I love it when I hear the argument that, "The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer." Actually, I hate it because it means that someone believes something that is patently false. Our economy is NOT a zero sum game. A person can gain wealth without someone else gaining poverty.
Here are some interesting facts to mull over. (I will call people at or below the poverty level "poor".) In 1971, only 32% of all Americans had air conditioning in their homes. By 2001, 76% of poor people had A/C. In 1971, only 43% of Americans owned a color TV; in 2001, 97% of poor people owned at least one. In 1971, 1% of American homes had a microwave oven; in 2001, 73% of poor people had one. 46% of poor households own their homes. Only about 6% of poor households are overcrowded. The average poor American has more living space than the average non-poor individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens and many other European cities.
Nearly 3/4 of poor households own a car; 30% own two or more cars. 78% of the poor have a VCR or DVD player; 62% have cable or satellite TV; and 1/3 have a dishwasher. (Statistics from The Heritage Foundation)
Here's something else that every liberal politician knows but won't talk about. (Could it be because if he were to remedy the problem, he would effectively eliminate most of the people who will vote for him?) Long-term poverty today is self-inflicted. It's not difficult at all to see this.
According to the Census Bureau's 2004 Current Population Survey, there's one segment of the black population that suffers only a 9.9% poverty rate. There's another segment of the black population that suffers a 39.5% poverty rate.
Among whites, one population segment suffers a 6% poverty rate. Another segment of the white population suffers a 26.4% poverty rate.
Guess what distinguishes the high and low poverty populations? The only statistical distinction between both the black and white populations is marriage. There is far less poverty in married-couple families, where presumably at least one of the spouses is employed. Fully 85% of black children living in poverty reside in a female-headed, one parent household.
Now look at a cool 3D red/blue map. Do you see what I see? The dense population centers (inner city areas) are blue. Just about everywhere else in the nation, the map is red. If the liberal politicians fix the problem (through education), they eliminate their voters. Oops. I'll bet THIS blog entry won't find it's way to many liberal politician's Facebook statuses.