Increased Government Spending Has Negligible Effects on Poverty


While some argue for increased government spending to reduce poverty, the empirical evidence suggests that such efforts will do nothing to reduce the record number of Americans living in poverty. Indeed, economic growth and good-paying jobs will do more to reduce poverty than increased spending, says Keith Hall in U.S. News & World Report.

  • There are 46 million Americans living in poverty, a number that has grown by nearly 9 million since the beginning of the recession.
  • Sixty-six percent of the working-age poor were unemployed for the entire year of 2011 and there are more than 100 million working-age people who remain jobless.
  • Over the last 20 years, the poverty rate has mirrored the jobless rate in America.

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