Poverty a National Disgrace in America

Editor, News-Register:

Some say: “the American economy is clicking on all cylinders.” The unemployment rate of 3.8 percent is the lowest it has been in two decades. Yet, before you head off to celebrate at the country club over golf, martinis and surf-n-turf, you might want to ask: “If everything is so great, why are so many Americans living in poverty?”

With 43 million Americans officially in poverty, according to the United States Census Bureau (other estimates put that figure much higher), 18.5 million of them are in extreme poverty, and children account for one in three. In Ohio 1.8 million or about 15 percent overall including 20 percent of children fall below the poverty level. In West Virginia 319 thousand or 18 percent overall, including 24 percent of children live in poverty.

The cycle of poverty means lack of adequate housing (often homelessness), child and spousal abuse, crime and violence, limited education, poor health and shortened life expectancy, ending up being trapped for life.

In a rich country like the United States, the persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power. We should have never given a huge tax cut of over one trillion to the very prosperous and almost nothing to the impoverished at a time when our country has so many living in poverty and being disadvantaged?

Enormous poverty in the United States is a disgraceful shame on our country.

Bill Bryant

St. Clairsville

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