10 Poverty Myths, Busted
10 Poverty Myths, Busted-
by Erika Eichelberger; March/April 2014 Issue www.motherjones.com/politics
1. Single moms are the problem. Only 9% of low-income, urban moms have been single throughout their child's first five years. 35% were married to, or in a relationship with, the child's father for that entire time.*
2. Absent dads are the problem. 60% of low-income dads see at least one of their children daily. Another 16% see their children weekly.*
3. Black dads are the problem. Among men who don't live with their children, black fathers are more likely than white or Hispanic dads to have a daily presence in their kids' lives.
4. Poor people are lazy. In 2004, there was at least one adult with a job in 60% of families on food stamps that had both kids and a nondisabled, working-age adult.
5. If you're not officially poor, you're doing okay. The federal poverty line for a family of two parents and two children in 2012 was $23,283. Basic needs cost at least twice that in 615 of America's cities and regions.
6. Go to college, get out of poverty. In 2012, about 1.1 million people who made less than $25,000 a year, worked full time, and were heads of household had a bachelor's degree.**
7. We're winning the war on poverty. The number of households with children living on less than $2 a day per person has grown 160% since 1996, to 1.65 million families in 2011.
8. The days of old ladies eating cat food are over. The share of elderly single women living in extreme poverty jumped 31% from 2011 to 2012.