11/09/2018 Investor's Business Daily
Poverty: Recent reports suggest that America has made no progress at all in its "War on Poverty" since the 1960s. Headlines claim "one in eight" Americans live in poverty. But is that true? It depends on how you define poverty.
And the answer matters a lot, since it determines so much of U.S. economic policy, from food stamps to minimum wages, and from taxes to welfare work requirements.
It's true: Official poverty data from the U.S. Census show little change since the 1960s. The rate in 1966, for instance, was 14.7%. As recently as 2014 it was even higher: 14.8%. The rate has since declined to a still-high 12.3%.
A damning statistic that shows the failure of America's welfare safety net?
Hardly. A recent report by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) shows why the federal government's poverty rates are deceptive. There are many technical reasons, but they all boil down to this: They measure only poverty as it relates to income, not to consumption............ To Read More...