Poverty And Public Policy Charles Blow Discusses Case Study

Length: 3 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Economics Type: Case Study Paper: #57109364 Related Topics: Child Poverty, Poverty, Fiscal Policy, Public Policy
Excerpt from Case Study :

Poverty and Public Policy

Charles Blow discusses in hits NYT op-ed column the issue of child poverty. He notes up front that his belief is that poverty can never really be ended, highlighting that the man has a realistic outlook on the issue. There are many different causes of poverty, not the least of which is that poverty is, ultimately, relative. What we call poverty today in America would be considered wealthy in half the other countries in the world. His point, however, is that even if you accept that there will always be some poverty, there is a societal obligation to keep the poverty rate as low as possible. He argues in particular against children living in poverty.

This is where public policy comes into play. The United States, simply put, performs poorly on the issues of overall poverty and child poverty, and that is the direct result of public policy. Child poverty rates are higher in the U.S. than any other OECD

country except Mexico, which is an outlier in terms of overall development:

The U.S. Census Bureau highlights how poverty in the U.S. remains at high levels, even as the GDP continues to grow:

The challenge is not wealth, of which the U.S. has a lot, and in growing quantity, it is the way that the U.S. allocates wealth. The argument in favor of pulling children out of poverty is not made because it is economically sound logic -- people are not born with a right to a comfortable living, as that only creates incentive for people...


This dialogue, the notion that people are in a state of poverty because of their own laziness or poor choices, has little basis in reality, but has legs with a large segment of the population, enough that public policy choices often reflect this sort of thinking, and public monies are thus not directed towards eradicating poverty, because the poor deserve their state. The child poverty narrative that Blow espouses here is, rhetorically, a counter to that, because children have no control over their own economic fate. Rhetorically, the child poverty argument brings a lot of pathos and ethos to the table, but in terms of its logos the conclusion is that society should aim to have nobody in a state of poverty, because the natural outcome of adults living in poverty is children living in poverty. Further, economically, child poverty leads to adult poverty, which comes with its own set of economic consequences -- a lifetime of dependency of social assistance, government-funded health care and a complete lack of contribution to the economy (Borjas, 2011).

Public policy, therefore, needs to reflect policies that can help people to exit the state of poverty, however they came to…

Sources Used in Documents:


Blow, C. (2015). Reducing our obscene level of child poverty. New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2015 from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/28/opinion/charles-blow-reducing-our-obscene-level-of-child-poverty.html

Borjas, G. (2011). Poverty and program participation among immigrant children. The Future of Children. Vol. 21 (1) 247-266.

Hall, D. & Cooper. D. (2012). How raising the federal minimum wage would help working families and give the economy a boost. Economic Policy Institute. Retrieved March 22, 2015 from http://www.jobsnowcoalition.org/reports/2012/federal-minimum-wage-9-80-boost_epi2012-08.pdf

Cite this Document:

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