A greater number of Americans have fallen below the United States of America poverty threshold since the government started counting. A Census Bureau record released Sept. 16 revealed that 43 million in the United States might be officially determined as living in poverty. The number represents 14.3 percent of the U.S. population. The year prior, 13.2 % fell below the poverty line. As the GOP eyes a takeover of government after the fall elections, the poverty report gives them another round of ammunition within the political battle. But a broader look over time indicates that conditions arose when Republicans were in power that contributed to today's poverty rate. Advocates for the poor say the poverty rate is not an accurate metric for understanding the true nature of the problem. Conservatives say it exaggerates the problem. The government agrees with both sides and will start using a different set of measurements next year with the aim of getting a clearer picture of U.S. poverty. Source for this article - U.S. poverty rate report exhibits record number join ranks of poor by Newystype.com
Low income threshold an impractical standard
The amount of poor people had been increasing in the United States was no surprise. In fact, the Washington Independent reports that demographers expected it to be about 15 percent. As outlined by a Census Bureau official interviewed by CNN, a decline in elderly citizens falling below the poverty threshold from 9.7 to 8.9 percent kept the low income level from ticking higher. The amount of cash necessary to maintain a minimum of material comfort is considered the poverty threshold. Most individuals would think the low income threshold comes nowhere close to making that possible. According to the Census Bureau, a family of four is living in poverty with an income of $22,050.
Poverty measurements outdated
About a half century ago government officials attempted to determine the income considered at the low income level by using the least amount necessary to buy groceries. MSNBC reports that experts say current methods of calculating the number of Americans living in poverty fails to think about essential factors beyond income. Shawn Fremstad of the Center for Economic and Policy Research told MSNBC that current poverty threshold is unrealistically low in terms of what it takes to survive in today's economy. To more accurately calculate a poverty line, the government will incorporate additional factors to the equation, for example, low-income tax credits and job-related expenses. Fremstad said using median income as a baseline may be a better way. Looking at the difference between median income and that of the poor could bring the problem in to better focus. Median income in the U.S. was $49,777 last year.
Who is to blame for rising poverty?
The upcoming November ballot gives the latest low income figures more attention than usual. Opponents of the Obama administration say its policies are causing the problem . However economic growth through the George W. Bush presidency was accompanied by an increasing poverty rate. The Washington Independent reports the poverty level rose throughout the 2001 recession and continued afterward, according to testimony in Congress last year by Rebecca Blank of the Commerce Department. As the economy expanded via most of the 2000s, low income increased .08 %. A greater share of the United States of America population was poor in 2007 than in 2001. The low income rate already had momentum as the Great Recession began. Eight years of Republican power gave it a large head start.