Poverty Kills More People Every Year Than Either Of the Top Killers -- Heart Disease or Cancer

874,000 People Died from Poverty in 2011

Personally, I find it shocking and abhorrent that so many people are dying of poverty in this, the richest nation on the planet.

Research funded by the National Institutes of Health has been looking at the part social ills play in causing, and or contributing to death. Science Daily reports that recent analysis of these studies found that about 4.5 per cent of all deaths in the United States are caused by poverty related deficiencies, and that poverty is a contributing factor in still more deaths. Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health concurs with these findings.

Deaths of all causes surpassed 2.5 million in 2011, the most recent period for which some statistics are available. That means more than 874,000 people died from poverty related issues in that year (Columbia University). That same year just fewer than 598,000 deaths were attributed to all types of heart disease. Cancer deaths for 2011 came to fewer than 575,000. Clearly poverty kills more than either of these top killers (cancer and heart disease).

The figure on deaths (874,000) was obtained from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health website by adding all the figures for deaths caused by poverty related ills in 2011. It was not an issue of doing the math, for anyone reading this and thinking along those lines, (see reference in the reference section).

WebMD states: “Closing the education-socioeconomic gap would have prevented about 60,000 premature cancer deaths in 2007 alone in people ages 25-64.” There were even more cancer deaths in 2011 and as previously stated, poverty related issues contributed to those deaths.

WebMD went on to say that the death rate from cancer among the less educated (those without a high-school diploma) is about 2.6% higher than it is among the better educated – people with a high school diploma or above.

Tent Cities All Over the U.S.

Thousands of people all over this country, including veterans of our military are living in tent cities because there are no jobs.  This tent city is outside Reno, Nevada.
Thousands of people all over this country, including veterans of our military are living in tent cities because there are no jobs. This tent city is outside Reno, Nevada. | Source

Soup Kitchens Are Busier Than They Have Ever Been As Joblessness Continues

Soup kitchens are busier than they've ever been because people are unable to find work and when they do it doesn't pay enough to cover ordinary bills.  This Soup Kitchen is run by Big Hearts Ministries in Dallas, TX.
Soup kitchens are busier than they've ever been because people are unable to find work and when they do it doesn't pay enough to cover ordinary bills. This Soup Kitchen is run by Big Hearts Ministries in Dallas, TX. | Source

Homeless Families In the U.S. Must Beg for Help

A homeless family begs for food on a street somewhere in the richest nation on Earth.
A homeless family begs for food on a street somewhere in the richest nation on Earth. | Source

One Reason Why You Should Care That Some Poor People Have No Access to Healthcare

People who want to deny necessary healthcare to poor people may want to think about the fact that these poor people are often the ones who are working in the kitchens of restaurants. They are the food servers. They are the people who clean the hotel/motel rooms and make the beds, etc.

Poor people do all those jobs that so many people depend on, maybe even cleaning their homes, washing their dishes, babysitting their children – and poor children are even attending school with the children of the better off and in close contact with them.

Here, I am referring to middleclass children when I say “the better off.” I am not speaking of the children of millionaires who can and often do send their children to exclusive private schools where they are insulated from children who are less well off and who may be sick with a communicable disease -- and from pretty much all other misfortune in this world.

In every case unhealthy people are infecting the things they touch, wherever that may be, when they have a communicable disease. They may be coughing or sneezing and instead of a cold or flu, it may be tuberculosis. There is a superbug for TB that has been going around for a few years now.

Communicable diseases can be passed because people do not get the healthcare they need to cure or control the disease. By helping poverty stricken people get the healthcare they need, people are also protecting themselves and their own families from disease and helping to prevent the spread of disease to the general population. Some of those diseases poor people are spreading are not always so easily cured.

Not all poor people are immigrants, so arresting them and sending them back where they came from is not the answer. In fact, most poor people are not immigrants. Currently, poverty often affects people who are unable to get employment because despite the rosy outlook projected on every television news story and talk show, things really are not rosy for many, many people.

It was, and remains a depression (not a REcession) for many of the poor and underprivileged people in this country. Even people who are employed often cannot afford insurance or healthcare. Not making necessary healthcare available to all people in our society is unnecessarily putting every person, every child, and every family at risk for disease.

Poverty Is a Death Sentence

Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator -- an Independent from Vermont, says, “Poverty is a death sentence.”

The statistics below come from the 2010 U.S. Census.

College graduates live an average of 5 years longer than people with no high school diploma.

People with the highest incomes live an average of 6.5 years longer than people with the lowest incomes.

