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didn't have such programming.

For 30 years, I've been hacked off at a guy. His name's Rector and he pretty much started the meme back in the mists of Ronlandia that poor people deserve no compassion because they really aren't poor. They have shit.

They have TVs and VCRs (recent iterations of the Rector Gospel have upgraded that to DVD players) and refrigerators (don't know why, since we refuse 'em food). They're living the lives of Reilly out there.

Year after year, decade after decade, Rector's preached this gospel of "the poor will be with you no ways" at Heritage, Nat Review, etc., gathering acolytes along the way.

Now a new prophet has arisen, preaching a New Revelation of Rectorism: the "poor" are even richer than we thought, because of all the shit on TV.

Virginia Postrel penned a piece for Bloomberg entitled, and I kid thee not, "Who Needs a Raise When You Have TV?" in which she argues that statistics on income and quality of life ignore the cornucopia of wealth spewing from our plasma screens.

On a flight across the country, you watch the playoff game on live television, listen to some favorite playlists as you catch up on work, then relax with some video poker. Arriving home, you delete the game from your DVR and consider your options. Too tired for an intense cable drama -- which you prefer to experience in immersive weekend marathons of at least three episodes each -- you stream a first-season episode of “Duck Dynasty” from Amazon.com, then run last week’s “Elementary” from your DVR queue. While watching, you check IMDB.com to see where you’ve seen that familiar-looking guest star before, then you jump to your Facebook and Twitter feeds. You finish the evening with “SportsCenter,” recorded just far enough ahead that you can skip most of the commercials.
(And, yes, I learned about this on TV. Thanks, Colbert.)

Postrel takes Rectorism one step further from reality, arguing that the virtual wealth of "Storage Wars" and "Big Bang Theory" more than makes up for the lack of more, um, substantial valuables. With all the options available for the so-called poor on television and the XBox, why should anyone complain.

One is reminded of the apocryphal tale of John D. Rockefeller allowing his staff to parade through his dining room during the holidays to view a picture of a turkey.

Today's poor are even luckier. They get to see it in high def.

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