UN Monitor unveils poverty in US

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(Foto: Dan Tuffs for The Guardian)

By Carlos Borrero

The UN monitor on extreme poverty and human rights, Phillip Alston, ended his tour throughout the USA this week. His preliminary findings, which were made public in a report published by the British newspaper The Guardian and whose reporters were invited to accompany him during the tour shed light on living conditions that a significant segment of the population in the USA confronts. Although we invite our readers to read the report on its entirety from the source, we wish to highlight some outstanding points from it.

  • The USA spends more in defense than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Kingdom, India, France and Japan combined
  • Per capita spending on health in the USA are twice the average than countries in the Organization for the Cooperation and Economic Development (OCED), even though it has less medics and hospital beds per person than the average in the OCED.
  • Infant mortality rates in the USA in 2013 were the highest in the developed world.
  • Life expectancy in the USA is lower than comparable “democratic” countries and the gap in health between the USA and similar countries continues to expand.
  • Levels of inequality in the USA by far exceed those of most European countries.
  • Unattended tropical diseases, including Zika, are ever more common in the USA. It is estimated that 12 million United States residents live with unattended parasitic diseases, and a 2017 report highlights the prevalence of hookworm disease amongst residents of Lowndes county in the state of Alabama.
  • The USA has the highest prevalence of obesity in the developed world.
  • IN terms of access to water and sanitary services, the USA is #36 in the world.
  • The USA has the highest incarceration rate in the world; higher than Turkmenistan, El Salvador, Cuba, Thailand and Russia, and five times the average for countries in the OCED.
  • Juvenile poverty in the USA is the highest amongst OCED countries, with 25% of US children living in poverty.
  • According to data from the Stanford Center on Inequality and Poverty, the USA stands at number 10 amongst the world’s richest countries
  • Among the 37 countries represented in the OCED, the United States stands at position number 35 in terms of greater poverty and inequality
  • The USA has the highest GINI coefficient amongst all western countries.

These facts speak by themselves. They unveil the reality that no politician in the colony dares to speak about. All of them, from the apostles of annexing and the defenders of the colony on one side, to the illusory merchants of “capitalist” independence on the other, try to hide these social conditions in the richest and most powerful capitalist country in the world.

Nonetheless, as the popular saying goes: Facts are stubborn things