Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Define poor?

So Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul is at it again.

At a forum with Democratic opponent Jack Conway in Kentucky, Paul said America's poor, are "enormously better off than the rest of the world."

He cited an old Russian propaganda film that showed poor Yanks with color TVs. The story goes that while this flick was meant to demonize capitalism, it backfired when the Russkies saw all those TVs. Rand added that "It doesn't mean we can't do better. But we have to...be proud of ...capitalism."

Some Dems are knocking Rand, saying his comments reflect " a dogmatic belief in free enterprise and limited government," which to me, sounds like a compliment.

The fact is, the richest person in a Third World country would trade that spot for the lowest rung on the American ladder. But I'll go further and say the poor in the US - when viewed by the rest of the world - aren't poor at all. The poverty level for us looks like something to shoot for.

According to the most recent data I found, there's roughly 250 million TV's in America. That's over two per household, not including lap tops, dvd players and homemade puppet diorama's.

And if you hate anecdotal evidence, you're going to hate what I say next: I watch Cops, and every "poor" household they bust into has shag carpeting, an overabundance of prescription drugs and a cluttered entertainment center. This to me, is not poverty: it's a slice of heaven.

Fact is, there are too many countries to mention where citizens have a yearly income measured in hundreds of dollars. While our poor can still buy music, beer and Nikes, one purchase at the Footlocker cripples Liberia for a week.

Anyway, for more information on this topic, watch Cops.