Chapter 5 Application II: The United States
People from the developing world often think that the availability of enormous economic resources allows the United States to be poverty free with no one having to face the human miseries plaguing their own countries. They are right, as there exist sufficient mechanisms for people to avoid hunger, malnutrition, and other forms of absolute poverty. They are not entirely right, however, as over 12 percent of the population in this country lives below the highly stringent official poverty line, with over one fifth of the children growing in families officially designated as the poor and over 15 percent of the population lacking health insurance, a necessary but not sufficient condition for decent healthcare.
Problems are seen from different perspectives, however, with some blaming the poor, others blaming the government, and yet others blaming the market. Poverty incidence has tended to fluctuate with business cycles as well as with the policies that the Democratic or...