3 Myths about the Poor That Make Fools of Us

Poor Family

These misconceptions are no joke. Don’t be fooled by what the common media is saying about children in poverty.

Single Moms and Absentee Dads Are The Biggest Problem

mom with child

Dr. Laura Tach, an assistant professor of Cornel University’s College of Human Ecology, busted this myth with her research in urban policy and family life. She found that only nine percent of low-income urban mothers were single during their child’s first five years. Sixty percent of low income dads saw their child daily, and another 16 percent saw their child weekly (76 percent of dads total).

Poor Parents Are Too Lazy to Provide for Their Kids

Child in the park

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, most recipients of SNAP (food stamps) are either currently working or find themselves temporarily out of work.  “For families with children—more than 60 percent work while receiving SNAP, and almost 90 percent work in the prior or subsequent year.”

If You Aren’t Below the Poverty Line, You Aren’t Poor

poor young woman

Income guidelines for “officially” defining someone as poor should not be an accurate gauge of whether or not a family is doing okay. These guidelines do not allow for the tremendous increase in housing costs that have occurred in recent decades. As defined by the 2016 Federal Poverty Guidelines, a  family with two adults and two children are not considered poor if they make $24,301 annually. In many parts of the country, an average single person with no kids would have a difficult time living on just that amount.

*Some images courtsey of freeimages.com

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