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09-20-2010, 08:57 AM   #1
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Poverty census misleading

How Census gets it wrong on poverty - CNN.com
QuoteQuote:
Since 1980, the poverty rate according to our calculations -- based on a more comprehensive measure of income, that uses a more accurate price index and that includes the Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps, and other benefits -- has fallen by 3 percentage points more than the official measure. And poverty based on consumption fell by more than 5 percentage points during this same period, which translates into more than 15 million people moved out of poverty.

To be sure, there are still far too many families struggling to make ends meet. An accurate measure of poverty is crucial for designing programs that can reach these families and that are effective at reducing poverty.

The Census is currently revising the poverty measure, incorporating important improvements such as the inclusion of tax credits, food stamps, and other anti-poverty programs. But as an income-based measure of well-being, this still falls short.

Keeping track of those in need will be particularly important as the fallout from the economic crisis adds to the ranks of the impoverished.


09-20-2010, 09:37 AM   #2
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It will be interesting to see what is reflected if they ever come out with an accurate after tax/welfare/income transfer view of poverty in America. Initial indications are that many of the single mothers and welfare recipients would not be counted as living in poverty due to the assistance they receive and more older people without dependents would be considered in poverty.

What would be even more interesting, although much more invasive, is if they audited people's balance sheets through FDIC, SEC, property ownership, liens, and credit reports to get a better picture of americans' personal financial security.
09-20-2010, 10:19 AM   #3
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Both figures are important--poverty before assistance to determine how much assistance is needed and poverty after the assistance to determine how effective the measures may be.

I question the part in the article about using big box stores as the standard for the CPI, though. Discount stores have been around since I was child. I don't see how one can compare years unless you lower the costs for the past years to the cheapest possible vendor.
09-22-2010, 12:38 AM   #4
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Art 1 Sec 2 Clause 3 mentions only:'for taxes and reps' by means of: 'number and enumeration.' Nothing about statistics for 'race or income'. Requiring anyone to answer anything other the number to be counted is in violation of the 4th and 5th amendments.

---------- Post added 09-21-10 at 11:43 PM ----------

That means the census is innacurate for means of figuring out poverty. I'm a very caring person and didn't fill out the census. I wanted to give the counter a job by coming to my house. I answered '3'.If you can figure out povery from 3, you're a genius!

09-22-2010, 07:00 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by troglodyte Quote
Art 1 Sec 2 Clause 3 mentions only:'for taxes and reps' by means of: 'number and enumeration.' Nothing about statistics for 'race or income'. Requiring anyone to answer anything other the number to be counted is in violation of the 4th and 5th amendments.

---------- Post added 09-21-10 at 11:43 PM ----------

That means the census is innacurate for means of figuring out poverty. I'm a very caring person and didn't fill out the census. I wanted to give the counter a job by coming to my house. I answered '3'.If you can figure out povery from 3, you're a genius!
If they cross reference your address with your tax return they can figure it out. Especially if your address has stayed the same.

In addition there is the american community survey which goes into much greater depth than the census but is done every year on a sample of households. While completing the ACS is not constitutionally mandated, it is mandated by other federal laws.

You can find out more about it here American Community Survey
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