Poverty in California | National Review

Bret Stephens goes through a depressing list of defects in California’s blue-state model of governance. Another item that ought to be added: The state’s high poverty rate.

The official poverty measure obscures the point. If you use it, California has a poverty rate that is just a tick below the national average. If you use the supplemental poverty measure — among other things, it accounts for the cost of housing — California has the highest poverty rate in the country. At 17.2 percent, it is worse than the other 50 states, worse than D.C., and accordingly much worse than the national average.

The state’s failure on poverty should count heavily against its governance — especially, given their professed priorities, for progressives.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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