"A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization …. The condition of the lower orders, the poor especially, was the true mark of national discrimination."

"In the prospect of poverty there is nothing but gloom and melancholy; the mind and body suffer together; its miseries bring no alleviations; it is a state in which every virtue is obscured, and in which no conduct can avoid reproach; a state of which cheerfulness is insensibility …."


                           Samuel Johnson, 1770 [LSJ: p. 182]

Definition | Social Pyramid | Poverty wages



The French word is pauvrete  from [Latin] paupertas


We are limited creatures with an enormous appetite, yet

commanding a powerful technology with an unlimited imagination and

a limited mix of skills and treasure.


1.      absolute poverty

2.      relative penury

3.      behavioral impoverishment

4.         bureaucratic estimate of quality of life


265,888,000 Americans   (3.5% of the world in 1990.)

  13,000,000 people in Florida  (5% of the USA, in 1990)


Definition | Social Pyramid | Poverty wages



 2004  stratification

The social distrobution of income in the US, in 2000.


Definition | Social Pyramid | Poverty wages



Poverty wages


Social Security Administration in 1963, estimated at three times the dollar amount needed for food:

In 1991 this amounted to     $11,872

in 1992, GNP/capita was     $23,120

                for comparisons:

annual rent @  $350/mo   =   $4,200

$3.75/ hr (40hrs/52 weeks) = $7,800


1 in 5 American children live in poverty

1 in 2 minority children live in poverty