You are poor if ...

You don't have an X-Box. Or, cable TV. Or, a coffee-maker.

Over the last two generations, the federal government has thusly defined poverty so that today we find ourselves unable to precisely (and sanely) deal with the problem. Two researchers from the Heritage Foundation ask the simple question: "What is poverty in America?"

It might surprise you. Read more.

Now, as good conservatives, we must always remain acutely aware of poverty and formulate policies that solve it. Unlike our cousins of the "Great Society" persuasion who think the best solution is to burn money (and lots of it) and then sweep the ashes into faulty systems that serve to hopelessly trap the poor, we see the problem differently. By creating a fair and healthy economy, and giving the poor an even chance at participating in the fruits of the grand American experiment, we can do better.

It's as simple as this: If we're going to stop the cycle of poverty (no matter how you want to quantify poverty), we're going to need more decision makers in the federal government who actually want to reduce poverty more than they want to create a permanent underclass.