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09/11/2001 WE REMEMBER

"Fear is the foundation of most governments." - John Adams

"My family is more important than my party." - Zell Miller

Nikki Haley: 'Ridiculous' for UN to analyze poverty in America
Posted: Posted June 25th by Agis

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Thursday dismissed a poverty report by the United Nations, saying it’s “ridiculous” for the intergovernmental body to analyze American poverty.

“It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America,” Haley said in a letter to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

“The Special Rapporteur wasted the UN’s time and resources, deflecting attention from the world’s worst human rights abusers and focusing instead on the wealthiest and freest country in the world.”

Sanders, along with several Democratic lawmakers in both chambers, earlier this month sent a letter to Haley asking her to show President Trump the conclusions of the report published by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

The report blamed poverty in the United States on politics.

“At the end of the day, however, particularly in a rich country like the United States, the persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power,” the report reads. “With political will, it could readily be eliminated.”

The report said American democracy "is being steadily undermined" and provided several suggestions for how to alleviate poverty in the U.S. The recommendations said American citizens must realize taxes "are in their interest" and that the U.S. "must recognize a right to health care."

Sanders and the other Democrats called upon the Trump administration to provide Congress with a strategy to act on suggestions made in the United Nations report.

But Haley in her response to Sanders slammed the report as “misleading and politically motivated.”

“The report categorically misstated the progress the United States has made in addressing poverty and purposely used misleading facts and figures in its biased reporting,” Haley wrote.

“There is no question that poverty in America remains a serious concern, but it does no one any good to inaccurately describe its prevalence or its causes.”

Sanders quickly responded to Haley, saying he believes “it is totally appropriate” for the United Nations to publish a report on poverty in America.

“I hope you will agree that in a nation in which the top three people own more wealth than the bottom half, we can and must do much better than that,” Sanders wrote in his reply.

The senator told Haley he’d “love the opportunity” to talk to her about poverty when he is in New York.

There are 9 Replies

Link to the UN document:

Here are just two points in the overview:

4. The United States is a land of stark contrasts. It is one of the world’s wealthiest societies, a global leader in many areas, and a land of unsurpassed technological and other forms of innovation. Its corporations are global trendsetters, its civil society is vibrant and sophisticated and its higher education system leads the world. But its immense wealth and expertise stand in shocking contrast with the conditions in which vast numbers of its citizens live. About 40 million live in poverty, 18.5 million in extreme poverty, and 5.3 million live in Third World conditions of absolute poverty.1 It has the highest youth poverty rate in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the highest infant mortality rates among comparable OECD States. Its citizens live shorter and sicker lives compared to those living in all other rich democracies, eradicable tropical diseases are increasingly prevalent, and it has the world’s highest incarceration rate, one of the lowest levels of voter registrations in among OECD countries and the highest obesity levels in the developed world.

5. The United States has the highest rate of income inequality among Western countries.1 The $1.5 trillion in tax cuts in December 2017 overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and worsened inequality. The consequences of neglecting poverty and promoting inequality are clear. The United States has one of the highest poverty and inequality levels among the OECD countries, and the Stanford Center on Inequality and Poverty ranks it 18th out of 21 wealthy countries in terms of labour markets, poverty rates, safety nets, wealth inequality and economic mobility. But in 2018 the United States had over 25 per cent of the world’s 2,208 billionaires.2 There is thus a dramatic contrast between the immense wealth of the few and the squalor and deprivation in which vast numbers of Americans exist. For almost five decades the overall policy response has been neglectful at best, but the policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned rather than a right of citizenship.

Posted June 25th by Agis

If the right truly wants to tackle a potential communist/ socialist threat this is the place to start.

Posted June 25th by S.o.h.

That would be contradictory.

For the Right, there is nothing you can suggest to truly confront these issues that wouldn't immediately be branded "Communism" and dismissed.

Edited June 25th by Agis

Despite all the lip service the left gives to the working class, none of their policies solve these issues. They still advocate things like open borders, which drive down the wages of the native working class (even Karl Marx wrote a piece on this)

They are against protectionist trade policies out of fear or what the other country might do. So much so they'd rather the working class pay higher prices for cheap foreign made goods.

They want to take from the rich and give to tbe poor, redistribute, but this will change nothinv other than temporarily alleviate a symptom.

There is a reason the left lost the rustbelt working class.

Posted June 25th by #85

Rural poverty in the south and the rust belt are especially bad - borderline 3rd world conditions due to pro rich, pro corporate GOP economic policies which make everyday life harder for the poor and further exacerbate the wealth gap. But the working class is supposed to be happy because stock markets and tax cuts - things that don’t actually trickle down. And the neoliberal Democrats have shown they are all talk (barely even that considering their post 2016 rhetoric) and refuse to actually do anything about it.

Posted June 25th by pacman

That would be contradictory.

For the Right, there is nothing you can suggest to truly confront these issues that wouldn't immediately be branded "Communism" and dismissed

I disagree there are capitalistic ways to address these issues. FDR flirted with socialism to ensure this nation did not fall to a state of communism or total anarchy. And we've used these means in the past to ensure communism did not take root in Japan after world war 2 (land reforms etc) It can be done. But with the current leadership in both sides.

Posted June 25th by S.o.h.

Jobs are the problem. The more jobs we have, the more everyone's wages go up as the pool of potential employees shrinks. If most people are unemployed, wages are going to stay stagnant.

Where I live is a relatively small town (20,000 people) with a pretty ridiculous amount of manufacturing. While some companies still pay out 10$/hr for unskilled labor, 13$ is average and some companies are so desperate for labor they've gone into 15-22$/hr territory. For unskilled inexperienced labor. There's one company that literally advertises that it needs employees on billboards.

In other areas the best you can hope for are part-time service industry jobs, which are pretty fixed around 8$-9$/hr. Raising the minimum wage would probably help, but doing things to boost overall production would be much better.

Edited June 25th by Xhin

I'm not sure what my town's exact strategy is, but there education system here was top-notch even back when the population was 10,000 and I do know it has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the country.

Posted June 25th by Xhin

How do the absolute poorest of the poor do in your town, Xhin? Is there a small “ghetto” area at all?Just curious.

Posted June 26th by pacman
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