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As I was typing this one single question, I thought of  more:

  1. Does your definition of “poor” predicate itself on things needed to live?  Or does it involve definitions based on relative wealth?
  2. If the government capital “O” Ought provide for the poor, does this include those who choose to put themselves in that group of people defined in question #1?
    1. I.E. If a person chooses to be poor, is the government still bound by the Ought?
  3. If you could compel a citizen to work in a pure socialist state, why can’t you do the same in this one?

So, I was going through some old blogs and looking for some quick insightful nuggets and came across this little gem from TJIC:

http://pajamasmedia.com/ronradosh/2011/0…

Krugman gets to his main point: that in the national debate, his side is that of morality, justice, and reason â?? while his opponents on the conservative side are immoral, uncaring, and actually want the poor to die or disappear.

Speaking for myself, I don’t want the poor to die.

I want them to work harder, to bring themselves up into the middle class (recall: the main thing that seperates the poor from everyone else is that poor people work about 15-20 hours per week, middle class people work 40-45 hours, and upper class people work 60+ hours), or – if they prefer – I want them to keep working very little, and enjoying the trade off of potential cash for increased free time – as long as they do it with out dollars stolen from others.

So I did a little looking.  By God he’s right:

Hours Worked Number of Workers Median Weekly Earnings
1 – 34 21802 233
1 – 4 548 62
5 – 9 1203 69
10 – 14 1865 112
15 – 19 2729 156
20 – 24 6425 212
25 – 29 2953 262
30 – 34 6079 337
35 or more hours 94452 750
35 – 39 8200 485
40 67195 700
41 or more hours 19056 1153
41 – 44 1084 867
45 – 48 5294 994
49 – 59 8450 1246
60 or more hours 4228 1338

Amazingly, the more you work, the more you make.  However, there is a flip side; the more you work, the more you work.

However, as I considered the numbers, it occurred to me, “Of COURSE you earn more when you work more–you’re working more hours!  Duh!”

But check this out:

Hours Worked Rough Dollar per Hour
1 – 34
1 – 4 24.8
5 – 9 9.86
10 – 14 9.33
15 – 19 9.18
20 – 24 9.64
25 – 29 9.7
30 – 34 10.53
35 or more hours
35 – 39 13.11
40 17.5
41 or more hours
41 – 44 20.4
45 – 48 21.38
49 – 59 25.43
60 or more hours

It turns out that the more you work, the higher your hourly wage.  [Though I do admit that the two low values look abnormal.]

 

I’ve done some work on the Middle Class.  One of the things I’ve learned is that “The Middle Class” isn’t what people think it is.  Virtually everyone feels they are middle class.  Literally, virtually everyone thinks that.

How can that be?

I think it’s because we tend to think of the middle class as a state of mind rather than a set group of people.  A mindset rather than a demographic.

I think we see and think of the rich as those folks who are “stoopid rich”.  People that are able to afford jet planes and mansions.  People who have yachts and commercials and just have $MONEY$!

We see middle class as having the ability to continue to climb the income ladder.  Especially important in this classification is the ability to allow your children to have it better than you do.

So, if you’re not “stoopid rich” AND you continue to gather wealth, you are middle class.

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As we finish the Thanksgiving day feast and begin to clean up, I’m reminded of how thankful I am for the —

Dishwasher.

Yes, that humble machine that makes light work of all our struggles.

But I wonder, how many of our neighbors are so lucky as to have one of these wonder machines?

In 1984, just 13.6% of the poor had a dishwasher.  Today?  Nearly 300% more have ’em.  And much more:

% Households with: Poor 1984 Poor  1994 Poor
2003
Poor
2005
All 1971 All 2005
Washing machine 58.2 71.7 67.0 68.7 71.3 84.0
Clothes dryer 35.6 50.2 58.5 61.2 44.5 81.2
Dishwasher 13.6 19.6 33.9 36.7 18.8 64.0
Refrigerator 95.8 97.9 98.2 98.5 83.3 99.3
Freezer 29.2 28.6 25.4 25.1 32.2 36.6
Stove 95.2 97.7 97.1 97.0 87.0 98.8
Microwave 12.5 60.0 88.7 91.2 1.0 96.4
Color TV 70.3 92.5 96.8 97.4 43.3 98.9
VCR 3.4 59.7 75.4 83.6 0.0 92.2
Personal computer 2.9 7.4 36.0 42.4 0.0 67.1
Telephone 71.0 76.7 87.3 79.8 93.0 90.6
Air conditioner 42.5 49.6 77.7 78.8 31.8 85.7
Cellular Telephone 34.7 48.3 0.0 71.3
One or more cars 64.1 71.8 72.8 (2001) 79.5

Clearly life has gotten better.  Not just for me over the past few years, but for all American’s over the last 30.