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8.30.2005

Poverty, by definition

"there is no generally accepted standard of adequacy for essentials of living except food."

I'd like to see a budget breakdown for AnyTown USA. Minimum acceptable costs for Food, Housing, Education, Clothing, Health Care, Transportation, Child Care, etc.

Education should include adult education. You can easily do the math for 22 working days of 8 hours daily earning $5.15/hr, yielding $906.40.

That's just slightly lower than the single person under 65 poverty threshold or $9,827/yr.

The estimate should first take into account just net income, then add in local, state, and federal programs.

14 Comments:

At 6:24 PM, Blogger oded said...

What are you suggesting?

One note:
$5.15 might mean a very diffrent thing in anytown USA than brooklyn NY. Where one lives is not a fluid variable by any means. So I dont see the corelation as related to what i dont get you are trying to prove.

 
At 6:30 PM, Blogger oded said...

I would be supprised if 5.15 per hour was enough to meet minimum requirements in more then %30 of cities in america. probably closer to zero if you take into account the need to save for catastrophic events and retirement.

actualy come to think of it the fact that people don't/can't save for those things means that given a period of time i think a significant percentage of pepole makeing 5.15 per hour or less die as a result of poverty with out charity.

 
At 7:07 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

Life expectancy was lower before the minimum wage, but you didn't exactly have mass starvation.

I'm not really trying to prove anything, for once. I'm just curious. A lot of people talk about progress or lack there of.

I want to know how many people can "make it" today with and without the government.

A comprehensive picture would sample every metropolitan area and many rural areas.

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

Didn't director Morgan Spurlock make a show about this very subject, which was discussed on this blog? Maybe you should check it out and report back.

 
At 8:30 AM, Blogger Ivan said...

Spurlock is a chump with a leftist agenda. But I'll check it out if I can.

 
At 12:55 PM, Blogger oded said...

you're a chump with a fascist agenda, but I still love you.

 
At 3:26 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

right....
Tax less, let people take control of their lives, [kill aggressive foreign dictators and terrorists] == fascist agenda

proof positive spurlock is a chump

but don't worry, i feel the luv :D

 
At 4:08 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

Spurlock is no chump, and I'm sure he, like all reasonable-minded Americans could care a whole lot less what techcentralstation.com thinks about the matter. He made a film to study the question: is a McDonalds diet bad for you? The fact that the answer is obviously "yes," actually adds to the entertainment value, because it's funny to see someone puke. The humourless TCS ("hosted by" buy high moron James Glassman, and clearly read by people whose boredom is so severe blogs aren't enough anymore) would do well to see that their clever idea to eat less and excersize more is the whole point of Supersize Me, and that Spurlock is marketing it much better than they ever could.

I'll encourage you & the dittoheads at tcs to try your hand at making a profitable film and TV show about current events. It's harder than it looks.

PS, can you honestly tell me that you think watching a documentary about someone excersizing & eating McDonalds is something you want to watch? Are Republicans trying to win debates by making them boring through the use of copycat low budget versions of successful programs?

 
At 4:54 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

I don't mind entertainment. And that's one of the only points I'll concede: vomiting is funny.

I do mind lies. You don’t have to get fat eating at McDonalds daily. You don't have to go without health insurance working as an unskilled laborer.

I also mind the ripple effects of regulation loving bureaucrats close to "doing something" about America’s obesity issues. That is the most common concern voiced on TCS.

Also, don't trivialize a complicated thesis, even if the title is "flamboyant"

"I'll encourage you & the dittoheads at tcs to try your hand at making a profitable film and TV show about current events. It's harder than it looks."

I'll make sure to follow his lead and fit the story to my worldview, rather than tell the truth. Profit is not the same as quality.

I suppose one of the problems with documentaries is the illusion of truth in an essentially editorial & entertainment medium. It probably makes people actually listen more than they should.

As for the ps, I'm not really interested in watching movies about diets, either way. Movies like this are probably the exception.

 
At 5:54 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

You don’t have to get fat eating at McDonalds daily. You don't have to go without health insurance working as an unskilled laborer.

Why are you saying that? Many people who eat at McDonalds are big fat fatties, and many Americans go without health insurance, and everyone knows it. Furthermore, it's interesting to look at what leads so many down that path, outliers notwithstanding.

Why Glassman is retarded:

From the cover of Dow 36,000, published in 1999: "At the heart of Glassman and Hassett's argument is the idea that stocks have been undervalued for decades and that, for the next few years, investors can expect a dramatic one-time upward adjustment in stock prices."

The Dow Jones average was 11,000 then, and it's 10,500 or so today; where he predicted a threefold increase in prices over the next 3-5 years, and there was a bubble burst.

His so-called "complicated thesis" (you're in error with that description, btw - his book was written jargon-free, for novice investors getting money in the market for the first time at the height of the bubble) is common knowledge: the market performs better than a CD at your bank in the long run. I'm glad to trivialize it, fyi, and with all due respect, I think you should take yourself a little more seriously than to defend this guy's snake-oil.

As for deciding to attack Spurlock because you're worried about other unnamed possibly at some time in the future legislators basing regulations on his work, I have to say that that's demented and paranoid. When the anti-fat legislation comes up, as it will, you'll have a chance to attack it on the merits. Getting worked up and writing essays about how McDonalds isn't bad for you now, though, make you look silly.

