According to Angus Deaton's latest piece in the New York Times, the United States has 5.3 million people living in deep poverty.
Surely no one in the United States today is as poor as a poor person in Ethiopia or Nepal? As it happens, making such comparisons has recently become much easier. The World Bank decided in October to include high-income countries in its global estimates of people living in poverty. We can now make direct comparisons between the United States and poor countries.
Properly interpreted, the numbers suggest that the United Nations has a point — and the United States has an urgent problem. They also suggest that we might rethink how we assist the poor through our own giving.
Poverty is not an accident of capitalism it is inherent in the model. We need to rethink our relationship to production if we genuinely want to destroy poverty.