Re: CNN poverty figures

Timothy Mason (mason@CIE.FR)
Thu, 17 Oct 1996 22:24:42 -0500

-- [ From: Timothy Mason * EMC.Ver #2.5.02 ] --

A simple word of warning from a sister discipline - these figures are to be
handled with a great deal of caution. Even establishing poverty figures
within one country is difficult enough, and figures will vary widely
according to the definition chosen, and according to counting procedures.
Cross-national comparisons are extremely dodgy. Before commenting on the CNN
figures, one would want to know much more about how they were constructed.
Different governments, for example, use different baselines - and this is
perhaps as it should be, for as Ronald Kephart suggested, poverty is

None of the above is to be understood as saying that the problem of child
poverty in the USA is not a serious one, demanding all your attention - and
the same can be said for conditions in Canada, Australia, the UK and France.

Timothy Mason