The recent @uscensusbureau report on poverty shows a dramatic decline in 2021. This decline is in part due to the organizing of the #poorpeoplescampaign (&others) for policies that center the poor. Problems that remain are in part because those policies have so far been temporary Image of the Poor People's and Low Wage Workers Mass Assembl
Make sure to look at the #supplementalpovertymeasure numbers. The #SPM is a much better measure than the #OPM because it accounts for govt programs, common expenses and differences in costs of living. This is the measure we focus on.
Although better, the SPM threshold is still too low: for a 2-adult, 2-child household, the SPM threshold was about $31k. $31k is just 1/3 of what this family would need to live in Chicago. It's 1/2 of what they would need to live in Holmes County, MS.
This is why the #PoorPeoplesCampaign redefines “poverty” to be at least twice the SPM threshold. A two-adult, two-child household with an income of $60k would be described as “poor or low-income,” I.e., just 1 emergency above the #poverty line.
In 2018, there were 140 million (40% of the country) who were poor or low-income in the US. In 2021, this number dropped to 111 million (34% of the country. That’s a big change, however, it may be temporary, b/c many of the programs that contributed to this decline have expired.
Just two programs in 2021- the economic stimulus checks and refundable tax credits - accounted for nearly 18.5 million fewer people in poverty, but neither of them are ongoing.
This is the real story in these numbers: Poverty is a policy choice. The good news is, we know what to do. We even know how to improve these policies to make them more inclusive and effective.
The 111 million people who are facing poverty or economic ruin everyday, and the millions more who may fall back into poverty, aren’t celebrating these numbers. They need to see policies and legislation that prioritize their lives and needs.
This is why we need to @unitethepoor and change what’s politically possible. When we lift from the bottom, everybody rises.

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