Americans and Poverty

by Charles Cherry

According to the most recent Barna Group weekly update, three out four adults consider poverty to be one of the most serious social problems facing the United States today.


Poverty? Here, in the Land of Plenty?

I laugh when I read things like this. Then I cry.

Our nation is so self-obsessed that we somehow think that thirty percent of our people live in poverty. THIRTY PERCENT!! Official government statistics put it at more like twelve to fifteen percent. But what is poverty in the United States like?

I wonder what the actual percentage is of people in the US who live without access to electricity? Or how about no access to a stable supply of clean, running, water? How many still live without indoor plumbing? How many Americans go to bed hungry every night, because they only have enough food for one small meal per day?

How many Americans children die every hour from hunger-related diseases?

How many Americans die each day from water-borne diseases, or suffer intestinal problems because of parasites or deadly bacteria from polluted water?

How many Americans have to walk three hours per day to haul a few gallons of water which they will use to bathe, cook, clean and wash clothes?

How many Americans have to spend the majority of their day scrounging around garbage dumps looking for a few scraps of food?

How many Americans die every day from diseases like diarrhea, measles, or flue, simply because they have no access to basic health care?

How many Americans live on less than $1.00 per day?

How many American women die every day from lung disease because they have to slave over a wood or dung-based cooking fire, which fills the house with deadly, toxic fumes?

How many American women are chained to a sewing machine for hours at a time, making clothing and shoes for rich people on the other side of the globe?

How many Americans are really poor?

Give me a break – compared the at least a third of the population of this earth, the “poor” in America are rich beyond compare.

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