Why almost half of American children live in or near poverty

“Fifty years ago, when Lyndon Johnson declared a “war on poverty,” most of the poor didn’t work. They were too old or infirm, or they couldn’t find jobs. Today, most of America’s poor do work – “welfare reforms” starting in the 1990s have required them to work as a condition of receiving any benefits. But they and their families are still poor because their jobs pay so little and benefits don’t go far enough.

As a result, according to new data, almost half of US children – some 30 million – now live in or near poverty. We haven’t witnessed this extent of child poverty in half a century. Raising the minimum wage and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit are critically important to the well-being of our nation’s children.”

This is a Facebook comment from Professor Robert Reich of Berkeley University which I’m reposting on the day of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. I hope that Obama has some ideas to tackle this situation.


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