The mortality rate for African American babies in the U.S. is double that of white babies.

More than 45,000 people die in the U.S., that’s one every 12 minutes, because they have no access to healthcare, or because the healthcare they receive is substandard because they cannot afford to pay. Children make up 10,000 of those 45,000 deaths!

One in every 6 Americans is living below the poverty line.

What Are Some Of the Social Factors Included In Poverty?

Medscape News defines individual-level social factors and area-level social factors that lead to poverty as the following:

“Individual-level social factors include education, poverty, health insurance status, employment status and job stress, social support, racism or discrimination, housing conditions and early childhood stressors.

Area-level social factors included area-level poverty, income inequality, deteriorating built environment, racial segregation, crime and violence, social capital and availability of open or green spaces.”

People who are living in poverty are more likely to die and to die sooner than the average person: An income of $11,138.00 a year or less, in US dollars for a single individual, or a combined income of $22,810 or less, for a family of four is below the poverty threshold. People in Alaska and Hawaii need to make more than stated here to stay above the poverty line because the cost of living in those states is generally higher than the lower 48.

The above numbers are from 2010 when the last Census was taken (Wisegeek). Presumably everyone would need to make a little more than is stated here in order to stay above the poverty line since we are well past 2010.

Quote by Mahatma Gandhi
Quote by Mahatma Gandhi | Source

Lack of Education, HealthCare, and Decent Living Conditions Contribute to Premature Death

What researchers have found is that people who lack education and who do not have even a high school diploma are more likely to die, and to die sooner than average.

People without health insurance or the ability to pay for medical services are more likely to die, and to die sooner than average.

People who are unemployed, or who work in high stress jobs or low pay, limited hour jobs, are more likely to die, and to die sooner than average. People living in high stress situations, because of unemployment or poor working conditions, fall into the same category.

People living in poor housing conditions, including apartments or homes in need of serious repair, people living in bad neighborhoods that may include risky or dangerous conditions due to other people (crime and violence), poor animal control, or pollution problems, and/or in a generally rundown neighborhood, are more likely to die, and to die sooner than average.

People who have no air conditioning or who have it, but cannot afford to utilize it are more susceptible to death not only from heat exhaustion and heat stroke, but also from allergies and asthma, heart disease, and other complications made worse by excessive heat.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), on average 675 people die every year in the U.S. as a result of excessive heat and no ability to control the heat or to get out of the heat for even an hour or so.

Other factors may include a generally poverty stricken neighborhood (not just rundown, though the two often go together) with few or no green spaces (grass and trees). A little open space improves outlook and attitude, which in turn affects physical health.

Little or No Social Support Contributes to Premature Death

People who have no social support – family or friends they can call on for help from time to time, or just to be connected, are more likely to die and to die sooner than average.

In fact, I learned in my Marital Adjustment class in psychology, that older people who lose a spouse and find themselves alone are likely to die within 5 years or less of losing their partner unless they make a new connection or bond with someone within 6 months of their spouse’s death. When I say a connection or bond, I do not mean a sexual connection or bond, though the relationship could include sex, it does not have to.

The important thing is to develop an emotional closeness with another person -- someone to share day-to-day thoughts and activities with. It could be a son or daughter, a grandchild, a neighbor, a best friend, a sibling -- someone with whom a person can have a close connection and feel useful and needed. Or it could be a new spouse. It can be anyone who will give a person something to look forward to and a reason to get up in the morning. Pets can be helpful, but in reality they do not replace human contact.

While anyone on any socioeconomic level may experience sudden isolation due to losing a spouse or a best friend, it is usually poor people, or newly poor people who have lost their livelihood who are most at risk.

Racism and Discrimination Contribute to Premature Death

Racism and discrimination are considered social ills that lower a person’s immune system’s ability to work as well as it could and should. When people are thwarted at every turn from succeeding because of some superficial reason, they often get discouraged and give up. The attitude that they are never going to succeed no matter what they do is very difficult to overcome.

Discrimination comes in many forms and every one of them is evil. Race and color are not the only reasons people are discriminated against. Being female, being overweight, not speaking English well, having an accent, wearing glasses, having a beard or long hair, being older (50+), and a variety of different things can cause a person to be discriminated against. Discrimination for superficial reasons that should be irrelevant is always wrong.

Living with and having to deal with discrimination and racism on a daily basis affects a person’s health and can shorten a person’s life just like any other bad stressor can do. Part of the reason for this is that people who are frequently discriminated against have trouble finding any employment, let alone stable employment. They may also experience discrimination in housing and at school.

