Friday, April 15, 2011

living above the poverty line or on it?

This is a somewhat shocking realization about how much money it takes to live in the US. I think this article on NPR will be very interesting to most of us. How does the US measure poverty and is it time to revise this figure? Here is part of the article:

As President Obama and members of Congress debate national budgets, Shawn McMahon has been calculating individual and family budgets.

He's the research director for Wider Opportunities for Women, a group that works with low-income women and families. The nonprofit group just released its Basic Economic Security Tables index, which measures the minimum income workers need to achieve basic economic security.

"We're not talking about surviving," McMahon tells Morning Edition host Renee Montagne. "We are talking about economic security that allows people to live day to day without fear of a lot of the economic insecurity that we've been seeing in recent years."

According to the report, to achieve economic security the average minimum income needed for a family with two workers and two young children is $67,920 — that's with both parents working, and earning just over $16 an hour.

The Components Of Basic Economic Security

Monthly Expenses 2 Workers,
1 Preschooler,
1 Schoolchild
Housing $821
Utilities $178
Food $707
Transportation $1,019
Child Care $1,080
Personal and Household Items $460
Health Care $443
Emergency Savings $170
Retirement Savings $56
Taxes $1,060
Tax Credits -$334
Monthly Total (per worker) $2,830
Annual Total $67,920
Median Family Income $61,265*
The Federal Poverty Line
For A Family Of Four

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