Holiday Hours

Limited Library services on Thursday, December 14 due to necessary hardware and software updates. Details

The Republic Branch Library is closed for shelving renovations through Monday, Dec. 11. The branch will reopen Tuesday, Dec. 12.
Drive-up service continues during the renovations, Monday-Saturday from 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

Can You Have A Guideline Without a Guide?

The federal government's definition of poverty dates back more than 45 years.  Reflecting the limited statistical data of that time, it was built on government nutritional criteria.  A game first effort, it's been indexed for inflation but has never evolved.

Given the human and societal costs of poverty, we need a better measure than we currently have to identify who needs assistance and what kind of assistance.  The National Academy of Sciences, for instance, has a proposed approach.  The NAS approach would posit far more poor persons than "official" measurements.

Another subjective approach to an objective goal is the Self-Sufficiency Standard.  Unlike the federal standard, this guideline accounts for the costs of living and working as they vary by family size and composition and by geographic location.  A possible drawback is that the Standard assumes that all adults (whether single or married) work full-time.  Self-Suffiency Standards have been developed for a number of states, including Missouri.

So while nobody's too happy about where we are, there's not a lot of movement and consensus about where we should be in terms of quantifying this important issue.

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