Skip to navigationSkip to content
Close
The Most Shocking Statistic About Poverty in America Was Probably Wrong All Along

The Most Shocking Statistic About Poverty in America Was Probably Wrong All Along

Read more on Slate Magazine

Contributions

  • Why does Jordon point out every early critic of this statistic is conservative? Does that mean they aren’t credible or politically motivated? In that case he should also report the politics of the authors of the original study.

    Most economists, regardless of political affiliation, way always skeptical

    Why does Jordon point out every early critic of this statistic is conservative? Does that mean they aren’t credible or politically motivated? In that case he should also report the politics of the authors of the original study.

    Most economists, regardless of political affiliation, way always skeptical of the $2 a day. Politics should have nothing to do with it.

  • So maybe they’re not living on $2 a day. Maybe they’re living on $5 or $10. It’s still extremely low, and it’s shockingly expensive to be poor in general.

    That the poor in the United States are not suffering at the levels of the poor in other impoverished nations should not be a surprise... but the cost

    So maybe they’re not living on $2 a day. Maybe they’re living on $5 or $10. It’s still extremely low, and it’s shockingly expensive to be poor in general.

    That the poor in the United States are not suffering at the levels of the poor in other impoverished nations should not be a surprise... but the cost of living here is certainly much higher than in those places.

    Instead of blaming the poor, perhaps we should examine why the wealthiest nation on the planet, with such a “great” system allows for these outcomes. The unfortunate truth is that we have allowed our society to be structured like this and those in power resist any adjustments that could both correct these deficiencies and prevent them from happening in the first place.

  • I spent spent seven years as a social worker working with the poor in a rust-belt city. There really are very, very, VERY few Americans at this level. There are a few certainly, but far fewer than these authors purport, and when post-transfer income is included, it falls to virtually none. My undergraduate

    I spent spent seven years as a social worker working with the poor in a rust-belt city. There really are very, very, VERY few Americans at this level. There are a few certainly, but far fewer than these authors purport, and when post-transfer income is included, it falls to virtually none. My undergraduate degree is in the social sciences, and my graduate degree is in business, with a strong background in economics. Particularly in the social sciences? When a study "shocks the world" and just "happens" to fall in line with what the authors would like to build their career upon? I get extremely suspect, especially if they conflict with a great deal of established empirical data, like the referenced study here does.

  • This article makes the “cash-less society” take on a particular meaning—that is not having access to cash at all rather than choosing not to have cash. The fact that there are people in America who live on less a day than what it costs to buy a cafe latte is shocking. The mark of a great society is how

    This article makes the “cash-less society” take on a particular meaning—that is not having access to cash at all rather than choosing not to have cash. The fact that there are people in America who live on less a day than what it costs to buy a cafe latte is shocking. The mark of a great society is how it treats the least of those amongst it.

  • If 1.35 million public school children lack homes then something goes wrong.

  • Statistics for poverty are often misunderstood and misused in either the media or by researchers. Many institutes throughout the world have calculated that more than three-quarters of the world's population lives on less than $10 per day. In the article it states that the $2 per day is based upon cash

    Statistics for poverty are often misunderstood and misused in either the media or by researchers. Many institutes throughout the world have calculated that more than three-quarters of the world's population lives on less than $10 per day. In the article it states that the $2 per day is based upon cash incomes and for at least part of the year. Not to be callous, only to point out how research can be statistically distorted based on wording, if a family receives food stamps or other non-cash income, that does not count. Moreover the wording for part of the year can be any period of time. A single day of not having $2 and cash income during the course of a year counts towards that statistic. based upon those numbers, people who have been laid off from Wall Street for upwards of a year, would also qualify regardless of their assets.

  • $2 a day is a global statistic - it has never been a US statistic.

  • We continue to have a slave mentality in this country. Some of it comes from the reality that America is an extremely expensive country to live. However, as Frannie points out, the research is dealing with cash. Not debit. Not ebt etc. Folding paper money. This makes it easier to take up altruism. Which

    We continue to have a slave mentality in this country. Some of it comes from the reality that America is an extremely expensive country to live. However, as Frannie points out, the research is dealing with cash. Not debit. Not ebt etc. Folding paper money. This makes it easier to take up altruism. Which I define as guilt manipulating extortion. And this exactly where the oligarchy wants us to be. Hillary's book 'It Takes a Village', was probably inspired by this report. Certainly Bill's legislation. Again, as in most legislation trying to fix the disparity of income in this country, it makes slaves. And it is growing and we are comfortable. We are a nation of unjust weights and measures. 2009 should have been a huge wake up call but altruistic thinking says 'we are ok'. Just increase funding/taxes to pay for it to continue. This too shall fail. The center will not hold. Fiat economies always fail and slavery increases.

  • Definitely good to have accurate statistics, but this story feels a little like splitting hairs. Lots of Americans struggle to make ends meet, and our conversations should focus on solutions rather than nitpicking the definition of the problem

  • Was claimed recently that the vast majority could not withstand a $400 emergency expense. Whether someone makes $2 or $10 or $20 a day life throws you curveballs and if you cannot withstand that expense that is a true Testament of income equality in the United States.