Comments about ‘Consumption, not income, a better measure of poverty according to new report’

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Published: Wednesday, Sept. 26 2012 4:28 p.m. MDT

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sally
Kearns, UT

So, when my neighbors/relatives are complaining about how low their income is, it is possible they have more usable cash than I have with a higher income when all the extras they receive are added in. I wondered how they managed to go to Disneyland every year with their tax money they received. They never have money to repair their cars, pay for medical or other necessities. Christmas is also provided to them. This way to measure poverty makes more sense.

Aggielove
Cache county, USA

This is long over due.
People are taking advantage of our system.

Joe Moe
Logan, UT

Better data means better policies. By all means, let us use this more acurate indicator.

gregwibert
Roy, 00

A chart showing consumption, correlated with poverty level, would help clarify this article.

So, they take annual trips to disneyland but their vehicles go unmaintained? They may not qualify for poverty...sounds more like they need a finance class...lol...

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

So, finally they will be counting the fact that people living in subsidized housing have premium cable, smart phones and fast food waistlines.

staypuffinpc
Provo, UT

When I was in graduate school, our children easily qualified for medicaid, etc. We were told that our family of two young children and two adults qualified for about $500 in food stamps each month. We now have 4 very healthy kids, 3 of which are boys and eat like crazy and we still don't spend that much in food each month (we eat well by preparing most of our food from scratch, so we're not going hungry or anything). The catch? We had about $5000 in emergency savings and we would have to get rid of that in order to have food stamps. We opted to forego the "help," inasmuch as it would leave us stranded in the case of an emergency.

I think the government should have programs to help lift people out of poverty. After all, we are all better off if everyone is healthy and happy. However, so many of the government programs I've been privy to seem to contradict the notion of helping people to help themselves, including those I've taken advantage of. They're poorly managed and often discourage people from fostering good habits.

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

Conservatives like to use that the "poverty rate" lack of change means anti-poverty programs don't work. If you are the one that didn't starve to death those programs men a great deal.

Let's look outside our country where there are no safety nets. People actually starve to death. Kids grow up without any education. Kids are mentally stunted due to lack of nutrition.

Since that doesn't happen here in the US I'll disagree that anti-poverty programs don't have any effect.

Disingenuous arguments are just lies. Is that your lifetime legacy concervatives? Christianity is the largest anti-poverty program in history. Just go with it - life is short, you'll have eternity to be rich.

Peter R
Provo, UT

There is a trend right now to create straw-man arguments of the other side and then pick apart those arguments for their weaknesses. Conservatives say liberals want to take everything from the rich and give to the poor, while liberals claim that conservatives are egotistical self-servers who have no compassion. Let's take a step back and assume that instead of wanting the worst, everybody is actually trying to get at the same thing--happiness and prosperity for as many people in our country as possible.

staypuffinpc
Provo, UT

@Screwdriver, you're being disingenuous to paint all conservatives as heartless self-servers. Here's how I believe most conservatives are thinking about the issue:
(a) The job of government is not to provide for its people, but rather to help people provide for themselves in a peaceful and productive manner. Asking nothing of the recipient is anathema to this goal. A more apt description of conservative attitude on this is, "Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime;"
(b) people should be rewarded for hard and honest work;
(c) fair and equal are not always the same thing, nor should they be confused as such;
(d) there is a misconception that giving while requiring no accountability it somehow compassionate. Compassion is doing what's best for another, even at your own expense. That may include withholding something from someone who's repeatedly been given something. It's hard to be the person to finally say, "no" you can't have that now and you'll always end up looking like the bad guy.
(e) people don't belong to the government, the government belongs to people.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Mitt Romney excedes the "poverty line" by 9:30 in the morning on Jan. 01.

He has no clue how the other half (i.e., 47%) lives....

Joe Moe
Logan, UT

Thank you, PeterR.

As a Republican, if any one thing disgusted me most in the past four years, it was this: when Republicans in Congress said that their first priority was to oppose anything Obama did in an effort to regain the majority and the White House.

Excuse me, I elect representatives to represent me, and to support good policies, no matter who brings them forward, and compromise with other representatives when need be, for the good of the country. Two thumbs down to the GOP mission statement of the past four years.

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

how does it make any sense as a measure? Lets measure the assistance they get after they have been determined to be in poverty to measure whether they are really in poverty. If after taking into account the assistance the get they still fall well under the poverty line then that would be a good measure of if the assistance goes far enough not if they where in poverty to begin with.

Mister J
SLC, UT

re: gregwibert 8:04 p.m. Sept. 26, 2012

"So, they take annual trips to disneyland but their vehicles go unmaintained? They may not qualify for poverty...sounds more like they need a finance class...lol..."

It's a small world after all???

cpafred
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

In the short run people can consume without income. But in the long run people without income fall farther behind people with income. income is a better measure in the long run.

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