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U.N. official visiting America to investigate 'great poverty and inequality'
A United Nations official arrives in Alabama this week to investigate poverty, inequality and "barriers to political participation" in the state.
Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, will visit Alabama on Thursday and Friday as part of a 15-day tour of the U.S. that also includes stops in California, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

"Some might ask why a UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights would visit a country as rich as the United States. But despite great wealth in the US, there also exists great poverty and inequality," Alston said in a statement.

Alston will spend Thursday in Lowndes County, where he will be looking at issues like health care, access to clean and safe drinking water, and sanitation.


This guy officially visits 3rd world countries.  Seems he thinks parts of America are 3rd world.
A United Nations official investigating poverty in the United States was shocked at the level of environmental degradation in some areas of rural Alabama, saying he had never seen anything like it in the developed world.

"I think it's very uncommon in the First World. This is not a sight that one normally sees. I'd have to say that I haven't seen this," Philip Alston, the U.N.'s Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, told Connor Sheets of AL.com earlier this week as they toured a community in Butler County where raw sewage flows from homes through exposed PVC pipes and into open trenches and pits.

The tour through Alabama's rural communities is part of a two-week investigation by the U.N. on poverty and human rights abuses in the United States. So far, U.N. investigators have visited cities and towns in California and Alabama, and will soon travel to Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.


Quote:The rest of the world has this image that America is some type of magic place. They lump us in with developed nations but we are really just a third world country. We can't afford the standard of living the Europeans seem to have.
"Investigate"  lol!  What is he going to fine/shame us into prosperity?
(12-11-2017, 05:36 PM)StingingNettle Wrote: "Investigate"  lol!  What is he going to fine/shame us into prosperity?

Since he is an investigator for the U.N. of human rights, I think he is going to try and get the U.N. to censure the U.S. for human right violations.

This could include trade embargos on the whole country or just on selected leaders, just like the U.N. has done for Venezuela.

Mainland China has always been saying that America is a huge human right violator because of the way America treats minorities, particularly blacks. 

That's not hard to understand.  In browsing free speech anarchist forums, I find that American blacks are universally condemned and dispised.
My skepticism isn't around the type of people that are poor. Just around some far removed UN jack ass thinking he's going to fix everything.
(12-11-2017, 10:48 PM)StingingNettle Wrote: My skepticism isn't around the type of people that are poor.  Just around some far removed UN jack ass thinking he's going to fix everything.

I forget who said it, but the first step in solving a problem is recognizing that the problem exists.

This guy is aware that nationally, the problems he is finding in selected parts of American aren't known, so he seeks to make Americans and American leadership aware that these serious problems exist.  That's all he can hope to do.  It's up to the U.N. General Assembly to impose sanctions on America or American leadership.  Hopefully, U.N. sanctions won't be necessary, and American leadership will step up and address these problems.

I doubt it though. The American elite has shown that they don't care about any Americans other than themselves and maybe their families.

Remember the current  slogan of American leadership:  "I got mine, fuck you if you don't have yours."
U.N. Investigator On Extreme Poverty Issues A Grim Report — On The U.S.

Philip Alston wanted to know: Just how bad is poverty in the United States?

He's an Australian law professor who in 2014 was appointed as a United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. He contacted the Obama administration before the presidential election to get permission to undertake a fact-finding mission in the United States. The Trump administration honored the invitation.

Now, after two weeks of reporting, Alston has released his preliminary findings. And they present a bleak picture. The American dream, he says, is an "American illusion."

To gather information, he traveled to Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Alabama; Puerto Rico; and West Virginia. He talked to poverty experts, civil society organizations, government officials and regular people born or thrust into poverty.

He found that stereotypes serve to undermine the poor — and are used to justify not coming to their aid. "So the rich are industrious, entrepreneurial, patriotic and the drivers of economic success. The poor, on the other hand, are wasters, losers and scammers," Alston told NPR. As a result, he says, many people believe that "money spent on welfare is money down the drain. Money devoted to the rich is a sound investment."

He spoke to politicians and political appointees who were "completely sold on the narrative of such scammers sitting on comfortable sofas, watching color TVs, while surfing on their smartphones, all paid for by welfare."

But Alston says he met people working full time at chain stores who needed food stamps because they couldn't survive on their wages.

And he was shocked by the type of poverty he witnessed: "I saw sewage-filled yards in states where governments don't consider sanitation facilities to be their responsibility." And "people who had lost all of their teeth" because dental care wasn't covered by their health insurance plans. And homeless people who were told to move by a police officer who had "no answer when asked where they could move to."

"People in the U.S. seem particularly unable to stomach the sight of homeless," he says, "yet are unwilling to enact policies to help them."

Contrasts between the rich and poor abound. "While funding for the IRS to audit wealthy taxpayers has been reduced, efforts to identify welfare fraud are being greatly intensified," he says. The wealthy also stand to benefit from advances in technology, while robots and automation threaten to take away jobs from people in low-skill labor positions, he says.
Meanwhile, the poor may not even be able to use the Internet. Alston states that nearly half of all people living in West Virginia lack access to high-speed Internet. "When I asked the governor's office in West Virginia about efforts to expand broadband access in poor, rural communities, it could only point to a 2010 broadband expansion effort," he says in the statement. It's not that they don't want it; half of the state's counties have reportedly applied for broadband assistance.

The U.N. considers the Internet to be a human right for its ability to support education, drive development and foster citizen engagement, among other things.

Still, he concludes that American innovation, money and power aren't being channeled to address poverty — and there is a lot of poverty to address. In 2016, 40 million people — more than 1 in 8 citizens — lived in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. "The reality is that the United States now has probably the lowest degree of social mobility among all the rich countries," Alston says. "And if you are born poor, guess where you're going to end up — poor."

"There is no magic recipe for eliminating extreme poverty, and each level of government must make its own good faith decisions," says Alston. "But at the end of the day, particularly in a rich country like the USA, the persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power."


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