National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Poverty in the United States

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

 | 

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.

The War on Poverty: 50 years later

 | 

I've been in a lot of public demonstrations in my life, but my very first was in support of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty. It was a large rally in downtown Pittsburgh, where I was teaching at the time.

And I actually remember the speech President Johnson gave announcing the War on Poverty in 1964. I cheered his words, and Congress at the time applauded loudly. But I have to wonder how our Congress today would react to those same words. A few cheers, perhaps, but many would be stone-cold silent.

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts