In the discussions over the new statistics showing ever more Americans in poverty, I was struck by this line from Robert Rector at the Heritage Foundation: "Nearly two-thirds [of the officially poor] have cable or satellite TV" and "One-third have a wide-screen plasma or LCD TV."
Unlike the more on-the-ball sort of impoverished person, I haven't had cable or satellite TV for over a decade. I bought an old-fashioned TV about seven years ago. That was fine at the time because we got the major networks on broadcast TV. Then, after a delay, old-fashioned analog broadcasting was halted in June 2009. Various officials made various promises about how this wouldn't be a problem, that with simple fixes everybody would be as well off as before.
That didn't turn out to be true. Despite trying various work-arounds, we haven't gotten CBS since the switchover, NBC comes and goes, it's a mess.
This is no doubt a problem for many millions of Americans.
And guess what? Nobody who is anybody cares about them.
A simple rule of thumb is that if you don't have cable or a nice TV in contemporary America, you are a nobody.