Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Another voice for modernizing the poverty line

“Poverty poses a much greater risk to our communities, our state, and our country than just about anything out there nowadays,” writes Laura Schuck in the Kitsap Sun in Bremerton, Wash. “It’s one of those things, I suppose, that ‘I know it when I see it’ can be said about, but the methods for determining the ‘poverty line’ are necessarily more complex — and in need of modernization.”

If the official poverty thresholds recognized the real costs of medical and child care, housing and transportation, the number of poor people would immediately go up, primarily by including the working poor who make too much to qualify as “poor” by current standards, yet cannot make ends meet. With poverty come hunger and illness and the lack of opportunity to advance. For children it is almost impossible to focus on reading, writing, and arithmetic on a perpetually empty stomach.

Read the whole opinion piece here.


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