I have no Idea of who to ask Bobert, that's why I am asking you.
Just what is that poverty line now?
The poverty rate in the United States is one of the highest among the post-industrialized developed world. It is, however, important to note that America's poor most commonly have adequate food, clothing and shelter. For example, of those beneath the federal poverty, 46% of them own their own home with an average of three bedrooms. source
The number of people below the poverty line in the UK is higher, 17% vs 12%. How many if them have their own 3 bedroom house?
AN OVERVIEW OF WELFARE SPENDING
Official poverty measurements also overlook facts about the daily lives of poor families. Robert Rector says that America's poor do not live lavishly, but few households are destitute. The average "poor" American lives in a larger house or apartment, is more likely to own a car and is more likely to have basic amenities such as an indoor toilet than the average resident of Western Europe.
* 53 percent of poor households have air conditioning.
* 91 percent own a color TV and 29 percent own two or more.
* 64 percent own a car and 14 percent own two or more.
* 56 percent own a microwave oven.
* 40 percent own their home, with 71,000 owning homes worth more than $300,000.
Better Off Than Europeans, Japanese
The average "poor" American lives in a larger house or apartment than does the average West European (This is the average West European, not poor West Europeans). Poor Americans eat far more meat, are more likely to own cars and dishwashers, and are more likely to have basic modern amenities such as indoor toilets than is the general West European population.
"Poor" Americans consume three times as much meat each year and are 40 percent more likely to own a car than the average Japanese. And the average Japanese is 22 times more likely to live without an indoor flush toilet than is a poor American.
The Census Bureau counts as "poor" anyone with "cash income" less than the official poverty threshold, which was $12,675 for a family of four in 1989. The Census completely disregards assets owned by the "poor," and does not even count much of what, in fact, is income. This is clear from the Census's own data: low income persons spend $1.94 for every $1.00 in "income" reported by the Census. If this is true, then the poor somehow are getting $0.94 in additional income above every $1.00 counted by the Census. Indeed, the gap between spending and the Census's count of the income of the "poor" has grown larger year by year till, now, the Census measurement of the income of poor persons no longer has any bearing on economic reality.