the point that this misperception leads to poor public policy.

Quote:
In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau declared that one in seven Americans lived “in poverty.” Catholic Charities has declared, “The existence of such widespread poverty amidst such enormous wealth is a moral and social wound in the soul of the country.”[73]

To the average American, the word “poverty” implies significant material deprivation, an inability to provide a family with adequate nutritious food, reasonable shelter, and clothing. Activists reinforce this view, declaring that being poor in the U.S. means being “unable to obtain the basic material necessities of life.”[74] The news media amplify this idea: Most news stories on poverty feature homeless families, people living in crumbling shacks, or lines of the downtrodden eating in soup kitchens.

[edit]

Those who are without food or homeless will find no comfort in the fact that their condition is relatively infrequent. Their distress is real and a serious concern.

Nonetheless, wise public policy cannot be based on misinformation or misunderstanding. Anti-poverty policy must be based on an accurate assessment of actual living conditions and the causes of deprivation. In the long term, grossly exaggerating the extent and severity of material deprivation in the U.S. will benefit neither the poor, the economy, nor society as a whole.
Thanks.

Bill
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  #143  
Old 22 April 2015, 05:33 PM
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thorny locust thorny locust is offline
 
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So if people have a roof over their head, food in their bellies, and medical care, all because they were able to get some form of aid in order to do so, that means that they aren't poor; even if the withdrawal of that aid would leave them without some or all of those things, while the acceptance of it leaves them open to repeated harassment?

The study in fact states that part of what they're complaining about is that benefits from means-tested welfare programs aren't counted in deciding whether people are poor. But, if what's being decided is how much to put into such programs, you've got a lovely catch-22 if you do count it. Oh, you're not starving on the street because you get benefits? Then you must not need benefits. Come back when you are starving on the street (and your house is falling down, because nobody was living in it.) But then once you get the benefits you're not on the street any longer; so you shouldn't need benefits. Out you go again!

I wonder, also, how they're defining "access to medical care". The emergency room when the pain gets too much to bear? Or one's regular doctor, seen whenever one feels it necessary, along with whatever tests and medications that doctor thinks desirable? How many hours need to go into trying to find some way to cover the bill before this can be considered a problem? What if the choice is between paying the bill and feeding one's much-loved (and beneficial to one's health) companion animals? What if the choice is between paying one's own medical bills and the veterinary bill, and your cat is in pain?

Many of the items they list as "amenities" are available for next to nothing at yard sales and used goods shops; or may have been gifts; or may, as they themselves point out, have been purchased when the family wasn't poor. Some of them are moneysavers, even if the appliances were bought new, which they may not have been-- it costs more to do laundry at the laundromat than to have a washer and dryer, and a freezer (not to mention a refrigerator!) saves on food bills because it allows buying when on sale and rapidly putting up one's own garden produce. Some of them, however luxurious they may have been in earlier societies, are now essential tools for many households: if you live somewhere with no public transport, the car may be essential to get to work; the home computer may be required for a child's schoolwork or an adult's work (and the necessary internet connection may come bundled with the TV cable); the answering machine and/or voicemail and/or cell phone may be needed to get essential communications from one's employer or from potential employers.

I note they don't mention the need to pay the electric bills to keep any of that running. If you have an oven in your house, apparently it counts even if you never use it because you're already having trouble paying the electric bill.

And, apparently, if you have anything at all in the house to eat, then you're not poor even if for a week out of every month all you have to eat is beans and rice; or ramen. Nor are you poor if you have enough to eat each day of the month -- even if this was barely true, and you spent every day of the month worrying about it, and you had to save all month to get your eight year old a birthday cake -- and got glared at by the person behind you in line because you bought cake while you were using a benefits card.

No, poverty in the United States in 2015 doesn't look like poverty in the United States in 1915; or, I'm sure, like poverty in, say, Somalia. Do we want it to?
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  #144  
Old 22 April 2015, 07:14 PM
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erwins erwins is offline
 
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In addition to TL's excellent points, if 14% live in poverty, then it's significant to note that the food insecurity rate is higher than that. The overall rate is around 16%, and in families with children it's about 20%.

