Poverty, statistics and lies.

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    • #16901
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,230

      For reference:

      https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/10/16/yes-half-americans-are-or-near-poverty-heres-more-evidence

      https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/articles/2018-09-12/poverty-in-america-new-census-data-paint-an-unpleasant-picture

      It turns out that when you “own” the statistics you can make them say whatever you want them to.  For instance – a single individual earning 1100 a month and paying 600 for rent?  Not “officially” considered to be in poverty.  Over half their income for the expense (only the expense) of a home.

      By a rough estimate, food stamps offer 1.40, per person, per meal.  Social security pays retirees just over 1400 – according to official statistics – therefore, according to the same, they are not considered impoverished.

      Now consider…. nearly 40 million (perhaps higher – census data varies from one year to the next) live in “official poverty” – meaning that their income (net, in particular) works out to less than 1000 a month.

      Assume a 2 adult family.  600 (cheap in many areas) for rent, 400 for food, 250 for associated cars (higher – 2 cars for most), electric around 75, heating in the winter around 150-200 (being conservative – well insulated home) – expenses for childcare for one child.  Add at least 200.

      Leaving out gas, incidentals, accidents, health insurance, diapers and so on and so forth – and living conservatively…

      If they earn say, 2400 a month together – they might just barely get by, if they are the most frugal of individuals.

      At just over poverty wages (1020 or so a month) they will not.  Not without help in some form – or the frugality of Christ in the desert.

      Tens of millions already in poverty – around 18 million in extreme poverty… officially.  Most of the middle and working class not already there are one accident or illness away.

      Yet, the Trump administration has declared the war on poverty mostly over and mostly a success.  The media raves about our great economy… and very few dare to argue in public.

      In the wealthiest Nation on earth, the greatest wealth seems to consist of the lies told to us – statistically and otherwise.  When it comes to lies, we are bazillionaires.

    • #16961
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 21,790

      There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.–Mark Twain

      When the statistics used to calculate the official inflation rate don’t include price increases in food, fuel, or housing we get a ridiculously low inflation rate. Likewise, when people who have been out of work so long that they are no longer looking for work are not counted as unemployed–in fact, they are counted as if they are actually employed–we get a ridiculously low unemployment rate.

      The  corollary of this way of framing economics is found in the bafflement the Very Intelligent People express when confronted with the fact that the wealthy beneficiaries of recent tax cuts are not hiring more people, much less paying them more, or are not investing in expanding their own businesses.

      It is difficult to state facts when one is paid not to do so.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

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