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NY Post again falsely slams poor people – yet again

January 27, 2010

Joel Berg’s response to a NY Post editorial slamming poor people for using much needed government benefits.

To the Editor:

Heather Mac Donald’s claim (“Welfare Warriors Attack New York”) that a single mother with two kids working at a minimum wage of $8.25 an hour would somehow take home $63,000 in salary and government benefits is a fabrication. First, the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, which means that someone working 40 hours a week for 52 weeks (assuming no sick days and no vacation) would earn a $15,080 salary for the year.

Add to that a potential for about $5,000 each for the value of Food Stamps benefits and an Earned Income Tax Credit and the family’s annual buying power would reach a mere $25,000. Less than half of the eligible low-income people in New York City receive any government help at all for housing, and the vast majority of those that do still have to chip in significant amounts for rent out of their own pockets. It is no wonder that so many working families in the city are poor.

If conservatives would be willing to engage in fact-based debates over the causes of, and solutions to poverty in America, anti-poverty advocates such as myself would welcome it. But when so-called experts such as Ms. Mac Donald merely make up numbers to deny that poverty even exists – and the Post repeatedly prints such nonsense without any fact-checking – there’s not much hope for rational discourse.


Joel Berg

Executive Director

New York City Coalition Against Hunger

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