Busting 10 Poverty Myths

The good people at Mother Jones have produced a list of 10 widely believed (and totally false) myths about poverty. Click here to learn why welfare isn’t busting our budgets, and why absentee black fathers are not the problem.

Some of these myths have their roots in inaccurate depictions in the media of the pervasiveness of black poverty. Our own research director, Rachel D. Godsil, wrote about this subject for The Root earlier this year

Most poor people in the United States are white.

According to Census figures in 2013, 18.9 million whites are poor. That’s 8 million more poor white people than poor black people, and more than 5 million more than those who identify as Latino. A majority of those benefiting from programs like food stamps and Medicaid are white, too.

But somehow our picture of poverty is different, and the media tends to tell us a different story. A recent New York Times story, “Cut in Food Stamps Forces Hard Choices on Poor,” included only pictures of African Americans and Latinos from the Bronx, N.Y., and a number of Southern states. In October, the Times published another story about the impact of states’ rejection of the Medicaid expansion that’s part of the Affordable Care Act.

You can read her whole piece here.

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