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Date: 09/27/11 03:45 PM

63 Responses to Are The Poor Getting Poorer?

  1. Profile photo of AntEconomist
    AntEconomist Male 40-49
    356 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm
    Link: Are The Poor Getting Poorer? - Class warfare is hype. The more we fight each other, the less we fight the man.
  2. Profile photo of Cargen1022
    Cargen1022 Male 18-29
    33 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 4:04 pm
    This would be believable IF the data was more recent. The 90s was an economic boon for everyone. I want to see the data for more recent years.
  3. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36855 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    This is a case of an expert tieing himself up in data and unable to see what it means. What I see from ground level is...

    60s & 70s - my dad could raise 4 kids with a stay-at-home wife and buy a house on an average middle class income. It was common for most people.

    Now - how many could do that on 1 salary? Those that can are the norm or the exception?

    Middle class is dieing.

    I dont` know what his defenition of `poor` is so it`s hard to see if they increased or decreased.
  4. Profile photo of BBJellyFish
    BBJellyFish Male 18-29
    550 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm
    What Gerrt1of1 said. He`s got the right idea.
  5. Profile photo of LemurPrime
    LemurPrime Male 40-49
    8 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm
    Data is 20 years old...I`m guessing there is a reason for that, and lack of current data isn`t it.
  6. Profile photo of earthshone
    earthshone Male 18-29
    1688 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm
    assuming "poor" means no money. Lots of folks have little money and are happy! I, on the other hand, am poor AND pissed off.
  7. Profile photo of Rick_S
    Rick_S Male 40-49
    3291 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm
    I don`t know about you, but I don`t define "rich" has having an income around $50,000. I think of "rich" as people with an income more along the lines of $1,000,000 or more.
  8. Profile photo of piperfawn
    piperfawn Male 30-39
    4916 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 5:21 pm
    Blah blah blah just numbers out of contest. The life today don`t have the same price of 1975. And in any case if the immigrants or young people today are the poor, this just don`t mean they don`t have to count in his statistic. Everyone know that money call money so the rich will allways become richer and the others classes nowaday are desapering, so pls take your lego character and stick it up your ass, idiot.
  9. Profile photo of Baalthazaq
    Baalthazaq Male 18-29
    4548 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 5:27 pm
    "Data is 20 years old...I`m guessing there is a reason for that, and lack of current data isn`t it."

    I had to delete so many expletives from this, simply to bring the char count under control.

    Look. It. Up.

    You have a computer, the greatest information tool ever created, and one would assume, a beyond 6th grade education.

    Use them.
  10. Profile photo of uatme
    uatme Male 18-29
    1074 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 5:29 pm
    I don`t even know where to start with this guy.... so much wrong with how he understands numbers....
  11. Profile photo of Baalthazaq
    Baalthazaq Male 18-29
    4548 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 5:35 pm
    "The life today don`t have the same price of 1975."

    You are correct, since 1975, prices have gone up 400%. Again, Check it. You don`t need to bet, presume, assume, opine, guess, intuit, feel, infer, approximate, or suggest. You can know. Doesn`t that sound fun?

    How much have the poorest had their wages increased by? Well since 1979, They`ve gone up 16%.
  12. Profile photo of markust123
    markust123 Male 40-49
    3928 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm
    I wish there were more people in this world like Gerry1of1. He is conservative but he doesn`t lock himself into the black and white ideology that the media has brainwashed liberals and conservatives into believing. He is conservative about some things and liberal about others. It is a very healthy way to live. Most of all I just like how he is funny.
  13. Profile photo of piperfawn
    piperfawn Male 30-39
    4916 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 5:54 pm
    So the answer to "Are The Poor Getting Poorer?" is obviously YES and there is also a worst factor, also the others classes, except the rich one,are getting poorer. When this happen usualy a society is ready for a revolution and today due to globalization the revolution will be global, better to be prepared cause this gonna be really strong.
  14. Profile photo of piperfawn
    piperfawn Male 30-39
    4916 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 5:59 pm
    markust123 yes everyone here love Gerry, i must admit i love him to for his irony, i love him less when he show to be racist but we all know no one can be perfect ( except me obviously).I think he must be a good fella.
  15. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36855 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    The gov`ment says "poor" is a family of 4 earning less than 20K a year. A family of 3 doesn`t count...or 2 or evan a single person earning 20K.

