|Dorothea Lange - Oklahoma, 1936|
The United Nations estimates that 18 million Americans live in extreme poverty, the Trump administration says the number is more like 250,000. Quite a difference. This article provides some clarity.
Haley called a UN report on extreme poverty in the U.S. “misleading and politically motivated.” The report, released in May and presented to the Human Rights Council this week in Geneva, found that 40 million people across the country live in poverty, while 18.5 million live in extreme poverty, and an additional 5 million in conditions of absolute poverty. The special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, called the U.S. the most unequal country in the developed world.I found it interesting that Haley pointed to low unemployment numbers as proof that Americans are not in poverty.
In her response Thursday, Hayley contended that while “poverty is an issue the Trump administration takes very seriously,” the U.S. currently had a low rate of unemployment and “the best way to help people get out of poverty is to help them get a job.”This is the problem, when they talk about taking away food stamps from poor people and making them work for them; in most cases they are already working, people are employed but they can't make a living on minimum wage.
It’s worth noting that ― even with low unemployment ― more than 40 million Americans are living in poverty, and more than 40 percent of U.S. adults don’t have $400 in savings to cover an unexpected emergency.
What’s more, as advocates for a $15 minimum wage often note, employment alone does not eliminate poverty, if workers are not making a “living wage.” Nearly half of people on food stamps (44 percent) in 2015 in the U.S. had at least one family member who was employed.
“The U.S. economy is currently booming,” the U.N. expert said Friday. “But the question is who is benefiting.”
I heard the other day that as a result of the Trump tax cut American workers received approximately a 4% one time bump, the rest of the money largely going to things like stock buybacks and rich pockets. Banks made record profits, workers not so much. From Americans for Tax Fairness:
Just 4% of workers are getting one-time bonuses and/or wage increases from their employers — 6.3 million out of 147.6 million.Out of 26 million U.S. businesses, just 383 are providing one-time bonuses and/or wage hikes to their workers for which the cost is able to be estimated.Corporations are getting 9 times as much in tax cuts as they are giving to workers in one-time bonuses and in wage hikes — $60.8 billion vs. $6.5 billion.Corporations are spending 37 times as much on stock buybacks, which mostly benefit CEOs and wealthy investors, as they are spending on workers’ bonuses and wages — $238 billion vs. $6.5 billion.