THE MORE THINGS CHANGE. The American Mind reports the rediscovery of some ancient verities about avoiding poverty. It is probably unfair for an Ancient Mariner to take Mr Hackbarth to task in that way, as Robert Lampman's Ends and Means of Reducing Income Poverty is long out of print, but some of us who hung out at the University of Wisconsin a long time ago were aware that a child who had a younger father, rather than an older father, who had completed high school, and both natural parents in the house was almost sure not to grow up poor. The one dimension that has almost surely changed in the past 30 years is that if the child had African origins his or her chances of growing up poor were somewhat greater, although disentangling the effects of race and marital status is not easy even with the best of computers.

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