Poor in the
Poverty lies at the heart of the current debates about globalisation, climate change and other environmental issues. The
The statistical methods used to calculate poverty in the
The joke is that these thresholds are still in use today. The only significant change has been the introduction of index linking. The official number of Americans in poverty grew slightly in 2004 to 12.7 percent from the 12.5 percent recorded the previous year, representing about 37 million Americans. Since 2000, the number of people living in official poverty has increased by 5.4 million. All this is bad enough, and starkly at odds with the robust, optimistic image of the
- Food doesn’t account for one-third of a family’s budget today, making it an unrealistic cost-of-living measure.
- The model fails to take into account housing, transportation or health care—which together can amount to more than triple the average cost of food.
- The model also ignores regional variations, childcare costs and the growth of single-parent families.
There are fears that the Census Bureau is deliberately undercounting the number of poor Americans for political purposes, with significant implications for future budget policy. Alternative ‘realistic’ calculations arrive at real numbers between 18 percent (48 million) and 25 percent, or more than 70 million Americans currently unable to afford the most basic necessities.
With Peak Oil almost upon us, the outlook can only get bleaker for the