Policy Round Up: Poverty in America

Thursday, January 17 2013 17:06 | Written by Shanel Adams

As President Obama enters his second-term, over 46 million Americans are living in poverty. With a campaign dedicated to rejuvenating the economy and his administration’s recent focus on the “fiscal cliff”, some are worried that the president is overlooking poverty. Here is what experts are saying about the issue of poverty in 2013:

Bishop Jaime Soto argues that poverty needs to become a priority in public policy:

“What if our leaders had focused on the lives of the millions who live in poverty and stand on the brink of despair? What if they had talked about the working poor and the tax credits that are vital to lifting millions out of poverty? What if keeping families together and saving mothers and children from the abortion cliff had been on the top of their agenda?” 

Read the full article in The Washington Post: Guest Voices.

Tavis Smiley believes that the issue of poverty threatens America’s democracy:

“America has, of course, made great strides for freedom in regard to all of its citizens. But now America has regressed, and poverty is the new slavery. The blinders are once again firmly affixed, and the necessary checks and balances have disappeared, making way for policies that coddle the wealthy, while the persistent poor, the working poor and the "new poor" are ignored and rendered invisible.”

Read the full article in CBS News.

Roseanne Demoro suggests that poverty hinders quality health care in America:

“The pervasive poverty engulfing this nation comes as no surprise to America’s nurses.   They see the country’s declining condition in their patients– an assault on the basic state of health of America’s population, with appalling effects.  Nurses are sounding a national alarm about this deplorable condition and formulating a care plan to address it.”

Read the full article in Counter Punch.

Janita Poe says America is segregating the impoverished:                            

“Race still matters in this country and -- for those who hold deeply ingrained prejudices-- it will always determine some peoples' view of the worth of other humans. But in 2013, class -- and the access to education and financial stability that usually comes with it -- is what is segregating people in this society. Classism affects all races and ethnic groups but it is particularly discernible in black America. I know, because I've lived it.”

Read the full article in The Birmingham News’ Blog.

William J. Wilson explains how President Obama is heading in the right direction on poverty:

“Despite all the rhetoric about reclaiming the American dream for middle-class Americans in this past presidential election, Barack Obama has done more for lower-income Americans than any president since Lyndon Baines Johnson. Quite frankly, I think that Obama's programs prevented poverty -- including concentrated poverty -- from rapidly rising over the past several years, considering the terrible economy.”

Read the full article in The Root.


Shanel Adams

Shanel Adams

Shanel Adams is an editorial assistant with GlobalPolicy.tv. She is a public relations major, political science minor at Howard University originally from Detroit. Shanel is passionate about poverty alleviation and political participation.

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