Obviously at one level you can just pick an income level and say that for public policy decisions someone is "poor" if they fall below that level in that society. However, that doesn't lead to much discussion as it's pretty cut and dry. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! Since everyone has some degree of control over there lives and some lack of control, oftentimes your income level is what it is. You may be able to change it dramatically or you may not be able to due to personal circumstances. Philosophically how do you view the concept of being poor? Many of us are either poor or have had periods when we would fit that description in terms of the government's assessment of our income. I view being poor more like being unhappy. We can, for the most part, control our happiness (some do a better job than others) and we can control the degree to which we feel poor. Obviously if you are living on the streets or don't have enough food, you feel poor and that's not just a state of mind. You could live in a high crime area, live with those with drug problems, have health issues yourself, have obligations to raising many children on limited income, etc. Some aspects of being poor have more impact for some than for others. Therefore, the point of this thread isn't to trash any individual or group that finds itself chronically poor. In general though, just like positive thinking, "poor" can be adjusted to in large degree in the mind as well as in the bank account. How do you view the idea of being poor? Have you ever been economically poor but have a fulfilling life? Have you observed others who had more money than you, considered themselves poor when you didn't feel that way about yourself? This is an interesting subject to me. My focus isn't on others, in that if someone is objectively poor, then I hope they get help or things improve for them. My interest in this subject is just in how I've adapted at some points in my life and in how some others have and some haven't adapted so well.