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