[lit-ideas] Re: [lit-id] The Poverty of Heritage

So, as it has seemed to me for a few years now, the so-called "Middle  Class" 
in America is rapidly disappearing, leading to a country of vastly rich  and 
vastly poor.  Is this a trend similar in the UK?  In other  European 
countries?  In Asia?  Must there be a meta-narrative of  poor/rich, struggle 
economically, establishment of some sort of Middle Class  with the extremely 
rich and 
extremely poor in the minorities, followed by a  decline to a point where the 
"Middle Class" no longer exists?  I realize  that's a huge over-simplification, 
but I'm not sure I understand the triggers  and causes for the trajectory 
here, and whether they would apply similarly in  other countries.
 
Julie Krueger
ignorant

========Original  Message========     Subj: [lit-ideas] Re: [lit-id] The 
Poverty of Heritage  Date: 5/24/06 7:36:51 P.M. Central Daylight Time  From: 
_judithevans1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (mailto:judithevans1@xxxxxxxxxxxxx)   To: 
_lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (mailto:lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx)   Sent on:    
JK>I don't know that there is an argument against the U.S. being 
the "overall" richest nation in the world.  
 
there isn't.  
 
JK>  I think the point of contention is the Grand Canyon size  crevasse 
in the U.S. between the rich and those in true poverty.
 
It is. We're going the same way as you but here the gap is nowhere near  as
massive.
 

----- Original Message ----- 
From:  _JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxxx (mailto:JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxx)  
To: _lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (mailto:lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx)  
Sent: Thursday, May 25, 2006 1:32  AM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: [lit-id] The  Poverty of Heritage


I don't know that there is an argument against the U.S. being the  "overall" 
richest nation in the world.  I think the point of contention  is the Grand 
Canyon size crevasse in the U.S. between the rich and those in  true poverty.
 
But maybe I'm missing the point. Or all the points.  It wouldn't be  the 
first time.
 
Julie Krueger

========Original  Message========     Subj: [lit-ideas] Re: [lit-id] The 
Poverty of Heritage  Date: 5/24/06 7:15:26 P.M. Central Daylight Time  From: 
_lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx (mailto:lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx)   To: 
_lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (mailto:lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx)   Sent on:     

I don't understand  the reaction.  These results are innocuous.  The U.S. is 
the richest  nation in the world by several orders of magnitude.  Why should 
anyone be  surprised that we are, well, rich?  Why should anyone be surprised 
that  our poor, defined as such by our own standards, are better off than the 
poor  of other nations?  This is a yawn as far as Iâm concerned.  Only  those 
with a drum to beat, who want to demonize the U.S. would be disappointed  and 
doubtful.  They want the richness to turn to poverty.  They want  to believe 
that the U.S. is the worst nation in the world, that it is the most  unfair, 
the 
hardest in which to live, and to work, etc etc.    
There have been polls  asking various people throughout the world, where do 
you want to live, and of  those who wanted to emigrate, the vast majority 
wanted to live in the  U.S.âeven Middle-Easterners  Why would that be true if 
all 
those Leftist  demonizing stories are also true?   
Lawrence 
-----Original Message-----
From:  lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] 
On  Behalf Of Carol Kirschenbaum
Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 3:36 PM
To:  lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] [lit-id] The Poverty of  Heritage 
Skewing observable facts to support one's own argument  is hardly limited to  
Conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation.  But dear me, this  
report cites the fact that The Poor have color  televisions as testament to  
their relatively opulent lifestyle in  America. 
Find a b&w TV these days. Really. Color TV sounds  opulent, all right, but  
the truth is, color TVs are industry norm. (I paid $50  for mine, last year.) 
 
Along the same lines, the report tells us that a  majority of The Poor have  
air conditioning--up from 36%, I think it was--30  years ago. Again, look at  
the context--demographic shifts, in the past 30 years,  to the American  
Southwest, thanks to AC. (Would people move back up  north if there were no  
AC in areas that reach 100-plus degrees? With the  price of fuel now, we may  
soon find out.) 
Ditto for cars. Three-quarters of The Poor have  cars, the report says.  
Let's suppose this is true, and let's suppose, for the  sake of argument,  
that The Poor who were interviewed for this report  represents people in  
shelters and such. What's the proportion of The Poor,  a la Heritage, who  
live in congested cities like NY, Chicago, DC,   where The Middle Rich don't  
usually have cars? So they're talking about the  suburban/rural poor, then.  
Not the elderly or disabled, who can't drive. The  other third, without cars, 
 
are working age but don't work--the Idle Class, as  this report implies. 
It seems the Heritage folks are talking about welfare,  specifically, women  
with dependent kids. The focus is on absent fathers  and mothers who don't  
work "enough." Presumably, the report claims, more  hours of work would lift  
this family out of poverty. More hours at minimum-wage  jobs? Who takes care  
of those dependent children? Mom, if only Dad would  come to his senses and  
be a responsible family guy. 
But why doesn't it work this way? Sounds reasonable  enough, right? That's  
the problem with this Heritage Foundation report, in a  nutshell: They had  
the solution before they wrote, they thought, and they  filled in the blanks  
with stats (many out of context) that supported their  conclusions. 
Lawrence, I hope your reading on Muslims  has more power to it than this. 
Carol 
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