The Heritage Foundation reports says that the Census Bureau reported last fall that 43 million Americans were poor. The report also says that half of the families defined as poor has a computer, more than three out of four have air conditioning, almost 2/3 have cable or satellite TV's, 92% have microwaves (and 80% don't know how to cook, my figures), the typical poor family have at least 2 color TV's, a VCR, and a DVD player, while they typical poor family with children has a video-game system such as an Xbox of Playstation...(and all the younger typical poor person has a cell-phone, expensive tennis shoes, free food and clothes and even free housing. AS well as vending machines and fast food money.
Also, as well as cars or almost free transportation. Plus welfare benefits of many kinds.
Government figures show that only 1 in 70 poor persons is homeless. (And that is generally by choice, my comment)
Today's description as a liberal says that 17 million kids go to bed hungry. Some might go hungry by choice as free food is offered in dozens of places including schools.
The USDA reports that 980,000 children (1.3% of all American children experienced very low food security. 99% of children did not skip a single meal during 2009 because of lack of financial resources. (And those that did skip meals did so by choice. I know. I often visited schools where free food was on the serving tables yet many kids ignored the food and did other things including use of the vending machines),
I had 1 brother and 7 sisters; we had none of the above amenities, we did have a Victrola, a radio and 1 car and were certainly poor, but we never missed a meal. Why? Our mom knew how to cook and my 7 sisters learned to cook. In Peoria School District #150, most "poor" kids mom's do not know how to cook and this school system dropped teaching cooking in 1994.
Poverty, like Bill Clinton said, what is the definition of poverty in America?