According to the CDC, early childhood stressors that go beyond what is normal for babies and little children (generally referring to children under age 5), such as physical, sexual, and even verbal abuse, “can disrupt early brain development and compromise functioning of the nervous and immune systems. In addition, childhood stress can lead to health problems later in life including alcoholism, depression, eating disorders, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases.”

The Children’s Defense Fund of Minnesota states, “The research is overwhelming that living in poverty can damage children’s healthy development, educational progress, and prospects for the future.

Children who experience poverty are less likely to be healthy, both physically and mentally, less likely to gain the education they need to become productive in the workforce, more likely to become teen parents and more likely to become arrested and incarcerated. However, more than ten years of research shows that even small increases in family income can powerfully alter developmental trajectories, leading to a better child development outcome.”

Which States In the U.S. Have the Highest Poverty Levels?

Here are the 15 states that have the highest poverty rates in the United States, plus the District of Columbia. I have listed them starting with the poorest of the poor and ending with the best off out of the fifteen.

These statistics are from the U.S. 2010 Census and were updated in 2011 according to ACS (American Community Surveys). See references below in the reference section for more details.

Mississippi . . . . . . . . . . . 22.6% poverty rate

New Mexico . . . . . . . . . . 21.5% poverty rate

Louisiana . . . . . . . . . . . . .20.4% poverty rate

Arkansas . . . . . . . . . . . . .19.5% poverty rate

Kentucky . . . . . . . . . . . . .19.1% poverty rate

Georgia . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19.1% poverty rate

Alabama . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19.0% poverty rate

Arizona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19.0 poverty rate

South Carolina . . . . . . . . 18.9% poverty rate

District of Columbia . . . . .18.7% poverty rate

West Virginia . . . . . . . . . .18.6% poverty rate

Texas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18.5% poverty rate

Tennessee . . . . . . . . . . . 18.3% poverty rate

North Carolina . . . . . . . . .17.9% poverty rate

Michigan . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.5% poverty rate

Oregon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.5% poverty rate

Nearly One Sixth of the U.S. Population Lives in Poverty

46.2 million people in the United States were living in poverty in 2010, (Business Insider).

States With the Lowest Poverty Rates In the U.S.

New Hampshire . . . . . . . .8.8% poverty rate

Maryland . . . . . . . . . . . . .10.1% poverty rate

New Jersey . . . . . . . . . . .10.4% poverty rate

Alaska . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10.5% poverty rate

Connecticut . . . . . . . . . . .10.9% poverty rate

Mortality Rates: How Does the U.S. Stack Up?

The U.S. newborn mortality rate is higher than in 40 other developed countries, and even higher than in Malaysia, Cuba, or Poland! (ABC News)

The mortality rate on average for all persons (not just infants) in the following countries is lower than that for people living in the United States. The countries listed are in order of lowest to highest mortality rate. These statistics are from NationalAcademies.Org (see references below in the reference section).














England (UK)



Finally, #17, the United States of America, the richest nation on Earth!

Is it not incredible that the so-called richest nation on Earth has more people living in poverty than 16 other countries that are not considered the richest nations on Earth? Many third world countries provide healthcare to all of their citizens, but not the richest nation on Earth. The richest nation on Earth cannot afford to provide necessary healthcare to everyone.

How Does Poverty Cause or Contribute to Death?

Anyone who has ever been poor surly knows how stressful it is. Worrying constantly how the bills will be paid, how necessary things like food, shelter, and medical care will be provided for themselves and their spouses and children. Many people have substandard housing and some have none at all. No roof, and no door to lock against danger.

Often poor people go without healthcare. In addition to that, they pick up bad habits like alcoholism and or drugs in order to numb the misery of poverty. Some pick up smoking in order to calm their nerves from the stress and worry.

Times are harder here in the U.S. than they have been in a long time as a result of the stagnant economy. While the wealthy would seem to be able to make money even when things are bad, poor people are not so fortunate.

There are more homeless people in the U.S. today than there was 25 years ago. I never saw a homeless person in my life until I was in my 20s. Now they are everywhere.

In fact, thanks to the market crash of 2008 and employers refusing to even consider people who are unemployed regardless of how long they’ve been unemployed (half a second or a year or more is the same to these employers), many middleclass people are now barely making ends meet, and some, far too many in this author’s estimation, have become homeless.

Homeless can mean living with relatives or friends, living in a motel from day to day or week to week, living in a tent, living under a bridge, spending nights in a homeless shelter, or any number of other creative means to attempt to find shelter.

