News: USA: Rich Nation, Poor Nation...

"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."
—Franklin D. Roosevelt

Meet Roberta. She lives in a mountain village with her six brothers and sisters and her mom. They have a trailer with no electricity and they draw their water from a muddy pond down the lane. They don't own a car and jobs are scarce, so Roberta and her family are always hungry, and dependent upon the kindness of others.
Roberta is not from a third world country. She lives 100 miles of Nashville, Tennessee USA. (Source)

35.5 million Americans, including 12.6 million children, live in households that experience hunger or the risk of hunger. This represents more than one in ten households in the United States (10.9 percent). (Source)

According to the UN, 854 million people in the world do not have enough to eat (Source). This means 4.1% of the world's hungry live in the USA.

In 2006, official census figures state 12.3% of all US citizens lived in the poverty. 17.4% of American children (younger than 18) lived below the poverty threshold (Source)

The number of Americans receiving food stamps is projected to reach 28 million in 2008, the highest level since the aid program began in the 1960s. For instance, one in eight Michigan residents now receives food stamps. To qualify for the food stamp aid program, the recipient must have an income of US$100 or lower per family member. (Source)

The US has GDP per capita (Gross Domestic Product or the total value of goods and services produced in a country in a given year) of $41,800 per person/year. The 5th highest in the world (Source). Logically, this should qualify the USA as the fifth wealthiest country.

So how come, then?


Anonymous,  03 April, 2008 18:43  

And I'm sure you know that the official poverty threshold numbers in the US are pathetic. In my state, the poverty threshold for a family of four is $21,027, but the average family of four needs $42,841 annually to meet basic needs. These are working families, and those numbers don't usually include the costs of childcare or of debt repayment. (

Anonymous,  03 April, 2008 20:57  

I find myself asking what Roberta's mother was thinking about when she conceived child after child she must have known she couldn't properly support. I'd be broke and miserable too with six kids so - wow - I didn't have any.

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