The Cost of Human Neglect

By Harrell R. Rodgers Jr. | Go to book overview

2
American Poverty:
Measures and Causes

... the time has come to put to rest the sob sister attempts to portray our desire to get government spending under control as a hard hearted attack on the poor of America.

Ronald Reagan

Those who eat their fill speak to the hungry of wonderful times to come.

Bertolt Brecht

Regardless of the "official" definition of poverty chosen, a staggering number of Americans are poor. Poverty stretches across the length and breadth of the nation. In every region of America, in every major city, in rural and even suburban areas, poverty persists. Additionally, millions of Americans have very low incomes and very limited assets and live just above the government's poverty threshold. Many of these Americans, in fact, have incomes so low that they are in constant jeopardy of joining the "official poor."

In this chapter we will cover three broad topics. We will begin by examining the national government's method of defining poverty and critique and compare this measure to those by other Western industrialized nations. The analysis suggests that the American government substantially underestimates poverty and economic hardship, and that the poor and economically destitute represent a very substantial proportion of all the citizens of wealthy America.

-14-

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The Cost of Human Neglect
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Cost of Human Neglect *
  • Contents *
  • Introduction vii
  • Acknowledgments x
  • 1: The Errant Welfare State 3
  • 2: American Poverty 14
  • 3: American Social Welfare Programs 50
  • 4: European Social Welfare Programs 103
  • 5: The Economic Crisis in America 126
  • 6: Restructuring the American Economy 154
  • 7: Reforming America's Social Welfare Programs 185
  • 8: Conclusions 224
  • About the Author 226
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