One of the richest woman in China was born in extreme poverty in a remote mountain village. She got her wealth by selling her chili sauce, lao gan ma, which she originally made for her noodle stand.
Derreck Kayongo collected barely-used bars of soap from hotels, melted them together, and distributed them to poor countries. He’s the founder of the Global Soap Project, which improves access to basic sanitation and reduces disease and child mortality.
As a struggling actor, Jim Carrey wrote himself a $10 000 000 check for ‘acting services rendered’ and dated it for thanksgiving 1995. By 1994, Carrey had made millions from Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber.
There are a class of people in Japan referred to as Cyber Homeless who live at cyber cafes because they are a cheaper alternative than an apartment. The cafes offer free showers and sell underwear.
In 1965, 25% of all black families in the U.S. were headed by women. By 2010, that number reached 72%.
Those making less than $10,000 a year spend $597 on the lottery meanwhile the average US household spends $162. States not only know this; they actually target the poor with lottery ads.
Between 1974 and 1979, the city of Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada, took part in an experimental guaranteed income program (“Mincome”). For those four years—until the project was cancelled and its findings packed away—the town’s poorest residents were given monthly checks that supplemented what modest earnings they had and rewarded them for working more. And for that time, the effects of poverty began to melt away. Doctor and hospital visits declined, mental health appeared to improve, and more teenagers completed high school.
In many European countries they have “Social Supermarkets” that allow the poor to buy discarded goods from normal supermarkets at very cheap prices.
Economists have pointed out that if all the money spent on federal antipoverty programs were given to the poor, a family of four would have an annual income near $70,000. They get less than half the money given in their name; most goes to fund the bureaucracies that run the programs.
The poverty line in America was designed assuming every family had a housewife who was a skillful cook.