The Problems With The Poverty Line Essay

1285 Words Oct 24th, 2015 6 Pages
1. What are the main problems with the poverty line? How is it measured and how does it relate to the contemporary situations of families?
The poverty line was originally measured based on the Department of Agriculture’s “Economy Food Plan, by using the amount of money that was needed to be spent on food. Mollie Orshansky of the Social Security Administration established that families spent about one third of their income on food, so for a family of three, the calculations was not enough, but the method could be used to calculate an insufficient amount for a family of such size.
The main problems with the poverty line consist of the facts that it doesn 't account for geographic differences, the poverty line is the same, no matter where you live, and it’s based on a 50-year-old formula that assumes what Americans spend on thier food. But, after adjusting for inflation, the price of food has fallen significantly in the past 50 years. Today, people spend only about a sixth of their income on food, and spend bigger chunks of their earnings on other items like child care, medical expenses, housing cost, and transportation; and it doesn 't consider the value of government benefits, such as food stamps and tax credits. The poverty line has become a discernment of who is or isn’t poor.
2. Compare definitions of poverty. Evaluate the utility for explaining the current conditions of low income Americans.
Sociologists have noted that…

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