But, as he writes The Washington Post, the statistics do not fully reflect the real situation. In a story titled “Census Bureau: Poverty Altogether Falls in 2020 as a Result of Massive Unemployment Stimulus and Aid” it says:
“The official figure rose slightly to 11.4%, but the agency claims that after including aid in connection with the pandemic, the poverty rate has dropped to 9.1%. <…>
The poverty rate in the United States as a whole fell in 2020. The unexpected decline is largely due to the rapid and substantial federal aid that Congress decided at the start of the pandemic to try to stave off widespread financial distress as the country faced its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
The US Census Bureau said that after taking all government aid into account, the poverty rate in 2020 fell to 9.1% – the lowest on record. ”
Thus, the prospects for an increase in the number of poor Americans forced the administration to pay “helicopter money”, and this measure proved to be quite successful: the actual level of poverty dropped significantly.
In Russia, the number of poor people in the second quarter of 2020 has grown (13.5% versus 12.7% in the second quarter of 2019 and 12.6% in the first quarter of 2020), but at the end of the first half of the year it was still lower than a year ago (13.2% versus 13.5% ). At the end of the year, the poverty rate dropped to 12.1%. In the first half of 2021, it remained at the last year’s level – 13.2%. However, the comparison of the indicators of 2021 with the previous ones in Russia is not entirely correct, since the methodology for determining the poverty level has changed: from the assessment based on the cost of the consumer basket, they moved to determining the poverty threshold as 44.2% of the median per capita income for the previous year. A similar approach applied in the EU countries, but thresholds are defined differently: 40% of the median income is extreme poverty, 50% is basic poverty.