How poor is poor?
July 7, 2007 8:42am CST
How little money/posessions/whatever does someone have to have for you to consider them to be poor? I found an article in a blog recently that I found really compelling - the article gives an example: Imagine a single mother raising two boys. The mother works at a supermarket four days a week, her boys do odd jobs to get money, they have no computers or cellphones - they have an old TV. They have no dishwasher, but they have a microwave. Would you consider this family to be poor? This family would be amazingly rich in comparison to the poverty-stricken families in parts of the third world. How poor is poor? Where do you think "poor" begins and ends? x
3 people like this
• United States
7 Jul 07
I consider being poor as someone who is lacking what is needed for basic life, it is synonymous with destitute. I would consider third world countries with people living in huts as poor. I think the situation you describe with the mother, to me would be indigence. The lack of necessities or comforts in life. There have always been "classes" in the US. There was wealthy, middle class, poor, and poverty level. I think now there are maybe 3 classes. I deem them this way. Wealthy/rich, paying their bills or living pay check to paycheck, and those in desperate need of help just to survive. I think the mother and her sons would fit in the secong category more than the thirs. Actually more and more people fall into the middle category now.
• United States
16 Jul 07
Very good post. I think it is all relative to the country that you are in. I think that the poorest people in the USA would still be much better off than many people elswhere. I think poverty is when you can not afford the basics of life, such as food, shleter, clothing, and providing safety for yourself and your family.
13 Jul 07
I think poor is not having what is considered necessary to survive in their particular country, state, province, or city. It is also having to sell something necessary to buy food, clothes, and shelter. So a woman who cannot have a telephone because she needs to buy food or clothes is considered poor because she needs the telephone to apply for jobs If someone has to chose between turning the temperature higher or eating, between a car or an apartment, that is considered poor. Besides if that woman had sold the microwave, she could not work as long at her job. She would have to come home earlier, make less money to prepare dinner, or they would have to eat at cafes at more expensive prices. You cannot compare it with third world countries because there they had no middle class, and they have their own system as to who is poor and the others are not that much better off.