Disparity in Life Spans of the Rich and the Poor Is Growing

One of the most alarming results of growing economic inequality in the U.S. is the widening gap in life span between low and higher income individuals. Experts have long known that rich people generally live longer than poor people. But a growing body of data shows a more disturbing pattern: Despite big advances in medicine, […]

How The Deal Went Down

In September, 1939, just as the Second World War was beginning, a left-wing Italian shoe salesman named Bruno Rizzi published a book, in Paris, called “The Bureaucratization of the World.” Rizzi brought the book out at his own expense; he couldn’t find a publisher. In early 1940, he was charged by French authorities with racial […]

News flash: government spending reduces poverty

In 2014, 14.8 percent of Americans were in poverty. That’s the headline figure the Census Bureau released today as part of its annual report on income, poverty, and access to health insurance in the US. But it doesn’t tell the whole story. For one thing, the official poverty measure, taken without context, is woefully incomplete. More […]

Why the Very Poor Have Become Poorer

According to the Census Bureau, the percentage of Americans living in poverty is higher today than it was in the late 1960s. Last year I argued in these pages that these “official” poverty statistics are extremely misleading.1 When the United States first explicitly defined an official poverty line in 1969, it was supposed to be […]