Thursday, May 21, 2009

The High Cost of Poverty

There was a great article in Monday's Washington Post about how expensive it is to be poor. The poor pay more for a gallon of milk, pay more for inferior housing, for transportation and health care. Prices at the corner stores are higher. You spend time waiting for the bus and at the laundromat. You spend money at check cashing and pay day loan joints, etc. etc.

Here's another link to an article from a paper in Texas that makes the point that the poverty line is set too low.
Consider the current U.S. “poverty line” amount for a single-parent family with two children. According to the Census Bureau, the 2008 amount was $17,346. Would this annual income cover a family’s basic needs?

According to the Economic Policy Institute’s Web site, this three-person family in the Kerrville area (rural Texas) must earn $31,320 annually to pay for key necessities, without setting aside any money in savings or investments.
Is this our country's way to keep the number of people living in poverty down? Just don't change the "poverty line" level even though prices go up?

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