Poverty levels remain unchanged in America

In its yearly examination of poverty levels and income, the Census Bureau released a report revealing poverty remained consistent with levels from 2013. An estimated 46.7 million Americans currently live below the poverty line.

Similarly, the report disclosed a slight drop in median income for Americans:  In 2013, the median income was $54,500, which dipped to $53,700 in 2014.

According to the Census Bureau, a family of four living one a household income of $24,008 exists in poverty.

Members of both political parties seized the report’s release to capitalize on the impending elections.

“Real median income for family households rose $408 in 2014, while real median income for non-family households also rose but overall median household income declined,” administration officials said in a news release. 

Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means reacted without sharing the White House’s optimism:

Our current approach to fighting poverty, though well-intended, is failing too many Americans.  This disappointing data, five years into an economic recovery, underscores the need for a new effort to modernize our country’s safety net programs.”

This census report should spur fresh impetus for new approaches on how to lift the downtrodden from the shackles of poverty.  For those who live in need, these numbers are blinding and it fills us with disgust.

Benjamin Franklin once said:

I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed . . . that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

Whatever we are doing, it is not adequate.


[AP] [Photo courtesy anewworldsociety.ning.com]