Best Of The Web
“The poverty rate in the United States fell to 11.8 percent in 2018, according to data released last week by the Census Bureau — the lowest it’s been since 2001. But this estimate significantly understates the extent of economic deprivation in the United States today. Our official poverty line hasn’t kept up with economic change. Nor has it been modified to take into account widely held views among Americans about what counts as “poor.”
A better, more modern measure of poverty would set the threshold at half of median disposable income — that is, median income after taxes and transfers, adjusted for household size, a standard commonly used in other wealthy nations. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — which includes 34 wealthy democracies — 17.8 percent of Americans were poor according to this standard in 2017, the most recent year available for the United States.
To be sure, there is no such thing as a purely scientific measure of poverty. Poverty is a social and political concept, not merely a technical one. At its core, it is about not having enough income to afford what’s needed to live at a minimally decent level. But there’s no purely scientific way to determine what goods and services are “necessary” or what it means to live at a “minimally decent level.” Both depend in part on shared social understandings and evolve over time as mainstream living standards evolve.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"In June, I joined the crew of the rescue ship Alan Kurdi. It was a cantankerous old brute of a boat, a former East German research vessel that now belongs to a small German nonprofit called Sea-Eye. “You are an eye on the sea,” the crew manager..."
"A few of us weren’t on the debate stage last night. Supported by its friends and sponsors in the corporate media, the Democratic National Committee has sought to narrow the field of presidential candidates at the very moment when it should be..."
"For more than six decades, Loren Coleman has dedicated his life to Sasquatch. Since beginning his investigatory fieldwork in 1960, he’s written books, given talks, and taught university courses related to the concept of Bigfoot and other cryptids.."
"In 1859, around 450 passengers on the Royal Charter, returning from the Australian goldmines to Liverpool, drowned when the steam clipper was shipwrecked off the north coast of Wales. What makes this tragic loss of life remarkable among countless.."
"“Billionaires should not exist,” Senator Bernie Sanders said last month. And, at the Democratic presidential debate this week, he said that the wealth disparity in America is “a moral and economic outrage.” “Senator Sanders is right,” said Tom..."
Americans are lucky they can't see it. Starring Selena Gomez and Timothée Chalamet, ‘A Rainy Day in New York’ won’t be shown in the U.S. because of the sexual abuse allegations against its famed director. Good thing; it's terrible."
"After spending six months in jail on the outskirts of Moscow, a young Israeli woman named Naama Issachar was sentenced on Oct. 11 to seven-and-a-half years of imprisonment in Russia. Both the extreme sentence and trumped-up charges of drug..."
"Kamala Harris wants to ban President Trump from Twitter. The California senator put her case for digital ostracism front and center at the fourth Democratic debate Tuesday, pushing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to join her in pledging to delete.."