Because poverty looks so different in many other countries, looking from the outside it seems like Americans have so much money. To say that a family making $40,000 a year is poor is very hard for many people to understand.
We also know that if you’re not getting any kinds of government subsidies and you are making $40,000 a year, and it’s two adults and two children, and you’re in an apartment that’s livable, it’s going to cost you much more than that. We are willfully blind to how much our systems hurt our fellow Americans.
I’m not sure it’s possible to be on $40k for 2 adults and 2 kids and not to be getting any form of government help. But OK, suppose it is:
Being in the top 15% of global incomes – yes, adjusted for local prices already – just doesn’t taste like poverty to me.