The New York Times

The US Can No Longer Hide From Its Deep Poverty Problem

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

WE MIGHT DIRECT ASSISTANCE TO THE MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WHOSE SUFFERING IS AS BAD AS THAT OF POOR PEOPLE IN AFRICA OR ASIA.

People might think that the kind of extreme poverty that would concern a global organization like the United Nations has long vanished in this country. Yet the special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, recently made and reported on an investigative tour of the United States.

Surely no one in the United States today is as poor as a poor person in Ethiopia or Nepal? As it happens, making such comparisons has recently become much easier. The World Bank decided in October to include high-income countries in its global

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