Could you live on $2 a day?

The number of Americans living on less than $2 dollars a day has doubled in the last two decades.

According to data compiled by the World Bank and other global institutions, 1.5 million American households live in extreme poverty, and that number includes at least 3 million children. In addition, that number has increased dramatically since the so-called “welfare reform” of the 1990's.

It is unacceptable that anyone should be suffering such extreme poverty in the richest nation on Earth, and it's simply un-American that our children should be living in these conditions. And, while we have many social programs that are supposed to provide a safety net for impoverished families, social stigma, restrictive guidelines, and a lack of awareness keep many families from using the benefits that could help lift them out of poverty.

For example, the researchers noted that many families in so-called “ultrapoor” areas, like Appalachia, don't even know that benefits are available. When researchers asked families in these poor regions why they haven't applied for TANF benefits, many people responded with “what's that?”.

In fact, in 2012, only 25 percent of families who are eligible for TANF benefits receive them, which means that three-out-of-four poor families are likely going to be hungry.

What good is a social safety net if three out of four needy families are falling through the cracks?

We must decide as a nation whether we will help our neighbors, or ignore them. Whether we demand a basic minimum standard for everyone, or simply accept the fact that our fellow Americans are living in extreme poverty.

We can do better, and we must – for the sake of millions of Americans who need our help.


Howard Laverne Stewart's picture
Howard Laverne ... 7 years 37 weeks ago

There needs to be public announcement on radio and TV to expand awareness of TANF and any other benefits that poor people are eligible for.

JOHN LONGENECKER 7 years 37 weeks ago

September 9
Re: $2 A Day / Deep Poverty

Hello Thom

Deep Poverty in America
is deliberate
as described by many sources of
economic theory research
including an entry in Wikipedia
on the topic of Neoliberalism.
It is not secret
It is not a conspiracy
It is part of a popular economic theory
Wake up!
Deep Poverty is caused on purpose
Deep Poverty is part of an economic plan
Stay tuned.
Academy Award Winner

Research Topics / get interested
Neoliberalism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

George H W Bush
Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress
on the Persian Gulf Crisis and the Federal Budget Deficit -
Wikisource, the free online library

New World Order (conspiracy theory) -
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Agenda 21 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

cccccttttt 7 years 37 weeks ago

By all means give public service announcements on TV about assistnace for low income families.

Provide free community college or trade school for the first two children in any family.

But also make it clear that the any child after the first two will have to be paid for out ot the parents pocket.

Read about this approach in Singapore, so its a tried and tested approach.


Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 7 years 37 weeks ago

ct, I don't think any child should be punished for being the third born. And Singapore is a fascist police state.

RLTOWNSLEY's picture
RLTOWNSLEY 7 years 37 weeks ago

Why should American Taxpayers be forced to support those who breed uncontrollably while they lack the basic ability to take care of just themselves. This may have been an acceptable practice 100 years ago when we still had a large Agrarian economy and thousands of individual family farms where every family member was required to contribute to the success of the enterprise ! Now were facing a similar situation with the ongoing export of former living wage manufacturing jobs leaving a large group of American families to barely survive on minimum wage service sector jobs ! If you want to help these people improve their financial condition and dignity, provide them with a job rebuilding their state's, and the country's, decaying infrastructure instead of a handout ! The New Deal remains a valid model for the country to follow when difficult economic times prevail !

RoseM481's picture
RoseM481 7 years 37 weeks ago

The HEAR US FOUNDATION campaigns and raises funds to help children in that situation.

You can go to the website and donate.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 36 weeks ago

RoseM481 -- That sounds like the repug solution. That is, let the churches take care of the poor. It has been tried all over the world, and always comes up short (according to Thom).

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