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What is “Poor?”

What is poor?
Can you have a phone or a fridge?
In the world today, isn’t a phone almost necessary? Safety reasons since there aren’t many pay phones these days. For jobs or even job interviews. Is it just the landline?
Can you have a computer? Internet? So many things online, even job applications, schooling. Seems like if you can’t afford these things you’re really missing out on key components of society these days.

Is it homelessness? When people refer to poor people, is it really just homeless people they think of? Can you be on the brink of losing your home? Can you be going pay cheque to pay cheque to avoid eviction? Are you still poor?

What clothes are the poor supposed to have? If they have brand name, but it’s all second to third hand, does it mean they’re not poor?

What does “not that poor” really mean?

If everyone should have a pair of nice clothes (for church or job interviews or first impressions), does not having one mean you’re poor? Does having one mean you can’t be poor?

How much stuff are the poor allowed to have and still be considered poor? Trinkets? 1 purse but not 2? 1 pair of shoes? Can they have a couch and loveseat? Just chairs? How is a poor house supposed to be furnished so it’s known as a poor house? Only free furniture? Only discounted? Is redecorating ever okay? What kind of bed? Just a couch or mattress on the floor?

How poor is poor? What is the amount? Is it universal? Regional? What is the middle class then? When do we decide that? Is it a hard line? Household income at $25,000 or less, but $25,001 means you’re not? How is that number decided?

What about food? Never any fast food? Only unhealthy food because it’s cheaper than healthy? Should you be starving some of the time? How often? If you’re well-fed but could still lose your home every month, are you still poor?

What priorities are expected?

Are the poor all assumed to have kids or no family or disability?

What about education expectations? Beat up books? No books? Always have to share? Only from library, never bought?

Are you supposed to be visibly poor? Can people think you’re not poor and you still are? Or are you then “not that poor?”

At what point does a poor person need help? How do we decide? Is there a point when you are too poor? If someone is close to poor, can they still ask for help as if they were poor because without the help they will be or should we let them wait? Then again, how are the levels of help decided? Do we judge how they got into the situation? Do we hold kids accountable for their families’ or parents’ actions? Is it only the action to consider or the whole context? A bad decision but actually the best of the bad options available?

Would giving money solve the problem or is it a symptom? What causes poverty? Lack of opportunities? Access to education? Economy? Companies or people?

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