    47% of working adults earn 20K or less...those are the people the Republitards want to to tax when they say "broaden the tax base". I`d call them poor.

    So depending on how you define "poor" you could say nearly half the country is at poverty level.
  16. Profile photo of Baalthazaq
    Baalthazaq Male 18-29
    4548 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 6:01 pm
    Fox news btw recently suggested that the poor have more than ever. This is the result of improvement in technology.

    Which is why almost all items mentioned were technological.

    Yes, the poor, in the days when there where 2 computers, had no internet. (I was alive when internet was first introduced here. Limitless "always on" internet cost about $25`000 per month, and was a "business option").

    Now, Almost a whole 50% of the poor have a PC.
    Not my PC. drat. Not my 5 PCs in my 2 person household.

    It`s 1. Probably second or third hand.
    Maybe something like this.
  17. Profile photo of Crabes
    Crabes Male 30-39
    1285 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 6:33 pm
    what about inflation?
  18. Profile photo of cyborg
    cyborg Male 13-17
    2790 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 6:38 pm
    yes.



    didn`t even need to watch it.
  19. Profile photo of grindinblade
    grindinblade Male 18-29
    234 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 6:50 pm
    Great citing numbers from 97, that`s only 14 years old..cause nothing has changed since then. Also interestingly he does not even take into account inflation, which causes one to realize that although wages may have increased in dollar amounts, they are still poor because the money is worth less than it was before.
  20. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36855 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Anyone over 40 years old knows the average person is less financially secure than they were 20 years ago. 90% of the people I know are poorer than they were in `91. "Poor" as in how secure their housing situation is. And in how many "extras" they can afford to buy. People are buying essentials only.

    For the first time, graduating Law Students cannot find employment.
    That`s a sign of impending doom!
  21. Profile photo of gbrzeatetee
    gbrzeatetee Male 30-39
    174 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 7:30 pm
    Wow, my mind is totally blown. People earn more dollars, that`s amazing! And as we all know, the cost of living (e.g. the gas you need to buy to go to work, rent, utilities, food) never increases so everybody is in fact richer.

    That gives me an idea. What if we would print a lot of money and give every poor person ONE MILLION DOLLARS. We would live in a country where there`s no poor at all!
  22. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 8:12 pm
    Clearly a rich guy.
  23. Profile photo of skine
    skine Male 18-29
    719 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 8:15 pm
    Just to give a little perspective on inflation, let`s say that someone in 2000 was making $20,000 a year.

    If their salary remained the same, their salary actually decreased from $20,000 2000 dollars to $15,600 2000 dollars.

    In fact, in order to keep up with inflation, they would need to be making over $25,000 today in order to be making the same amount of money.

    For 1991, which is the date referenced often in the video, the numbers would be about $12,300 and $31,600, respectively.
  24. Profile photo of CrakrJak
    CrakrJak Male 40-49
    17514 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 8:29 pm
    Gerry: For the first time, graduating Law Students cannot find employment.
    That`s a sign of impending doom!

    Actually I find that to be more comforting, that the escalation in litigation is decreasing. Our American society is already way to litigious and we don`t have the courts or judges to handle it.

    We need more Doctors, Therapists, Engineers, Biomedical Scientists, Financial examiners, and Software programmers anyways.
  25. Profile photo of OutWest
    OutWest Male 50-59
    546 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 9:03 pm
    So, as I read the responses...

    If you lean left, the video is full of it, and if you lean right, you say, "I knew it".

    Our Government should provide equal opportunity, and equal rights, not equal results.

    Class warfare is a tool of the left to garner votes, it always has been.

    So can we stop with class envy, and get back to being Americans that believe in honest, fair, unbridled competition to succeed?
  26. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36855 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    @ CrakrJak ... good point
  27. Profile photo of markust123
    markust123 Male 40-49
    3928 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 9:55 pm
    "If you lean left, the video is full of it, and if you lean right, you say, "I knew it"."

