Political Controversies

1. Why is Poverty Controversial?
    A. Which Poverty Data is Correct?
    B.
Is Enough Done for the Poor?

 


 

2A. Is Income Stagnation Serious?   
2B. Should Americans Follow the Money?
3A. Is Politics About the Money?
3B. Do People Vote Their Pocketbook?
4. Worst 20th Century Decade Was?

A. Which Poverty Data is Correct?

Poverty Down Only 4.5% Points Over Fifty Years

Poverty Down 14.2% Points Over Fifty Years 

See War on Poverty, Was it Lost? NYT Legacies of the War on Poverty by Martha J. Bailey (Editor), Sheldon Danziger (Editor)

This chart "...provides a first approximation of how correcting the 2013 poverty rate for noncash food and housing benefits, refundable tax credits, and not using the upward [inflation] bias of the CPI-U would change the 2013 poverty rate. This adjusted poverty rate falls from 14.5 to 4.8 percent, making the 2013 rate roughly a quarter of the 1964 rate (19.0 percent). If we were to lower the poverty threshold for cohabiting couples to match that for married couples the 2013 poverty rate would have fallen even more." Examples of noncash benefits include food stamps SNAP), discounted school lunches, subsidized rent, Medicaid, and Medicare. See Source Editors Comments are in red.

 

Picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

source federal safety net.com

 

Are SS and Medicare
Part of the Welfare System?
Social insurance taxes -SS + Medicare Payments = deep doo-doo as employee does not pay taxes on employer's portion.

Liars, Dame Liars
and Statisticians

This data shows a tremendous increase in our safety net spending but there are two problems. Total spending is not adjusted for inflation which has been was very high in the 1970's and high the rest of the century. Also using appropriate techniques shown above yields a drop in poverty to 4.8%.

The More Relevant Question is why isn't the CBO providing and publicizing basic data using appropriate methods to judge specific issues. The CPI-U is an all-purpose index that is very often updated but it is inap- propriately for long-term comparisons. Instead liberals use one set of data and conservatives use another set of data. Both are true but do not communicate the truth.

Visualizing Individual Income

Food for Thought

Cumulative Distribution of Individual Income, 2013


Average State Spending Per Poor Person
Source

Spending Per Capita and Per Poor Person on Different Types of Social Welfare Functions, Averages for Fiscal Capacity Quartiles, 1977-2000, Average spending per poor person

And the Answer Is? U.S. Government Defined Poverty from Distributing Income may help with your answer. A Relevant Question How has the lifestyle and wellbeing changed for the bottom decile? See Economic Wellbeing

Figure

"...shows that government transfer payments to individuals approximately doubled, rising from about 7% of GDP in 1970 to nearly 15% in 2014. These transfer payments primarily redistribute income through various social programs, including disability and unemployment insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, and food stamps. As such, these transfers should disproportionately benefit households in the bottom 80% of the income distribution." Rising Income Inequality

Editors Note: I am really annoyed at those on either side of an issue that should know which statistics are misleading but are interested in personal gain. Human prejudice for a particular idea causes many to easily accept any data that supports their prejudice. Example is education. Many use the average income of those with a Bachelor's degree as a reason of everyone going to college when the much lower median income of those with just a bachelor's degree is much more meaningful when considering college for everyone. In addition, STEM majors have always had the highest economic investment return but only recently has this fact been getting publicity.  Please e-mail suggestions to antonw@ix.netcom.com
state.taxes.and.inequality Another Relevant Question

What if people reporting all these people especially children who are supposedly staving are basing there numbers on the official rate that does not include food stamps and help paying for school   lunches? Do you think they do it so you will donate to their nonprofit program to help the poor? To get elected? Have you ever checked out salaries at guidestar.org.

See For Poorer and Richer NYT 3/14/15

Source textbooksfree.org/Current U.S. Political Economy Controversies1A