Sunday, July 05, 2009

Title: Why People Are Going Hungry in the Land of Plenty - A look at living wages
Source: Alternet
Date: July 4, 2009

From the article:
    The U.S. government’s official poverty line in 2008 was $10,590 for a single person, $13,540 for a couple, $16,530 for a family of three, and $21,203 for a family of four. And the Census Bureau estimated that over 37 million Americans (including noncitizen residents) were living at or below these income levels. But that only hinted at the growing scale of American poverty. Economists such as Bob Pollin, codirector of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, believed many tens of million Americans more were living on incomes that, while they might meet a denuded government “minimum-wage” threshold, in reality couldn’t be expected to meet a family’s basic needs.

    Pollin’s team calculated that a single person needed to earn ten dollars an hour to achieve even a semblance of economic security; and, as with the poverty line, so with this measure, which he called a “living wage,” the dollar amount would go up as the number of people in the family increased.