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Monday, November 21, 2011

Census offers supplemental report for "near poverty"

Observation:  Over the weekend, the New York Times offered a story about new census data that considers the use of non-monetary aid (such as food stamps and other government programs) in calculating the real poverty rate.  Click here to see the article.

Implications:   I’m not sure what the value of these new representations are, except to help determine whether various government programs are helping people out of poverty in the very literal sense of the term.  My hunch is that, if you’re earning less than you used to or not making enough to fund your idea of the American dream, you are unlikely to be comforted by some agency’s definition of poverty.

In a story about the dumb bell economy last week (click to link), I suggested that lots of people are moving closer to their respective extremes, whether that is wealth or poverty.  At the very least, this NY Times story seems to reinforce the principle.

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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