War on poverty measures

Posted: 2 July 2012 in Uncategorized
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The number of poor Americans—46.2 or 49.1 million, depending on the measure—is obscene.

However, as Mark Levinson explains, both official U.S. measures dramatically underestimate the number of poor Americans and therefore obscure both the extent of poverty and the need for antipoverty programs in the United States.

Our government’s own count of the poor, while not denying their existence, also minimizes their number—not by undercounting them (though that’s a factor, too) but by setting the poverty bar so low that tens of millions of poor Americans are not accounted for. This miscategorization not only paints a picture of a more prosperous America than in fact exists. It also excludes large numbers of the poor from assistance that they need and might otherwise obtain.

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