Reaping what you sow

Read-worthy: Poverty is Poison, a recent New York Times op-ed by Paul Krugman. The piece lifts off from the opening line in a recent Financial Times report, Poverty mars formation of infant brains: “Poverty in early childhood poisons the brain.” Krugman’s piece progresses to a sobering overview of the Nation’s shift away from fighting poverty: “LBJ declared his ‘War on Poverty’ 44 years ago. Contrary to cynical legend, there actually was a large reduction in poverty over the next few years, especially among children, who saw their poverty rate fall from 23 percent in 1963 to 14 percent in 1969. But progress stalled thereafter: American politics shifted to the right, attention shifted from the suffering of the poor to the alleged abuses of welfare queens driving Cadillacs, and the fight against poverty was largely abandoned. In 2006, 17.4 percent of children in America lived below the poverty line, substantially more than in 1969. And even this measure probably understates the true depth of many children’s misery.”