Letter: A Wrong Approach | Opinion | thepilot.com – Southern Pines Pilot

Posted: August 11, 2021 at 12:35 pm

John Hoods July 14 opinion, What To Do When You Think Theyre Wrong, made me stop and think. In it he states as fact that poverty in the U.S. has fallen to less than 3 percent today.

The basis for his claim comes from a long-running calculation by Mayer and Sullivan. Figuring that Mr. Hood leans Libertarian (he is a board member of the John Locke Foundation) I took a look at the research he uses in support of his claim. It doesnt take long to establish that his facts are biased by his political leanings.

His research is supported and reported by The Cato Institute, a Libertarian think tank. The 3 percent number is based on assumptions of government handouts to the poor, not calculated in their earnings.

The 2019 Census Bureau states that 10.5 percent of the population lives at or below the poverty level, or 34 million people.

Thats a big difference. In 2021, an individual earning less than $12,880 a year, or $26,500 for a family of four, makes you poor. The average monthly rent in the U.S. is $997, or just under $12,000 annually, leaving a meager $14,500 for that family of four to live on for the year.

My point is not that Mr. Hood is necessarily wrong in his basic assumption. Regardless of whose numbers you believe, the number of poor in this country has dropped. Yet they are useless to those still left behind. Statistics hide the humanity and suffering of people who cant make ends meet.

Is a pat on the back in order if only 34 million adults and children are hungry tonight? The only good percentage of poor is zero.

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Letter: A Wrong Approach | Opinion | thepilot.com - Southern Pines Pilot

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