Obama administration wants to change how poverty is measured

Obama wants to define poverty as relative and not absolute levels of income.

This week, the Obama administration announced it will create a new poverty-measurement system that will eventually displace the current poverty measure. This new measure, which has little or nothing to do with actual poverty, will serve as the propaganda tool in Obama’s endless quest to “spread the wealth.”

Under the new measure, a family will be judged “poor” if its income falls below a certain specified income threshold. Nothing new there, but, unlike the current poverty standards, the new income thresholds will have a built-in escalator clause: They will rise automatically in direct proportion to any rise in the living standards of the average American.

The current poverty measure counts absolute purchasing power — how much steak and potatoes you can buy. The new measure will count comparative purchasing power — how much steak and potatoes you can buy relative to other people. As the nation becomes wealthier, the poverty standards will increase in proportion. In other words, Obama will employ a statistical trick to ensure that “the poor will always be with you,” no matter how much better off they get in absolute terms.

The Left has promoted this idea of an ever-rising poverty measure for a long time. It was floated at the beginning of the War on Poverty and flatly rejected by Pres. Lyndon Johnson. Not so President Obama, who consistently seeks to expand the far-left horizons of U.S. politics. . . .

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Blogger Raven Lunatic said...

From what I understood, they were also taking other factors into account. The current standard was never "how much steak and potatoes can you buy" but "how much steak and potatoes can you buy assuming you didn't have to pay for housing, or certain other significant living costs;" someone who is trying to make ends meet on the low end of a working person's salary lives in a much deeper level of poverty in New York City than they would in rural Texas, despite making the same amount of money, because the obligatory cost of housing is so dramatically different.

With proper adjustments, this will change the measure from "how much steak & potatoes could you buy if you didn't have other mandatory expenses" to "how much steak & potatoes are you actually capable of purchasing"

3/11/2010 7:53 PM  
Blogger Greta said...

Barry is a socialist. There is no money and yet he keeps committing to spending more. The sad fact is he is doing a lot of things like this without a lot of scrutiny because he is doing so many of them both behind and in front of the cameras. We will pay the price for generations for this guy.

3/15/2010 11:17 PM  

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