Thursday, November 02, 2006

Should the Poverty Line Be Raised?

In the US today, to be declared as in poverty, your income must be $16,660 or less. The Census Bureau is now looking to raise that mark from $16,660 to $19,500.
Many economists have a problem with this. The believe that the poverty line should be looking at consumption rather then income. Often times, people living in poverty are able to consume good much more expensive then there actual income. They are able to do this because of welfare and other beneficial programs. Often incomes' of retirees would be viewed as under the pverty level. They are able to still live comfortablly because many of their crucial materials such as cars and home are already paid for. Studies show that of the 8.7 million Americans, only 3.7% actually live in harsh conditions that should be viewed as in poverty.

3 comments:

Drew said...

I think the poverty level should be raised. It is not reasonable to say that people can support themselves with an income of just over $16,660. Everything is becoming more expensive and people need to have an income close to $20,000 a year in order to support themselves.

IanV said...

I do think that the poverty line should be raised. Just because these people are able to consume normal goods due to welfare doesn't mean that they aren't living in poverty. It is important to look at the relativity to the rest of the nation. Living in poverty in America is much different then living in poverty in other countries. Because of this I would say yes the poverty line "for America" should be raised.

chris carter said...

I do think the poverty line should be raised also. People who are on welfare do not necessarily live in poverty. Sometimes people go on welfare because they have difficulty raising their family.