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Poverty line is not "BEST" indicator.

Single workers need rnore than $30,000 a year for economic security. Single parents with two children should have at least $57,756 to cover basic expenses and save for emergencies and retirement, while dual-income households with two children require $67,920, concludes the Basic Economic Security Table (or BEST Index), a report that the Center for Social Development at Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., helped prepare.

These figures are well above--sometimes several times--aditional measurements like the poverty line and minimum wage designed to show what workers require for a basic standard of living. The national poverty level is $10,830 for a single-person family and $18,310 for a family of three.

BEST is different from the Federal poverty measure in that it takes into account actual spending for necessary items (e.g., food, housing, transportation, and child care) for a family to meet its basic needs. In contrast, the Federal poverty measure is calculated based solely on food cost. Accordingly, BEST captures shifting economic needs in a rapidly changing contemporary economy.

BEST also differs from other economic well-being indexes in that it aims to capture what is needed for household stability and development rather than focusing on subsistence. Therefore, it includes saving components such as emergency, retirement, education, and homeownership savings that are essential for long-term economic security and household development.

"The problem is many families do not make enough income to meet their basic consumption and saving needs, especially single-parent families," maintains BEST coauthor Yung Soo Lee. "In addition, low savings rates in the United States indicate that even families with enough income do not save adequately for their longterm economic security and development."

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Title Annotation:Economics; Basic Economic Security Table
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2011
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