In the last few months I have read about homeless people who were doused with gasoline and set on fire as they slept or sat quietly on city benches. Thankfully this is not a common occurrence, but it does emphasize how homeless people have little if any control over what may happen to them and they are constantly subject to random violence.

Homeless people experience violence far more often than people who do have homes with roofs and locks on doors and windows -- homes that do include showers, toilets, and means of communication. People with homes usually have transportation as well in the way of a vehicle. Some homeless people may have access to public transportation, but not all of them do either because it does not exist or because it costs too much for a person who has little or no money.

There are at least 2000 homeless children in the school district where I work. Mine is just one school district out of 14 thousand across this country (U.S. 2010 Census). Some of the homeless children, like nomads, move from one location to another everyday, never staying long anywhere.

People with no stability in their lives, or constant stress to keep the meager things they have, are just naturally more susceptible to a variety of illnesses and maladies. They do not get check-ups or screenings. They have little if any healthcare at all, they may lack the ability to keep themselves clean, and they often have little contact with other people who might help. They often have no close relationships with anyone. Very often when tough times arrive family and fair weather friends disappear.

So many of the things that most people take for granted are not available to poor and/or homeless people. It should not be surprising that all these things affect mortality.

Being poor is in itself a punishment, yet so many people do not seem to realize that and so they pile on. Some people seem to want to make damned certain any poor person regrets ever being poor. Their purpose seems to be to make poor people sorry they were ever born.

Newsflash: Many poor people already rue the day they were born into this world. So if you cannot help, at least do not make matters worse for these people who are already suffering. If you have never been truly poor, then you do not know how miserable poverty can be.

One of Many Tent Cities in the United States of America

Homeless and Working

Some people who are homeless actually have jobs but those jobs do not pay enough to pay rent or utility bills or make car payments. Wal-Mart is notorious for paying poverty level wages and asking taxpayers to subsidize their billion dollar business by having their employees sign up for food stamps and Medicaid.

Why are taxpayers angry at poor people instead of focusing their anger where it belongs? On big billion dollar businesses that are purposely paying low wages so that taxpayers can help pay their business expenses.

Police frequently and randomly "sweep" tent cities because no one wants them in their neighborhood. Sometimes the homeless people have a few minutes or a few hours warning, but what good is that if they have nowhere to go?

What happens is that police confiscate everything, every possession these people have and destroy it, throw it in the landfill. These people have nowhere to go and it has been hard for them to glean the little they have, yet taxpayers are paying police to steal from these poor people who already have all but nothing and destroy what they take. Since when is it acceptable to kick people who are down?

A while back Oprah interviewed Lisa Ling who did a documentary about homeless people and tent cities. To see the video Ling made click here. This is an older video, but sadly things have not improved for homeless people, but rather things have gotten worse, so this video is still relevant.

War On the Poor

More and more cities are cracking down on charities and going after volunteers who feed the homeless. They want the homeless to go away (die?).

Feeding the homeless is banned in many cities across the U.S.

It is against the law to be poor in many cities and a homeless person can be arrested and jailed if they are discovered. Apparently some city leaders believe an arrest and incarceration record is helpful in finding a job.

What Is Your Opinion?

With so many poor people in this country, why do you think that is? What should be done about it?

  • There are plenty of jobs and too many people are too lazy to work.
  • A lot of people have gotten used to the public dole and do not want to work.
  • Homeless people do not want to live like normal people. They are happy on the streets.
  • It is shameful that Congress continues to get their full salaries and benefits while ignoring poor people.
  • The market crash of 2008 created at least 4 time the number of people living in poverty as we had before that happened. Congress needs to create good paying jobs for them.
  • It is outrageous that people would be arrested for giving food to poor people and outrageous that poor people would be arrested for being poor!
See results without voting

Why the Fuss Over Poor People?

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), 1.4 million people were arrested in 2010 for DUI (driving under the influence) of alcohol and/or narcotics. Alcohol was involved with 10,228 traffic deaths, which is approximately one third of all traffic deaths.

Drugs were involved in 18% of all traffic deaths. 30 people die every day in the U.S. in alcohol related traffic accidents. Alcohol related accidents cost over 51 Billion dollars in 2010.

Clare Kim writing on MSNBC for Lawrence O’Donnel’s “The Last Word,” reports that a total of 31,672 people died as a result of firearms in 2010. That includes suicides, homicides and accidental deaths. That is more than 86 deaths from firearms everyday, and of course some of those deaths, are children.

