Compiled by Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield, "Air Conditioning, Cable TV, and an Xbox: What is Poverty in the United States Today?" references the U.S. Census Bureau, which says the poor population in 2009 was 14.3 percent, five percentage points lower than in 1964 when Lyndon Johnson announced a "War on Poverty." Today's poor, however, have a far different profile than they did back then.
Rector and Sheffield note: "the average household defined as poor by the government (is) equipped with air conditioning and cable TV. The family had a car ... two color televisions, a DVD player, and a VCR. If there were children in the home (especially boys), the family had a game system, such as an Xbox or PlayStation. ... The typical poor American had more living space than the average European. ... Poor boys today at ages 18 and 19 are actually taller and heavier than middle-class boys of similar age in the late 1950s, and are a full one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than American soldiers who fought in World War II."
Both liberals and conservatives claim to pray to the same God, but for different results. Abraham Lincoln noted this conflict in his Second Inaugural Address: "Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. ... The prayers of both could not be answered."
Perhaps what's needed is less praying for results favorable to one side and more listening to what the One to whom each side is praying has already said.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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