Oh lordy lordy Wilderness, you were the first thought that popped to mind when I stumbled across this International Liberty Blog post.
A Prosperity Contest: America’s Poor Vs. the Middle Class in other Nations
"…after accounting for all income, charity, and non-cash welfare benefits like subsidized housing and Food Stamps—the poorest 20% of Americans consume more goods and services than the national averages for all people in most affluent countries. …In other words, if the U.S. “poor” were a nation, it would be one of the world’s richest."
An interesting chart and article. Yes, I've pointed that out many times - our "poor" aren't very poor at all. Not relative to the rest of the world, anyway.
Of course, America's poor are affluent in comparison to the poor in third world countries where the poverty is abysmal. America's poor live somewhat well. In America, we have stores which cater to the poor. We also have health & social programs which ease their way. Being poor in America is a walk in the park. With myriads of health & social programs, many poor Americans have LOST incentive to improve themselves & are CONTENT to be poor. Don't you think so?
Just glancing at this, the first glaring question is with the point that the blog author is trying to make: "The bottom line is that free markets and limited government are the best way to help lower-income people enjoy more prosperity."
Then we look at the reasons given as to why America's poor do better:
…after accounting for all income, charity, and non-cash welfare benefits like subsidized housing and Food Stamps—the poorest 20% of Americans consume more goods and services than the national averages for all people in most affluent countries. …In other words, if the U.S. “poor” were a nation, it would be one of the world’s richest.
Aren't all of these, with the exception of charity, part of the "socialist" programs that are the opposite of what most Americans see as limited government? Wouldn't this make the authors bottom line the opposite of true?
America can rank 6th overall in economic liberty, but he's citing the government programs for the success of America's poor.
I don't think he was pointing to the success of America's poor; ". . . the poorest 20% of Americans consume more goods and services than the national averages for all people in most affluent countries"
Which I think does support his point that this is possible because of limited government and free markets. Of course, that's just my thought. If you were to consider that consumption level to be "success," then there may be some weight to your point.
Success and doing "quite well" is exactly what he states he is measuring. The only mention of goods and services consumption perhaps not being a measure of success is in the World Bank quote. He makes a good case for America's social systems and that's A-okay...maybe just not what some want to read. He claims the success is due to free market policies but cites primarily socialistic type programs as the reasons why. It's clear as day.
"Yes, but sometimes the key to success is being “less worse” than your competitors. So while I’m critical of many bad policies in the United States, it’s worth noting that America nonetheless ranks #6 for overall economic liberty according to the Fraser Institute.
As such, it’s not surprising that America has higher living standards than most other developed nations according to the “actual individual consumption” data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
And America’s advantage isn’t trivial. We’re more than 46 percent higher than the average for OECD member nations.
The gap is so large that I’ve wondered how lower-income people in the United States would rank compared to average people in other countries."
"You can see that the bottom 20 percent of Americans do quite well compared to the average persons in other developed nations."
I have equal respect for America as I for other countries I've lived in. Just don't overrated your poor.
From living in Norway, Canada, US, and Australia. Among these countries, US is the poorest of the poor due to mainly their social system.
US has more tent cities homeless, rats nest housing, crime zones and quarter of the world population in US prisons. The largest corporation ( even Walmart) in the world is the US military. Is killing the poor more than anyone for profits of the wealthy.
Comparing poor out of 68 third world countries I have visited. 15 are worse, 20 are at par. The rest are better off than the American poor due to ownership of their house, national debt, high cost of living, family values, freer, less crime and staying within their means. Non Religion countries are wealthy than the Religious countries.
Why not, in the pass 5 years, each of 60 countries are doubling US GNP growth.
When those countries have doubled the Us GNP, even per capita, you can tout them as wealthy and wonderful. But doubling the growth rate of a tiny fraction of US GNP isn't saying much, and even that is likely owed in great part to foreign (including US) investment.
Asia has more billionaire's than North America. The US currency is going rapidly down.
These rapid growth of billionaire's and thrillionaires is not a good thing, worst thing by far, for the poor. Take Hong Kong no 1 world's most billionaire's for a city. Causing the poorest of poor and most unffordable city in the world. Welfare and pension live in cages 12sq. ft floor space, stacked 4 cages high.
