America’s (Flawed) War on Poverty: Systemic Racial and Socioeconomic Failings

It falls along racial lines, mainly.

Sections of the population have not benefited from Americas War on Poverty

America’s War on Poverty has greatly reduced poverty in the United States; however, some demographics are remaining destitute.  This good news is the official poverty measure has fallen 7.3 percent over the last sixty years; only 15.1 percent of all Americans remain in poverty.  Disturbing trends amongst those remaining in poverty indicate segments of the population are not benefiting proportionally.  One third of all those impoverished have less than a high school education.   Twenty-nine percent of single, female headed households are included in the official poverty measure.  African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans all have a third of their respective population below the poverty line.  Meanwhile, Whites and Asians each have only a tenth of their total population below the poverty line.  Finally, while those with disabilities were not originally indexed almost thirty percent of them are below the poverty line today*.  Due to the inadequacies of the absolute, income approach we do not have national data to fully examine those below the poverty line.  They are all lumped together so we cannot infer any solutions from the poverty data.  All we know is those of lower education, families headed by single mothers, native minorities, and the disabled are disproportionally likely to be poor, indicating that the current anti-poverty program is not ubiquitous successful.

*Council of Economic Advisers. The War on Poverty 50 Year Later: A Progress Report. Washington, DC: United States Government, 2014. 11. Print.

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