The Wrong Way to Look at Helping the Poor
October 11, 2012
In a New York Times op-ed today, Gary MacDougal tackles a pressing and complicated question: What is the most effective way to fight poverty in America? With 15 percent of the population--and one in five children--living below the federal poverty line, this is exactly the conversation we need to have as a country. The problem is that after wondering if the vice presidential candidates will give poverty the attention it deserves in tonight’s debate, the question gets almost immediately obscured by bad math. Dean Baker enumerates a number of ways MacDougal’s arithmetic just doesn’t add up.