I would rather die.
Vancouver Canada is the third most unaffordable city in the world. The average house is a million dollars.
Countries generally with the least amount of population density with large scale of landmass. Have overall the healthiest human living conditions based on my experience.
Countries with large landmass and very low population density are plagued with poverty, little or no health care and high amounts of disease. They cannot have the healthiest human living conditions. Although those in the arctic circle might be an exception; extreme cold is not conducive to bacterial survival and growth.
I've traveled most of every continent except Africa. Base on my experience the larger landmass with low density population were living better like Canada, Norway, Australia Iceland, all of Scandinavian countries, northern Europe, most of South America and so on. The highest population countries had greater extreme poor, issues and problems. You didn't know overpopulation is up there with poverty, nuclear weapons and natural environment as most dangerous threat for humanity.
If you want to isolate Africa, you would be right, i didn't travel Central and southern parts of Africa, for it was too difficult to travel.
You should get out more and experience for yourselves, in order to know.
Canada, Australia, Iceland - all good examples of large landmass with low density overall. But the density in the inhabited areas isn't that low, and that's what I referred to. Having a city right next to 10,000 square miles of empty land still gives a population density quite high...where there is anybody at all.
But where the population is spread out, and still low (some of Africa, Siberia, Tibet, Chile, etc. there is rampant poverty and no health care (you don't put hospitals where there is only a dozen people per square mile and you don't put factories there either).. That's what I was referring to.
This time just a misunderstanding of what was being said, then!
You don't find much different density population to landmass?
US is 10times the population of Canada and Canada has larger landmass, watermass poor and seacoasts. Australia 24 million and just smaller than US. Norway 5 million population. Greenland only 60,000 population.
You're not understanding my point at all. What is the population density of Canada, 400 and more miles north of the American border? What is the density within 400 miles of the border? The two are vastly dissimilar, and so are the services and wealth.
Same for the Aussies: what is the population density within 100 miles of the coastline and what is it outside that area? Where is the wealth concentrated, or the services?
These countries have the benefits of a capitalist system and a balance social system. You rarely see a slum or racial danger area like in the US. Always shelter in big cities and useally small cities. For isolated or anywhere there is some kind of helpful service for people.
Most of the Latino countries have minimize Government service and very low taxes. They replace that with better functional families serving each other well. Many Latino countries are highly rated as the happiness countries in the world.
This speaks of the bottom 20% of US poor. I don' think this says much about the bottom, say 5%. How could we get numbers that actually reflect the homeless in reference to income? Just counting the number of homeless is difficult enough. I can see these numbers being played around with in multiple ways.
This is why it's important to travel. You see situations for what they are against common media bias.
Also, I do not see any indications of credit systems being taken into account. It's near to impossible to get a credit card in most of the world unless you have a stable job, not sure how that plays out in the US, because I have heard of people getting new credit cards to pay out used cards.
From the chart, no Denmark on average cannot be "poorer" than the lower 20% of the USA. It's easy to play with charts like this when all the facts are not considered.
Your rich Dad would tell you, poor people borrow money mostly and play the lottery.
On reading the article in the link to the ‘International Liberty Blog post’ I got the distinct impression that it may not necessarily be a trustworthy site for impartial information. Therefore I followed through on the two links in the article which forms the basis of the claims being made; namely the two links in the sentence:-
“Well, the folks at Just Facts have investigated precisely this issue using World Bank data and found some remarkable results.”
The first link is to the ‘World Bank Date’ (which is a trust worthy site); and all that shows is just “Households and NPISHs Final consumption expenditure per capita US$”, nothing more e.g. it does not distinguish between the different classes within a country and neither does it attempt to evaluate living standards. It just shows the average ‘COST’ of consumption expenditure for households by country. And, in viewing the data, which states that the average annual cost of consumption expenditure for an average American is $36,966 per year, it also lists three other countries where the average annual cost of consumption expenditure for per household is higher than the USA, namely Bermuda $48,547, Norway $40,783 and Switzerland $41,763.
