In the United States, poverty is a lingering problem, and it often seems as if nothing alleviates it to any significant degree. One key reason for the seeming ineffectiveness in dealing with poverty may be the tendency to use the wrong measurements to determine what poverty is and who is actually poor and who is not. If policy makers cannot agree on the definition of poverty or how pervasive it is and how it affects families, they cannot be expected to come up with solutions to the problem.

Before any society can do something to alleviate poverty, it must come up with a definition that everyone understands and that everyone who makes policy can use to increase the efficacy of those policies designed to cure poverty. ...

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