White House looks to change how poverty is measured

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by chrmjenkins, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #1
    http://articles.courant.com/2010-05...03_1_measure-poverty-low-income-poverty-level

    excerpt:

    What I am most curious about is whether this will better define those most in need rather than just shift the relative number of those considered below the poverty line.
     
  2. unid macrumors regular

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    #2
    She multiplied by three the cost of food needed to feed a family in 1955.
    seems a pretty deficient measure to me, can't spin that positively, or tart it up.
     
  3. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #3
    I am all for assistance to the poor, provided they don't expect to be handed money while living irresponsible lifestyles. We don't need to go down England's road with entitlements making a mockery of being poor.
     
  4. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #4
    Two kicks in two sentences. You've excelled yourself ideologically.
     
  5. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #5
    It looks as though they're trying to redefine all aspects of poverty. This could be incredibly far-reaching and have a huge impact on a lot of people. It's obviously long past the time to update the definition of poverty.
     
  6. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #6
    I see a big, big, big fight over this. The potential to increase entitlements spending is huge, if not 100%.
     
  7. Mac N Tosh macrumors regular

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    #7
    Remind me of the bumper sticker..

    "Outa the way. I have to get to work, millions on welfare depend on me"
     
  8. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    Terlingua, Texas
    #8
    What has long bothered me about how "poverty" is figured is that it seems to be solely based on income. If you're below the level, you qualify for all manner of subsidy in utilities and rent as well as food stamps. You need not be much above that income level to not qualify for any subsidy at all.

    The system seems not to be designed to help people get off the poverty level supports and become self-supporting. A number of years ago I spoke with a US Rep from south Georgia about the possibility of a partial decrease in benefits as one went to work and began to earn money. At the time, any income from work caused a one-for-one reduction in benefits. That's a loser, since there are no tax deductions for benefits. That in turn means that you are worse off for working.

    I was told that he had introduced legislation for just what I was suggesting as to a partial reduction of benefits as one became an earner. Trouble was, he could get no support from fellow US Reps.

    When there is consistency in such anecdotes over a period of more than twenty years--and there is indeed such consistency--the conclusion for me is that there is little interest in Congress in redesigning programs to enhance people's abilitiy to become independent and self-supporting. Keep 'em dependent, promise more benefits, buy those votes.
     
  9. chrmjenkins thread starter macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #9
    I agree with your sentiment rat in that we need some sort of intelligent standard with a gradient. My hope would also be that the new rules, as I stated in the OP, are also more intelligent about who needs the benefits the most. I imagine through all the abuse stories that not all the right people get the funds they need.
     
  10. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #10
    yep


    As dismal and negative as your theory seems, it is logically 100% sound. Why would anyone ever vote for the guy who wants to take their stuff away?
     
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #11
    I think there are a number of similar problems with the way we do welfare in the US (and y'all know I'm definitely not a member of the right wing)... for instance, we tend to classify disability as essentially either very temporary or permanent.

    The engineering of the welfare system isn't really designed to figure out who is rehabilitatable with respect to employment (that is, unemployed but could be employed, or underemployed) and figure what is needed to get them from where they are now to a future state where they are self-sufficient (including not only things like training and a structure by which they are transitioned into the workforce but also provision of some benefits over the course of that time). To the extent that the population of people receiving various kinds of welfare or disability income definitely includes some people who are at some level likely candidates for successful workers in the future, emphasizing this "should" be a no-brainer....
     
  12. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #12
    Exactly. It's a black and white system in a world of an infinite number of grays. There needs to be a personalized approach to the whole system.
     
  13. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    Jul 4, 2003
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    Terlingua, Texas
    #13
    Yeah, graduated and with incentives to bootstrap upwards.

    One of the better mechanics I ever met came out of the Job Corps deal at Camp Gary, at San Marcos, TX. I heard lots of good words about that place. Then, twenty some years later, they had to shut down the Job Corps center near Atlanta, GA, because they couldn't maintain discipline during classes.

    Free day-care centers plus Project Head Start: Get the little grabbers to learn to read, and push Momma to find work--but not lose all her benefits.

    Rework AFDC, somehow, getting rid of the single-parent requirement. Kids do better with a two-parent upbringing.

    It's BS that us old conservatives want to get rid of The Welfare System. We just want it to have a chance of working to get people OFF welfare. How can anybody have any personal pride in themselves when their very existence depends on the largesse of others--and there's no hope for a way out?
     

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