Saturday, August 25, 2007

Poverty and the Government

Here's an interesting story about some proposed changes in subsidized health care.

What struck me in this article was this:

"In Maryland, a family of four with an income of up to $61,950 is now eligible
for the program. But the Bush administration wants to limit the benefit to those
families that have incomes between $20,650 and $41,300, or between one and two
times the federal poverty level."

The whole things confuses me, especially in terms of the "poverty level."

OK -- if you have a set "poverty level," then people whose income is in that range are "poor." That much I understand. But if someone's income level is higher than that number, then those people are no longer "poor," right?

So, if someone is not "poor," then why would taxpayer monies be used to provide them with anything?

It raises interesting questions about what we consider necessities, what things we as a country seem to just assume people should have.

Think about all the things you have, all the things you do, that are really technically luxuries:
  • Cable TV vs. free network TV
  • Internet service vs. using the library
  • Clothing from stores like the Gap, vs. Wal-Mart and Target
  • Going to the movies
  • Dining out or take-out, vs. home cooked meals
  • Cell phones with texting, vs. an emergency only pay-as-you-go phone
  • State-of-the-art toys and video games, vs. older, less expensive models
  • Air conditioning

There are many things that we seem to just consider necessities that people didn't all used to have.

And I'm guilty of it, too. Whenever I fret about not having a lot of money after paying bills, I stop and think about the bills that are completely my choice to have.

Just something to think about -- if you really cut back and lived very simply, how much money would you end up saving each month? And, how many things do you pay for now to have private access to that are also available for free if you used community property?

1 comment:

Kristina said...

Well written article.