A lot of people are very passionate and active about controlling mood altering substances, removing drivers from the road who do not drive safely, and regulating firearms. Yet all these things combined do not kill as many people in a year’s time as poverty.

Why are people not upset and passionate about ending a problem that kills so many people every year as poverty kills? 874,000 deaths (2011) from poverty is a huge number of people, yet no one seems to care. Many of the people included in this number are children.

Some people say they want an end to Medicaid and Food Stamps, which would cause even more deaths. Some people even want Medicare and Social Security eliminated, which would cause still more deaths. Are we a nation obsessed with increasing the death rate of other people? Are we so selfish and heartless? Sadly, the answer seems to be yes.

Why are most people uncaring about the thousands upon thousands of deaths (including children) from poverty? But for the grace of God, any one of us might find ourselves among the poverty stricken.


2010 Census Figures on Poverty

2010 U.S. Census School Districts

National Academies.Org – Deaths from all causes

CDC on childhood stress

Bernie Sanders on Poverty

MSNBC Lawrence O’Donnell Gun Stats

Huffington Post on the U.S. Mortality Rate

Science Statistics on Death

Diseases of Poverty

Poverty and Sexism

U.S. News on Poorest States in the U.S.

Huffington Post on Long Term Unemployment – It’s Part In Poverty

Business Insider on Poverty in America

Huffington Post – Poverty Kills

Wisegeek: How the Poverty Line Is Determined – Children and Poverty

Huffington Post: Child Poverty

The BBC on Child Poverty In the U.S.

Children’s Defense Fun of Minnesota On Child Poverty

Unicef on Poverty Reduction

New York Times – the link between poverty and social ills

New York Times: Childhood Poverty on Racial Segregation and Death

Columbia University

Huffington Post on Heat and Climate Change; It’s Affect On Mortality

CDC On Deaths from Heat

© 2013 C E Clark

More by this Author


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 weeks ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for your tireless support and for all that you do!

Shyron E Shenko 4 weeks ago

Congratulations on your Hubbie award. You deserve many for your wonderful articles.

I hope all is well with you.

Blessings and Hugs

Au fait profile image

Au fait 7 weeks ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for shining the light. I will try to find some time to read Frank's "Loss," since you recommended it. Blessings . . .

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 8 weeks ago

I came back to read and share this again after reading Frank Atanacio's hub "Loss" and shine the spot light on the people who are hurting more then others.

Blessings dear friend

Au fait profile image

Au fait 11 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W., thank you for commenting and sharing this article again. Yes, those are all good ways to help the less well off.

Something else that would be great is if someone has a job that some of these people would be able to do. A surprising number of homeless people have college degrees. Not saying lots of them do, but some do, and they're looked on just as suspiciously as everyone else.

Instead of refusing to even consider someone who is not already employed, maybe employers could make an exception or two? I think being unwilling to even consider the people who need jobs the most is just a bit or -- maybe more than a bit asinine.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 11 months ago from Houston, Texas

That is great that this is coming up on the 1st page of Google. More people need to read this and then find it in their hearts to help in anyway that they can. Donating excess or unused items to thrift shops is one way. The money that they earn from selling items (or in the case of assistance them directly to the poor) helps the cause. Donating food by putting it into collection barrels at grocery stores...or buying already made up bags...helps the poor who are hungry. There are so many ways to help! Donating one's time to causes that help the poor is another way to help. Just make sure if donating money that it actually reaches the poor and not some bloated overhead expense account of the so called charity. Will share this again to keep it in people's minds and hopefully their hearts as well.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 13 months ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for coming back and shining a light on this article and the major problem it deals with. Believe it or not, this article is on the first page of Google search!

Refugees who come here with permission will be taken care of until they can get on their feet no matter how long it takes. I must tell you though, that the 10,000 refugees Obama is accepting is an ADDITIIONAL 10,000. All together the U.S. is taking 80,000 refugees! Yes, they will get help that our own homeless and poverty stricken people will not.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 13 months ago

Au fait, I just heard that President has offered to take in 10.000 of the refugees. Now what? Will they be clothed, housed and fed, or will they be turned out on the streets to mingle with the hundreds of thousands of the homeless people American out there. It is a terrible thing that we have so many homeless but others can come here and live without worry at to where their next meal is coming from.

Blessings Dear friend

Stay well.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 16 months ago from North Texas Author

DeborahDian, thank you for commenting and sharing this article! There are many reasons why people become homeless. Right now there is an abundance of minimum pay part-time jobs. They don't pay enough to get a person into housing or much of anything else, and the more education a person has the less likely they'll be considered for these entry level jobs anyway. I'm not saying don't get education, I'm saying we need more good paying jobs for people who have that education.

