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August 14, 2020 

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ABSOLUTE POVERTY: The amount of income a person or family needs to purchase an absolute amount of the basic necessities of life. These basic necessities are identified in terms of calories of food, BTUs of energy, square feet of living space, etc. The problem with the absolute poverty level is that there really are no absolutes when in comes to consuming goods. You can consume a given poverty level of calories eating relatively expensive steak, relatively inexpensive pasta, or garbage from a restaurant dumpster. The income needed to acquire each of these calorie "minimums" vary greatly. That's why some prefer relative poverty.

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Fact 3: Our Unfair Lives

Across the interstate from the Mega-Mart Discount Warehouse Super Center resides the Shady Valley Central Town Sprawling Hills Shopping Mall -- a prime example of our economy's climate-controlled, suburban shopping phenomenon. Our pedestrian's ramble through the economy would be totally inadequate if we did not spend at least one day strolling past the endless rows of stores with their displays of clothes, shoes, electronics, clothes, luggage, clothes, cheese pretzels, and of course clothes. Our pedestrian trip, however, is not concerned with the products exhibited beyond the stylish glass windows. No, our jumping off point is the gadzillions of people who pass us by, bump into us, get in our way, and generally make our shopping experience comparable to a commuter train during the rush hour.

Those who comprise the shopping crowd are short, tall, young, old, fat, thin, black, white, happy, and sad. More importantly for our present discussion, however, is that some are rich and some are not-so-rich. A few of the wealthier shoppers actually buy the products framed by the picturesque windows that line the air-conditioned quaint mid-way of Shady Valley Central Town Sprawling Hills Shopping Mall. Others must be content to ogle the prominently displayed products or perhaps buy an occasional cheese pretzel.
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time lost in your local discount super center looking to buy either a revolving spice rack or a how-to book on home repairs. Be on the lookout for vindictive digital clocks with revenge on their minds.
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Junk bonds are so called because they have a better than 50% chance of default, carrying a Standard & Poor's rating of CC or lower.
"We succeed in enterprises (that) demand the positive qualities we possess, but we excel in those (that) can also make use of our defects. "

-- Alexis de Tocqueville, statesman, author

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