More Dishonest “Poverty” Research that Doesn’t Measure Poverty

June 25, 2017

Key point: “A country where everyone is impoverished will have zero or close-to-zero poverty because everyone is at the median income. But as I’ve explained before, a very wealthy society can have lots of “poverty” if some people are a lot richer than others.”

International Liberty

I periodically share data showing that living standards are higher in the United States than in Europe.

My goal isn’t to be jingoistic. Instead, I’m warning readers that we won’t be as prosperous if we copy out tax-and-spend friends on the other side of the Atlantic (just like I try to draw certain conclusions when showing how many low-tax jurisdictions have higher levels of economic output than the United States).

I’m sometimes asked, though, how America can be doing better than Europe when we have more poverty.

And when I ask them why they thinks that’s the case, they will point to sources such as this study from the German-based Institute of Labor Economics. Here’s some attention-grabbing data from the report.

The United States has the highest poverty rate both overall and among households with an employed person, but it stands farther away from the other countries on its in-work…

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Bill Whittle: Democrats and the politics of envy

August 7, 2011

Bill Whittle returns to PJTV in a revival of his show “Afterburner.” And he doesn’t come back quietly, sneaking through the backdoor. Nope, Bill kicks in the front door, storms in, and confronts the viewer with the truth about poverty in America: that it’s not nearly as bad as we’re told day after day, whether by comparison to the rest of the world, or to the well-off here at home.

So why are we told these fables? Because, Bill argues, the Democrats and the Left (but I repeat myself) need these myths to stoke the fires of envy and resentment in order to use that anger in their quest for power. In the process, they have created large numbers of people who are dependent creatures of government and who feel entitled to other people’s money — not as charity or help, but as a right. Those who feed that envy are “poor-mongers,” the real exploiters of the poor.

Welcome back, Bill:

By the way, the Heritage Foundation study that forms the basis for this episode is very interesting reading.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The War to Preserve Poverty

July 20, 2011

Yesterday I chose Lyndon B. Johnson as my candidate for “Worst President of the 20th Century,” partly because of the problems and failures of his Great Society programs. On of those programs was the “War on Poverty,” meant to eliminate the scourge of want and deprivation from America.

From Dan Mitchell, this chart makes one ask if the war has been lost:

As one can see from the chart, poverty in America was in a steady and substantial decline until… government tried to cure poverty. Since then, there’s been no significant movement or net gain. Far from fighting poverty, it looks as if we’re spending billions to protect what poverty remains. If empirical evidence at all matters, then one can fairly argue that statist, interventionist, big-government solutions have been worse than useless.

Be sure to look at the rest of Mitchell’s post, which discusses the frequent distortion of the meaning of poverty by Leftists for political gain.

RELATED: Fausta presents an intriguing chart that puts “poor in America” in some perspective and links to an interesting Heritage study that questions whether poverty is a function of material want or of spirit.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)