“Poor” American Have Xbox And Air Conditioning

To look at the raw statistics you’d think that a majority of Americans were living in abject poverty. The problem, though, is what your definition of poverty is. Here in America, “poor” doesn’t mean what it used to.

Data from the Department of Energy and other agencies show that the average poor family, as defined by Census officials:

● Lives in a home that is in good repair, not crowded, and equipped with air conditioning, clothes washer and dryer, and cable or satellite TV service.

● Prepares meals in a kitchen with a refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave as well as oven and stove.

● Enjoys two color TVs, a DVD player, VCR and — if children are there — an Xbox, PlayStation, or other video game system.

● Had enough money in the past year to meet essential needs, including adequate food and medical care.

America has become so affluent that our definition of “poor” is relative. At no other time in the history of the world has being “poor” meant having so much. Which isn’t to say that there isn’t true poverty and suffering in America, there is, only to say that our government’s metric for measuring it is all but worthless.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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