"For you always have the poor with you" (Matthew 26:11)
MSM falls for poverty con
You know those headlines you read recently?Under these rules, it will be officially impossible to eliminate poverty until all people have equal income and equal assets. And since that will never happen, poverty is now officially baked into the pie.
Census: U.S. Poverty Rate Spikes, Nearly 50 Million Americans Affected
Alternative Measure Sees More People Living in Poverty
Millions More Americans Living in Poverty Than Previously Estimated: Census Bureau
The new poverty measure is out and it’s grim
The headlines are all based on the Obama Administration’s new “supplemental” poverty line. ”New” is not necessarily “improved.”
The regular old, still-official poverty line is simple and understandable. It is the level that bought a minimal market basket of food in 1963-4, adjusted for subsequent inflation and multiplied by three. As such it measures what people think a poverty line measures–how many people fall below certain absolute living standards, whether basic human needs are being met. We’ve been using it for decades, so while it may be too high or too low people have a rough feel for what it is and what it isn’t.
The new “supplemental” poverty line is a complicated measure produced by formulas that are barely understood by poverty experts. It takes into account in-kind government benefits, which is fine, and regional costs-of-living. But at its core it is a deception: it measures not absolute poverty but relative poverty–i.e. inequality.
It’s pegged to the expenditures of the 33d percentile rather than a fixed amount of purchasing power …Under the old poverty line, “poverty” could be eliminated as society got richer–an achievable and widely shared goal. But the new poverty line will rise as society gets richer (“adjust for rising levels and standards of living”). The newly measured poor will always be with us in substantial numbers … That will yield a permanent, inextinguishable stream of NYT front page “poverty” stat stories–even if “poverty” no longer means ”poverty” in the sense we now understand the term.
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