Poverty in Maine


A new report by the Goldwater Institute in Arizona provides some useful guidance to defeating poverty in Maine. The report states that “Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the pages that follow demonstrates that low-tax and -spending states enjoyed sizable decreaes in poverty rates during the 1990s. High-tax and -spending states, meanwhile, suffered increases in poverty rates. This study grades each state with regards to reducing both general and childhood poverty rates during the 1990s.”
So how did Maine fare in the 1990s? In terms of general poverty, Maine scored an F+ in the report with general poverty increasing by 0.9 percent between 1990 and 2000 (38th highest). In terms of childhood poverty, Maine scored a D with only a small reduction of 2.2 percent between 1990 and 2000 (40th highest).
The report concludes with this policy prescription: “Private-sector job growth is the most effective antipoverty program. Citizens and policymakers who seek to reduce poverty and improve the lot of the poor should embrace policies promoting as much private-sector growth as possible.”