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A Poverty Yardstick

To the (NYT) editor:

The new measure of poverty under development by the Census Bureau (Arts & Ideas pages, May 26) will more accurately assess immediate economic need. The ability to purchase basic goods and services is fundamental, but a comprehensive definition of economic well-being would also include the ability to fulfill personal and family responsibilities (like caregiving), the ability to reduce risk (through asset accumulation and insurance), and educational and training opportunities to improve long-term economic prospects.

Creating indicators to assess these outcomes and developing programs to spread them are important tasks for our country.

Sondra Beverly, Lawrence, Kansas, May 27, 2001, published June 2, 2001. The writer is an assistant professor, University of Kansas School or Social Welfare.

(text prepared for the web by a Lighthouse Ministries volunteer)

Copyright 2001 The New York Times CompanyPrivacy Information

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