Tag Archives: Poverty

The link between poverty and (mis)education

When it comes to economic inequality, and the cycle of poverty, I have been researching at my internship (New HaveScreen Shot 2018-01-30 at 2.32.06 PM.pngn Reads) how the lack of proper education contributes to the cycle of poverty.

Specifically, the lack of suitable education, or education at all, provided for women creates a cycle of illiteracy, which results in the inability to gain tools necessary to make an income.

Nearly two-thirds of illiterate adults worldwide are women, it is estimated that 496 million women 15 years of age and older are illiterate. The cycle of Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 2.31.29 PM.pngpoverty is parallel to illiteracy rates. While efforts have been put in globally and nationally to improve the quality of education among women, those who missed out on the proper education early on in their formative years still feel the effects today. It is estimated that if a student is not reading proficiently by the 4th grade, that student has a 78 percebt chance of never catching up.

This is a factor to the wealth inequality and income inequality rampant in our country. While the statistics provide information globally, improper education among America’s youth definitely serve as a catalyst to perpetuate the income gap the nation faces.

By Sarah DeMatteis


We. Are. Ready. Probably.

poverty-end-poverty-nowAlison sends this, a report from The Opportunity Agenda that says Americans, while balancing a belief in equality for all, and the ability of people in this country to make their own way (the old “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” thing), are ready to talk a little more seriously about eliminating poverty.

From the study:

  • 7 in 10 (72 percent) of surveyed Americans said that reducing poverty is an “extremely/very important” issue for the next president of the United States, but
  • Just under 6 in 10 (57 percent) express the same belief about reducing the “gap between the rich and the poor.”
  • (60 percent) still believe in the power of hard work and other individualistic ideals
  • Nearly 6 in 10 Americans (57 percent) believe that the American Dream no longer holds true, up from 48 percent in 2014.

For the second year, I am teaching a senior seminar at University of New Haven on researching and writing about poverty. I. Can’t. Wait.

About last night, yet again

donald-trump-hillary-clinton-zoom-0beceeaa-2ed7-43d1-9e41-14a4a1a50ae1What was missing from the conversation at last night’s presidential debate?

Well, the list is long, but top on mine is poverty. Why don’t we talk more about poverty? I wrote this for The Hill.

The hidden toll of energy insecurity

From Laura Bliss, of The Atlantic Monthly’s CityLab:

An estimated 16 million U.S. households face this hardship, unable to afford electricity and stay warm or cool enough. Energy costs are known to have an outsize economic impact on the poor: It’s been estimated that the bottom 20 percent of U.S. earners spend roughly 10 percent of their monthly income on electricity, which is more than seven times the share of income paid by the top 20 percent.

But the physiological, behavioral, and psychological effects of what it’s like to struggle for sufficient household energy aren’t as well recognized by poverty researchers. “This expense and experience has largely been ignored, to the detriment of families dealing with this crisis every day,” says Diana Hernandez, a professor of socio-medical sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

And thanks, Kimberley, for the link.

The rising tide didn’t lift all boats.

foodstamps_poverty_010814getty_1I wrote this for The Hill.

A diaper is never just a diaper

Disposable DiaperI wrote this for Mother Courant.

Is the rising tide lifting all boats?

download-1‘Murica got some good economic news from the U.S.Census Bureau, namely:

…Real median household income increased by 5.2 percent between 2014 and 2015 while the official poverty rate decreased 1.2 percentage points. At the same time, the percentage of people without health insurance coverage decreased.

Median household income in the United States in 2015 was $56,516, an increase in real terms of 5.2 percent from the 2014 median income of $53,718. This is the first annual increase in median household income since 2007, the year before the most recent recession.

The nation’s official poverty rate in 2015 was 13.5 percent, with 43.1 million people in poverty, 3.5 million fewer than in 2014. The 1.2 percentage point decrease in the poverty rate from 2014 to 2015 represents the largest annual percentage point drop in poverty since 1999.

The percentage of people without health insurance coverage for the entire 2015 calendar year was 9.1 percent, down from 10.4 percent in 2014. The number of people without health insurance declined to 29.0 million from 33.0 million over the period.

— which means the Big Scary World Crowd might not be telling the entire truth, bless their hearts. Of course, not all boats are being lifted.