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  • Poverty Measure a Gimmick to Equalize Incomes

    The Census Bureau’s new poverty measure is another tool in President Obama’s endless quest to “spread the wealth.” Although the media portray it as a more accurate measurement of poverty, in reality it deliberately severs all connection between “poverty” and actual deprivation.

    The new measure places income thresholds for poverty on a built-in escalator that rises automatically in direct proportion to any improvement in the living standards of the average American. So even if the real income of every single American were to double, the new measure would show no drop in poverty because the income thresholds also would double.

    The result is that, over the long term, poverty can be reduced only if the incomes of the “poor” are rising faster than the incomes of everyone else. The old measure told us how much one household could purchase; the new measure tells us how much one person can buy relative to others.

    The new system measures income “inequality,” not “poverty.” But the Left refuses to call this an “inequality index” and insists on using the emotionally charged term “poverty” instead. That’s because the typical American voter isn’t willing to increase welfare spending, taxes and deficits to reach the liberals’goal of equalizing incomes.

    Read more in the paper by Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield, “Air Conditioning, Cable TV, and an Xbox: What is Poverty in the United States Today?

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    21 Responses to Poverty Measure a Gimmick to Equalize Incomes

    1. This truly is scary, it's like if I get a raise everyone who doesn't work gets a raise. Which means the few dollars of my pay increase will go to taxes. So in reality, the person not working gets a raise and I break out even, although it's me doing all the work. Only in Obama's world this makes sense.

    2. Bobbie says:

      sneaky little devils that'll do anything to look to raise tensions or be in someone's favor at the expense of anyone but without being accountable to all that is wrong!

      My sister went to look at a short sale house in a relatively okay neighborhood. The driveway had a BMW and a speedboat both parked neatly in their place! Doesn't look like all Americans are under the same rules in America anymore! hmm! That's not right!

      When is the inequality of expected personal responsibilities and accountabilities to society going to be investigated?

      • Elaine says:

        What does a short sale for a family who obviously liked spending beyond their means have to do with those living in poverty?

        • Bobbie says:

          many get poverty status even though they aren't living that way and short sale homes were for people qualified by limited means and issues beyond. extravagance can be sold to closer meet their rightful responsibility less the burden on everyone that shouldn't be burdened.

    3. Ridiculous! Socialism is quietly trying to creep into our nation. We MUST speak at the polls and educate the ignorant. Notice how you don't see articles like this in the news?

    4. Crl says:

      This a joke, income inequality has been increasing every year for the last three decades, while the actual middle class struggles. The issue is not letting "the top 1%" lobby Congress to remove financial regulations, some of which have been in place after the crash in 1929, so they can make outrageous profits based on lies and high risk investments with no accountability. Also how about investing in higher education and R&d instead of a $400 billion defense budget so hundred million dollar planes can sit around until we sell them to Saudi Arabia because we have no use for them.

      • Mike says:

        Give total tax exemption to all corporations that agree to limit top pay to no more than 20 times the lowest pay. This will raise the profitability for all.

        • Edward says:

          Excellent idea, Mike…

          I hear the complaints in most of the comments here, as usual, attacking the poor poor, but never do I see any complaints about CEO's going from making 20 times more than the average worker in the 40's, 50's and 60's to now making over 400 times what the average worker makes.

          This is the only kind of income redistribution that has been occurring in this nation for the last 4 decades, but you right-wingers–many of you, Bible in hand–never complain about this economic obscenity! Yet you belly-ache over whether a family of 4 should be considered poor at $22,000 or $24,000–either way, try to live on that. And remember, these are working poor!

    5. Stirling says:

      Income Equality was never stipulated in the constitution as a "Right." In a free market capitalist system people have the opportunity to move from one income bracket to annother thru the fruit of their labors, but outcomes are never guarenteed to anyone. What makes this unique to the worlds economies is that nobody's outcome is set-in-stone as in most Euopean countries where the class you are born into determines your lot in life. Poverty is a class related term that should have no place in a country which has upward mobility for it's people as America does. I would sumize that the word poverty was created more as a propaganda term for the populist movement to push agendas and government to sway public policies then for any other use.

    6. Kelly says:

      Regardless of your opinions on the new poverty measure, the fact that the poverty indicator needed to be updated is undeniable. Thousands of individuals living in poverty are unable to receive the assistance they need because under the previous poverty indicator (that dated back to the 70s) they weren't technically classified as living in poverty. Rectifying the poverty indicator has been a political taboo since the history books will show a dramatic increase in poverty levels during a given presidential term simply due to a properly adjusted measure. However it is something that must be accurately measured and I believe this newly introduced poverty measure is a step in the right direction. It is time to face the facts, otherwise how will we move forward without knowing where we currently stand? What type of updated poverty measure would you suggest?

