Poverty in America. Can we Get Some Context Please?

If you’re a family of 4 in America earning $22,350, you’re eligible for  the following free* goodies:

Food stamps (SNAP)3,179
Free breakfast and lunch for 2 kids during the schooll year3,600
Section 8 rental assistance (assume $1100 monthly rent)10,188
Home energy assistance858
Free cell phone with 250 minutes per month600
Up to 24 months of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)5,376
Earned income credit5,000

Poverty in America means a family of 4 is living on gross income of $54,301, getting more in government taxpayer money then they earn. No wonder we’re broke.

*Free to the recipient, extremely expensive to everyone who pays taxes.

6 Reasons You’re Still Poor



Why aren’t you rich? Probably because you fall into one or all of these categories:

You don’t have an education

To succeed in America, you must have a high school diploma and either a college degree or trade skills. You don’t have to spend have a lot of money on your education, you just have to know enough to get a job. Spending too much on your degree defeats the purpose of your schooling. Go to school to get a job.

You don’t have a job

Get a job. Any job. Worry about the salary later.

Work hard. Learn stuff.  Solve problems. You’ll soon be rewarded with opportunities to earn more money.

You’re single

2 incomes are better than 1.

A few caveats: 1) Don’t go into debt getting married; 2) You and your spouse must each have an income; 3) Don’t marry someone with debt. Single with no debt is better than married with debt and a spouse who doesn’t work.

You have kids (and aren’t married)

Single-parent households are more likely than 2-parent households to live in poverty. Same goes for the children when they reach adulthood. Ladies, here’s the easiest way to create wealth: keep your legs together until you’re married to someone with a job, have a job yourself, and are debt-free.

You have an addiction

Alcohol, drugs (legal or otherwise), gambling, smoking or shopping. I’m sure I missed one or two. Rule of thumb: If it costs money, makes you unemployable, damages your health or otherwise interferes in your ability to control the first 4 items on this list, stop doing it.

You love to play the victim

You can never catch a break. You blame others for your problems. You expect society to take care of you and yours. Until you change your mindset, you’ll never be successful, wealthy or happy.

Adam Carolla profanely and succinctly cuts to the chase:

Pull out, get a fucking job  and stop counting on the government. We’re Americans. We don’t hope for shit, we do shit.

Walter Williams sums it up a little more genteelly:

Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school. Second, get married before you have children, and stay married. Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage. And, finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior.

Now you know the secret to getting rich.  It’s time to take control and build your perfect life.

Let’s Hit the Links: Week #6


Oh yeah!


Forget the Super Bowl. Read these articles instead. Okay, read them during the commercials.

This Deadspin article about the replay process is either groundbreaking or a waste of time. You decide.

44% of challenges on 1080i-broadcast games resulted in a reversal, compared to only 38% on 720p broadcasts. Taking the different number of challenges on each network into account, a replay challenge of a game broadcast on NBC, CBS, or the NFL Network was 5% more likely to reverse the call on the field than one on other networks.

Greg was welcomed back at ProBlogger with this article about blog carnivals.

I’m not talking about running guest posts, nor contributions from freelance or staff writers. I mean leveraging the work of dozens of other bloggers in your genre, for your mutual benefit.

Kathryn at Kathryn’s Conversations explains why ugly people have such a hard time in life:

Even when no sex is involved, good-looking people charm interviewers, get hired faster, are more likely to make more sales and get more raises. You look good and you’re compensated in return. People like to do business with people that they like, and people they like to look at. Being good at your job is a bonus.

Kathyrn’s bio tells us she’s “an expert in cutting through the onslaught of excess information; I read over fifty daily news briefs and pop culture trends (more on my research experience below), then curate and communicate any information that will help you to grow both financially and personally.”  Which means she can curate and communicate to us that attractive means to attract attention, prosperity and admirers.

I like when people agree with me. Eric Nisall at DollarVersity.com wrote:

Rather than choosing something that is realistic and achievable, people tend to set their sights on things that are unrealistic, then look to point the finger elsewhere rather than take responsibility and be accountable for the decisions they make. 

Keeping with the responsibility theme, Teacher Man from MyUniversityMoney.com tells recent college grads to (wo)man up and get on with their lives:

I can see the attraction to piking your head out of the proverbial gopher hole that is your university/college, being terrified of the chaos around you, and diving right back into safer surroundings in the form of a graduate degree.  This will definitely extend your period of youthful bliss and allow you to feel intellectually superior to man around you; HOWEVER, it is probably not what is best for you in the long-term, at least not from a personal finance perspective.

No wonder those college students don’t want to leave academia. Atlanta’s CBS TV affiliate looked into the startling trend of college students receiving food stamps.

A sum of $200 is awarded to program participants each month, which is to be used toward grocery bills.

According to this story, a basic meal plan at Georgia State University runs $1,700. Why doesn’t the state just buy these students said meal plan and save $700?

Finally, 2 entries from the category of “Who put this guy in charge of the economy?”

Steve Sailor wrote about the Obama family finances:

The Obama thinking appears to have been:

1. Borrow against home equity and consume.
3. Get rich!

But, hey, it worked.

Over at the Washington TimesRichard Rahn takes a closer looks at the President’s proposed Buffett Rule:

 The actual tax rate Mitt Romney, Warren Buffett and most other wealthy people pay on dividends, when correctly calculated, is about 52%, as reported by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which includes the federal and state corporate-level profits tax burden, plus federal and state taxes on dividends.

There’s a lot more good stuff about double taxation, the difference between dividend, capital gains and ordinary income and how the US stacks up against other industrialized nations vis-a-vis the taxation of these different kinds of income.  Read it all before you start talking about inequity in the current tax system.


What did you do last weekend?

Exhausted after climbing Florida's highest (mole)hill

Britton Hill in Lakewood Park, Florida is the home to the lowest state high point. The park, along with commemorative marker (shown above), is so far north it’s almost in Alabama. According to Wikipedia: ” …as of 2010, the roof of the Four Seasons Hotel Miami is the highest non-natural point in Florida. Topping out at 789 feet, the tower is more than twice as high as Britton Hill

Carnivals and Links:

Don’t Mess with Taxes included my article Don’t Play Fair in the Tax Carnival #96-Dealing with Tax Dragons

Product Placement:

Receive paycheck – deposit – pay bills – hope you have enough to cover them – repeat. That’s no way to live. Nor does it have to be.

You’re just one person, with the same daily 24-hour allotment everyone else has. In other words, how much you can earn is far more limited than how much your money can earn. If you work 40 hours a week and want to double your income, there are two direct ways to do it:

1. Put your money to work for you.
2. Work 80 hours a week.

The people who build wealth via passive income vastly outnumber those who do it just by the sweat of their brows.

Read The Unglamorous Secret to Riches and find out how the people who earn more than you (while somehow having more time on their hands than you) manage to do so.

It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. You don’t have to sell anything, or even talk to anyone. AND NO, IT’S NOT MULTI-LEVEL MARKETING, EITHER. COME ON, GIVE US A LITTLE BIT OF CREDIT.
But it works. And it’s relatively simple. And no, it’s not particularly exciting.

Pick-up my latest eBook through Amazon Kindle:

What’s on my Kindle:

3 great business reads:

Winning by Jack Welch and Suzy Welch
Switch by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Good to Great by Jim Collins