Jared Bernstein, a doctoral graduate of CUSSW, was featured on the New York Times Op-Ed page on September 26th.Dr.. Bernstein’s article, “Who’s Poor? Don’t Ask the Census Bureau” questions whether the official definition of poverty-developed 40 years ago by a government researcher-is relevant in the modern world. Citing dramatic changes in consumption levels and flaws in the calculations-the current formula for calculating the nation’s poverty level considers welfare as an income source but ignores refundable tax credits for low income families, food stamps. and the childcare costs for working parents — Bernstein suggests that the latest Census Bureau numbers “won’t really tell us much of anything about the true extent of poverty in America.” He warns that if “we’re not getting the measurement (of poor in America) right, we’re not providing services to the right people.” He goes on to say that there may be as many as 9 million more Americans whose incomes do not cover basic needs than are reflected in the Census Bureau statistics. Dr. Bernstein is a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

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