These figures don’t show the standard of living, they just show how much households spend on their standard of living e.g. there will be countries where the standard of living is higher, even though they spend less on Final consumption expenditure per capita simply because the cost of living is cheaper.
I then turned to the second link, which took me to ‘Just Facts’; the main thrust of the ‘International Liberty Blog post’; and that website looked rather dubious. Therefore, in doing further research on its integrity I found this assessment of ‘Just Facts’ on the ‘Media Bias/Fact Check’ website:-
According to the Media Bias/Fact Check website:-
‘Just Facts’ is a media source that is slightly to moderately conservative in bias. They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes) to favour conservative causes. These sources are generally trustworthy for information, but may require further investigation.
Therefore, I am rather dubious about the claims made by ‘International Liberty’ and I don’t think their claim is accurate, or necessarily true.
If you want to compare the standard of living of the poor in the USA compared to other industrialised counties, using other methods that might be more reliable might give a more realistic picture that closer to reality.
The impression I get, from watching American films, and American documentaries etc., is that there isn’t necessary a great deal of difference of living standards of the poor in different modernised countries; although there will be many cultural, social and political differences e.g. we don’t have ghettos in the UK, and the UK is the only free democratic country in the world that has a truly State owned and State run Health Service that provides 100% free (at the point of use) health service to all, including the poor.
I can tell you that I live in a very conservative US state and that lower-income access to health insurance and healthcare is good here right now. This is due to the Affordable Healthcare Act. Of course, "good" healthcare is debatable.
Maybe one difference between US poor and UK poor is the number of US poor in prison. Many of our poor are in and out of prison, and our laws are designed to keep them that way. For example, getting most professional licenses is impossible, even getting an apartment is impossible for many criminals. Drug felons do not qualify for food assistance, and, if they live in homes with children, no one in that home can legally get assistance. The poor in the US are used as slave labor. The conditions in some of the prison factories are such that they violate every OSHA law on the books, and the pay is often $30-$75 a month for the better paying prison jobs. Then, they charge insanely high fees for prisoners just to talk on the phone to their families now and then, putting further burden onto low-income families, many of which are already living without their primary income makers. If this isn't enough, prisoners get out, only to be faced with more fines, and fees in addition to the barriers to employment. They are asking criminals to return to crime so that they can get them back into the money-making prisons. People give up. I see it every day.
The prison industrial complex is the biggest problem facing America's poor.
Yes, according to Wikipedia 50,000 people in the USA are serving life without chance of parole; compared to just 75 in the UK.
That makes US 1500 times more serious bad boys than UK per capita.
If I continue living in America.
Think they would find something to frame me by. They all ready threw me out of the country for not supporting violence enough.
Maybe to protect me from my big mouth.
Not surprising...violence is definitely the American way, then they lock people up for relatively small acts of violence. Even the local governments here are adept at finding ways to shut people up. I've laid very low the last seven or eight years and moved out of the county of my troubles. I did wrong, but they jumped on it and blew it up partly as I was not their favorite citizen and partly for other self-serving political reasons. Big fish in a small pond are the worst from my experience.
Canada serial killer prisoners is a holiday camp compared to US hardtimers. US cells have grown 10 times in the last 40 years. Slave labor prisoners have their corporation take bidding wars on them.
Didn't know US felons could not get food stamps. Canadain criminals get all the food they can eat. US criminals can't get assistance with their families? That is most cruel.
I help Canadian homeless with jobs and housing occasionally. I could house most homelessness with tiny house communities, but Government disallowed me. About 90% street homeless don't want to go to the shelters because being robbed, diseases, violence and sleeping with one eye open with a dozen or two in a room. Can't imagine how the US extreme poverish homeless survive this visious horrific merry go round, at least they have more warm location outside.
There is far more homeless than stats record. More homeless senior live in cars. The youth live at homes or couchsurf with friends or online. Homeless live in boats, garages, storage room. Met one guy who lived in a tree within Stanley park in Vancouver for 7 years.
Why were the tiny homes disallowed? What laws did they violate?
