The War on Poverty

Here are some useful articles.

5 reasons why we’re losing the war on poverty   [Source: USA Today]

  1. Real median household income
    • “Annual increases in median household income were last experienced in 2007 for family households and in 2009 for non-family households.”
  2. Wealth accumulation, or lack thereof
    • “A brutal combination of falling stock and home prices has decimated wealth gains over the past decade.”
  3. Employment-to-population ratio
    • “…the percentage of working-age Americans with a job is only 59%, relatively unchanged over the past five years and near levels not seen since 1984.”
  4. Food Stamps
    • “…there are about 46.5 million individuals currently receiving food stamps.”
  5. Wages
    • “Wages and salaries as a percentage of GDP have been declining for over four decades.”

Poverty in America: Why Can’t We End It  [Source: The New York Times. Peter Edelman. 2012]

In this article, Peter Edelman proposes that progress has been made over the years in the war on poverty. Without programs like Social Security, food stamps, earned-income tax credits, etc., 40 million people would be added to the current 45 million counted as poor.

He explores the reasons why we can’t end poverty in America:

  1. Low wage jobs.
    • “We’ve been drowning in a flood of low-wage jobs for the last 40 years.”
    • ” …a third of the population – have annual incomes below twice the poverty line.”
    • “Poverty among families with children headed by single mothers exceeds 40 percent.”
    • We need more jobs that pay decent wages.
  2. Loss of the safety net for single mothers and their children
    • “…20 million people earn incomes below half the poverty line, less than $9,500 for a family of three.”
  3. The demise of welfare (TANF). 
    • “In the mid-90s more than two-thirds of children in poor families received welfare.” It’s now 27%.
  4. Race and gender
    • “Minorities are disproportionately poor” (27% of them are poor).

Read the full article.

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