So starting from the the Great Depression and WWII poverty rates declined drastically, solely or in large part due to social security benefits for the elderly ( a fine place in history to start reviewing data). Following this drastic drop we see the poverty rate remain steady in the 11 to 15 percent range from 65 til today. Would your professor expect to see a new precipitous decline in the poverty rate now that the baby boomers are entering retirement, with retirees making up the largest segment of the population in history. I doubt he would find that to be much of a question but why? He is willing to accept that transfer payments were enough to cause the change then but not today. Does he believe the adjusted amounts were so much more back then? Why has the poverty rate remained relatively stable since 65′ when entitlements and transfer payments to the poor took off. I guess if I was as obtuse as your professor I could claim the increase in scope of the welfare state in the sixties counteracted the benefits social security had on diminishing the poverty rate.
Statistical support for your professors claim is abundant and if I consider a bad answer to be better than no answer then I agree with him. I am always amazed by how little regard the people who tout the scientific method actually have for it.
I hope one of our brighter members can come up with an adequate answer for you. After reading the thousands of posts you have left on this site your abrupt departure was a bit discombobulating. I don’t know how you ever had the time to contribute as much as you did. It is great to hear from you again and I hope you will find time to contribute more to the forum in the future.