Growth Has Been Good for Decades. So Why Hasn’t Poverty Declined? JUNE 4, 2014 Neil Irwin @Neil_IrwinAs you should have come to expect by now, a search of the article for the text string “immigra” comes up with zero hits.
The surest way to fight poverty is to achieve stronger economic growth. That, anyway, is a view embedded in the thinking of a lot of politicians and economists.
“The federal government,” Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, wrote in The Wall Street Journal, “needs to remember that the best anti-poverty program is economic growth,” which is not so different from the argument put forth by John F. Kennedy (in a somewhat different context) that “a rising tide lifts all boats.”
In Kennedy’s era, that had the benefit of being true. From 1959 to 1973, the nation’s economy per person grew 82 percent, and that was enough to drive the proportion of the poor population from 22 percent to 11 percent.
But over the last generation in the United States, that simply hasn’t happened. Growth has been pretty good, up 147 percent per capita. But rather than decline further, the poverty rate has bounced around in the 12 to 15 percent range — higher than it was even in the early 1970s. The mystery of why — and how to change that — is one of the most fundamental challenges in the nation’s fight against poverty.
This trend might have something to do with this piece from Pew Research:
In turn, that interacts with another Pew Research headline:
The U.S. Hispanic population in 2012 was 53,027,708, nearly six times the population in 1970.