The view of County across Canada is you can't build permanent dwelling unless it is 1200 Square ft. On Grid. Or you will face steep fines and your home will be removed even when you own the land. After our eco centre was mysterious burnt down in the largest eco village in Canada. Then they allowed R7 insolated toxic rust bucket campers in that they leak after 10 years. Yet my 100 year naturalbuilt sound structure is disallowed. As they say it is not permanent structure. “so as far as I’m aware, there’s no reason I can’t live here.” About 6% of permanent dweller live in trailers.
US dose allow tiny homes on trailers, not Canada. There is real no legislation for tiny homes. I am more determine than ever to break through unjust bullying in grey areas that’s much of the problem. Canada poverish is busting at the steams and challenge every zoning bylaws and building code to acknowledge tiny properties. I’m not just a tiny-home owner. I’m also a contractor trying still to sell tiny houses. My mission is “research, education, health, beauty and give a sound affordable housing for most.”The greedy don't like that.
Actually America is ahead of us. Tiny houses is more grey area illegal. Government and wealthy destroy just because they can. About 80% people approve tiny house at the level that marijuana was approved. Both will soon reprove itself as the best medicine for poverty and mankind.
This may be interesting to you: "Tiny houses for the homeless arrive in Muncie"
It's still there, but I'm not sure of it's occupancy rate/success.
That doesn't sound right. Section 9 of Canadian code requires a house to be 400 sq ft, not 1200, although some cities require more in order to maintain their tax base. This is not unreasonable as building in a residential area has a definite effect on the value of surrounding homes, and it will be a negative one with tiny homes.
As far as I know (and I did not research it) the US has no such law...but it is increasingly difficult to find land in even suburbia, let alone a city, that is not part of a HOA, and those almost always have a minimum size.
Have you tried building outside the city?
Only drug felons cannot get food stamps, at least in the state in which I live. They force men to move out of their homes with their families so they can get them...or they lie and face additional penalties.
The homeless population in the small(ish) city where I live is growing, I'm sure of that just based on what I see. They don't have it easy in Mid-Western winters. There is a very small tiny home community that was approved here for felons to live. The main problem it faced was NIMBY. No one wanted to live near a felon camp. There's no such thing as an ex-felon in the States.
I was sent to a level 2/3 prison in the States for something I did over a decade ago. I won't say what for as I'm done justifying myself..but I will say it was NOT a sex offense or anything to do with children. People who say US prisoners have it good, have never been to prison.
As an educated felon, I very recently decided I'm going to devote a good part of my life toward fighting for felon rights as opposed to trying to hide my record...which isn't really possible anyway.
Thank you! Personally, I've been able to do okay for my family by getting creative (legally). However, I cannot get employment in fields related to my studies (I earned my BS well before the conviction). The judicial system got a load of cash from me and now the government is losing a lot of tax dollars that I would have contributed otherwise.
Having said this, I'm one of the "lucky" ones when it comes to finances and recidivism. I'll spare this thread from further complaints on felon treatment in the US. However, moving forward, I'm going to devote my Hub to such issues.
Too many good people are locked up and too many bad people are running things.
Its better to be an entrepreneur than a working stiff, exspeically you.
Yeah. In many ways, I'm happier because of the career change the trouble brought about. Crazy how things work out that way. Freedom is golden. I work from home in addition to my writing gigs. I'm no saint, but I'm not, and never was, someone who needed to be locked up.
Satan created jobs, God did not like it. Too bad my kar-ma runs over doGma.
Satan is not so bad and God is not so good.
Liberty or death.
I knew it was bad, but that's just crazy. Prisoners should be paid minimum wage too. Helps set them up for life after prison, if at anything at all.
Yes, that's some good info, I did read the world bank report and the other site being conservative and working towards an agenda using emotion is not surprising.
I wanted to ask but did not want to bother typing it out before. Does this expenditure just count household expenditure or is it total expenditure in the country on a per capita basis?
Because, if it's not on a per capita basis, there's a lot being spent on health care in the US which would not be spent in the EU for instance. Health insurance in Germany for example, you pay 50% of the monthly premium and your company pays the other 50% and both parts go directly into the bank account of the provider never crossing your own bank account. Is information like this taken into account?
