KETCHUP = VEGETABLE

Posted in Quick Hits on November 8th, 2011 by Ed

With so many Americans in poverty in the 2010 Census, the government is working to alleviate the underlying causes of poverty including income inequality, unemployment, and outsourcing.

No, I'm kidding. They're just going to change the definition of poverty. That will conveniently eliminate half of the rise in poverty since 2006….

…by counting safety-net programs that "have played a large and mostly overlooked role in restraining hardship."

This is nothing more than a shell game: changing the metric by which poverty is measured in order to say that there aren't as many poor people. Whenever you reset any previously arbitrary measure to a new arbitrary measure, it becomes difficult if not impossible to judge progress over a long time.

More importantly, counting money and other aid given to the poor as a part of the measure of whether or not they are poor sort of misses the point that if they didn't have those programs, they would, indeed be poor.

This is all academic, of course, since no one is really poor anyway. How can you be poor if you have a cell phone?