DeborahDian profile image

DeborahDian 16 months ago from Orange County, California

This is such an informative and heart-breaking article. This is the time of year when homeless people become more visible in some parts of the country. Instead of thinking about how to hide them, we should be thinking of how of solve the problems that lead to poverty ... lack of vocational education at the high school level, for example. I have voted this up and shared it!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 18 months ago from North Texas Author

wrenchBiscuit, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this article and the issues included. I think the 1% keep tightening the screws to get more for themselves, as if they don't already have too much, and to shrink the population as you say. They only need so many people to tie their shoes and wipe their bottoms for them, and the rest of us are surplus that doesn't contribute anything they care about.

wrenchBiscuit profile image

wrenchBiscuit 18 months ago

Great article!

A book published in 1816, " Simple Measures and the Poor Laws Greatly Abated" states: " ... a momentary benefit ; as an increase of food would be rapidly followed by an increase of population ; until the greater number bore on the greater stock of food, with precisely the same pressure that the smaller does now oa our present stock ... "

" ... Mr. Malthus has demonstrated this with great clearness; nature, he says, has scattered the seeds of life with a most liberal hand ; but has been comparatively sparing in room, and nourishment ; she has set no bounds to the prolific nature of her subjects, but what is made by their interfering with each other's means of subsistence ..."

In other words, we can clearly see from this text that governments have understood for many years that a balance must be maintained concerning the population. But rather than seek a more humane solution that would upset the status quo, and greatly diminish the profit margin of the ruling elite. It has been decided that a thinning of the herd through poverty, automobile fatalities, food additives, and imperialist military aggression is more desirable.

What you have illustrated here is just one of the U.S. governments successful methods of control. But not only does poverty aid the government in the area of population control, it also serves as a warning to the working class that should they step out of line, fall down, or challenge the system, this could also be their fate.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 23 months ago

You always write such profound articles and this one is so true, I hope that everyone would read it.

I hope that all is well with you. Take care of yourself.

God Bless and keep you.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

DeborahDian, thank you for bringing attention to this issue again, and for your shares, etc. It is shocking the way poor people, homeless people, are treated in this country, a country I'm told is based on Christian principles.

Does anyone in charge actually know what Christian principles are? Have they read the Bible so that they know Jesus Christ personally? Or do they use it as a coffee table book to impress their visitors as to how pious they are?

Homeless people are forced to move on, their few meager possessions stolen from them by 'good Christians' or people who claim to be acting on Christian principles, and those belongings are then destroyed leaving the homeless people worse off than before.

I wonder if anyone knows that treating poor people so abominably is not the password for the Pearly Gates? They are not even treated like human beings! Animals are treated better. Shame on America for not giving a helping hand to those people who are unable to help themselves!

DeborahDian profile image

DeborahDian 23 months ago from Orange County, California

This is such an important message that everyone needs to read. I am promoting this article on Twitter and other sites. It is very timely, just before Thanksgiving and with a severe storm in the Northeast.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

Techygran, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this important issue, for the votes and share, and for deciding to offer a hand up to the many people who need it nowadays. Indeed, our Lord came here to serve, and to provide an example of how He wants His followers to behave.

Very much appreciate your kind compliments also. Not everyone appreciates my ‘hard hitting’ style. I think sometimes people forget what is important in this world, and it isn’t material, or worldly things. When we go, we go with even less than we came with – no body. Only our soul leaves this world, and that is the part that needs continuous tending.

If you are of the world, the world will love its own. I’m proud to say the world doesn’t love me, or much of what I have to say. Neither did the world love the prophets, or even Jesus, as history proves by how they were treated and condemned and murdered.

As I explained to Shyron above, a couple of comments for reasons totally unknown to me, disappeared from the comments section on this article. Thankfully, my routine for responding to comments prevented them from being lost forever. I am posting your comment at the end of this response. I’m so glad I keep copies of received comments or I might not even have known you left one! HP seems to be having its troubles these days in pretty much every area.

Thank you again for taking time to read and leave such a wonderful comment on this article!

