Sunday, March 14, 2010


I read a lead on instapundit before I left for church this morning.


I didn't read the link at that time, but then the sermon today made me think of it again, and so I came back and read the whole article.

The sermon today was from Mark 14:1-9, where the woman poured expensive perfume onto Jesus. Verse 3 reads,
While he was in Bethany, reclining at ther table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.
Those at the table were upset by this presumed waste. Verse 4 & 5 reads,
Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, "Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor." And they rebuked her harshly.
The part that comes next is what reminded me of the instapundit link. Verses 6-8 read,
"Leave her alone," said Jesus. "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me."
Now, back to the article, President Obama Makes Poverty Permanent The writer of the article, William M. Briggs, is not making the identical statement that there will always be poor among us, but rather that President Obama is changing the very definition of poverty to ensure that there will always be poor among us,
His administration will create a new index of poverty, one which slides upwards as all income increases. This guarantees “poverty” will always be with us. This act of will creates an eternal class of the “poor” from which there can be no relief.
The essence of this new index is described in an article from the National Review
This week, the Obama administration announced it will create a new poverty-measurement system that will eventually displace the current poverty measure. This new measure, which has little or nothing to do with actual poverty, will serve as the propaganda tool in Obama’s endless quest to “spread the wealth.”

Under the new measure, a family will be judged “poor” if its income falls below a certain specified income threshold. Nothing new there, but, unlike the current poverty standards, the new income thresholds will have a built-in escalator clause: They will rise automatically in direct proportion to any rise in the living standards of the average American.

The current poverty measure counts absolute purchasing power — how much steak and potatoes you can buy. The new measure will count comparative purchasing power — how much steak and potatoes you can buy relative to other people. As the nation becomes wealthier, the poverty standards will increase in proportion. In other words, Obama will employ a statistical trick to ensure that “the poor will always be with you,” no matter how much better off they get in absolute terms.
Obviously, as Jesus said, "there will always be poor among you," but what a shame for our country to view wealth and poverty in such a half empty way. We are soooo blessed in America. Even the poorest in America are richer than everyone in certain third world countries. To say that someone is poor because they can only afford 1 car instead of the 2 that their neighbor can, is a sham. Generationally, the American Dream says that your kids will be better off than you are. I think that many fear that will not be true for our kids, due to the escalating and out of control deficit.

Maybe, the premise of the article is backwards and instead of ensuring there will always be poor people, his new poverty index is ensuring that there will always be people Obama (or any president or congress) can define as rich. That is, our children can be defined as "rich" since in comparison to their generation's median income, they have comparably more, even if they have much less than their parent's generation. This is important so that the government can continue to say they are only taxing the "rich among us."

So in my example of the poor person today being the one with 1 car instead of 2, in the next generation, the person with 1 car is now defined as rich, if those who previously could buy one can own none. That is very convenient for a "tax the rich" mentality.

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