By Henry Hazlitt
Capitalist construction, no longer govt courses, has been the genuine conqueror of poverty.
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Extra resources for Conquest of Poverty
Tunica County, Mississippi, is the poorest county in our poorest state. " Economic Report of the President, February, 1971, Table C-20, p. 220. 8. Source: Jeanette M. Fitzwilliams, "Size Distribution of Income in 1962," Survey of Current Business, April, 1963, Table 3; Herman P. Miller, Rich ManPoor Man, New American Library, 1964, p. 47. , under the official "povertythreshold" level] and most of them were poor by national standards; yet 52 percent owned television sets, 46 percent owned automobiles, and 37 percent owned washing machines.
As the median income means that there were just as many families earning more than the amount cited as those earning less, it follows that the 97 percent increase of median real incomes in this twenty-year period must have been shared in by the mass of the people. ) Other sets of figures confirm this conclusion. 51 in 1969—an increase of 448 percent. As the cost of living was constantly rising during this period, this of course greatly exaggerates labor's gains. 95 Source: Department of Labor. So far from wages failing to keep pace with increases in living costs, real wages rose 108 percent in this thirty-year period.
Yet the official "poverty line" estimates, at this writing, are still kept unrealistically high by continuing to be implicitly based on this arbitrary multiple of three times adequate diet costs. What Is "Adequate" Nutrition? One of the great problems involved in arriving at any objective standard of poverty is the constantly changing concept of what constitutes "adequate" nutrition. This was once measured in calories. As time has gone on, and scientific research has continued, it has been insisted that adequacy also requires certain amounts of protein, calcium, iron, Vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, ascorbic acid, etc.