Posted: November 17, 2016 Filed under: Economics, Education, Mediasphere, Think Tank | Tags: Abraham Lincoln, Agence France-Presse, equality, History, Hoover Institution, Poverty, prosperity, Stanford University, Thomas Sowell, video
Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social theorist, political philosopher, and author. He is currently Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
Posted: December 19, 2015 Filed under: Economics, Global, Mediasphere | Tags: East Asia, Extreme poverty, Jim Yong Kim, Poverty, Poverty threshold, Sub-Saharan Africa, Sweden, United Nations, World Bank, World population
For the first time, extreme poverty has fallen below 10% of the global population.
The new global poverty line uses updated price data to paint a more accurate picture of the costs of basic food, clothing and shelter needs around the world. In other words, the real value of $1.90 in today’s prices is the same as $1.25 was in 2005.
[Read the full story here, at Business Insider]
East Asian and Pacific regions have made the most progress. In 1990 just over 60% of the population lived in poverrty. Today that number is estimated at 4.1%. South Asia has also shown progress, moving from 51% to 13.5%, while sub-Saharan Africa remains the most challenged by poverty with 35.2% of the population living on less than $1.90 a day.
Investments in education, health and social safety, in addition to strong growth in developing countries,have been mainly responsible for the rapid decline in global poverty. “This new forecast of poverty falling into the single digits should give us new momentum and help us focus even more clearly on the most effective strategies to end extreme poverty,” said Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank, in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 6, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Baltimore, Baltimore Riots, Democratic Party, Inner City, Martin O'Malley, Maryland, National Review, Poverty, Progressivism, Urban
Posted: February 25, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, History, Mediasphere | Tags: African American, Chinese American, documentary, media, Photography, Poverty, The South, Time
Posted: January 9, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Diplomacy, Mediasphere | Tags: Attention seeking, Barack Obama, Cold War, Communism, Cuba, Dictator, Fidel Castro, Havana, Marxism, Police state, Poverty, The Washington Post, Twitter, Tyranny
MEXICO CITY — Rumors about the death of Fidel Castro — an age-old ritual for Cuba-watchers — once again began circulating on and off the island this week.
It’s true that Castro hasn’t been seen in public in about a year, and it’s been a few months since one of his last columns were published. Castro, 88, has not said one public word about the historic announcement by President Obama last month about his goal of moving toward normal relations with Cuba after a half-century Cold War stand-off.
Twitter went wild Thursday night with speculation about his demise. Why? There are rumors about that, too. One of them is that another Fidel Castro, this one the son of a prominent Kenyan politician, died a few days ago (Fidel Castro Odinga of Nairobi), and maybe this was all a social media mash-up of mistaken identity. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 7, 2014 Filed under: Economics, U.S. News | Tags: Census, corruption, Democrats, Poverty, War on Poverty
In his January 1964 State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed, “This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America.” In the 50 years since that time, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs. Adjusted for inflation, this spending (which does not include Social Security or Medicare) is three times the cost of all U.S. military wars since the American Revolution. Yet progress against poverty, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau, has been minimal, and in terms of President Johnson’s main goal of reducing the “causes” rather than the mere “consequences” of poverty, the War on Poverty has failed completely. In fact, a significant portion of the population is now less capable of self-sufficiency than it was when the War on Poverty began.
This week, the U.S. Census Bureau is scheduled to release its annual poverty report. The report will be notable because this year marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. In his January 1964 State of the Union address, Johnson proclaimed, “This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America.”
Since that time, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs (in constant 2012 dollars). Adjusted for inflation, this spending (which does not include Social Security or Medicare) is three times the cost of all military wars in U.S. history since the American Revolution. Despite this mountain of spending, progress against poverty, at least as measured by the government, has been minimal.
The Welfare–Poverty Paradox
This week, the Census Bureau will most likely report that the poverty rate last year was about 14 percent, essentially the same rate as in 1967, three years after the War on Poverty was announced. As Chart 1 shows, according to the Census, there has been no net progress in reducing poverty since the mid to late 1960s. Since that time, the poverty rate has undulated slowly, falling by two to three percentage points during good economic times and rising by a similar amount when the economy slows. Overall, the trajectory of official poverty for the past 45 years has been flat or slightly upward.
The static nature of poverty is especially surprising because (as Chart 1 also shows) poverty fell dramatically during the period before the War on Poverty began. In 1950, the poverty rate was 32.2 percent. By 1965 (the first year during which any War on Poverty programs began to operate), the rate had been cut nearly in half to 17.3 percent.