Techygran’s original comment: Techygran November 16, 2014:

Au Fait, this is an example of hard-hitting journalism that I don't often come across on Hubpages, and I bow to you! This article has opened my eyes to a privilege that I have to serve the poor and homeless in my own community that I have recently turned my back to... one of the volunteer programs I was involved in was 'canceled' or moved to another agency for this winter. I see that I need to track that program down, to offer some continuity, and to be "with it" again. It is easy for me, as a senior with my own agenda, the odd ache and pain, and lots of other distractions, to forget about my Christian commitment to serve as per Matthew 25. Thanks for the wake-up! Voted up, awesome, useful, shared, and pinned!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for your comments, votes, share, and prayers. There are Medicaid plans that do not require supplementals. I looked into a couple of them and was not impressed, but some people prefer them.

For some reason a couple of comments have disappeared into thin air on this article. Yours is one of the comments that disappeared and thankfully I had a copy of it on my desktop. That's part of my ritual for answering comments. :) So I'm going to paste a copy of your comment here beneath my response. I can't imagine what happened to it, but another one has disappeared too. Very strange things are happening here on HP lately . . .

Your comment: Shyron E Shenko November 16, 2014: Your comments and those of your readers would make an interesting hub. I have been fortunate to have found a job to stay employed most of the time. But most of the places I worked for did not pay enough to raise the Social Security benefits to a living wage (Social Security benefits are calculated according to how much a person has paid into it), and the greedy right wants to take that away, but I would bet they don't turn their benefits down.

What younger people do not understand is that Medicare is not free either, Medicare payments (even though you paid into FICA all your working life from age 18) are taken out of Social Security, you and I have to pay for prescription drugs and supplemental insurance out of whatever monies we receive from SS.

Can you imagine what it would have cost us had we not been on Social Security/Medicare and paying for Supplemental insurance, when John had his accident?

This is an eye opening hub. Voted up, UAI and shared.

Blessings and Prayers my dear friend.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for commenting and sharing this article! Hopefully those people who label themselves Christian will learn the real meaning of that label before the day of accounting arrives and they find themselves coming up short.

Hope your Christmas planning is going well . . .

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 23 months ago from Houston, Texas

Hopefully with the upcoming holidays people will find it in their hearts to think of the poor and homeless by perhaps giving more to food pantries or making donations to many of the innumerable charities that help the poor. Most charities are happy to accept those donations in honor or in memory of someone and send out cards to recipients that you specify. Those would be really meaningful gifts! Happy to share again.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Pamela Kinnaird for reading and commenting on this article. Also for the share and pin, and for your sympathy.

Most of all it makes me angry that my husband was not given life saving healthcare when he initially went to the doctor as soon as the second bout of cancer reared its ugly head. That was way back in 2007, and no one in this state or anywhere would help him, and so the cancer was allowed to grow and take over. Imagine being him and knowing what was happening and no one would help?

I know that he was in horrible pain all last summer while he waited to die. Several trips to the emergency room via ambulance had little or no effect. He would be given a pain remedy and sent back home immediately by ambulance so as not to waste money on a lazy slacker with no insurance. The pain remedy offered did not work. The main thing was to get him out of the emergency room and back home where it wasn't costing anyone anything. Medicaid refused him any help until his very last hours.

Thank God ours is a country based on Christian values!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for Google+ing and sharing this article!

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Pamela Kinnaird W 2 years ago from Maui and Arizona

Au fait, my condolences to you and your daughter for the loss of your husband (whom you were separated from) and his suffering due to lack of health care.

Your hub is very thorough. I don't have anything meaningful to say for the very sad plight of so many people vs the dilemma our country and other countries are in due to corrupt governments. We, the people, are the only ones, however, who can change the direction it's all going, but not in time for the many suffering souls all around us right now. Between the globalists and their agenda and other political predators, we are surrounded by very unfeeling people in power.

The video you included was so necessary and apropos to help me and everyone get our mind around the face of the problem again. Sharing and pinning.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

This is such an excellent hub! Sending this to G+ and once again sharing.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for coming by and sharing your thoughts on this important issue. The thing to realize is that living in poverty or being homeless shortens a person's life considerably for all the reasons mentioned here. Anyone could find themselves in poverty and so it makes sense to get rid of poverty because it is the biggest killer we have. If it kills more people very year than heart disease and cancer, and we worry so much about those diseases, then why aren't we trying to solve the biggest disease of all?

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank PegCole17, for reading this entire article and for your sympathy. Mostly I am angry because my husband would have had several good years if he had not been deemed disposable. No one want's to believe this is really happening in the U.S. and unfortunately, by the time some people realize it is, it will be because they too have been deemed disposable and they will then have no voice.

My doctor, whom I see once a year to get prescriptions renewed, has made it clear more than once, that if I have no means to pay, I get no help. Costs me $137 out of my own pocket for about 5 minutes of his time while he arranges for the prescription renewal. The prescription dosage is guessed at because no tests are possible without money.

