The Politics of (Counting) Poor People

There's another piece worth noting in this week's New Yorker, this one about calculations of poverty and the notion of a "relative" poverty line. It sounds dry, and it may be familiar to some, but poverty calculations affect the distribution of billions in federal education and social services funds, and are often used by state and local programs as well.

There's also a human story there (a woman named Orshansky developed the original measure) and some interesting political and policy issues as well that have kept the original measure pretty much intact for decades despite its obvious misgivings.


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