Here’s an insightful editorial from this AMs NYT amplifying many of the same poverty points I made here yesterday. Based on new analysis of comprehensive poverty data—data that takes account of taxes, transfers, and costs associated with work and health care spending—one-third of the nation—100 million of us–is poor or near poor.
What’s important here—something I’ve tried to underscore—is not just the hit on contemporary living standards. It’s the way in which these economic conditions block poverty’s exit ramp—the way they diminish upward mobility:
A good education is also increasingly out of reach. A study by Martha Bailey, an economics professor at the University of Michigan, showed that the difference in college-graduation rates between the rich and poor has widened by more than 50 percent since the 1990s.
There is also a growing out-of-sight-out-of-mind problem. A study, by Sean Reardon, a sociologist at Stanford, shows that Americans are increasingly living in areas that are either poor or affluent. The isolation of the prosperous, he said, threatens their support for public schools, parks, mass transit and other investments that benefit broader society.