What You Need to Know About the US Poverty Paradox

When you view the chart below, what do you see?

Back in 2003, there were 74 million car loan accounts across the U.S. and by 2013, that had climbed to 81.33 million. In recent years, the total number of accounts has soared, hitting 108.66 million by 2017. Auto debt is just one of the many forms of debt people have to deal with in modern America. Mortgages make up 67.63% of U.S. debt, student loans account for 10.5% and auto loans have now reached 9.28%.

The paradox is this: US incomes are rising, unemployment is at historic lows, but more people are seeking economic assistance.

According to the USDA, in fiscal year 2018, 40,324,454 persons living in 20,078,039 households received $60,609,401,339 in Supplemental Nutrition Assitance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Who qualifies for SNAP benefits? The USDA posts detailed requirements here.

Are illegal immigrants – non-citizens – receiving SNAP benefits? Generally speaking, no.

Moving on, here we are in the most robust economy in history, with the lowest unemployment rates for Hispanics and African-Americans ever, but over 40 million people depend on SNAP, aka ‘food stamps’. This begs the question: How is it we have full employment and 40 million people on food stamps? The answer lies in the labor participation rate which was 62.7% in December 2018. Learn about SNAP work requirements here.

A young woman, a physical therapist here in my city of Rockwall, told me about her difficulty paying her credit card bill at the beginning of a therapy session. By the end of the session, she was describing her amazing trip to Cancun, Mexico over the weekend gone by. Her situation is all too common among my fellow Americans.

Poverty is not a universal standard as is the metric system or the law of gravity. In the USA, the government-defined poverty level is a socialistic construct, an arbitrary figure based on the number of persons in a household and the state of residence, with adjustments due to inflation. Whew! Learn about the federal poverty guidelines here.

Dinesh D’Souza told about a telephone conversation with a friend in India, a man who has been unable to come to the USA. Dinesh asked the man why he wants to come here. The man answered, “I really want to live in a country where the poor people are fat.

Poverty is a state of mind, not a fact of economics.

Click on image for more

Consumer indebtedness (and the national debt, now at $22 trillion), are greater threats to our national security than illegal immigration and the imbalances in foreign trade.

Consumer debt contributes to the federal deficit due to consumer dollars going more and more to consumer debt service and subsequent declines in federal revenue due to outlays in medical care, SNAP, and the mislabeled Earned Income Tax Credit (income redistribution, a socialist construct).

Here’s the shocker. You can buy more with cash than you can with credit. Yes, consumer credit allows you to get it now, but at some point, consumer debt will become wholly unsustainable.

Savings and investments are essential to a healthy economy. We are all going to grow old – My wife and I are already there. We are all going to die – Shocker! You will not live forever!

How can you get out of the perpetual debt trap? Start saving, stop spending on unnecessary things, like weekend trips to Cancun. Pay off consumer debt. Credit cards are okay, so long as you can pay them off each month. Pay cash for cars – yes you can!

Dave Ramsey | How to Get Out of Debt With the Debt Snowball Plan

The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower is servant to the lender.

Proverbs 22:7 AMP

Can you become debt-free? Is it possible you will ever be able to pay cash for cars?

Henry Ford answers, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”

The Bible, God’s Word, God’s instruction book, says, ” I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] “

One resource that is transforming households across the world is a book titled The Blessed Life, authored by Robert Morris, pastor of Gateway Church. Following the principles in his book, Robert Morris’ multi-site church is totally debt free.

I ask again, is it possible for you to pay cash for cars? Yes, you can!

John White Rockwall, Texas

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