You can't compare apples and oranges. But this is more than that, hidden "expenditures", people wanting different things to be content with life, etc.
So many homeless that we now have to round them up and put them in government backed facilities? This doesn't look good for the state of America's poor vs the middle class of other nations.
Is this the answer, part of the answer? Seems like this, as so many other issues, are a result of a lack of our govt taking so many actions that could help prevent problems to begin with...mental health, prison re-entry programs, etc.
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/a … d=12266681
"Trump pushing for crackdown on homeless camps in California"
Is it so much a matter of the number of homeless, or that city and state policies make cities a magnet for the homeless even as those same cities create policies that exacerbate the problem, as your link points out?
Sure. I understand that homeless flock to California. The weather has just as much to do with that as the policies do though. They share the blame. And California is certainly included in "lack of our govt taking so many actions that could help prevent problems to begin with."
My point is, why are there so many homeless in the US to flock there in the first place? Where else can the homeless go if not cities...cornfields? Mountains?
It speaks to the state of American society in several ways IMO. Some of which in the same ways as mass shootings do.
Drug usage is a big reason, and the numbers of illegal aliens likely is as well, but I'd have to wonder what percentage of the US population is homeless vs other developed countries.
The causes of homelessness are varied and many. Part of the problem is a social safety net (welfare) that is not designed to help those temporarily down, but to drive them further down until they are permanently chained to the system. Part of it is that same net that is designed to make it very, very difficult to ever get out. Part is mental illness.
Exactly. The problem of homelessness are widely varied. We could likely go on forever about the reasons why. Our government has proven inadequate to even begin to address the issue, just as it has proven inadequate with limiting mass shootings.
But, never fear, Trump comes in, makes the problem seem simple, takes away more rights--kinda like the wall and land rights, etc.--profits from it and "solves" a problem. These matters take bigger minds and wide cooperation to solve. Trump Republicans in the government don't won't to even talk about real solutions..let alone do anything. Democrats like to talk without ever effectively doing much.
Perhaps that is because the govt. refuses to address the causes behind either one? We're working on the opioid crises, but beyond that I haven't seen anything but take guns and throw money - neither of which will solve it's associated problem.
???What "rights" has Trump taken from the homeless?
I'm stating exactly the same thing you are Wilderness as far as govts not addressing any of the problems that got us here. The govt hasn't a clue on how to work on the opioid crisis. Anytime you round people up and throw them in facilities, you are taking away their liberty.
Dr. Oz called cannabis the miracle drug. FDA greatly disagree because scheduled it one. One means no good use at all, dangerous.
Every state that legalized cannabis, has reduced opioid use by 25%. Cannabis and nutrition has saved my life even though I fight with my doctors about pills all the time.
Yeah, marijuana and kratom can both help. The same typed of scare tactics are being used on kratom as have always been used with marijuana. I even wrote an article here on kratom. There are a few reps around the nation that come in to save the day when some states give into pharmaceutical companies and attempt to ban it. The FDA's attempt to get the DEA to schedule it a couple of years ago were shot down due to massive outcry.
I looked up your online tag for tiny homes for people with criminals records. It's understandable why they don't accept violence or child offenders. The best upside is their is a place for people with criminals record can restart their lives.
The only downside was the cost of the tiny houses at $80,000 the utility was ok at 50 a month.
It's easy to get donations for material from the communities. For a house that size, even though I saw unfinished. I can build for under a $1000 aircrete and wood that size and make a decent profit at $8000. If a person is ban from the community they have least a house they can take with them in a provincial new laws making tiny houses more acceptable. The kitchen and bathroom would be shared in the community. The employments would be building tiny houses and urban farming for farmer markets. I'm starting this handup project this spring on the east coast of Canada where they have finally excepted my proposal. I have to start with the most skilled and balanced homeless people I can find first.
After 15 years I have a community with local government approved. YAAAHOOO!!!
Trump even ignores the homeless at the base of his Trump tower. Maybe Trump perfers to invest in profitable prison cells and fema camps. Because his destruction of tent cities force homeless to go somewhere else and get worse. Shelters by governments cost between $80 to 150 a night, Trump less likely to pay that, than a beautiful wall. Everything I know Trump touches, turns crappy. Even my sandcastles as he tried to make artist unionize and make sandcastles permanent, only I know how to do that.
