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Might poverty be bad for society?

January 24, 2007

Well, uh, yeah, it is possible.

Economic theory suggests that when poverty affects a significant portion of the population, these effects can extend to the society at large and produce slower rates of growth

So says the GAO. The study, entitled POVERTY IN AMERICA: Consequences for Individuals and the Economy, seems to mainly focus on health issues, noting that of the “over $400 billion” spent on federal programs that “provided cash and noncash benefits to individuals and families with limited income,” $176 billion went to medical providers under medicaid, and lists several other programs which are essentially payments to non-poor people who are directed to provide services to the poor.

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