A newly-redesigned poverty risk calculator, developed by Mark Rank, the Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare at the Brown School, can for the first time determine an American’s expected risk of poverty based on their race, education level, gender, marital status and age.
Greater stress and anxiety resulting from economic insecurity may be at least partly to blame for the U.S. death rate that the government announced Dec. 8 has increased for the first time in a decade, says an expert on poverty and inequality at Washington University in St. Louis.
Current census figures show that one in seven Americans is living below the poverty level, a rate that nears the record poverty levels of 1960. “The latest rise in the poverty rate illustrates how many more Americans are at risk of poverty and economic insecurity in this country,” says Mark R. Rank, PhD, poverty expert and the Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.
Although the focus of homeland security has been on reducing the threat of terrorism, the growing threat of poverty is rapidly undermining the nation’s economic vitality and has fueled rising disillusionment, says one of the nation’s leading scholars of poverty issues. “We need to wake up in America and realize that our homeland security is tied as much if not more to the fact that huge numbers of Americans are being left behind economically, and that as a result, the American Dream is quickly turning into an American nightmare,” says Mark R. Rank, Ph.D., the Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare at Washington University in St. Louis.