Date: Oct 4, 2012 8:13 PM
Author: Paul A. Tanner III
Subject: Re: The Word Not Mentioned in the Debate: Poverty

On Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 5:52 PM, Richard Hake <> wrote:
> Some subscribers to Math-Teach might be interested in a recent
> discussion-list post "Re: The Word Not Mentioned in the Debate: Poverty"
> [Hake (2012)]. An abstract is:
> ********************************************
> ABSTRACT: Diane Ravitch in her hard hitting "Diane Ravitch's blog"
> <> wrote in an entry "The Word Not Mentioned in the
> Debate: Poverty" at
> "Poverty. Lots of talk about the middle class. Tax cuts for the middle
> class. Saving the middle class. Doing more for the middle class. Not one
> word about poverty. No mention that nearly 25% of the children in the
> world's richest nation live in poverty. Not one word."

And no mention of the fact that it is not the case that technically not being in poverty implies that everything is fine and dandy - probably another 25% live in near-poverty:

See the charts in the above.

Here is one bit that should horrify those with a conscience:

The median income in the US of a single mom with two kids is only a measly $25,000 per year. Compare that to the poverty charts above - this median is only 50% above the poverty line for a single adult with two children.

And here is a very important correction:

Per capita, the US is not the world's richest nation - for every year of the past many decades, in fact. For every year of the past many decades, most of the countries of socialist-capitalist northern Europe have had larger per capita nominal GDPs - and more upward income mobility with the percentages of their populations being entrepreneurs ever higher than the US. See some of the most recent data on this:

The US now has only half the percentage in 1977 of its population being entrepreneurs. Because of regulations taken off the banks starting with Reagan in the 1980s and ending in the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, entrepreneurial democracy is quickly getting to the point of no longer existing in the US. It exists much more in other countries - see the below on Norway, the richest country in the world per capita outside of some very small countries with *citizen* populations of no more than a few hundred thousand - most much less.

And roughly in 1990 Norway (the most socialist of these socialist-capitalist countries) blew right past the US in per capita PPP GDP and on average has been pulling away ever since. (Its nominal per capita GDP is now twice as large as that of the US.) On Norway:

"Moral economics -> world's highest living standard and greatest

Message was edited by: Paul A. Tanner III