--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "feste37" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> I don't think it's much use to tell a poor person that he or she 
is better off than 
> many people were 100 years ago. The poor do not need history 
> What really lies behind Shemp's claim that poverty in the US has 
> eliminated is a reactionary political agenda that is typical of 
the Bush 
> administration. In fact, I'm surprised they haven't thought of 
this one, since 
> they do have a habit of dealing with problems by redefining terms 
and then 
> claiming that the problem has been reduced or eliminated

It's actually the Left and social scientists who have 
redefined "poverty".

"Poverty" used to mean what, classically, poverty meant: the lack of 
the basic necessities of life. For the past 40-50 years, poverty has 
come to mean whether one is living above or below the "poverty line".

But the "poverty line" is a relative term which only tells us 
whether one's income is above or below a certain level...it tells us 
nothing about whether one has access to the basic necessities of 

What I have always tried to do in these discussions is to define 
what I mean by poverty, by saying that what I mean by it is the lack 
of basic necessities...and then I go on to list what those basic 
necessities are.

So it is not a case of ME redefining poverty but of society as a 
whole who have done it.  Believe me, "poverty" meant something 
completely different back in the '20s and '30s even in the USA!  
Hey, "Grapes of Wrath" was real poverty...and such an experience 
virtually does NOT exist in the US anymore...

And "poverty" means something totally different than YOUR definition 
in 3rd world countries.

Alot of us here have been to India because of our TM connection.  
Now, I have seen REAL poverty -- real lack of basic necessities of 
life -- in India.

If you claim that our U.S. lower income people are "poor" what 
possible label would you give to the lower income people in India?

> (redefining what is 
> a pollutant, for example, to claim that pollution is being 
reduced). If you 
> redefine poverty so as to claim that it no longer exists, you can 
then just let the 
> poor rot, which is of course the real aim of the exercise. 
> --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, a_non_moose_ff <no_reply@> 
> wrote:
> >
> > --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "feste37" <feste37@> wrote:
> > >
> > > If your point is that poverty in America is very different from
> > poverty in, say, 
> > > Bangladesh, of course that is true. It's obvious. Poverty is a
> > relative concept.
> > 
> > Yes and no. There is an "absolute" level of poverty that was the 
> > of the original remarks -- characterized by severe lack of food,
> > shleter, clothing and transportation, and of course higher level
> > "necessities" -- healthcare, education, etc. This absolute level 
> > poverty has been almost eliminated in modern countries. That is a
> > great achievement given that it has been a hallmark of 
mankind "forever".
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > > if 
> > > you don't have the things that the majority of people in your
> > society have, and 
> > > therefore cannot participate fully in that society, you are 
> > 
> > So your view leads to a conclusion that there will always be 
> > there will always be a lowest 10-20% in the socio-economic 
> > Several interesting points come from this view:
> > 
> > 1) It would imply those leading a spiritual and/or ecological
> > ultra-low consumption lifestyle are "impoverished" -- even 
though its
> > possible that such persons are the happiest people on earth. 
> > 
> > 2) The contemporary poor in any age may have access to goods and
> > sevices unavailable to and even undreamed of by the richest 100 
> > even 50 years earlier.  Current poor may not have access to all
> > available modern medications. (Though most/many in US are). Yet 
> > years ago, even the richest had no access to such drugs, at any 
> > And most poor have internet access. To me, the internet is a 
> > come true of many lives -- instant access to much -- growing to 
> > --knowledge. 100 years ago, I would have paid a $millon for 
such, but
> > even at that price, it was not available.
> > 
> > 
> > > You ask about deprivations. Lack of health insurance, for one, 
> > means 
> > > that people see doctors less often than they should do and 
need to
> > do, and so 
> > > lack preventive care. Inability to pay for needed medications 
> > another 
> > > deprivation. Choosing between food and medication is another. 
> > 
> > A choice that was not even available to the richest strata 50 
> > ago. 100-200 years ago, it would be great fortune for the 
(average in)
> > richest strata to live as long as the average poor person today.
> > 
> > 
> > >I'm sure there 
> > > are many more. It's called "going without," and the poor 
> > learn to do  this, but that doesn't mean they are not poor. 
> > 
> > Going without that which was only recently unavailable to all a 
> > years ago. 
> > 
> > I bet you would crave to live today the "poor" lifestyle of 50 
> > from now.
> >

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