As readers of this blog know, what I call the poverty scam is this: The Census Bureau defines "poverty" in a way that has nothing to do with physical deprivation, and only turns on "cash income." That definition makes the "poverty rate" useless as a measure of physical deprivation, because it excludes all government in kind benefits and sweeps in all kinds of obviously non-poor categories like kids living on handouts from the well-off parents, Ph.D. students at Harvard, business owners having a losing year, asset millionaires taking a year off, and people getting in excess of $100,000 per year in in-kind government benefits. But then journalists write stories about "poverty" that discuss the "poverty rate" and physical deprivation together as if they had something to do with each other. Worse, journalists discuss the in-kind government programs as if they had some relationship to "poverty" or the cure of "poverty," when in fact they don't count at all in the measure of poverty. Doubling the in-kind programs, or halving them, or eliminating them altogether, would have absolutely zero effect on so-called "poverty", because these programs are defined to not count in the measure.
With that background, let us consider this appalling AP story. Here is the headline from the Daily Mail: