Poverty

Last week, I had a post outlining how family poverty works. The upshot is that family poverty is largely driven by the ratio of earners to dependents. Families with lots of earners and few dependents have low poverty. Families with few earners and lots of dependents have high poverty. Another way...
03/24/2016
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This week has turned out to be the week of low-hanging fruit for me. On Monday, we had a misleading Cato post that falsely claimed that the US poor are as well off as the poor in Sweden and Denmark. In fact, the poorest Swedes and poorest Danes have 48% and 63% more income than the poorest...
11/05/2015
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In 1996, following his campaign promises, President Bill Clinton ended welfare as we knew it. He passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, a self-congratulatorily titled law which shut down Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and effectively ended the...
09/08/2015
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Children present significant poverty and financial risks for families for two main reasons. First, as yesterday's post explains, the mere addition of children to families is enough to push many families into poverty because having a child increases the money a family needs to stay out of poverty....
07/31/2015
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Danielle Paquette at Wonkblog reported on a new study about income trends across individual lifecycles. The findings confirm the basic point that income rank does not differ much across the lifecycle (a person whose income puts them in the 30th percentile of 30-year-olds at age 30 is likely to...
02/11/2015
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Every year, the Census puts out two poverty estimates. The first uses the Official Poverty Metric, which counts all cash income from any source excluding tax credits and capital gains. The second uses the Supplemental Poverty Metric, which counts all cash income, tax credits, and the cash...
07/31/2014
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One of the conservative lines on how to fix poverty is that you get workers into really bad poverty-wage jobs and then over time they can get promoted until their jobs are only moderately bad non-poverty jobs. Paul Ryan has been fond of this line, calling the process by which you get a terrible job...
07/01/2014
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One of the stranger things conservatives who want to reduce the incomes of poor people do is tally up some big figure of money spent on the War On Poverty and then remark that we still have poverty. Usually these sums include spending that has nothing to do with poverty reduction, e.g. Pell Grants...
04/03/2014
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Paul Ryan is blaming poverty on black culture. Earlier I wrote about how ridiculous that is. There are eight million more poor whites than there are poor blacks, and white poverty obviously cannot be explained by black culture. Since we started measuring poverty, black poverty has fallen much more...
03/12/2014
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To the extent that there is still poverty, the War On Poverty has failed. With that said, anti-poverty programs have done a lot to reduce poverty since the 1960s. By one pretty solid measure, anti-poverty programs pulled 40 million people out of poverty last year, cutting the U.S. poverty rate from...
02/20/2014
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