The unchanging poverty rate for the past 45 years is perplexing because anti-poverty or welfare spending during that period has simply exploded. As Chart 2 shows, means-tested welfare spending has soared since the start of the War on Poverty. In fiscal year 2013, the federal government ran over 80 means-tested welfare programs that provided cash, food, housing, medical care, and targeted social services to poor and low-income Americans.
Overall, 100 million individuals—nearly one in three Americans—received benefits from at least one of these programs. Federal and state governments spent $943 billion in 2013 on these programs at an average cost of $9,000 per recipient. (Again, Social Security and Medicare are not included in the totals.)
Today, government spends 16 times more, adjusting for inflation, on means-tested welfare or anti-poverty programs than it did when the War on Poverty started. But as welfare spending soared, the decline in poverty came to a grinding halt. As Chart 2 shows, the more the government spent, the less progress against poverty was made. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 15, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, Think Tank, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, HealthCare.gov, Iraq, Middle East, Obamacare, Peter Wehner, Poverty, Shovel ready, Syria, Unemployment, White House
Source: Commentary Magazine
Posted: February 11, 2014 Filed under: Economics, Think Tank, U.S. News, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Income, Kevin D. Williamson, Kevin Williamson, National Review, Poverty
Kevin D. Williamson writes: The Left is at war with economic reality. The intellectual poverty of the Left — which is also a moral poverty — is evident in the fact that its leaders are much more intensely interested in incomes at the top than those at the bottom. Examples are not difficult to come by: Senator Elizabeth Warren is visibly agitated by JamieDimon’s recent raise, the AFL-CIO maintains a website dedicated to executive compensation, Barack Obama avows that “at a certain point, you’ve made enough money,” et cetera ad nauseam. The entire rhetoric of inequality is simply an excuse to rage about incomes at the top, a generation’s worth of progressive shenanigans having failed to do much about those at the bottom.
[Kevin D. Williamson’s book The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome, find it at Amazon]
It is the case that incomes at the top have gone up while those in the middle and at the bottom have stagnated or declined in real terms. It is not the case that incomes at the top have gone up because those in the middle and at the bottom have stagnated or declined, nor is it the case that incomes in the middle and at the bottom have stagnated or declined because incomes at the top have gone up. There is a relationship between the two phenomena, but it is not the relationship that progressives imagine it to be.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 6, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Annie Lowrey, James Taranto, Marriage, New York Times, Poverty
Work was supposed to be liberating…
Now nonwork is
James Taranto writes: Annie Lowrey, an economics reporter for the New York Times, has an essay in this coming weekend’s Times magazine rebutting what she calls “the policy solution du jour” to the problem of “how to alleviate poverty”–namely, “marriage promotion.” She makes a good case that the argument she’s rebutting is fallacious, then concludes by committing the same fallacy in reverse.
“Economists have done studies showing that if you snapped your fingers and suddenly all the country’s poor, unmarried partners were hitched . . . the poverty rate would drop,” a catchy if imprecise way of saying that there is a strong correlation between marriage and prosperity. “It’s a rare policy solution that data-crunching geeks and Bible-thumping crusaders can agree on,” she writes. “Unfortunately, there might not be much that Washington can actually do about it.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 13, 2014 Filed under: Economics, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Ari Fleischer, Beverly LaHaye, Heritage Foundation, Marriage, Poverty, Single parent
In families headed by married couples, the poverty level in 2012 was just 7.5%. Those with a single mother: 33.9%
Ari Fleischer writes: If President Obama wants to reduce income inequality, he should focus less on redistributing income and more on fighting a major cause of modern poverty: the breakdown of the family. A man mostly raised by a single mother and his grandparents who defied the odds to become president of the United States is just the person to take up the cause.
“Marriage inequality” should be at the center of any discussion of why some Americans prosper and others don’t. According to Census Bureau information analyzed by the Beverly LaHaye Institute, among families headed by two married parents in 2012, just 7.5% lived in poverty. By contrast, when families are headed by a single mother the poverty level jumps to 33.9%.
