2 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2022
    1. One dominant way that people think about poverty, both in scholarship and in publicdiscourse, is to focus on demographic characteristics. This explanation assumes thatthere is something wrong with poor people’s individual characteristics: that they aremore likely to be single parents, they are not working enough, they are too young, orthey are not well-educated. So, the way to attack poverty, from this perspective, wouldbe to reduce single-parenthood or reduce the number of people with low education. Thisexplanation concentrates on the individual characteristics of the poor people themselvesand how they are different from nonpoor people.The problem with this explanation is that it does not adequately explain thebig differences in poverty between countries. For example, think about the big fourindividual risks of poverty—single parenthood, becoming a head of household at anearly age, low- education, and unemployment. These are indisputably the four bigcharacteristics that predict your risk of poverty. If the demographic explanation iscorrect, then the United States should have very high levels of single-parenthood, youngheadship, low educational attainment, and unemployment. That would explain why wehave high poverty: We have a large number of people with those four characteristics.The reality, however, is that the United States is actually below average in these areascompared with other rich democracies.
  2. Oct 2020