The New York Times opines:
The Times’s Jason DeParle, Robert Gebeloff and Sabrina Tavernise reported recently on Census data showing that 49.1 million Americans are below the poverty line — in general, $24,343 for a family of four. An additional 51 million are in the next category, which they termed “near poor” — with incomes less than 50 percent above the poverty line. . .
The worst downturn since the Great Depression is only part of the problem. Before that, living standards were already being eroded by stagnating wages and tax and economic policies that favored the wealthy. Conservative politicians and analysts are spouting their usual denial.
Here’s the truth: these figures use the Obama administration’s new “poverty line”, which has nothing to do with actual poverty. Rather than being based on the cost of a basket of goods that families need (and without which they are impoverished), as the traditional poverty line was, the new “poverty line” is defined in terms of other people’s income (in particular, the 30th percentile of a particular population).
The beauty of the new “poverty line” — for liberals — is there will always be millions in “poverty”, no matter how much their lot improves. Not only is the 49.1 million figure not shocking, it’s inevitable. The “near poor”, being 150% of the other meaningless number, is just as meaningless.
With the new “poverty line”, liberals will always have an excuse to demand billions in welfare spending, (funneled through their cronies like ACORN of course). But this depends on the public remaining ignorant that the “poverty line” has nothing to do with poverty and is rigged so that there will always been lots of people in poverty.
Put simply, this only works if the liberals succeed in tricking us. And the New York Times is doing its part.