Mention the word "poverty," and odds are good that most people will think of destitute individuals and families wandering the streets without food, homes or hope. There are people in America who match that description, but official government data makes clear that image doesn't match the daily reality of most of those officially classified as in poverty, according to the Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield.
Rector and Sheffield are releasing today a study based on federal data that show the typical poor family in America:
* Lives in a home that is in good repair, not crowded and equipped with air conditioning, clothes washer and dryer, and cable or satellite TV service.
* Prepares meals in a kitchen with a refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave as well as oven and stove.
* Enjoys two color TVs, a DVD player, VCR and – if children are there – an Xbox, PlayStation or other video game system.
* Had enough money in the past year to meet essential needs, including adequate food and medical care.
Odds are you will be hearing about this new Heritage study in the liberal mainstream media in the days ahead and it will be mis-characterized as advocating abolition of all government welfare programs, that it "attacks the poor" and that Rector and Sheffield are typical heartless conservatives who have no compassion for the less fortunate among us.
“Regrettably, most discussions of poverty in the U.S. rely on sensationalism, exaggeration and misinformation. But an effective anti-poverty policy must be based on an accurate assessment of actual living conditions and the causes of deprivation,” Rector said.
The study will be posted later this morning on the Heritage web site. As soon as it is, I will add a link to this post.