U. S. 2017 Human Rights Report：(2) Rich Richer Poor Poorer
May 14,2018 By:CCTV
|It is an indisputable fact that, in recent years, the gulf between rich and poor in the United States has been growing ever-wider. The number of homeless Americans has been on the rise, while countless others are living in abject poverty. As Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, put it: “The American Dream is rapidly becoming the American Illusion.”
The UK newspaper The Guardian, in a December 8, 2017 online article, revealed that 52.3 million Americans, or 17% of the population, are living in poor communities.
Statistics from the US Census Bureau indicate that over 40 million Americans are living in poverty, among them 18.5 million who are suffering dire poverty.
A Stanford University report released in 2017 put the overall poverty rate in the southern agricultural regions of the US at 20% - rising to 33% among African-Americans. In Native American communities in the rural west, the poverty rate is 32%.
After a two-week tour of the country, UN Special Rapporteur Alston described the United States as “one of the world’s richest and most powerful and most technologically innovative countries”. However, he said, “neither its wealth nor its power nor its technology is being harnessed to address the situation in which 40 million people continue to live in poverty.” His conclusion was that extreme poverty in the US “is a political choice made by those in power.”
Over the past 40 years, earnings among those on low incomes, who account for 80% of the US population, have increased by 25%, while the remaining high-income 20% of the population have seen their earnings almost double. According to UN Special Rapporteur Alston, the United States is rapidly becoming a “champion of inequality”.
Human Rights Expert
I except the US look at its own domestic record, and improve its domestic record. It is hypocritical to say to other countries that it should improve its record, while not working to improve its own.
In an article on December 6, 2017, The Guardian quoted a US government study as finding that, on a single night in 2017, 553,742 Americans were homeless. The study also revealed a 4.1% increase over two years, in the number of people living rough in New York. In his book Evicted, Mathew Desmond describes as the “forgotten poor”, the millions of tenants in the US who are evicted from their homes every year after failing to keep up with the rent.
Prof. DONALD CUCCIOLETTA, Director
Center for American Studies, University of Quebec in Ottawa
Nothing is perfect in this world, nothing ever will be perfect in this world, but at least we can administer this world and understand who we are and basically help each other to develop the question of human rights and insert it in an understanding of the world, and not having the United States tell us how they define human rights.
Former US Vice President Spiro Agnew once said: “The United States, for all its faults, is still the greatest nation in the country.” Yet the United States, rather than addressing its own faults in how it treats its people, uses human rights as a weapon for attacking other countries, in pursuit of its own interests.
The right way to promote human rights is through dialogue, not criticism, through cooperation, not confrontation. The improvement of human rights requires unremitting efforts from all countries in the modern world. Every nation must take this path. The United States is no exception.