Sunday, September 23, 2012

Why Don't They Just Get Jobs?

[via Crooked Timber]

This article is stunning.

Using a different definition of distress, Luke Shaefer of the University of Michigan and Kathryn Edin of Harvard examined the share of households with children in a given month living on less than $2 per person per day. It has nearly doubled since 1996, to almost 4 percent. Even when counting food stamps as cash, they found one of every 50 children live in such a household.

From the original post: "The result is striking because of the $2 figure, which is derived, not from a US poverty line, but from the World Bank Poverty line for developing countries. These children aren’t just poor by American standards - they would be considered poor in sub-Saharan Africa."

If we, as a nation, are to be judged not by the success of the wealthiest, but by the suffering of the poorest, I submit we are a failure.

It is hard to tell which of Clinton's policy choices was the worst (NAFTA, repeal of Glass-Steagal, the much-vaunted surplus), but "ending welfare as we know it" has got to be among the most cruel and short-sighted. And "liberals" idolize that asshole.

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