 
At 7:00 PM, Blogger oded said...

in the movie he goes through great length to explain that he is going to expand the same number of calories as the average american.

Ivan I dont think that techcentralstation page is well argued at all.

 
At 7:13 PM, Blogger oded said...

the reason i think you're a fascist is because you are way too trusting of the government in matters of defense, security, corprate governance, and privacy issues. I think you are unreasonably scared by what the media and government tell you. and it is placing you in a position of alarming acceptance of eroding civil liberties. Perhaps imperialist is a better title, but i dont think so. I think you have alot more in common with supportes of fascism than you do with supports of free societies.

You distrust government to manage running elementary schools but you dont distrust them to create a police state for the benefit of their corporate backers by fear and force. How do you explain this?

 
At 11:16 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

"Why are you saying that? Many people who eat at McDonalds are big fat fatties, and many Americans go without health insurance, and everyone knows it. Furthermore, it's interesting to look at what leads so many down that path, outliers notwithstanding."

Showing someone eat at McDonalds is not explaining why Americans eat poorly. Plenty of people go without insurance, but rarely is it explained by that "45M uninsured" figure includes 15-20M households making more than $50K/yr. Why do people choose not to buy cheap catastrophic health insurance? Why do people not choose free and nearly cheap ways of staying fit?

Those are interesting questions.

They are not the ones addressed in Spurlock's work.


On Glassman:
"Krugman has consistently misrepresented (i.e., lied about) the basic argument of the book -- the notion that investors are solving what economists have long called the "equity premium puzzle" -- the mystery of why stocks return so much more than bonds even though both are roughly equal in risk over long periods of time.

By the way, none of the tumultuous events of the past six years has changed our minds about our thesis. In fact, despite terrorist attacks and a recession, price-to-earnings ratios have remained high, in historic terms, just as we predicted.

I've gotten used to the misrepresentations of "Dow 36,000." It was, I admit, a flamboyant title for a book with a fairly conservative proposition, and perhaps Kevin and I invited criticism from folks who either read no more than the title and formed their own conclusions or who read the whole book but decided to willfully ignore what it said. (Kevin once jokingly suggested that we call the book, "A Treatise on the Declining Equity Risk Premium." Not a bad idea, perhaps.)"

Authors don't usually write the covers or summaries. It isn't surprising the idea is over simplified.

Perhaps you would like to answer why stocks greatly outperform other investments. Or are you not retarded enough?

"in the movie he goes through great length to explain that he is going to expand the same number of calories as the average american."

I should watch it.

"Ivan I dont think that techcentralstation page is well argued at all."

Ohh, did you read all 50+ article already?

"way too trusting of..."


"defense...security"

We need more border security + more legitimate immigration (especially of educated or intelligent people). Bush is doing poorly here. TSA is a joke. I like the Iraq war.

That doesn't make me "too trusting".

"corprate governance"

I have favored regulation for pollution. Currently, they are (predictably) poorly implemented. I favor market mechanisms for issues where individual choice is directly needed, e.g. safety latches on a child seat. You don’t really have a choice to ingest airborne pollutants.


"privacy issues"

Snooping in private areas without a warrant is wrong. Warrants can be granted on association with known terrorist organizations. The vast majority of the patriot act is related to those issues. The lacking due process is bad. The lacking transparency after the fact is bad.

All public area government security cameras should be regulated by 100% transparency.


I'm "in a position of alarming acceptance of eroding civil liberties"

Slightly lacking due process on a handful of folks is bad. It looks bad. Other than that, you need to calm down, not me. I agree there should be reform. I'm just not getting my panties in a bunch by saying things like:
"you dont distrust them to create a police state for the benefit of their corporate backers by fear and force."

I'm sorry, but I just can't accept that kind of rhetoric. We do not have a police state. We are not approaching a police state. Don't use "corporate backers" like some all encompassing term for the evil puppet masters suppressing the nation. The bulk of backers are interested in only one thing: taxes. Lowering them.

The fact is the government uses 50% of it's budget to do a shitty job at alleviating poverty. A good 20% is used to topple foreign police states.

I figure that means I have enough to be happy enough, and at the same time demand my taxes be halved.




Damn! This thread is off topic...

 
At 11:53 AM, Blogger Miguel said...

I gave you specific reasons I don't think Glassman is an intellect worthy of consideration, and you responded, ignoring them, and quoting a rebuttal he wrote to Paul Krugman articles I've never even heard of. Color me unimpressed. Glassman plainly urged investors to buy high, and nothing you've said contradicts that. Incidentally, stocks are riskier, because it's extremely difficult to diversify at the individual level -- few investors have holdings in every Dow stock. As to the equity premium, I'll take a stab at a guess: as more and more participants enter the stock market, there's a pyramid scheme effect of the people who were there first benefiting from the demand. Since historically, participation has slowly grown (and is likely to continue to grow), this equity premium will continue to exist for some time. (Note that this even explains a). why President Bush proposed a federal law that you must hold stocks; new demand will help out his vested interests, and b). why Glassman would try to get more people to buy even as all rational observers saw that the market was overrvalued.)

This discussion went off-topic only because I suggested that the theme of your post had been addressed in a TV show, which you disparaged even though you claim interest in the subject.

How's this for a good definition of poverty: not having enough cash/ credit to be able to evacuate a disaster area. It's topical and gets to the heart of the matter: "an accepted standard of adequacy."

 

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