There already have proven self sustainable homeless commuties costing tax payers not a dime, with tiny house in Oregon. Grass root organization have always been the leaders of positive change.
This is what I'm seeing here. A way to further profit from the downtrodden. A "simple" solution that will make a couple rich people even more rich.
I had already made millions from sandcastles, largest single show was in China, 8 million attendance. People often ask me to build them a house castle, like my sandcastles. Today I can, for the aircrete diverity is the material of the future, add wood for building codes.
Will use my sandcastle to draw sponsors at events. My slogan in our community is :Tiny castles without the hassle: I dealt with hiring thousands of artists in my pass, I can do it with selected homeless people too.
Probably both are crazy kind of people, for sure it won't be boring and uneventful as a working stiff.
Yeah that did seem like a high amount. While taking a course in grad school on sustainable technologies, I saw a guy do a talk (can't remember his name) but he designed and helped build homes, mainly in Mexico, to be built out of scrap like old doors, pallets, etc. All donated or just salvaged. The homes were amazingly sophisticated.
We looked into different types of yurts at one point..family kinda grew and ended up with a 120 year old Victorian.
There's a straw bale home just outside of the city here that I used to take undergrad classes to...learn about solar and wind power as well as it runs on a turbine and a few panels. I've heard of aircrete but it wasn't a big thing when I did my studies. Reading up a bit more on it now. Your initiatives sound very worthwhile and I'm sure they are appreciated.
It's understandable that people want to know who they are employing and living near. The problem, IMO, is blanket corporate, business, and government policies that exclude people that got into trouble, even a decade ago, involving nothing to do with the job, or even danger to the general public, etc. They don't even want to consider the situation. The effective US unemployment rate is MUCH higher than the numbers state largely as so many convicts never get unemployment and stop even trying to get above-the-board employment. Treat them with respect and the results are seen with lower recidivism and the effort they put back into the community.
Sustainability, homeless, and societal re-integration issues go very well together. This is where I hope to make some headway in our city. I think there are at least a few like-minded individuals here.
It won't be boring working with mentally ill and drug addicts/often times a combination of both. But. there are some who have tremendous potential that too often goes unrealized due to a mistake or two. Then there are some, well, they belong behind bars or at least not around the general public. Some would not be that way minus their stints in the American prison system.
If seem we are working along similar ideas to serve people. Few here grasp what I am talking about and doing for humanity and the for natural environment.
Too many think politicans and a personal God are their leaders and saviours and time and time met with great dispointments.
The Pope says Aliens are our saviours. Hell will freeze over before they solve much.
Oh, what you're doing is 100% the type of thing the world needs. I'm just trying to ramp up some ideas as I've been laying low for the last seven years, lol. A big protest effort just kept our city from being the nation's highest poluted in terms of mercuy when we ran out a factory approved by the city council. Surprised me. There is a pulse here, and I still have some fight in me. ---"Take me to your leader" lol.
by oldhorse 10 years ago
Many conservatives seem to feel that government is a bad thing. I personally don't agree, but maybe some of you really want to live in a world where the strongest and best armed can take what they want, without repercussions. If you are one of those, please speak up.
by Moderndayslave 10 years ago
With wages adjusted for inflation either stagnant or losing ground and commodities and the cost of living going up. Is the US economy being systematically gutted or is this just a coincidence? What's your opinion and why?
by Grace Marguerite Williams 4 years ago
My mother said this 4 DECADES ago that in the 21st century, there is going to be either theexceedingly wealthy or the extreme poor with a small middle class. Do YOU agree with this premise? Why? Why not?
by ngureco 13 years ago
Why Is The COP15 Climate Change Shy Of Factoring In The Population Density As One Of The Parameter?One of the parameter to control global warming and climate change?
by Kathryn L Hill 9 years ago
by IDONO 8 years ago
If the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer, how does the middle class shrink?Seems like more space is created and with population always increasing, seems like the middle class should expand, not shrink or disappear. Right?
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