The current "official" definition of poverty in the U.S. for a family of four is an annual income less than $22,314, and for an individual it is an annual income less than $11,139. No one who honestly thinks about getting by on those earnings would believe that. An actual and truer hypothetical income level for those two categories would have to be at least double those numbers in order to conform to the more legitimate way of determining impoverishment as rendered by the putative founder of modern free market economics, Adam Smith.
Here is some more stuff not to believe, and it comes from someone who is not ever to be believed. I mean this guy, Cal Thomas, is just full of the stuff, the not true stuff. And he enjoys spreading not true stuff (lies) every time his column appears in the Times-Picayune. He claims to be a very sincere and devoted Christian, always here and there citing a Commandment or two, but I'm not saying this accounts for all the stuff because he may be lying about that, too.
Anyway, this morning he was at it again, flogging his right-wing creed and preaching the gospel of social indifference to the plight of the poor and elderly. He was railing against the satanic federal government and its twin evils of Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security. He raised hell over these programs in the context of a damning attack on Obama's devilish leftist ideology and new jobs bill proposal. In so doing, he made this claim:
"There was a time in America not too long ago when people mostly looked out for themselves and their relatives. Parents cared for their children when they were little and the children returned the favor when their parents got old. Now we dump the kids in day care, and they return the favor by dumping their elderly parents in nursing homes."
There are some stark and gross lies in that quotation. Before Social Security, more than half of all elderly in this country lived in poverty. Before Medicare/Medicaid, even a greater percentage of the elderly received inadequate or no health care. It is simply not true that they were being cared for or that they could care for themselves. Instead, there was great and crying need among the aged, that is why the respective programs were created. Lastly, the notion that kids who were once placed in day care are now dumping their parents in nursing homes is absurd based on simple arithmetic. The widespread service and use of day care resulting from the rise of the typical two earner household has not yet been with us long enough for the parents to have been moved on to nursing homes by these implicitly "neglected" kids.
Mr. Thomas is not only a liar, he is a very stupid liar. Hence, he has never told me anything true that I didn't know already, and the things he has told me that I didn't know have never been true.