Poverty – The Forgotten Statistics

Today the Philadelphia Daily News posted an article regarding the seriousness of Poverty. The Census Bureau recently released data that suggests the federal poverty level has risen a full percentage point over last year. The federal poverty level was established in the 1960’s. Things have obviously changed in our economy since that time. At that time, food costs comprised a third of American’s budgets. Therefore the poverty level was calculated simply by taking the cost of food and multiplying by three. I’m sure you have noticed the problem we are now faced with. Food costs has dropped since the poverty level was established, where other things such as daycare expenses, utilities, etc. have risen. This creates a big problem in determining who falls under the poverty level because we are using an inaccurate formula to determine it.

It is my belief that this is an area that needs to be given immediate attention. When looking at the problem of poverty in our society, we should certainly be using accurate formulas as a measurement of our current situation. It doesn’t make sense not to. I don’t know if it is just that the federal goverment doesn’t want to face the harsh reality of the situation, or if there are other reasons for not updating the standards more frequently. I have placed a link below to the article from the Philadelphia Daily News.

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