Friday, 1 September 2006
A Return To American Poverty
I've already written about poverty in the United States and also poverty in the United Kingdom but an excellent post over at Annotated Life has presented me with some more facts that I'd like to share, as I think they deserve a wider audience and wider dissemination; so I'll paraphrase them here but for full details go over to the full post.
Poverty levels in the US remain unchanged, highlighting a stubborn underclass that no social programs can seemingly reach, either that or they are being ignored, a voiceless, oppressed section of the American cultural make-up, an unwelcome reminder that the greatest nation in the world can still not eradicate poverty.
37 million Americans are living in poverty, 12.6 percent of the population. Child poverty by official measure continues to be much higher than the overall poverty rate. In 2005, just under 13 million children, or one in six, lived below the poverty line and for those children living with a single mother, 42.8 percent were in poverty, compared to 8.5 percent in married households. This is in the most advanced nation in the world and is clearly, totally unacceptable.
Crucially, and oft forgotten, are the 13 million Americans living just above the poverty line with a further 49.3 million people who are within 125 percent of poverty.
Why is this important?
I think that the measure of any great nation is how it treats those who are the most vulnerable, the most in need, especially its children, its future, who are going without food, shelter and education.
These people cannot be dismissed as lazy, as welfare scroungers, these are the unwanted reminder that all is not well with the American Way (Trademark. All Rights Reserved) and that action needs to be taken to eradicate poverty in all its forms.