That ‘Official’ Poverty Rate? It’s Much Worse than You Think
The shocking poverty statistics released last week tell only part of the story.
By David DeGraw
While the shocking new poverty statistics from the Census Bureau indicating that a record 43.6 million Americans lived in poverty in 2009 emphatically demonstrates the severity of the economic crisis, the Census is drastically undercounting this demographic. Apparently the government’s poverty statistics are as accurate as its unemployment statistics.
I have read many reports that simply restate what the government has said without questioning the fact that the metrics it uses to calculate poverty are extremely outdated.
News reports say that in 2009 the poverty rate “skyrocketed” to 43.6 million — up from 39.8 million in 2008, which is the largest year-to-year increase, and the highest number since statistics have been recorded — putting the poverty rate for 2009 at 14.3 percent. This is obviously a tragedy and horrific news. However, this is also the result of lazy reporting.