Yeesh, I can't connect for a day and it falls off the page despite a GREAT number of replies!
number 6 - I've been *close* to absolutely poor. I have been unable to attain food, shelter, and so on, by my own efforts... and the fact that health care doesn't pay for fixing teeth (only for getting rid of teeth) recently lost me a tooth that could have been fixed. I'm only alive now because I've had to rely on the generousity of others... and yes, that makes me feel poor. I am however, very rich in my friends and in the help that was given to me, and that's why I'm still alive. I just hope that'll be enough now that I'm capable of part-time work. Yes, I'm grateful that I didn't end up worse... but it's still true poverty when you cannot take care of your own basic needs even when you try, because your health is bad from being poor and not being able to afford the health care to become better enough to work fulltime. But enough about me.
I'd like to keep the definition of "true poverty" in this thread to that of anything below being able to pay for basic food, shelter, clean water, basic clothing, care from doctor and dentist, basic transportation to your job or school, and the health and opportunity to work fulltime at something to pay for all the necessities listed above.
The feeling of poverty is obviously not the same as actual poverty. One who drops suddenly in level of affluence will obviously feel poor, even if their basic needs are all still taken care of and they still have their health! But that is not poverty, only an ephemeral feeling. Besides which, someone who drops in affluence is better off than those who never had any affluence at all, because that first person can often sell things they own and gain temporary respite from the newer poverty. Someone who's never been well off might not have anything to sell.
Dianavan: "I think poverty is highly subjective but I would like to live in a world where everyone had clean water and clean air, nutritous food and adequate shelter and medical care." Right on.
Now, why is it an accepted opinion that, for capitalism to thrive, some people must be so far below that basic level that they die from poverty, even when they live in an affluent country? What are the flaws in thinking that this is the only way capitalism stays strong?