Nick (learath) wrote,

Depressing thoughts on being poor

So, I got linked to a post by an author I've been reading, John Scalzi. It's pretty depressing, highlighting a number of bits of being poor that don't get much attention. The flip side is there will always be poor. It is not going to change no matter what is done, some will be rich, some poor, most somewhere in the middle. What bothers me is the government, shocking I know.
Oddly, this time I'm looking at it from a different perspective. Generally I think the Government should do the minimum it possibly can, but I this case I'm willing to take the other view. The US Federal Government spends ~600 *billion* dollars every year on Welfare, and a larger amount on Medicare. There are 300 Million citizens (ballpark) in the United States of America. After some fairly simple math, this equates to right about 2,000 dollars per citizen per year of Welfare and another just over 2,000 dollars per citizen per year in Medicare. If we assume 10% of our population is in need of Welfare that is 20,000$ per citizen in need of Welfare per year, tax free. If we take 10% overhead we can still give 9% of the population of the United States of America 20,000 dollars per year, tax free. 20k/yr is not great, but it is enough to live on, I've lived on less in the Northern VA area.
What does this add up to? In my opinion, there is no possible excuse for there to be any hunger, or real poverty in the United States of America given our current spending on Medicare and Welfare and a 5% unemployment rate. No Possible Excuse.

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