    That is what the media wants you to think but the people here are actually putting a little thought into this and offering actual statistics.
  28. Profile photo of PTPete
    PTPete Female 30-39
    1236 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 9:59 pm
    As someone who is pretty ignorant about economics, this clip did make me wonder: doesn`t cost of living &/or inflation play a part in this equation? If it costs much more now to house & feed a family of 4, does that make the increased income of those folks from 1979 just kind of "even out" now in 2011?
  29. Profile photo of jeffcomedy
    jeffcomedy Male 30-39
    178 posts
    September 27, 2011 at 10:45 pm
    As the famous saying goes.... "There are lies, damn lies and statistics."
  30. Profile photo of MCMXCIII
    MCMXCIII Male 18-29
    356 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 12:11 am
    He has never been poor, so of course he doesn`t understand.
  31. Profile photo of MCMXCIII
    MCMXCIII Male 18-29
    356 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 12:20 am
    Now now, this makes me think of 1984. Chocolate ration is cut down to 20 grams, but the government insists that it has been RAISED up to 20 grams.
    Also, don`t look at all the cars and houses and endless belongings that one may have and say they are not poor. Thanks to the power of credit companies, you will be working your butt off your whole life to pay back for whatever brings you the paltry happiness of consumerism today; they essentially make a happy modern slave out of you.
  32. Profile photo of Solvent
    Solvent Male 18-29
    2842 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 1:35 am
    It`s called living outside of your means people.
  33. Profile photo of jinacio
    jinacio Male 18-29
    2 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 2:11 am
    When did making 50,000 a year make you a rich person..... the rich make 100,000 + even in 1997. He`s using statistics to make everything seem better. He`s a Republican....
  34. Profile photo of Izaq
    Izaq Male 30-39
    173 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 3:21 am
    What about prices?

    He compares wealth solely on the basis of how much people make in dollars.

    If the rich get 40% richer and the poor get 20% richer, and prices go up 30%, the poor are still worse off.

    Even if the rich get 30% richer, and the poor get 40% richer, and prices go up 50%, it still suckes way more to be poor!
  35. Profile photo of tsiemens
    tsiemens Male 30-39
    515 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 3:29 am
    He neglects to mention the role of the federal reserve and taxation in general
  36. Profile photo of morimacil123
    morimacil123 Male 18-29
    171 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 3:58 am
    What he says is true.
    Its just different from the other infographics and videos out there, because it doesnt use the same figures. And ofc, also because he uses data thats 30 years old, and so less relevant to 2011.

    When he says "the rich", its very general. If you compare "the rich" with "the poor", and compare the top 50% with the bottom 50%, you arrive at very different results than if you compare "the superrich" to "the really poor", and look at the top 2% richest ppl compared to the top 2% poorest ppl.

    The rich at the very top are getting much richer, the poor at the very bottom are getting poorer, and all the guys in the middle are generally staying the same, or getting a little richer. If you include those middle classes into the calculation, and count part of them with the rich, and part of them with the poor, well then the numbers differ greatly.
  37. Profile photo of morimacil123
    morimacil123 Male 18-29
    171 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 4:02 am
    And also, hes right about his pie charts, and asking the question, when ppl get poorer, are they objectively getting poorer?
    But whats interesting to think about here though, is that even though the pie (economy) grows, and so the poor that are getting a smaller slice of the pie (less %of GDP) may actually end up getting more money.....
    It still doesnt change the fact that they are getting smaller slices of pie.
    Even if everyone is getting more pie in the end, the distribution of the pie is still shifting, always a bigger part of the pie for the rich, and smaller parts for the poor.
  38. Profile photo of thubanstar
    thubanstar Female 50-59
    823 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 4:18 am
    He`s definitely a Republican.

    So many people I know are struggling even after a lifetime of work. The reality of the U.S.A. is we are NOT getting richer if we have an income below a certain level. We have debt and we have bankruptcies and forclosures in record number, so, er, how can we possibly be doing better?

    He needs a reality check.
  39. Profile photo of morimacil123
    morimacil123 Male 18-29
    171 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 4:34 am
    ""We have debt and we have bankruptcies and forclosures in record number, so, er, how can we possibly be doing better? ""
    Cose 5 years ago, you already had all that crap, and you were in debt for an iphone, and now you`re in debt for a newer iphone.
    Thats the "objectively better" part of it all.

