• Poverty by age

    Here’s another great chart from The State of Working America:

    You’re looking at poverty rates from 1959-2009, by different age groups.

    Almost one quarter of children below the age of 6 in the United States were in poverty in 2009. That number had been increasing over the years before that.  Think about it. One in four children in the richest country in the world are in poverty. The next most prevalent group was children 6-18.

    Think about that as we talk about cutting Medicaid, which covers one third-of children, likely all the children you see above. Are they to blame?

    One more thing. I know entitlement programs are coming under siege lately, but look at this chart and try and tell me that providing universal single-payer health care to the elderly in 1965 wasn’t an anti-poverty program as well as a health care program.

    Economic Policy Institute. 2011. Poverty higher for children. The State of Working America. Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute. Feb. 14, 2011. <www.stateofworkingamerica.org/jobs/figure27>

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    • That’s why we have to cut these programs. For the children.

      Children meaning the heirs of the rich and powerful, not those needing a helping hand.

      The chart also shows the problem with the claim that throwing money at the poor doesn’t help. Throwing money at seniors certainly helped.

    • It’s strange that children poverty rates are so high compared to adults. You’d think that adults have more options to pull themselves out of poverty (i.e. find better employment) whereas kids are relying solely on their family to support them.

    • One more thing. I know entitlement programs are coming under siege lately, but look at this chart and try and tell me that providing universal single-payer health care to the elderly in 1965 wasn’t an anti-poverty program as well as a health care program.

      Medicare is a very inefficient poverty program because most of the cost is for helping the non-poor. Medicare should be for the poor rather than for the old but old people vote.

    • Shouldn’t it be more like 100% of the Under 6? Children these days earn next to nothing!

      In all seriousness, this chart makes me think of the numbers beneath the numbers. In theory, each child represents one adult (or 1/2 or 1/3 adults) who is also in poverty – otherwise, the statistic for that child would not exist. Should we be targeting the children with reformed fiscal policy, or the adults who correlate with them? I know it’s kind of an inane question, because no government agents are actually cutting a child a check. Why can’t reform that works just for for adults (er, when we figure that out) automatically lift the under-18s out of poverty automatically? Thoughts?