Archive for July, 2011

The *Need* to Redefine Poverty in the United States

Poverty in the United States: Air Conditioning, Cable TV and an Xbox | The Heritage Foundation.


The article linked above highlights the need in the United States for a redefining of poverty as deemed by the Federal Government. When an “impoverished” American owns a refrigerator, has cable TV, and a cell phone; something is wrong with the definition.

Poverty is a worldwide concern, but in the United States, the government’s use of the term is only designed to manipulate. Just yesterday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner noted some interesting facts:

“…remember this country, this great nation with our great resources today, one in eight Americans are eligible for food stamps today. Forty percent of Americans born today are born to families eligible for Medicaid.”

When 40 percent of Americans, which is equal to around 120 million people are eligible for Medicaid; it may be time to redefine the eligibility. If 30 million Americans are in “poverty” and 54.5 percent, which is equal to around 16 million, own a cell phone; and there are 90 million more who are eligible for Medicaid, there’s a problem with the proof of eligibility.

Shouldn’t the number of Americans who are eligible for Medicaid come closer to the number eligible for food stamps–about 40 million, as opposed to 120 million?

I understand there should be some give in that number, but when the “poor” in this country have adequate housing–enough to be able to keep a refrigerator running–then as troubling as poverty is, the definition in terms used by the U.S. government is equally disturbing.

Bottom line: if you can afford to have a cell phone ($40 per month) and cable TV ($50 per month), then you’re really close to being able to afford cursory health insurance. In America, as illustrated by these figures, poverty isn’t so much an issue of can’t as it is won’t.

Let’s help the poor, but let’s be wise about the government’s use of the word “poverty”.

–the civil commentator



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Hey, the dirt IM’d me. I guess it’s time to vacuum.

By The End of 2011 20 Typical Households Will Generate More Internet Traffic Than The Entire Internet in 2008 (Infographic) » Geeky Gadgets.

The infographic is interesting, but the IPv6 statistic at the end of the article is what sparked the title.

–the civil commentator

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The Case for Limiting Government Recognition to Traditional Relationships

Follow this link:

The link above will take you to the first page of a five page blog post on the reasons for limiting government recognition of relationships to that of the traditional nature: husband and wife which equates to one man and one woman.

To give you a sample of the argument laid out in the post, I have copied the text word for word from the first page below. If you’ve ever wondered how to argue intelligently about your views on traditional marriage, this is an excellent place to start.

–the civil commentator

From The Case for Limiting Government Recognition to Traditional Relationships

The majority in this country have come to appreciate how gay people deserve the same individual rights and liberties enjoyed by all Americans, including the right to choose where to live, be educated, obtain health care, and work (so long as the work place isn’t a religious institution whose doctrine prohibits same-sex behavior).  Integral to such rights is being treated with courtesy, respect, and kindness, which form the core of any civilized and democratic society.
Just like all citizens, gay people deserve these rights because they’re human.  Indeed, these are the very inalienable rights described in the Constitution because they exist irrespective of what people do, say, believe, or act, so long as their actions don’t infringe on the rights of others or the welfare of society.
For this reason, it’s important to distinguish between the person and what the person does.  A person simply is. He/she has no ability to be anything but a person, and is, therefore, deserving of rights, which no one can remove by vote or decree. The natural and immutable – or fixed – conditions of race and gender fall into this category.


A person’s behavior is another matter.  Unlike the human condition, which is beyond our control, human behavior is not.  Instead, it begins with an urge, which many perceive as having little to no ability to  control.  However, we can decide whether we’ll act on the urge or engage in the behavior resulting from the urge. Sometimes the behavior is beneficial; sometimes it’s not. 


For this reason, the Constitution assigns the public or its elected representatives the right to pass laws governing human behavior for the benefit of the individual and society.  In general, the intent of such laws ranges from prohibiting to encouraging different behaviors, based on their merits or lack of them.  For example, some behaviors furnish positive benefits to individuals and society, and should, therefore, be encouraged with financial and legal benefits.  Examples in this first category would include going to college, starting a business, buying a home, giving to charities, and entering into marriage.    Other behaviors have the potential for harm but banning them would cause an undue burden on personal liberty.  So, we limit these behaviors to consenting adults.  Examples in this second category would be smoking, drinking, gambling, and human sexual relations outside marriage.  Finally, some behaviors are so egregious that we prohibit them.  Examples in this third category would be the taking of life or property.
For some behaviors, the facts are supportive, indicating why they should be placed in the first behavioral category and encouraged with legal and financial benefits.  For example take traditional marriage between a man and a woman. In this relationship, people of differing genders offer psychological and health benefits to both partners and to offspring.  Among these are reduced stress, increased lifespan, and the best environment for raising children.  Heterosexual marriage also greatly reduces (if not eliminates) promiscuity and the potential for STDs, AIDS, and AIDS-related diseases. [1][2]

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