At the invitation of the Trump administration, Philp Alston, the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, spent 10 days touring the United States. The purpose was “to look at whether the persistence of extreme poverty in America undermines the enjoyment of human rights by its citizens.” He recently submitted his final report to the administration and I have reviewed it with its shocking findings and conclusions.
To quote from Alston’s report: “The youth poverty rate in the United States is the highest across the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with 25 percent of youth living in poverty compared to less than 14 percent across the OECD.”
And he also finds that “U.S. inequality levels are far higher than those in most European countries.”
As a comment, Alston also indicates, “The (then-)proposed tax reform package stakes out America’s bid to become the most unequal society in the world, and will greatly increase the already high levels of wealth and income inequality between the richest 1 percent and the poorest 50 percent of Americans.
“The dramatic cuts in welfare, foreshadowed by (President) Donald Trump and (House Speaker Paul) Ryan, and already beginning to be implemented by the administration, will essentially shred crucial dimensions of a safety net that is already full of holes.”
I urge all to read the report and see if this is what we ought to be proud of as citizens of this country.
Michael F. Vezeau
Sun City Hilton Head
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