      • Bobbie says:

        poverty indicator needed to be updated? Not when the indicator isn't basing on survival alone.

        • Elaine says:

          Try being a parent in poverty and being satisfied that your child is merely "surviving." Children in poverty die at a much higher rate than children not in poverty. They have a right to life and the pursuit of happiness.

          • Bobbie says:

            really Elaine?if you're not one yourself (parent in poverty) you go only by what you're manipulated to hear. why would anyone bring a child into the world that's in poverty themselves? if your child is MERELY surviving then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! and next time control yourself before acting to have a child only to merely survive if that's such a concern! How dare you commence an act and put the responsibilities on strangers that had no control over the situation! that's pathetic! try having some resources of your own USE YOUR SELF CONTROL! and hold the other pathetic parent accountable to provide, also! it's kind of funny everyone leaves the man of the seed out!! hmm…

    7. Mike says:

      Eliminate ALL corporate taxes to gain max comparitive advantage in the world for any corporation that agrees to pyaroll rules that truely raise ALL boats, Maximum CEO pay at 20 times the pay of that corp's lowest paid worker. See good for everyone. Fixing this economy is easy once we get paist the self centered greedy BS. One individual is NOT better than the next and our industrys needs all the market advantages we can give it, what are corporations willing to do in return? 20 times aint good enough than pay the taxes and govt will do what's needed with out you.

    8. Thogwummpy says:

      Where in the Constitution does it give the government the power to equalize all incomes anyway? I'm sorry, but the hardworking talented chef of a restuarant has more economic value than an inexperienced hostess working that same establishment. Why should they have the same after-tax income? THEY SHOULDN'T! But in the liberal world view, they should. It's absurd!

      • Elaine says:

        NO ONE is saying everyone should be paid the same. People are saying that people stuck in cyclical poverty sometimes need help.

        My mom had to be on welfare for two years when my dad took off: she is now a small business owning CPA and pays a LOT of taxes. Investments in people pay off. She was able to pay for medical care and an education for us, and we all have advanced degrees and great jobs. So…

        • Bobbie says:

          so what? you owe it all to government? other peoples' money? why did dad get away? what's your point? if it's cyclical, a high school education could figure a way to avoid it!? if it's perpetual, look in the mirror! or look on your paycheck to see how much government is taking from you, encouraging your state of poverty!

    9. BobPA says:

      "But in the liberal world view, they should. It's absurd!" Not so! I lean liberal myself, but I'm open to good ideas from all sides, and I know many liberals and read the "progressive" press as well, and I'm not aware of any "liberal," except perhaps someone on the fringiest of the fringe, who believes that. Hard work, risk taking, expertise, etc., are legitimate factors in the differentiation of incomes. Make your points, but don't misrepresent the views of others.

    10. Ed says:

      In contrast to the “official” measurement of poverty, the methodology selected by the Census Bureau for this new measurement includes many of the non cash benefits received and additional amounts paid for medical care and work expenses. However it does not count all those factors. Inexplicably the Census Bureau does not credit recipients for benefits received for Medicare or Medicaid assistance, return on equity on mortgage free homes, savings and investments available and a myriad of lesser government subsidies such as low income telephone assistance. It also ignores the generous tuition subsidies those of limited means receive if they are fortunate enough to attend major private universities and colleges. When these items are factored in the population considered poor drops from one in seven to one in ten.

      Ed English
      CPA
      40 Fairway Road
      South Yarmouth, MA 02664

    11. Red duke says:

      That's not a surprise from Reuters. The Progressive propoganda parade goes on and it starts with groups like them.

    12. Han says:

      Nowhere in your post or in the Reuters article do they link to the official new definition of poverty. Census Bureau website does not list this as the new official measure of poverty but clearly says this is an "alternate" way of looking at the data. The Reuters article also points out that this is not the new official way of measuring poverty. From the article:
      "The figures were calculated by the Census Bureau under a broad new measure intended to supplement the official standard with a fuller picture of poverty in the United States."
      So you may want to revise your post to indicate that this is actually NOT the new official measure of poverty being used by the government or provide a link to something that indicates otherwise as the article you link to actually discredits what you posted.

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