Industrial Insight

Poor?? | April 25, 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703521304576279100417318660.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

The New Face of ‘Poverty’

How economic freedom spreads the wealth around

JAMES TARANTO

In 1990 the Heritage Foundation put out a report titled “How ‘Poor’ Are America’s Poor?” Not very, concluded author Robert Rector:

“Poor” Americans today are better housed, better fed, and own more property than did the average U.S. citizen throughout much of the 20th Century. In 1988, the per capita expenditures of the lowest income fifth of the U.S. population exceeded the per capita expenditures of the median American household in 1955, after adjusting for inflation.”

Among “the persons whom the Census Bureau identifies as ‘poor,’ ” 38% were homeowners. Among “poor” households, 62% owned a car, 14% two or more cars, nearly half had air-conditioning, and 31% had microwave ovens. “Nationwide, some 22,000 ‘poor’ households have heated swimming pools or Jacuzzis.”

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