Monthly Archives: August 2006

“Poor” in America

I would imagine that most of you have never read this article. Its pretty enlightening in regards to discussions about poverty in our country.

Here’s a little teaser from the piece.

The following are facts about persons defined as “poor” by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:

  • Forty-six percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
  • Seventy-six percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
  • Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
  • The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
  • Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.
  • Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
  • Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
  • Seventy-three percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.

What Wage Is Fair?

So hiring people at minimum wage isn’t Godly, correct?

What wage is fair? Ten dollars an hour? Twenty? How about one hundred?

I understand there are flaws in capitalism, but I haven’t seen any better options anywhere?

Say we raise minimum wage to 20 dollars an hour. Then people will be able to buy housing and food and everything they need, right? Probably not.  If businesses did stay in business and kept all workers in their jobs at the new wage, massive inflation would occur. First off, in order to keep up with rising labor costs, prices would have to rise on everything from a gallon of milk to a mercedes benz. These costs would adversely affect those making the now twenty dollar minimum wage. Beyond that, massive inflation would occur. A minimum wage earner who worked forty hours a week would be making 40,000 a year. The average income of an american citizen in 2005 was 34,000 dollars. That means a vast majority of the country all ready is making less than 40 grand. Were they all to be bumped up, massive inflation would occur, likely making their buying power the same or less than it was before (those whose incomes were nearer to 40,000 a year would have less spending power while those at the bottom would most likely have the same amount).

I would be all over a new idea that is better than free market capitalism, but until I see one, I’m still going to support our current economic system

Lacking a Plan

School is driving me absolutely out of my mind.

I know that I’ve only been one day this semester, but I’m all ready frustrated beyond belief. I’m planning on eventually attending Mississippi State to get a degree in broadcast meteorology, and they have changed the required classes for the major. No longer do I just need Trig for my Math requirements. Instead of trig (which I wasn’t excited about taking anyway) now I have to take Calc 1 and 2. I am not a math person, and I have taken a semester of math in the last four years, so needless to say I’m pretty scared about this. I want to do this weather thing, but I don’t know that I can pass these two math classes (and I’ve also got to take physics 1 and 2).

Anyway, I no longer need 4 semesters of Spanish so I dropped it for this semester. Long story short, I now only have 11 hours for this semester, 4 of which are calculus.

I’m just kinda frustrated. I wish what I wanted to do would be a little easier to figure out. This whole transferring thing is annoying because sometimes classes transfer and sometimes they don’t. Like, at MTSU, they wouldn’t accept my speech class from lipscomb. I’m pretty sure I can convince the people at Mississippi State to accept it, so I’m not going to take it just for the heck of it here at MTSU.

Besides all that, I’ve got a terrible cough. I’m not sure what’s going on. I went to the Doctor yesterday and they gave me an inhaler and some singulair. Hopefully that will help, but as for last night, I pretty much didn’t sleep because of coughing fits.

This isn’t how I wanted to start the semester.

School

This morning, I will have my first classes of the semester. I am not exactly a fan of going to school

Thought this was interesting

This was on the wordpress homepage. I thought there was a lot of truth in it.

How Much Is Too Much?

Recently, I’ve been struggling wondering what things are comforts and what are considered necessities.

In our capitalist society, many advances have been made in nearly every facet of our lives. We have cures for diseases that couldn’t have been imagined 100 years ago. We have vehicles, clothes, computers, air conditioning, clean water. So many things that were amazing just a century ago have become completely common place in American society.

It makes me wonder, what things in life should we consider essentials to existance and what is too much? We talk about giving the poor things that are essential in life, but what makes something essential. Just by existing, does a person have a right to the most sophisticated health care possible? Do they have a right to perfectly pure water? Does everyone have a right to a certain standard of living?

This troubles me because I hear a lot from the social justice crowd (of which I consider myself a part) about giving people free medical care, free housing, etc, through the government. The reason our standard of living is what it is is because of capitalism. Were there not a capitalism system, likely the advances that have occured would not have come to fruition. So what do we do in response to that? In the first century, did everyone have pure drinking water? Did they all have access to the best medical care? The best medical care in the 1st century was probably little more than first aid that we have today.

I guess I’m full of more questions than answers at this time. In reality, we don’t need much for survival. A set of clothes. Some place to sleep. Food. What makes something beyond that a need for the poor, or a need for anyone? The poor in this country have a much better standard of living than the vast majority of people in the world. How do we determine what poverty is and where to send our moneys? When we give a poor person in this country a better house, are we not in essence making the rich richer and the poor poorer?

I don’t know. Life is weird. And I can’t seem to find easy clear cut answers. Anyone smarter than me have some ideas?

Is it August 23rd?

I just came out of my bomb shelter. Apparently the internet is still working. Hmm… Islamic Messiah must have been a no show.