US Ranks Worst in Poverty Amongst Industrialized Nations

US poverty: chronic ill, little hope for cure
Wed Oct 5, 2005 3:36 PM ET

By Bernd Debusmann

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Four decades after a U.S. president declared war on poverty, more than 37 million people in the world's richest country are officially classified as poor and their number has been on the rise for years.
The images [of New Orleans] shocked the world, shamed many Americans and prompted comparisons with conditions in developing countries from Somalia and Angola to Bangladesh. The pictures from New Orleans showed poor black people begging for help. Most of the rescuers, when they finally arrived, were white.

The percentage of black Americans living in poverty is 24.7, almost twice as high as the overall rate for all races.
"Every August, we Americans tell ourselves a lie," said David Brady, a Duke University professor who studies poverty.

"The poverty rate was designed to undercount because the government wanted to show progress in the war on poverty.

"Taking everything into account, the real rate is around 18 percent, or 48 million people. Poverty in the United States is more widespread, by far, than in any other industrialized country." [cut]

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