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To the (NYT) Editor:
Not addressed in "How to Define Poverty? Let us Count the Ways" (Arts & Ideas pages, May 26) are the regional cost-of-living differences that should be considered in determining the poverty level.
It is absurd, for example, to suggest that $25,000 is adequate for a family of four anywhere in the United States. In the New York metropolitan area, approximately half of that would be needed for housing along, and practically all other items tend to be more expensive here than elsewhere, as well.
In order to serve as a valid measure for formulating social policy and determining benefits, the poverty level must be established by region.
Anthony A. Cupaiuolo, White Plains, May 29, 2001, published May 30, 2001. The writer is a professor of public administration at Pace University.
(text prepared for the web by a Lighthouse Ministries volunteer)