Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Living the Good Life

Carrie Lukas cites a variety of studies (here) that confirm that “the quality of life enjoyed by Americans is unprecedented in human history.” She contrasts this with the constant barrage of negative and anti-American news that pours from our media outlets.

The studies Lukas cites show that the United States of America is indeed the greatest country on God’s green earth. At least, the percentage of Americans that think America is great far exceeds the percentage of citizens of other countries that think their own countries are great.

Just how good is America? Lukas puts it this way: “a poor household today is far better off than the average household in 1950.” Most of this nation’s poor live better than vast majority of the rest of the world. “The typical American living below the poverty line owns a car; has air conditioning, a cell phone, and a microwave; and lives in a home that isn't overcrowded.”

Lukas doesn’t say so, but studies also show that most of our poor are not really poor, as it were. They are retirees that own their homes and have investments, but have little income. They are college students as well as workers in their same age range that have a greater percentage of disposable income than the average family. These groups soon move out of the poverty level, only to be replaced by other relatively affluent poor.

The problem with these kinds of poverty measures is that they fail to delineate between those in our society that truly are poor and those that have little income but are not actually poor. Of course, having a higher number of people classified as poor is in the interest of those in the poverty advocacy industry. Intellectual honesty would apparently hurt that industry, but it would actually help us to focus on the needs of those that truly live in poverty.

I feel truly blessed to be an American. Indeed, life here is good.

1 comment:

Roy W. Wright said...

This all reminds me of that John Stossel special a few years back, "Is America #1?"