Quote:
Food insecurity, on the other hand, is a situation of "limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways", according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
From Wikipedia on food security.
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  #145  
Old 22 April 2015, 07:24 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
No, poverty in the United States in 2015 doesn't look like poverty in the United States in 1915; or, I'm sure, like poverty in, say, Somalia. Do we want it to?
Times when I wish we had a like button here.

You are 100% spot on in everything you said.
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  #146  
Old 22 April 2015, 07:25 PM
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Lainie Lainie is offline
 
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The sad thing is some people (not anyone here) seem angry that it doesn't.
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  #147  
Old 22 April 2015, 08:18 PM
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wanderwoman wanderwoman is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill View Post
The study continues to try to make the point that this misperception leads to poor public policy.



Thanks.

Bill
Did you notice that their evidence that the "average American" has this misperception is from a badly worded survey that they themselves had commissioned? How about how they skimmed over the fact that the numbers don't refer to items that people own, but rather items that they "have available"? In fact, the Heritage Foundation is using this study to try to change public policy for the worse. People's lives are made better by the benefits they receive, and the majority of those people are from vulnerable groups; children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. When organizations like the Heritage Foundation and Fox News sell this kind of garbage, it results in cuts that have detrimental effects on those benefits. How do you think it affects vulnerable populations to lose the safety net their benefits bring them because they have to keep falling back into deprivation every time some tea party politician successfully sells the voters this line of BS?

Recently a Indiana legislator sponsored a bill that would require drug screening for recipients of TANF all over the state, because one of his counties has an epidemic of HIV infection due to needle sharing of heroin users, at least 130 cases so far. He withdrew his support for that bill when he discovered that there are only a total of 9 adults in that County who receive TANF. I wish people would do some research on public benefits before they go off half-cocked and propose bad policy. And not bad research like that Heritage Foundation study.
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  #148  
Old 22 April 2015, 08:26 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderwoman View Post

Recently a Indiana legislator sponsored a bill that would require drug screening for recipients of TANF all over the state, because one of his counties has an epidemic of HIV infection due to needle sharing of heroin users, at least 130 cases so far.
HJ: Some are saying this epidemic is, in part, due to the politically driven closure of that area's Planned Parenthood Health Center.
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  #149  
Old 22 April 2015, 08:34 PM
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Esprise Me Esprise Me is offline
 
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That makes a lot of sense. I've gotten birth control at PP when I was uninsured, and I know a lot of young people who aren't necessarily poor, but who don't have the same financial security they grew up with or expect to have once their careers get going, who have relied on PP for all kinds of healthcare tangentially related to reproduction, from STI treatment to breast cancer screening.
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  #150  
Old 23 April 2015, 04:31 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryda Wong, EBfCo. View Post
HJ: Some are saying this epidemic is, in part, due to the politically driven closure of that area's Planned Parenthood Health Center.
That might be a contributing factor but I would link the epidemic more to intravenous drug use and the brain dead prohibition on needle exchanges in Indiana. Intravenous drug use is believed to be the primary cause of the huge upswing in the number of HIV cases. It took a special action of the Indiana legislature and the Governor to get the needle exchanges going temporarily. The Governor opposes needle exchanges and has already said that the current exchanges will not continue indefinitely. (This is the same governor that brought you the "religious freedom" act.)
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  #151  
Old 04 June 2015, 09:13 PM
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erinker74 erinker74 is offline
 
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The issue for neo-cons is not really BC. That's just the socially acceptable face. The real problem they have is dirty whores, and any woman that has sex outside of marriage is a dirty, filthy whore who deserves whatever she gets. That is why they see no contradiction in their views of abortion vs birth control: because their (unspoken) answer is, "Why are you having sex, slut?"
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  #152  
Old 05 June 2015, 07:57 PM
urbanlegendfanatic urbanlegendfanatic is offline
 
 
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I forget which state and I'm too lazy to look it up but there is a list of things that they've banned and it's things like lobster and gold jewelry. No one is out there buying this on SNAP unless they're scamming the system. SNAP gives $200.00 for a single person and you have to have a net income less than $ 973.
Who is eating lobster on that? Plus you have to have an address so people who are homeless don't qualify.
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