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The World Bank decided in October to include high-income countries in its global estimates of people living in poverty. We can now make direct comparisons between the United States and poor countries.


There are millions of Americans whose suffering, through material poverty and poor health, is as bad or worse than that of the people in Africa or in Asia.


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Numbers always lie when people use them, intentionally or unintentionally.


Anytime any biased person puts out any number the first thing to do, assuming you care about accuracy, is adjust them.


Do the poor countries have the same entitlements as the rich countries? Is it more accurate to use percent of population or total number?


bla bla

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Absolutely. But everyone can make their own adjustments, even if back of the envelope, to get a less-hazy perspective. Buffett can tell when someone is too fat despite not knowing their weight, perhaps we can also tell when someone is too skinny as well.

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I'm not going to do the analysis but eg if it's 1% vs 5% or 10% of the population, I'd say that's significant. If our bottom 1-5% get 5-30k/year in entitlements, and the other's aren't comparable it's significant.  If these are true, we would be way down on the list and the article would lose most of it's teeth and likely have not been posted/written. Whoever wrote it clearly made one adjustment in the articles favor. Sometimes skinny men wear huge jackets and large men lift weights.


More often than not, when I have done the analysis... something like ^^^^ is clear. I often find myself wondering if the topic would even be discussed in light of the facts.


When I actually care I do the analysis and I wish others would too, whatever it is they care about.


Sometimes skinny men wear huge jackets and large fat men lift weights.


With WEB's skill in stock analysis, him seeing a fat man is akin to many brilliant stock pickers doing hours of analysis. His one foot hurdle is often others 2-10 foot hurdle.


Of course this is all based on personal experience, I may be dense. 



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Who Participated in 2012?

Children under age 18: Those under 18 were more likely to receive means-tested benefits than all other age groups.

In an average month, 39.2 percent of children received some type of means-tested

benefit, compared with 16.6 percent of people age 18 to 64 and 12.6 percent of people 65 and older.




Statement on Visit to the USA, by Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights*




The youth poverty rate in the United States is the highest across the OECD with one quarter of youth living in poverty compared to less than 14% across the OECD.

The Stanford Center on Inequality and Poverty ranks the most well-off countries in terms of labor markets, poverty, safety net, wealth inequality, and economic mobility. The US comes in last of the top 10 most well-off countries, and 18th amongst the top 21.

In the OECD the US ranks 35th out of 37 in terms of poverty and inequality.

According to the World Income Inequality Database, the US has the highest Gini rate (measuring inequality) of all Western Countries

The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality characterizes the US as “a clear and constant outlier in the child poverty league.” US child poverty rates are the highest amongst the six richest countries – Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden and Norway.


13. There is considerable debate over the extent of poverty in the US, but for the purposes of this report principal reliance is placed upon the official government statistics, drawn up primarily by the US Census Bureau.


14. In order to define and quantify poverty in America, the Census Bureau uses ‘poverty thresholds’ or Official Poverty Measures (OPM), updated each year. In September 2017, more than one in every eight Americans were living in poverty (40 million, equal to 12.7% of the population). And almost half of those (18.5 million) were living in deep poverty, with reported family income below one-half of the poverty threshold.


Reported family income would include government benefits received.

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8. The use of fraud as a smokescreen

42. Calls for welfare reform take place against a constant drumbeat of allegations of widespread fraud in the system.  The contrast with tax reform is instructive.  In that context immense faith is placed in the goodwill and altruism of the corporate beneficiaries, while with welfare reform the opposite assumptions apply.  The poor are inherently lazy, dishonest, and care only about their own interests.  And government officials with whom I met insisted that the states are gaming the system to defraud the federal government, individuals are constantly coming up with new lurks to live high on the welfare hog, and community groups are exaggerating the numbers. The reality, of course, is that there are good and bad corporate actors and there are good and bad welfare claimants.  But while funding for the IRS to audit wealthy taxpayers has been reduced, efforts to identify welfare fraud are being greatly intensified.  The answer is nuanced governmental regulation, rather than an abdication in respect to the wealthy, and a doubling down on intrusive and punitive policies towards the poor.  Revelations of widespread tax avoidance by companies and high-wealth individuals draw no rebuke, only acquiescence and the maintenance of the loopholes and other arrangements designed to facilitate such arrangements.  Revelation of food stamps being used for purposes other than staying alive draw howls of outrage from government officials and their media supporters.



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