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Economics

Why private donations can't completely finance America's poor

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Charles Kenny at Businessweek has written an important essay that debunks Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's and his fellow Republicans' notion that private charity, especially churches, need to bear the brunt of financing the care of the poor. Like Ryan's budget, the math doesn't add up. Private charity cannot supplant federal and state programs that create the safety net for the poor. It's that simple.

Census Bureau: American poverty rate is down, but it's not all good news

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New stats from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the American poverty rate declined for the first time since 2006 -- 14.5 percent of the total population, down from 15 percent in 2012 -- and that the number of American children living in poverty fell by 1.4 million.

Good news, right?

Well, not necessarily. The Census Bureau data also shows that the overall number of American poor didn't budge, and that income inequality hasn't improved.

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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