Poverty in the U.S. Is Intractable

Gary Tulie writes:

The UN issued a report criticising the US for allowing some of its citizens to live in such abject poverty that they had to live with open sewers in rural Alabama.

When I searched for similar in the EU, I could not find any reference to any similar situation – in fact any EU country allowing such a situation would face court action in the European Court of Justice for breaking water quality rules!

How come the US looks like a third world country when it comes to things like open sewers, mass homelessness, lack of health care and hunger? Shouldn’t be the case as the US has a higher GDP per Capita than the EU!

This is a national embarrassment, but most Americans are unaware of it.  Yet even if there were a broad understanding of the issue, what would we do?

States like Alabama have terrible levels of education and economic vitality, thus can’t afford to fix the problem, so let’s look at what we’re doing at the level of federal spending.

First, about half of the budget ($770 billion) goes to the military, and these appropriations are driven by the power of the military-industrial complex.  The case is similar in other areas of capital outlay; almost every nickel of federal spending happens because a congressman got it approved so as to repay a wealthy donor.  Sadly, rich donors couldn’t care less about the filth and degradation in which tens of millions of Americans live.