Being Poor In America

Being Poor In America

Washington : DC : USA | Sep 15, 2011 at 10:49 AM PDT
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Why Are 46 Million Americans Living in Poverty?

The number of people living in poverty has risen again to 15.1%. The definition of poverty is an individual living on an income of less than $11,139, or any family of four living on less than $22,314.

This does not include any subsidies like food or utility help like food stamps or LIHEAP. Nor does it take into account the cost of child care or cost of living differences in different parts of the country according to the Census Bureau who are trying to use a different gauge to figure the amount to be closer to an exact count.

To many people, poverty means being without a car, telephone, cable, or in other words barely being able to have a roof and utilities and still have food and clothing. Never mind what people say if they find you with a computer and internet.

If you compare our poverty in America to other countries you might wonder how they could call it poverty when in other countries there are no utilities or cars and sometimes no home. But then you have to account for the cost of living in the country in general. That is where it starts. Today if you want a job a lot of the applications are online or you are out of luck. I heard someone say one time that if they had to have free health care they shouldn't be able to buy cigarettes. Well, personally having been in this place for the past 10 years, if I didn't smoke I would probably go into a deeper depression than the one I have fought my way out of.

The following is a personal message and opinion only. Because of some bad choices made by me my children did not attend college and now work barely above minimum wage. They work very hard for their families and work as many hours as their employers will allow. Some do not allow overtime and second jobs are harder to find than first ones. Where does that leave them. Cost of living keeps going up and wages are stagnant now. I did not raise my children to ask for handouts and never needed any until 10 years ago. All I am asking is that you don't lump everyone in a one size fits all group and say "sorry about your bad luck."

I am not sure how to solve this crisis but I don't want for anything except a warm house utilities and food and clothing. I don't care about keeping up with anyone, I just want to get by enough to call it living.


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The Great Depression
Picture from the FDR, courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration. One of the most famous pictures from the Great Depression.
Orakul is based in Chickasha, Oklahoma, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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