And the number of children raised in female-headed families is growing throughout America. A 2012 study by the Heritage Foundation found that 28.6% of children born to a white mother were out of wedlock. For Hispanics, the figure was 52.5% and for African-Americans 72.3%. In 1964, when the war on poverty began, almost everyone was born in a family with two married parents: only 7% were not.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 7, 2014 Filed under: Economics, History, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Capitalism, Columbia University, International Monetary Fund, Joe Biden, Mark J. Perry, Poverty, Washington Post, Xavier Sala-i-Martin
Mark J. Perry writes: Everybody’s featuring their “graphs and charts of the year,” like The Atlantic and the Washington Post (be sure to see Vice-President Joe Biden’s “Graph of the Year” on Amtrak ridership). Well, the chart above could perhaps qualify as the “chart of the century” because it illustrates one of the most remarkable achievements in human history: the 80% reduction in world poverty in only 36 years, from 26.8% of the world’s population living on $1 or less (in 1987 dollars) in 1970 to only 5.4% in 2006. (Source: The 2009 NBER working paper “Parametric Estimations of the World Distribution of Income,” by economists Maxim Pinkovskiy (MIT) and Xavier Sala-i-Martin (Columbia University).
What accounts for this great achievement that you never hear about? AEI president Arthur Brooks explains in the video above, summarized here:
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 1, 2014 Filed under: Economics, Education, Space & Aviation, Think Tank | Tags: Cato Institute, Economic inequality, Inequality, New York, Poverty, Professor, United States, YouTube
People often say that “the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer.” Economics professor Steve Horwitz explains why in the United States, this characterization is largely a myth.
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Posted: November 12, 2013 Filed under: Economics, Think Tank | Tags: Cornell University, Kevin D. Williamson, Middle class, Poverty, Russell Sage Foundation, Stanford University, United States, Wall Street
Kevin D. Williamson writes: If you divided American families into six graduated income groups — poor, low-income, lower-middle, upper-middle, high-income, and affluent — and took a trip in time back to the Age of Disco, you’d find that nearly two-thirds of all American families lived in neighborhoods with median incomes in the middle two groups: lower-middle and upper-middle. Return to the present day, and you’ll find that fewer than half of American families live in middle-income neighborhoods. Progressives wringing their hands over consistently misinterpreted income figures need not go so far as Wall Street boardrooms for evidence of the economic inequality that troubles them so — they need only look next door.
Those are the findings of Kendra Bischoff of Cornell University and Sean F. Reardon of Stanford University in their recent study “Residential Segregation by Income, 1970–2009,” published by the Russell Sage Foundation. The results, if not exactly surprising, are nonetheless troubling. Neighborhoods marked by a mix of residents in the fat middle of the economic bell curve are growing proportionally smaller, while both high-income and low-income neighborhoods grow proportionally more populous. The Bischoff-Reardon study, unlike many others of its kind, does not examine households but families, meaning households in which children and their guardians are present. (A household, for U.S. Census purposes, can be anything from an extended family to a single person to six young hipsters sharing a Brooklyn loft.) That is important in that the consequences of income segregation are likely to be felt most strongly by children. Our antique Prussian factory model of education still ensures that most children’s educational options are limited by geography (the best efforts of reformers notwithstanding), and the likelihood that children will encounter peers in an organized sports league, church group, or school who are from better-off families are much more circumscribed than are the opportunities of adults to move beyond their immediate geographic horizons. The most important social habits are learned, but they are not taught; children pick them up from those around them, the same way they pick up language.
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Posted: October 9, 2013 Filed under: Economics, Think Tank | Tags: Aparna Mathur, Consumer Expenditure Survey, Economic inequality, Emmanuel Saez, Jimmy Carter, Kevin Hassett, Poverty, Thomas Piketty, United States
When we measure by consumption, it’s clear people are better off today than they were 30 years ago.
The Census Bureau’s “Income and Poverty” report, released in September, underscored that the economic recovery has largely failed to reach the poor and middle class. However, there is a subtle but substantive difference between stating that inequality is worse today than it was 30 years ago, and that people are worse off today than they were 30 years ago. Rising inequality does not preclude an improvement in standards of living at the bottom of the income distribution.
Stepping back from the traditional debate about income inequality, Kevin Hassett and I recently co-authored a study that focuses on changes in material standards of living over the last 30 years. Consumption of goods and services is often a far better measure of household welfare than is income. What we buy and consume with our income directly adds to our utility and happiness, and it also has a direct impact on our standard of living. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 16, 2013 Filed under: Mediasphere | Tags: Blue Model, Crime, Democrat, Detroit, Poverty, Syria, Tumblr