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Federal poverty line

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Anna Webb Child Policy Professor Irwin September 12, 2005 Federal Poverty Line When considering where the level federal poverty lines should be set one must consider what is poverty. The first definition would be relative poverty, a condition that exists when people may be able to afford basic necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter, but cannot maintain an average standard of living, in comparison to that of other members of their society or group1. The other is absolute poverty, a condition that exists when people do not have the means to secure the most basic necessities of life1. In my opinion, clearly defining the average standard of living of the society can be ambiguous. Should a $20,000 sport utility vehicle, a clothing budget of $100 monthly, or the usage of cellular phones be considered towards figuring a minimum budget to base a federal poverty line? At the very least the use of cellular phone is now considered a part of standard living for most of society. If someone cannot afford this, are they truly in poverty? ...read more.


Cheapest quote through 21st Century Insurance. $120 $1,440 Groceries 3 meals a day for 2 adults and 2 children. Created a weekly menu and priced items by utilizing wholesale for meats, and generic brands. $450 $5,400 Auto Gas 1 car, work distance 10 miles, 5 days/week plus an additional 50 leisure miles at $2.75 gallon. Averages from personal budget. $175 $2,100 Water Liberal Usage. Averages of personal budgets from self, and family. $25 $300 Total $1,880 $22,560 Table 1: Budget for average family of four. Based on this I would set the federal poverty level for a family of four to be a monthly income that is equal to or less than $1,880. If a family meets these criteria then they would be considered for additional resources. Some resources that should be made available would be: 1) Agreements with the local utility companies to set a budget at the federal poverty standard. 2) Non-cash grocery allowances via food stamps or cards. 3) Partial rent allowance. 4) Health Insurace Assuming responsible spending of the money freed up from such assistance, and the responsible spending of the money already budgeted, then such assistance would be deemed adequate to take a family out of a absolute poverty situation. ...read more.


The federal poverty level as described by my budget can reflect a conservative ideology. The budget includes basic, realistic needs. Even so, it would take a minimum hourly working wage of $11.75, for fourty hours a week, for fourty eight weeks to even attain this poverty level. Ohio is one of three states with a minimum wage rate that is lower than the Federal rate. Ohio state law only mandates for the minimum wage to be $4.25 an hour. At this rate, with one person working they would make $8,160-much below my federal poverty line. In fact, if both adults in the scenario worked at this rate their combined income would only be $16,320-still much under the federal poverty line4. If both parents were working then they would also incur child care expenses that were not originally included in the budget. With the poverty level that I attained, there would be a significant number of persons, families that would increase the official poverty data compiled by the U.S. Census. This is shocking also considering a conservative budget measures were taken into account. Clearly minimum wage rates and the federal poverty levels should be reconsidered. ...read more.

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