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"Ohhhhhhh yeah, I spent 18 months in The Philippines. I call it wall-to-wall poverty.

Once you've seen something like that, you'll never call people who have big screen TVs "poor" again."

That's the thing. We keep redefining "poverty" in a way that absolute standards continue to increase, but then we pretend that we aren't making any progress and that we need increasing government intervention. It's a farce.

Oh don't worry, with your policies we'll become the Philippines soon enough. Your heroes Reagan and GWB started us careening on that track.

Things you don't get:

a) we aren't the Philippines, nor do we want to become them.
b) that level of poverty is "no way out" poverty. It's a function not only of a feudal level of wealth distribution, but also a function of power distribution. Every policy you promote makes the power and wealth distribution worse here.
c) if poverty in the US has a different definition, it's because we want to set a level that isn't at the lowest of the low, a level somewhat higher than "no way out". Unfortunately for many people, it's already at "no way out".
d) measuring poverty by material goods no longer works here. We cast off perfectly good consumer goods in this country, it's no surprise that functioning fancy stuff makes its way everywhere and anywhere. But it isn't worth anything, so you can't leverage it, turn it into capital and use it to climb out of poverty.

I expect you're smart enough to understand these things, just too heartless to admit them.
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