The New York Post's War on Poverty
July 21st, 2008
Since Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed changing the formula for calculating the federal poverty level, the New York Post editorial page has waged a steady campaign to discredit the idea – even questioning the notion of poverty itself.
“No family of four could survive for a year in New York City on a total income of $26,138. Period.” the Post declared last week. The problem, the paper believes, is that any measurement of poverty fails to account for the “reality of life in this town – with its immigrants (legal or otherwise), its hustlers, its elderly, its huge student population – and, above all else, its pulsing underground economy.”
A few days later, columnist Heather McDonald wrote that any threshold for poverty is a “relative measure.” “Under this definition, no general increase in affluence can ever eliminate ‘poverty’ or the need for a larger federal government to ‘cure’ it,” she writes.
And today, the paper warns that Bloomberg may be planning a ”major expansion of government ‘antipoverty’ initiatives – a la John Lindsay 40 years ago.”
“He may fear that fewer and fewer New Yorkers these days are actually poor,” the Post concludes.By Mark Berkey-Gerard on July 21, 2008, 10:26 am
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