Wicked Smart: Shaping the Public Impression of Poverty

Thursday, September 16, 2010 | Margy's Blog & Updates

It’s “Poverty Day”, as they say in policy circles. (Arghhh – that’s particularly ick.) And some people have taken (wicked) smart advantage of the media attention.

The news on poverty rates is really really tough. The findings on the dilemma created by too many low-wage jobs are in. Our economy is suffering under the weight of employers that pay too little.

Census reported today: The ranks of working age people are at the highest level of poverty since the mid-1960s.

And Census counted the most poor people ever in the 51 years we’ve been tracking these numbers.

So – it should come as no surprise that someone decided this would be a good week to host a big national meeting about welfare fraud.

That’s the way to link welfare and poverty in the mind of the public. And on top of that — they get to imply that people on welfare are really just lazy cheats too. Wow. 

As a result - USA Today and papers around the country have a news article with headlines about welfare fraud on the same day we learn that poverty is up up up, especiallly for workers. 

Our opposition is really quite skilled at this framing stuff. I sure wish advocates FOR low-wage workers were as good.