Re-Defining 'Poor' in America

Multiple metrics complicate determining poverty levels

Thursday, January 06, 2011

What does it mean to be poor in America? For years, the country has had a fairly firm answer; in 2010, the federal government maintains the poverty line at an income of about $21,750 for a family of four. But, if you do the math, you'll likely come up with an inescapable question: how can a family really subsist in America on even twice that amount?

 

Yesterday the Census Bureau released several alternative measurements of poverty in hopes of revising our understanding what it means to be poor in America, and the policy implications that come with it. John Logan, professor of sociology at Brown University, takes a closer look at what it means to be poor in America, and the policy implications that come with it.

Guests:

John Logan

Produced by:

Hsi-Chang Lin

Comments [3]

Mike

As a person who has lived with mental illness I frequently wonder if the world nows the poverty of depression, the poverty of paranoia, the poverty of hope that the mentally ill suffer from. I wonder how many of us would consider this when we think of Jared Loughner. Alternately, I wonder how many would confine him to hell for being the personification of evil. And knowing that evil exists in those who do not yield the floor I wonder if there is room in our society for a voice for the mentally ill.

Jan. 13 2011 08:03 AM
M Calhoun

Wonderful topic. I really wish the interview had lasted longer. It sounded like there were quite a few points that could have been expanded upon had there been more time. This is an issue that needs to brought up much more often and in more depth as it affects us all, no matter what your social class or income level is.

Jan. 06 2011 12:42 PM
M Calhoun

Wonderful topic. I really wish the interview had lasted longer. It sounded like there were quite a few points that could have been expanded upon had there been more time. This is an issue that needs to brought up much more often and in more depth as it affects us all, no matter what your social class or income level is.

Jan. 06 2011 12:41 PM

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