    Lets simplify it to make it easier to understand.
    1 poor dude working, 1 rich guy investing.
    10 cars have been made in a year, poor dude got 1, rich dude got 9.
    Poor dude is objectively better off, he had no car, he got one. Hes still in debt, and working his ass off. he got 10% of the wealth produced.
    Next year, 100 cars are made. poor guy gets 2 now, rich guy gets 98.
    Poor guy is still objectively better off. had 1 car, now has 3.
    but instead of getting 10% of the wealth produced, he only got 2% this year.

    Objectively (compared to himself last year), hes getting richer.
    Comparatively (compared to rich
  40. Profile photo of sgst
    sgst Male 18-29
    7 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 4:50 am
    Izaq and morimacil123 have the truth of it. of course everybody is getting richer - the US and world economy has grown strongly for the last 30+ years - but it`s the super-rich and rising inequality that`s the problem, not to mention the real post-inflation changes in purchasing power these two groups see, as well as the rising debt of the less well off (and pretty much everyone but the rich). plus, of course, the video says nothing of the morality and social strains of increasing income inequality.
  41. Profile photo of Bravosmith
    Bravosmith Male 30-39
    44 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 5:34 am
    I`m so tired of this. "He`s rich, I`m poor, he has and I have not, blah blah blah..." The truth is anyone can become rich in this country if they want it bad enough (remember Obama say a $250k income is rich). Yes yes, there are some people that are born into wealth... well, there are people born with natural abilities as well. Just because I wasn`t born with a musical ear, doesn`t mean I can`t learn to play the piano! Life is full of risks and the spoils go to the victors. People need to spend more time being grateful for what they have, instead of worrying about what everyone else has. Try being happy for a while instead of forcing misery on yourself and others. If your unhappy with where you are today, get started on becoming a different person. It`s worked for me, and thousands of others. I`m done on the soap box.
  42. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36855 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Solvent "It`s called living outside of your means people."
    In a strange way, you are right. And I`d like to thank you. Silly assed comments always make me think.

    People can`t afford good food or basic housing so those things are "outside of their means". Health care is also "outside their means" as is college for their children.

    Just because it is "outside your means" does not mean it is not a basic need.

    Poverty should be defined "When basics are outside your means".
  43. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36855 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 7:10 am

    It is possible that he is right about the poor being better off.
    We definately have more services to aid the poor now than 30 years ago, so in that regard the poor ARE better off.

    But the Middle Class is not. They have dropped to the brink of poverty and will be the New Poor with the next market drop, due any time now.
  44. Profile photo of Burton_Ian
    Burton_Ian Male 18-29
    815 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 7:36 am
    Why is his data so outdated? The most recent data he cited was from 1997... over 20 years ago??

    The vast amount of RECENT data shows that it is that time exactly that has been the most disparaging unequal between the rich and the poor; between 2000 and 2011.

    Really makes you wonder why THIS would be his smoking gun, outdated data for an outdated economic theory.
  45. Profile photo of patchgrabber
    patchgrabber Male 30-39
    5812 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 7:54 am
    "Why is his data so outdated? The most recent data he cited was from 1997... over 20 years ago??"

    Well, close but not actually 20 years yet.

    @Bravosmith: "The truth is anyone can become rich in this country if they want it bad enough"

    Not true. There are too many mitigating factors outside your control to make that statement accurate. Someone`s socio-economic status could be drastically different from your own. By individualizing success and failure without regard to the policies/ideologies/prejudices faced by people you are reinforcing the fallacious models of society stemming from what you learned from the system of meritocracy taught to you in school.
  46. Profile photo of DinVen
    DinVen Male 30-39
    390 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 7:57 am
    What would prompt I-A-B to post a political hit piece on the poor of the US?

    This video is nothing but cherry picking and manipulation. Who can take his archaic data seriously anyway?
  47. Profile photo of Commentator
    Commentator Male 40-49
    270 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 8:05 am
    We have reached a new height of propaganda. I was waiting for the Onion logo to come up, if anyone took this as fact please go take a sociology course!
  48. Profile photo of morimacil123
    morimacil123 Male 18-29
    171 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 8:19 am
    @Bravosmith: "The truth is anyone can become rich in this country if they want it bad enough"
    I dont actually think thats true, for example, someone who is born into a poor family, and thus has to work instead of getting an education, and then cant really read, write, or do basic maths very well... that guy might have a chance at becoming a milionaire, but lets face it, his chances are incredibly slim, if they exist at all.
    But still, even assuming your statement is true, it doesnt adress the problem of inequalities at all.

