I make this point up front. Destitution, the lack of access to the essential commodities of life is bad. Poverty, as officially defined is not necessarily bad. Destitution means lack of ability to get the needed commodities of life. Poverty, as officially defined, means lack of access to cash. Yet a person my have access to commodities, food, shelter, bodily warmth without necessarily having access to cash, from Dr. Thomas Sowell, 1999, Jewish World Review :
There was a time when poverty referred to a lack of food, shelter or clothing. Today, it refers to earning an income below a level arbitrarily selected to keep poverty alive and big enough to maintain political support for big-government programs.
And, Sowell, 2006, National Review :
Except for people who can’t work or won’t work, there is very little real poverty in the United States today, except among people who come from poverty-stricken countries and bring their poverty with them.
By classic measure, there is virtually no poverty in this country. Yet poverty remains a political war drum for perpetual big government, from William M. Briggs, Pajamas Media :
President Obama Makes Poverty Permanent
With a simple abuse of mathematics, Obama just gave birth to eternal grievance.
50% earn less than the median income. Something needs to be done!
Robert Rector, National Review :
This week, the Obama administration announced it will create a new poverty-measurement system  that will eventually displace the current poverty measure. This new measure, which has little or nothing to do with actual poverty, will serve as the propaganda tool in Obama’s endless quest to “spread the wealth.”
Under the new measure, a family  will be judged “poor” if its income falls below a certain specified income threshold. Nothing new there, but, unlike the current poverty standards, the new income thresholds will have a built-in escalator clause: They will rise automatically in direct proportion to any rise in the living standards of the average American
As Obama has defined the problem of poverty, it can not be solved. By definition half will always be below the median. I wonder what Obama did while he was pretending to go to college. Economics is not exactly his strong suit.