2013 Federal Poverty Guidelines

1992 Words8 Pages
Taking a tour of any historical or famous American’s home provides a sobering window to the past in several ways. While some give off a sense of luxury of a bygone period of their past, it doesn’t take long to realize these dwellings lacked the basic amenities – hot water, plumbing, and electricity. To ponder the vast and incredible improvements that America has achieved over the last century would easily amaze these historic figures. Today it is possible for the poor in America to live at a standard that previous generations of similar means simply could not afford. The level of comfort poor Americans experience in today’s society far exceeds that of prior generations, creating a class that have no clear incentive to improve their…show more content…
Department of Energy). In houses with children, families “had a game system, such as an Xbox or a PlayStation” (U.S. Department of Energy). These households also “had a refrigerator, an oven and stove, and a microwave [...] a clothes washer, clothes dryer, ceiling fans, a cordless phone, and a coffee maker” (U.S. Department of Energy). The RECS also discovered that a typical, poor household “was not overcrowded and was in good repair” which provided “more living space than the average European” (U.S. Department of Energy). In their own findings, a “typical poor American family was also able to obtain medical care when needed” and they were “not hungry and had sufficient funds during the past year to meet all essential needs” (U.S. Department of Energy). This information is not to discredit and disprove the evident struggles that poor families face on a daily basis, but to reiterate that the standards and expectations of living are much different and higher than the public imagines and the mainstream media portrays. So if the poor of today earn roughly the same in current dollars as those many years ago, how do they afford their “elevated” lifestyle? The answer lies in over 200 Federal and State programs designed to support them until they are able to thrive independently. The most popular include the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Food Stamps,
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