Menckens Ghost

More About: Economy - Economics USA

Income and Poverty in the USA

Dear Thinker:

The Census Bureau has published its latest report on income and poverty:  "Income and Poverty in the United States, 2017

My summary:

- Income is up and poverty is down across all races and income groups.

- The Gini Coefficient (measure of income inequality) is still high compared to other industrialized Western countries.

- Naturally, there is a huge income gap in household income between single-parent households and two-parent households.  But there is also a significant gap in per-capita income between job holders in single-parent households and job holders in two-parent households.  This is probably due to single parents, on average, holding lower-paid jobs or working fewer hours.  Sadly, media, academia and government are still reluctant to acknowledge that one surefire way of closing the income gap is to address this problem.  They seem to believe that the high incidence of single parenting can't be changed, as if it has always been this way or, alternatively, it's impossible to go back to where it was.   

- Last, there is the following astonishing statistic, to quote the report:

*Between 2016 and 2017, peo­ple with at least a bachelor's degree were the only group to have an increase in the poverty rate or the number of people in poverty. Among this group, the poverty rate increased 0.3 percentage points and the number in poverty increased by 363,000 individuals between 2016 and 2017. Even with this increase, among educational attainment groups, people with at least a bachelor's degree had the lowest poverty rates in 2017.


Mencken's Ghost

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