This is a political article, but whether you agree with the politics or not, the beginning of the article is interesting for its summarization of the state of poverty in the United States and around the world today…
Poverty in the United States:
In 2017, more than a half-million human beings — 553,742 of them to be exact — were homeless in the U.S. for at least some time. Last year was the first since the 2008 financial crisis that America’s homeless population grew. The 2016 U.S. census found that 12.7 percent of Americans — which translates to just over 43 million human beings — live below the poverty line. Millions of American children live in hunger: according to a 2015 U.S. Department of Agriculture study, the U.S. has “13.1 million households with children that often go without food: ‘food-insecure households.’”
Those horrifying statistics are just for the U.S. Extreme human deprivation and suffering is pervasive all over the planet: hundreds of millions of human beings live in unimaginable poverty. According to the 2016 comprehensive World Bank study on global inequality, “767 million people are estimated to have been living below the international poverty line of US$1.90 per person per day. Almost 11 people in every 100 in the world, or 10.7 percent of the global population, were poor by this standard.” There is an “estimated 780 million illiterate adults worldwide, nearly two-thirds are women.”
Although roughly half of the world’s poor live in sub-Saharan Africa, they are found in large numbers on every continent on the planet (see chart, right). Close to a billion people lack basic plumbing; according to the Guardian in 2015, “around the world, 946 million people still go to the toilet outside.” Millions of children all over the world, and hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S., die every year from treatable diseases due to lack of available medical care.
The World Health Organization found in July of last year that “some 3 in 10 people worldwide, or 2.1 billion, lack access to safe, readily available water at home, and 6 in 10, or 4.5 billion, lack safely managed sanitation.” If one adds in non-human animals — from abandoned, starving pets to industrial systemic cruelty toward farm animals — the amount of deprivation and poverty-caused suffering in the world is virtually endless.
There are more than 7 billion people living on planet Earth. These people are using an economic system – capitalism – that is designed to create poverty like this. Simply look at the Rules of Capitalism – it is easy to understand why there is so much poverty. Then look at the prosperity that can be created by a well-designed alternative.