Friday, May 29, 2015


Drinking my second cup of coffee this morning, brewed at home in my $20.00 coffee maker (that's served us faithfully for several years) I see this screen shot from Matt Yglesias.  Courtesy of Instapundit.

Matt Yglesias is, of course a progressive who espouses progressive causes.  And, while I agree that kids living in poverty is a shame, I'm not convinced that we have much real poverty in the US.  Let's look at the photo he references to show the poverty stricken children:

It's hard for me to tell, but what I see are kids that are reasonably well-fed, well-dressed, and have adult supervision.  Of all the things in the world, that doesn't look like poverty.  The true problem is that we've watered down the concept of poverty.So, just exactly how do we define poverty today?  Simpy, it's a number assigned by the US government.  Simply a family of four is considered poverty-stricken if they have an income of less than $24,250.  That's over $2,000 a month coming in to the household, plus they qualify for lots of federal benefits, to include food stamps, free school lunches, and subsidized medical care.

Obviously, it's not the kids fault that they're "poverty-stricken", but poverty today doesn't look like what poverty looked like when I was a kid.  I was never in poverty, but as a young adult, I raised kids with a lot less than $24k per year.  We had food on the table, a roof over our heads, a car in the yard.  The kids were fed, educated, loved, and their illnesses cured without the government.  We were cash-strapped sometimes, but we were never in poverty.

Then, Yglesias shows his idiocy by posting that he just bought coffee with his watch.  Perhaps  Matthew should sell his hi-tech watch, make coffee at home, and give the proceeds to the poverty-stricken children.  But, he's not going to do that.  He believes that the government should pay for everyone.  The dissonance is jarring, but Yglesias seems to not recognize it.  He's a typical progressive.

EDIT:  My math was wrong above.  It's fixed.


Anonymous said...

I think your math is out of whack. $3,000 a month is $36,000 a year. Other than that it on the right track.

Anonymous said...

Just a couple of non-linear thoughts: Matt seems to think that being in poverty means to NOT do anything about it yourself; you should just whine until the white people show up to alleviate your situation.
Also, how does just quantity of money equate to poverty? You have shown a pic that shows quality...those kiddos aren't in poverty if you take into account quality of life. Show a kid from the slums of any third world dump and then you would support Matts theory of poverty! Since when is being clean and well fed considered poverty?

Pawpaw said...

My point exactly, Steve. That wasn't my pic, that was the photo that Yglesias tied to his post. That's his picture. Quite dissonant, isn't it?

Old NFO said...

I really don't get people like him... sigh

Anonymous said...

And another non-linear thought....just what is the purpose of all of the freebies that we give to "da po'"? Go on ask yourself that question and think about it for awhile. We give/gave trillions of dollars to folks to make them.....middle class. Right?!?!? We out of the goodness of our hearts or the goodness of our wallets gave them a "hand up" to get them out of poverty. WE worked those extra hours to pay our taxes so that the poor mothers with a couple of kids could afford to feed them and send them off to school with some clothes and shoes....RIGHT?!? Do I hear an Amen? And we get what out of the deal?!?!?
I submit to you that the intent was to get those poor people out of the poorness that they wallowed in and get them up to the middle class....but did they keep their part? Did they keep their part by changing their poor thinking into middle class thinking?
And that's the part that progressives don't seem to understand. You don't change a people by just giving them money and goods; you have to change their attitudes! You have to change their way of thinking. You have to get them to appreciate what they get or have instead of just expecting more, more, more.
I don't mind paying taxes for schools or technical education for these folks. I actually used some grants to become a nurse. What I do protest is paying for EBT cards that pay for sodas, pop tarts and junk food.
We need to spend some time having a table top discussion on what is appropriate aid and what is not. And this story by Matt Yglesias shows that the time is ripe for a "discussion". (said in a very progressive hipster snarky voice)