The last half of the 20th century produced the best working conditions

and economic conditions for the working class since Adam and Eve got kicked out of the Garden, at least since writing was invented and history began. One can't blame the economic system for any person with normal (OK) health and an IQ over 90 for living in real poverty, for not having his own warm, dry, enclosed space with normal utilities that he can call "home," a rented room or whatever. One can't blame the economy for not having sufficient and proper food and clothing.

Further, the economic/political classification has changed, now including anyone in the bottom 20% of the economic food chain. But the nature of poverty has changed. Most poor people have every sort of consumer product that the rich people have, but of a lower quality. The big difference between that the the rich people don't stand in line, can afford servants, and don't worry about job security.

Half the people using food stamps are on the program for less than 2 years - mostly college kids. Yes, some people seem to have extra-ordinary runs of bad luck. (Hard cases make for bad legislation.) But the vast majority of the long term working poor and street people I have talked to - thousands of them - either have mental and socialization problems and/or can't plan ahead . . . can't defer gratification and save for the future.

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