The number of Americans receiving federal disability payments has nearly doubled over the last 15 years. There are towns and counties around the nation where almost 1/4 of adults are on disability. Planet Money’s Chana Joffe-Walt spent 6 months exploring the disability program, and emerges with a story of the U.S. economy quite different than the one we’ve been hearing.
There are three ways of defining poverty in America: the official Census Bureau method, which uses a set of income thresholds that vary by family size and composition; an experimental income-based method called the Supplemental Poverty Measure that factors in government programs designed to help people with low incomes; and a consumption-based method that measures what households actually spend.
By defining poverty according to different criteria, these three methods capture surprisingly different populations of men, women and children. In a perfect world, these three methods would all tell us to do the same thing to alleviate poverty, but it’s not like that. Each method suggests a different approach toward how our government should direct its poverty-fighting resources.
The issue of wealth inequality across the United States is well known, but this video shows you the extent of that imbalance in dramatic and graphic fashion.
The video, which started going viral on Friday and whose traffic continues to climb on YouTube — reflects the facts as seen from many different sources. We present it without comment, letting you, our readers, be the judge.
SEE ALSO: Map Shows Where 220mph Trains Would Go in the U.S.
So, what do you think? Is the current state of wealth inequality good for the United States, or has it gotten out of hand? Tell us in the comments, below.
Members of Congress and President Obama have been working in earnest to deliver on their promise to overhaul immigration this year. Mr. Obama would clearly prefer a bipartisan bill, and last week the Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on possible changes in immigration law. News reports last weekend suggested that the White House would fashion its own bill should negotiations between Republican and Democratic supporters of reform collapse.
Washington — Why are so many American families trapped in poverty? Of all the explanations offered by Washington’s politicians and economists, one seems particularly obvious in the low-income neighborhoods near the Capitol: because there are so many parents like Carl Harris and Charlene Hamilton.
President Obama’s second Inaugural Address used soaring language to reaffirm America’s commitment to the dream of equality of opportunity: “We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.”