Poverty

Hmm, what defines poverty? Is A person in Poverty in the same condition in the US vs the Third World?

National Review (Robert Rector) in 1999: * These facts are gleaned from the government's own surveys of the living conditions of the poor... Forty-one percent of the poor actually own their own homes, typically a three-bedroom house with one-and-one-half baths... About 70 percent of poor households own a car or truck, and more than a quarter own two or more cars. Two-thirds of the poor have Air Conditioning, and a similar number have microwaves. Nearly half of all poor households own two or more color television (TV) sets. Almost three-quarters of the poor now have VCR-s.*

David Henderson in Red Herring - The third reason the line between those getting richer and poorer becomes blurred is the incredible Income Mobility that the United States enjoys. Today, people in the lowest-fifth income bracket are likely to be in a higher one in a few years. Imagine you could take a picture of everyone in the lowest quintile; nine years later, you take another picture of that quintile. How many people would be in both? Surprisingly few.

studied by Amartya Sen (limited to the Third World?)

one apparent factor in the US is Teenage Pregnancy (Single Parent Family)

  • the APA said families with a female head of household had a poverty rate of 29.9% in 1998 and comprised the majority of poor families (U.S. Census Bureau, 1999)

The official poverty measure is of little help to policymakers and researchers who seek to understand poverty, to track policy effects on poverty, and to develop policies to alleviate it, argues Robert T Michael, a faculty affiliate with the Joint Center for Poverty Research and Dean of the Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago.

Gregg Easterbrook on One Nation Underprivileged (ISBN:0195101685 ) by Mark Robert Rank. Also, [this](http://magazine.wustl.edu/Spring02/Mark Rank.html) profile says that 58 percent of Americans will experience at least one year of poverty between the ages of 20 and 75. In addition, two-thirds of adults will receive a Means Tested welfare program, such as Food Stamps or Supplemental Security Income, by the time they reach age 65. They also found that most people encountering poverty or the use of welfare do so over fairly short intervals: typically, one or two years. Hmm, does this support the Income Mobility theory, and raise the issue of whether programs really make the difference vs just the passage of time? According to Rank's research, only 1 out of 4 welfare recipients had parents who also used welfare. Hmm, doesn't that contradict the previous point about 58% ending up on welfare for at least a while?

Phil Jones:MTVAndCycleOfPoverty


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