It’s Remarkable How This Works Really

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An horrific statistics from the United States:

The current poverty line is drawn at annual incomes equal to or less than $12,490 for an individual and $25,750 for a family of four, regardless of where someone lives. By this standard, 38.1 million people are living in poverty with an additional 93 million more โ€œliving close to poverty,โ€ according to the most recent Census Bureau data from 2018.

That’s, ish-ish, half the entire population in or near to poverty!

As it happens the US poverty line is around 25% of median income. The definition of “near to poverty” being used here is up to 200% of the poverty line. Which will, as the mathematically inclined will note, mean – ish-ish again – all those on up to 100% of median income, or about half the population.

Remarkable how that works really, some half of the population is on less than median income….

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john77
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john77

Typo somewhere. 200% of 25% is 50% of (“median income”) not nearly (unless you are using an Alastair Campbell version of “nearly”).

Barks
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Barks

What, in the US of A, does income have to do with “living in poverty”. A significant portion of the support for low income Americans is delivered through housing vouchers, free school breakfasts, lunches and take-away meals, free mobile phones with nearly unlimited data, college-level grants and non-recourse loans, SNAP (food allowances), etc., etc..

Spike
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Spike

Compared to “living in poverty,” if we treat “living close to poverty” as a real thing, we will soon be dealing in the number of Americans “affected by poverty.” In other words, these concepts are mush.

John77 is correct, above; defining “living close to poverty” as 50% of median is of course not half the population. To Barks, Tim often notes that most of our measurements of poverty exclude income from those anti-poverty programs (a clever way of ensuring that the measured problem never goes away, nor do the disbursors’ jobs).

John B
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John B

Poverty has joined racism and Fascism to have no meaning, just a label to hang on whatever uninformed prejudice the speaker is promoting.

The real poverty is in their thinking and intellect.