The NY Times published a spoof titled “Millions in US climb out of poverty, at long last.” The satiric piece won’t be appreciated by the 43 million Americans, including 14 million children, who are still classified as poor–or for that matter by the 3.5 million the NYT says “climbed out of poverty” in 2015. Most of them can’t afford to buy the newspaper so they won’t know about the joke at their expense.
The NY Times noted that $24,300 is the poverty line for a family of four. That’s an estimate government economists arrived at after sucking on helium for several hours & being threatened with their jobs if they set the poverty bar too high. There is no place in the entire US where four people can live on that paltry amount except maybe in Alaskan tundra. The cost of living estimate for a single adult is $28,474. So what makes it possible for four to live on $4,000 a year less?
The article noted that the Black & Latino communities have the highest levels of poverty. “Climbing out of poverty” isn’t so easy when you have racist discrimination obstructing your every step.
The NY Times is mimicking the World Bank who claimed a few months back that world poverty is decreasing. The UN also just reported that over 60 million people in Latin America have been “lifted out of poverty” by liberal regimes that have cut poverty almost in half. Of course when you know the World Bank standard for poverty is US $1.90 a day, then you understand they’re all talking through their ass. Again.
Only one question remains: are the poor climbing or being lifted? The metaphors don’t fit when for most people living in poverty feels more like being suspended over a bottomless pit.