Article of the day: the federal poverty line is stuck in the 1960s

The image shows the silohuettes of 5 children

One problem with estimates of the poverty rate in the US is that the federal poverty line is arguably too low.  In 2013, a family of two with an income of $15,511 was officially over the poverty line, even though virtually no one would be able to meet all their basic needs on that amount.  Moyers & Company has a good explanation of how the federal poverty line is calculated, and how it hasn’t been updated to account for changes in technology and family structures since the 1960s.  As they write,

“In some ways, the poverty measure such as it is today made a lot of sense in 1965, 1966, in the late ’60s. The problem is we haven’t really updated it in a meaningful way,” says Shawn Fremstad, a senior research associate at the Center for Economic Policy Research. “We’ve updated it for inflation, but that just means you’re measuring what it means to be poor today in what are essentially early 1960s terms.”

 

Author: progressiveactiondaily

We share one action or news item related to progressive social change in the US each day. Stay involved, not overwhelmed!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s