Bài giảng Economics - Chapter 26 Poverty and Welfare

Tài liệu Bài giảng Economics - Chapter 26 Poverty and Welfare: Chapter 26Poverty and WelfareChapter OutlineMEASURING POVERTYPROGRAMS FOR THE POORINCENTIVES, DISINCENTIVES MYTHS AND TRUTHSWELFARE REFORMWelfare“Relief” programs to help the poor began in the 1930s during the Great Depression.Many programs were created and others greatly expanded in the 1960s and 1970s. What is Poverty?Is it an absolute concept that is the same across the world orIs it a relative concept that depends on the incomes of others in the area?Can we say an American is poor if they have a living standard that is higher than the average person in the rest or the world? A poor person today has a higher living standard than an average person had 100 years ago. Does that mean that today’s poor person is not really poor?Measuring PovertyPoverty Line: that level of income sufficient to provide a family with a minimally adequate standard of livingThe poverty line was originally established in the 1960s.Surveys indicated that poor families of four spent an average of one-third of th...

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Chapter 26Poverty and WelfareChapter OutlineMEASURING POVERTYPROGRAMS FOR THE POORINCENTIVES, DISINCENTIVES MYTHS AND TRUTHSWELFARE REFORMWelfare“Relief” programs to help the poor began in the 1930s during the Great Depression.Many programs were created and others greatly expanded in the 1960s and 1970s. What is Poverty?Is it an absolute concept that is the same across the world orIs it a relative concept that depends on the incomes of others in the area?Can we say an American is poor if they have a living standard that is higher than the average person in the rest or the world? A poor person today has a higher living standard than an average person had 100 years ago. Does that mean that today’s poor person is not really poor?Measuring PovertyPoverty Line: that level of income sufficient to provide a family with a minimally adequate standard of livingThe poverty line was originally established in the 1960s.Surveys indicated that poor families of four spent an average of one-third of their income on food. A survey established the cost of a minimally adequate diet and that figure was multiplied by 3 to get the poverty line. Similar surveys established the poverty line for other family sizes.The figure is updated annually for inflation using the CPI.Poverty Lines 1999Family of 4 the poverty line is $17,0293 the poverty line is $13,2902 the poverty line is $10,8691 the poverty line is $8,501Measuring Poverty (continued)Poverty Rate: the percentage of people in households whose incomes were under the poverty line. In 1999 it was 11.8%Poverty Gap: the amount of money that would have to be transferred to households below the poverty line to get them out of poverty. In 1999 it was $62 billion.Who’s PoorThose under the poverty line are disproportionatelyWomen A poverty rate 3 points higher than that of menChildrena poverty rate twice that of adultsMinorities a poverty rate 3 times higher than that or whitesHigh School Dropoutsa poverty rate 2.5 times higher than people who graduated high school and did not attend college.Problems with our Measures of PovertyConcerns that suggest the poverty rate is understatedChild care costs are a bigger issue with today’s poor than those who were poor when the original poverty line was established. Problems with our Measure of Poverty (continued)Concerns that suggest the poverty rate is overstatedAmericans under the poverty line consume more protein, have more living space, are more likely to have air conditioning than the average European.Updates are based on the CPI which has consistently overstated the increase in the cost of living.The measure only counts income and not wealth. There are nearly a million “poor” who own homes worth more than $150,000.The measure only counts cash income and does not count the non-cash amounts people get from programs such as food stamps and Medicaid.The method of calculation misses a large proportion of income that we know exists.The CPI pointConcerns that suggest the poverty rate is overstated for some and understated for othersThe measure treats as equal the incomes of residents of high cost cities and low costs towns. This overstates rural poverty and understates urban poverty. The measure uses the overall CPI, which includes goods the poor cannot afford. In some years, the prices of goods bought by the poor rise more than the CPI and in other years it rises less.Problems with our Measure of Poverty (continued)Programs for the Poor (Cash)Temporary Aid to Needy FamiliesA program that gives money to states for them to work with the poor. If there is a “welfare check,” this is the program that grants it.Supplemental Security IncomeA program that gives money to widows, orphans and the disabled.Earned Income Tax CreditA program that gives to recipients money in the form of a tax refund that is much greater than the taxes they had withheld.Programs for the Poor (In-Kind)In-Kind transfers : provisions of goods and services in forms other than cashWomen, Infants and Children (WIC): vouchers allow people to get basic food products for pregnant women, new mothers and their children.Food Stamps: vouchers that enhance the recipients ability to buy foodMedicaid: free health insuranceSection 8 or Housing Authority housing: subsidized housing.Head Start: subsidized day care and preschoolSchool Lunch: free breakfasts and lunches at schoolRelative Costs of Cash and In-Kind ProgramsTotal Costs of the programs $340 billionCash programs $90 billionIn-Kind programs $250 billionWhy Spend $340 Billion on a $62 Billion ProblemCash transfers would cost the government less to administer.Much of the benefit of the Medicaid goes to children in households just above the poverty line.Giving cash does not serve the goals of those helping the poor because Americans generallybelieve the poor would waste the money.believe the poor would not spend the money on their children.feel better giving people what they need rather that what they like.Myths, Incentives and DisincentivesFact: Having a child can make someone who is ineligible for a welfare program eligible for that program.Fact: Having an additional child increases the amount of aid recipients are eligible for.Myth: People have (more) children to get (more) welfare.Though economists recognize an incentive to have, or to have more children, they have generally found little evidence to support that conclusion.Welfare ReformAn optimal a welfare program wouldbe sufficiently funded to solve the problem of povertyprovide an incentive to leave the programbe politically sustainable by not putting an excessive burden on taxpayers.The three can not be simultaneously met in the U.S. and the second has typically been the aspect sacrificed. Prior to 1996 reform a person who worked part-time would have most of the benefit of working taken away because their benefits would be reduced.After 1996 reform a person must show they are working or seeking work. Those who work part-time generally get to keep many of their welfare benefits. They must leave many programs within 2 years.

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