Some Questions About Poverty
You'll find some questions below that are not yet answered
and others which I have written about on other pages. I hope
to make this into a larger series of articles, each addressing
some aspect of why people are poor and what can be done about
In the United States we help the poor in many ways, but we
also put many obstacles in the way of those who want to better
their situation in life. There is perhaps more opportunity in
this country than in many for the poor to enter the middle class
or even for them to become wealthy in time, but that does not
alter the fact that we oppress the poor in many ways even as
we hand out food stamps, free education and other forms of welfare
that are meant to help.
Not sure if you can believe that we oppress the poor? Look
over some of the following pages about poverty :
The Poor Side of Town
- I lived in a lower-income area for years, and I watched as
the poor around me were regulated out of town so that the rich
and middle class could increase their property values.
Higher Property Tax Rates
for the Poor - A clear explanation of how renters actually
pay the property taxes on the homes they live in, and how these
properties are often taxed much more heavily than similar homes
owned by their occupants.
The Working Poor Do Pay
Taxes - Some conservatives will tell you that 40% of Americans
pay no taxes. This is misleading, to say the least. A guy making
pizzas sometimes pays a higher tax rate than Warren Buffet.
Making the Homeless Buy Cadillacs
for the Wealthy - A shocking thought, and perhaps an exaggeration,
but the results of some of our policies are that the poor pay--even
if indirectly--for the luxuries of the rich.
I also hope to address questions about poverty beyond the
United States. These two pages are a start for that discussion.
Preying on Poor Countries
- Make rich bankers richer while making the poorest people of
the world poorer? that's not a theory, but the reality of what
has been done, and you get to pay for the scheme.
Poverty: Some Ideas - This article is on my website EveryWayToMakeMoney.com,
and is about the ideas of Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen
For some thoughts on the definitions of poverty, I have this
What is Poverty?
More Questions About Poverty
In future articles I hope to address some of the following:
Ways money is transferred from poor to middle class and
Property tax differences
Housing policies that push poor away
Welfare to the rich
National Flood Insurance Program
Home mortgage deduction
Capital gains exemption for home owners
Wrong-headed ideas about poverty:
The idea that it is entirely their fault.
The lack of recognition of the advantages we had.
The idea that there is an intelligence difference.
The lazy theory.
Moral or character flaws for taking welfare (as opposed to
middle-class grants and public school subsidization).
Ineffective policies regarding poor:
Encouraging having children.
Encouraging working the system.
Rewarding disability (as opposed to assisting).
Other ways we make it difficult for the poor:
Mandatory car insurance.
Disproportionate fines for various civil infractions.
Disproportionate burden of war service (particularly when
As I address these and other questions about the poor and
what causes poverty, I will add links to those articles to this