    Lets assume your statement is indeed true, and the rich are all super gifted ppl.
    Before:
    Rich (gifted and hardworking according to you) earns 20% more than average dude.
    Now:
    Rich earns 50 000 times more than average working dude (5 000 000% more)

    Thats rising inequality.
    The issue isnt that some guy earns more than average, thats always the case. The issue is HOW MUCH more.
  49. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36855 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I don`t need to become "rich".
    I`d be happy with a shot at just being secure I won`t end up homeless next year.
  50. Profile photo of sssfdg
    sssfdg Male 18-29
    190 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 9:45 am
    sure the poor make more money.... but everything costs more now.... so when you account for inflation.. the poor are actually getting poorer.

    Not to mention that most of his stats are over 20 years old!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  51. Profile photo of skine
    skine Male 18-29
    719 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 10:12 am
    "Poor guy is still objectively better off. had 1 car, now has 3."

    That`s not necessarily true. It would require all cars to have and maintain the same value.

    For example, let`s compare someone owning one computer in 1991 against someone owning three today, or even someone in 2001 owning one computer against someone owning three today.

    Sure, they are better off in terms of the number of computers, and they are undoubtedly better off in terms of the quality of the computers.

    That does not mean that they are better off financially.
  52. Profile photo of Superapearmy
    Superapearmy Male 18-29
    85 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 10:16 am
    He`s probably in the top 2 percent, non-nice individual.
  53. Profile photo of unmercyfuldu
    unmercyfuldu Male 18-29
    762 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 10:31 am
    Inflation?
  54. Profile photo of Crabes
    Crabes Male 30-39
    1285 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 10:36 am
    Lot of people say are not rich because of lazyness. i dont think its true. With hard work you can become not poor but not rich either. There is a competition on the market which cause some people being rich and others being less rich. Too have someone uber-rich there HAS to be poor people
  55. Profile photo of huppamaniac
    huppamaniac Male 18-29
    21 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 10:53 am
    Everybody crying foul about inflation should realize this guy has a PhD in economics. He hasn`t forgotten inflation. Either its included or he`s blatantly lying.

    Further, these comparisons are never valid. I`m richer than Rockefeller in many respects. I could fly around the world in a matter of hours, sit in comfort in air conditioning on a hot day, have access to infinitely better medical care, etc.
  56. Profile photo of chimmeychang
    chimmeychang Male 30-39
    685 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 11:15 am
    also, that chart is income, not wealth...and lets not forget the wealthy tend to invest more than work for money...i am just saying
  57. Profile photo of evanbartlett
    evanbartlett Male 30-39
    559 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 11:42 am
    His argument is pretty bad. He`s saying that everyone is better off than they would have been in the same situation in the late 1970`s. Well, of course. No one is arguing that point. The issue that progressives point to is the comparatively less "total piece of the pie" that he highlights in the beginning. He`s an economist...he should be smarter than that.
  58. Profile photo of xerch
    xerch Male 18-29
    195 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 11:52 am
    Ok I get it, americans getting poorer is a myth. Meanwhile in somalia.....
  59. Profile photo of Fatninja01
    Fatninja01 Male 30-39
    25420 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 1:26 pm
    Money is what you make it....
  60. Profile photo of ANCB
    ANCB Male 18-29
    176 posts
    September 28, 2011 at 1:42 pm
    I`d like to point out that the think tank responsible for this video is funded in part by the Waltons (Wal-Mart owners) and the Koch brothers.
  61. Profile photo of krw888
    krw888 Male 50-59
    174 posts
    September 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm
    There are lies, damn lies, and statistics..
  62. Profile photo of Awkkkward
    Awkkkward Male 18-29
    4 posts
    September 29, 2011 at 4:03 pm
    This is a straw man argument (just so we are clear, misrepresenting someone else`s position and inserting a distorted counter argument). The main point that progressives make is that the share of the pie for those not in the top 10% has gone considerably down. Seems like he is basically saying that the poor are richer now that they have a microwaves, as compared to another time when only the rich had those! ZOMG IMPROVMENT. Also, this compares households, meaning now that more women work this is included in the data.

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