What Is Poor?
This morning, I read an article on the government’s report of poverty in America that will be released tomorrow. In this report(according to the article), poor people self reported aspects about their lifestyle; many of which we don’t typically associate with being poor. Things like, oh, more than 75% of people who identify themselves by government standards as poor have a car. More than half even have two cars. Just shy of 100% have a color television, more than half have two color TVs and more than 60% have cable or satellite reception for their color TVs. The vast majority have either a land line or cell phone, and over half have both. Only 6% of the poor meet governmental standings and are considered overcrowded.
“Poor” is such a relative term. If we think of the American poor, we’re most likely to think of those in the innter city or living in cheap housing in undesirable areas of the country.
Yet, if I ask you to think on a worldwide scale and describe the poor, you’re more likely to think of mud huts in third world countries, sub-Saharan African countries in starvation mode from famine or dictators stealing their food, etc.
So, what is poor? Is it relative? To a certain point, yes. So, what do we do about the poor? Again, it all depends on what viewpoint you’re coming from.
Think back to the French Revolution. The French rose up against their oppressors because it literally meant food being taken from their tables and lowering their standard of living.
But are poor Americans really poor? Sure, we’ve seen corporate greed from the likes of Ken Lay, but will the workers of these companies which have been destroyed by corporate greed really rise up like the French did a few hundred years ago? Highlyy, highly unlikely. Why? Well, my opinion is that the corporate greed hasn’t caused enough pain. Sure, some people lost their retirement and that’s dispicable. But did they lose food off their table? Their home? Their cable TV? Their car? Were things tighter for those effected financially? Sure…but not to a point where anyone organized enough folks to start a revolution of any kind.
What’s my point? Basically, we’re spoiled. We’re Americans who, even those Americans who are considered poor, still have amenities which comfort their life more than Americans(even middle and upper class Americans)had 50 years ago.
Should we help the poor? Abso-freaking-lutely! It’s simple good humanitarianism that makes me want to help those less fortunate. But do I help someone in my state who owns his/her home(46% of those who are poor own their own home) or do I try to help those in poverty-stricken countries around the world? For me, let’s go where the need is the greatest. Still, do what you think is right, just be sure you ARE practicing good humanitarianism by giving to those less fortunate.