Poverty and Deprivation in America
America is a land of extremes – unprecedented wealth enjoyed by a privileged few contrasted with deep poverty because of neoliberal harshness, bipartisan force-fed austerity, grievously harming the nation’s most vulnerable.
American exceptionalism’s dark side is damning. Poverty, homelessness, hunger, unemployment, underemployment, and deprivation harm countless millions.
Both right wings of US duopoly governance are complicit in serving privileged interests exclusively – Wall Street, other corporate predators, and high-net worth households never had things better.
UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Philip Alston prepared a damning report on the deplorable state of America.
The dream of a better life for most of its citizens is pure fantasy. Nightmarish conditions harm millions.
“The United States already leads the developed world in income and wealth inequality, and it is now moving full steam ahead to make itself even more unequal,” said Alston, adding:
“High child and youth poverty rates perpetuate the intergenerational transmission of poverty very effectively, and ensure that the American dream is rapidly becoming the American illusion.”
In short order, the Trump regime exacerbated deplorable conditions he inherited, the great GOP tax cut heist one of many examples.
Another is wanting dysfunctional Obamacare replaced by deplorable Trumpcare, a scheme to make healthcare more unaffordable than already, giving drug industry bandits, insurers and large hospital chains freedom to price-gouge freely.
What hasn’t so far been enacted into law will continue being pursued. Harming ordinary people to serve privileged ones defines Trump’s agenda, a rogue actor, surrounded by hardline extremists, ruthless by any standard.
“The consequences of neglecting poverty and promoting inequality are clear. The policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not (employed), and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned rather than a right of citizenship,” Alston stressed, drawing conclusions firsthand from visiting seven locations in America.
He met with people enduring deep poverty in the world’s richest country, the United States of I don’t care for its least privileged.
He spoke to experts and civil society groups. “If you said to most Americans, ‘Look at what country X does to its ethnic minorities or to a particular religious minority.’ “
“Your average American with any knowledge of that situation is going to shake (his or) her head and say, ‘This is a disgrace.’ “
“But of course there’s a direct parallel in the United States, and it affects not just a small ethnic minority but a very large racial group of African Americans in particular, where they just come out worse on every possible indicator and policies clearly designed to hit them harder.”
He concluded that the Trump regime is heading countless millions of Americans toward financial ruin and unaddressed deprivation, depriving them of nourishing food, proper treatment for serious health issues, along with other essentials to life and welfare – while fostering policies benefitting corporate predators and high net-worth households.
Countless millions are struggling to make ends meet, living from paycheck to paycheck, paid poverty wages and few or no benefits, over 20% of working age Americans unemployed, most others way underemployed.
“Severe deprivation of food, (unaffordable housing), and inadequate access to healthcare” is the road to “ruination” for America’s least advantaged, Alston stressed.
Trump regime policies cause enormous harm to most people. The nation’s middle class is being systematically destroyed.
America is heading for a society of extreme wealth and privilege v. masses of have-nots, increasingly on their own with an eroding safety net heading toward disappearing altogether.
Wherever he went, Alston found deep poverty, deprivation and despair. Instead of efforts to improve things for the nation’s most disadvantaged, policies pursued by the Trump regime and GOP-controlled Congress increasingly make them worse.
The deplorable state of America is a global disgrace – the Trump regime the shame of the nation.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”