You know, even when I talk to Romanians who have been to the United States, they often fail to grasp just what life is like there.
Without turning this post into a jeremiad, I was reading through a new report (PDF) issued by the U.S. Census Bureau (Rom: recensament), talking about official levels of poverty.
There were 49.1 million poor [people] using the SPM definition of poverty, more than the 46.6 million using the official definition of poverty.
Whether it’s “only” 46.6 million or else the larger number of 49.1 million, clearly that’s way over double the size of the entire population of Romania which is officially poor in the United States. God knows if you earn $1 over that official line then you aren’t even officially poor, even though life still sucks. And if you do the math, that’s 1 in 6 people who are officially poor.
If you scroll on down through the rest of the charts in the report, you’ll also see that about 50 million people in America have no health insurance at all. At one time in my life I was in both categories (poor and no healthcare) and let me tell you, it’s really not that fun.
Are there poor people in Romania? Of course there are. But as I’ve written about before, just about all of them are eating organic carrots and other healthy foods. Being poor in America in a city means you learn to live off canned foods and junk. And I’m not even going to tell you about the time I had to be transported to a hospital because I had let a simple injury fester neglected and untended (because I couldn’t afford to go to the doctor) until it got to a point where it was threatening my life. Why? Because that’s my former life.
Now I live in Romania. You know, the undeveloped country ;)
I went to the doctor, and the doctor said, “My son, you got that dust pneumony and you ain’t got long, not long.”