Social Issues: The Roots of Poverty

The Roots of Poverty

The Reagan Administration has long maintained that the traditional family is a bastion in the battle against poverty. It contends that the dramatic addition of 7 million Americans to the ranks of the poor since 1979 is rooted in a cultural phenomenon: the increase of single-parent, female-headed households.

Last week, however, a congressional study proposed a set of economic causes of poverty. The report by the Joint Economic Committee, chaired by Democrats, declared that the Administration has wrongly ignored "weak trends in employment and wages" from 1979 to 1985 as primary factors in keeping more than 33 million Americans below the...

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