The author ends the piece with this:
"Lowering poverty means both recognizing the successes of safety net programs we now have and devising new policies that can spread the gains generated by economic growth. If we don’t, then we will continue to face poverty rates that are unacceptably high, and wonder why we can’t do anything about them. "
I suspect we are already doing something "about them." The author's assertion seems to suggest that the gains must be more even spread than they are now, but woudldn't we first need to know whether it's the same people who are poor over time or if, relatively speaking, most poor people move up the ladder and out of poverty? If the latter is true, economic gains are already being spread evenly enough for the poor to benefit. It can get confusing when you talk about "the poor" because unlike "blacks" or "males," the group characteristic is not immutable. perhaps we could do even better, but I suspect that even now, most of the poor (at least the working poor) end up working their way up the ladder far enough to rise above the povery line. (Sorry - I got not stats or links!