Poverty In America: We Have An Empathy Gap

According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the United States has a higher poverty rate combined with a weaker safety net, compared to peer nations.

Economic Policy Institute — Despite the relatively high earnings at the top of the U.S. income scale…inequality in the United States is so severe that low-earning U.S. workers are actually worse off than low-earning workers in all but seven peer countries.

In the EPI article, they show a number of charts depicting the great wealth and income divide in America, but this chart should trouble everyone.

Us child poverty rate

Child poverty rate in selected developed countries, 2009

This adds up to a simple reality that America has an empathy gap and no amount of tough love is going to solve it. And when I say America, I really mean conservative America. It is conservatives who act like being poor is a crime. It is conservatives who call people “welfare queens.” It is conservatives who believe people are lazy and choose to live in poverty.

Look at those other nations. Most of them have more robust social safety nets, and the result is less poverty. If we listened to conservatives, we should expect the opposite, because people would choose to rely on government assistance instead of providing for themselves. But obviously this is not the case. So this either means conservatives are wrong or America’s poor are different than the poor in other nations. Hmm, let me think about this for a moment.

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#america#child poverty#conservative#empathy#poverty#poverty rate#united states