Poverty is Mainstream

Realities About the Poor in America

Mark RankA November 2, 2013 opinion piece in the New York Times, “Poverty in America is Mainstream,” dispels many common myths about poverty in the United States.

The piece was written by Mark R. Rank who notes, “that nearly 40% of Americans between the ages of 25 and 60 will experience at least one year below the official poverty line during that period ($23,492 for a family of four), and 54% will spend a year in poverty or near poverty (below 150% of the poverty line.)”

He writes abut how the poor live in the suburbs and small and rural towns and that the majority of the poor self-identify as white. Most of the poor have both worked and will work again. He says,

“Poverty is ultimately a result of failings at economic and political levels rather than individual shortcomings.”

Rank is a professor of social welfare at Washington University and a co-author of the forthcoming book “Chasing the American Dream: Understanding What Shapes our Fortunes.”

Click here for the full piece.