Understanding Poverty and Near Poverty

Understanding Poverty and Near Poverty - Understanding...

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Understanding Poverty and Near Poverty The US has an official definition of being poor or in poverty. The Poverty Line is the official measure of those whose incomes are less than three times a lower cost food budget. This definition has been the US 's official poverty definition since the 1930s with only a few adjustments. Near Poverty is when one earns up to 25% above the poverty line. We would say that a person near poverty has an income below 125% of the current poverty line. In Table 2 below you can see the US Health and Human Services 2009 poverty guidelines with estimates of near poverty levels. Most who qualify as living below poverty also qualify for state and federal welfare which typically include health care benefits, food assistance, housing and utility assistance, and some cash aid. Those near poverty may or may not qualify depending upon current state and federal regulations. Do you remember up above where www.Forbes.com reported that the world's 793 billionaires lost about 23 percent of their wealth (they also were worth about $3 billion each)? If they suffered that same 23 percent loss today they'd still be worth $2,310,000,000. You take your highest range of poverty line ($37,010 for a family of 10) and take 23 percent of a loss on that you see real economic hurting with only $28,478 for 10 people in the family. We've all lost during these economic downturns and we've all gained something in the upswings. But, the losses hurt the lower layers of the economic strata sometimes to the point that they fall below the ability to sustain their families. Absolute Poverty is the level of poverty where individuals and families cannot sustain food, shelter, warmth, and safety needs. Those below poverty are already
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Understanding Poverty and Near Poverty - Understanding...

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