What does it mean to be poor in America? For years, the country has had a fairly firm answer; in 2010, the federal government maintains the poverty line at an income of about $21,750 for a family of four. But, if you do the math, you'll likely come up with an inescapable question: how can a family really subsist in America on even twice that amount? Yesterday the Census Bureau released several alternative measurements of poverty in hopes of revising our understanding what it means to be poor in America, and the policy implications that come with it. John Logan, professor of sociology at Brown University, takes a closer look at what it means to be poor in America, and the policy implications that come with it.

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