Remember when Joe Biden said that we needed to "spread the wealth?" My reaction was don't we do enough of that already with over $4 trillion going into poverty programs since LBJ? What Biden and his ilk actually mean is that they want to further confiscate more of the wealth of Americans and reallocate it, thereby increasing the power of politicians. I have always considered the measure of a society in how well off were its poor. That wealth is a combination of income, possessions, and income transfers. By any measure, America is a success for its poor would be considered middle class in most of the world. Mark Perry documents this in his blog (http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2008/02/rich-getting-richer-and-poor-are.html) when he shows not only are the rich getting richer but so are the poor. The liberals envision s fixed pie where in order to gain, one has to take from another. This is contrary to the pie growing lifting all boats.
Consider the findings of Robert Rector (http://www.heritage.org/Research/welfare/bg2064.cfm).
The following are facts about the 12 million persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various gov¬ernment reports:
• Forty-three percent of all poor households actu¬ally own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
• Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
• Only 6 percent of poor households are over¬crowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
• The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
• Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 31 percent own two or more cars.
• Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
• Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
• Eighty-nine percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and more than a third have an automatic dishwasher.
As a group, America's poor are far from being chronically undernourished. The average consump¬tion of protein, vitamins, and minerals is virtually the same for poor and middle-class children and, in most cases, is well above recommended norms. Poor children actually consume more meat than do higher-income children and have average protein intakes 100 percent above recommended levels. Most poor children today are, in fact, supernour¬ished and grow up to be, on average, one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than the GIs who stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II.
Happy Birthday Frederic Bastiat
2 years ago