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Poverty as Pathology

Photo courtesy of Jukka Kervinen Poverty as pathology is the theory that the poor are poor because of their own actions or lack thereof. The poor suffer from character flaws, lack of motivation, and potentially even mental disorders. Basically, those who believe in poverty as a pathology blame the poor for their own suffering....

Kerner Commission

A team created by President Lyndon B. Johnson and led by Otto Kerner, Governor of Chicago, to investigate the causes behind the deadly riots and violence that took place in 1967 in various inner cities in the U.S. The Commission published its findings in the Kerner Report in 1968 and found that the violence...

Redlining

A policy outlined in the FHA’s 1939 Underwriting Manual and practiced by the FHA through which neighborhoods were considered “risky” for investment based solely on race and ethnicity. FHA loans as well as other financial assistance was denied to people in these areas. Redlining literally refers to using red lines on a map to...

Racial-Zoning

Description: This sign says that if one buys a home in said area they are only allowed to sell their home to another caucasian person. Racial Zoning (AKA exclusionary zoning) was a legal way for banks and real-estate agents to keep whites in white neighborhoods and blacks in black neighborhoods. Although the court deemed in...

Deindustrialization

  Description: Ghost factory In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s industrialization started blooming in the United States. With the threat of war it gave American’s a fast and efficient way to develops goods like weapons. It also provided big cities with job opportunities, gave reason for people to move to these big cities...

The Self-Sufficiency Standard

  As an alternative to the outdated federal poverty measure, The University of Washington developed the self-sufficiency standard; this standard estimates the amount of income a household of a given size, age and location needs to pay for their necessities without government assistance. Unlike the federal poverty measure, the self-sufficiency standard accounts for living...

Federal Poverty Measure

  Introduced by Mollie Orshansky in 1964 and adopted by former President Lyndon B. Johnson, the current official U.S. poverty measure classifies those who fall below a standard of need and sets eligibility thresholds for public programs (e.g., food stamps). Because the average American household spent one-third of their income on food, this guideline...

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