Sunday, September 18, 2011

How Rich Are The Poor?

In a speech while running for President in 1840, Whig Party candidate William Henry Harrison said:

“I believe and I say it is true Democratic feeling, that all the measures of the government are directed to the purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer.”

In 1921, the wildly successful song Ain’t We Got Fun, contained this phrase attributed to the song's writers, Gus Kahn and Raymond Egan ...

“There's nothing surer: The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.”

... although the word "poorer" was often replaced in various performances by "children" and as time went on, "laid off." Probably why they called it the "Roaring" 20s, right? On top of that, it was also part of what Karl Marx referred as "the Law of Increasing Poverty."

No, not one of the Marx Brothers. This one was a communist. What the hell did HE know?

But what if someone told you that the poor are not getting poorer, but instead are getting richer, or at the very least, not nearly as poor as some political liberals (themselves often stinking rich) would have you believe? That is the conclusion of a study completed by (yeah, I know) the Heritage Foundation. It was also the subject of a recent piece in the left-leaning (not that there's anything wrong with that), which says that the study ...

... found that many poor people have amenities that were available only to the wealthy (if they existed at all) in 1959. The typical household at the poverty line includes air conditioning, two color televisions with a cable or satellite feed, a DVD player, and a microwave. Poor children usually have a video game system. More than 38 percent of poor people have a personal computer.

Columnist Brian Palmer cites as controversial, the study's claim that the Census Bureau overstates the plight of more than 46 million Americans, who supposedly live below the poverty threshold. With the assistance of Bill Whittle, we take a look at the study, and contemplate what one might mean by "poverty." The viewer who would dismiss Whittle as an East Coast country-club elitist -- he's wearing a suit with a tie, after all, not a baseball cap like that champion-of-the-downtrodden Michael Moore -- should really listen to the entire clip.

Yep, there's a surprise starting at 4:38, and it only gets better right up to the end.

Ain't WE got fun?

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