Anyone with no money and no insurance will get the same. Our wonderful governor of TX, Rick Perry who aspires to be president in 2016, has refused to expand Medicaid in this state, so those people who had no insurance BO (before ObamaCare) still have no insurance or access to healthcare services. This is true in most red states. The death rate due to no access to healthcare in most red states will not come down anytime soon.

Thank you for your kind thoughts.

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Hello Au fait, I reread your article and through most of the lengthy comments here and found yours about your husband. You have my heartfelt sympathy on your loss and that of your daughter's. So sorry to hear that he was deprived of necessary medical treatment due to his financial condition. That is just not right. Again, my condolences.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Au fait, it's as if the people who are homeless are invisible, while other countries send more homeless people to our country. What is the solution? There are those who would take everything that everyone has and make all of us homeless except for themselves homeless.

A Thought provoking article.

Voted up, UAI and shared

Blessings my friend

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Pharmc117, thank you for stopping by. Glad this article was helpful!

Pharmc117 2 years ago

Heya im for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me. beeeeee

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

WriterJanis, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. It is indeed sad that anyone in the richest country on this planet is without medical care, food, or safe place to stay. It's shameful that our veterans leave the war zone heroes and come home to be labeled lazy and slothful.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by Shyron. Daughter is doing OK I guess. Hope your condition is improving. That worries me more because of it's nature.

Yes poverty in this country doesn't seem to be getting any better. Indeed, people are getting meaner towards the less fortunate it would seem. I wonder sometimes if some of those people who claim Christianity are aware that Jesus, whom they say they worship and follow, did not treat poor people the way many people treat poor people today?

WriterJanis profile image

WriterJanis 2 years ago from California

These statistics are so sad. I particularly feel sad for the children. There needs to be more programs to help families in need. It's also sad that the cost of living is so high that people with full time jobs can't afford a place to live.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

MG Singh, thank you for stopping by. I think there is more poverty in the 3rd world countries because their populations are much bigger than ours in the U.S., but does dying in the shadow of the Goldman Sachs Bank somehow make a person less dead ? Or is there some sort of prestige involved with dying in the shadow of great wealth here in the U.S.? Dying because a person has no access to medical care, food, or shelter. Living in the streets is dangerous and people generally have much shorter lives for many reasons as a result. All these things are true no matter what country it is.

MG Singh profile image

MG Singh 2 years ago from Singapore

This makes sad reading, but its more accentuated in the third world and Africa

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Au fait, this is so important, I thought it needed sharing again and voted up UAI also. Can't understand why every other country comes first.

This is so important.

Hope your day went well, and hope your daughter is okay.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for pinning this article!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Pinning this again...this time to Awesome HubPages. Important topic!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Goodpal for your continued interest in this article and for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

Psychology plays a big part in manipulating people's ideas, beliefs, and behaviors. Big business and our government use psychology to that very end every day and most people aren't aware they are being manipulated.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Deborah-Diane, for sharing your thoughts and this article, and for the share. There really are enough resources for everyone if only a few did not hoard beyond their true share. I think people who hoard resources to the point where 3 of their generations couldn't possibly spend it all rather than alleviating the suffering around them are sadists.

No, I didn't see the the news report you are referring to. I don't have a TV, but I have no doubt it's true.

Unfortunately many people are apathetic and imagine there's nothing that can be done about the economic situation where a few people hold and control the vast majority of resources. Some people even believe these people are entitled to all that wealth.

The Waltons got much of their wealth and continue to get more, by not paying their employees a fair and living wage, by not providing healthcare benefits, and by sending their employees to file for food stamps so that tax payers can subsidize the Walton family business.

If you figure in the taxes everyone pays to subsidize the shamefully low wages Wal-Mart pays their employees, maybe their prices aren't so low as they seem. There is the hidden additional cost in their listed merchandise prices of an expanded food stamp program and expanded Medicaid program. Supporting Wal-Mart and similar businesses that underpay their employees means paying higher taxes for public assistance programs.

Goodpal profile image

Goodpal 2 years ago

You are not alone Deborah. A lot of people feel the same way around the world. The unjust system created around the greeds of a handful creatures in human shape is the cause of all troubles we face today, environmental disorders included.

I am amused when people talk of "developed" countries and "underdeveloped" countries. Very few people ask: what makes countries "developed" - more weapons of mass destruction and more accurate automatic killing machines and more twisted brains? I never hear a convincing answer when I ask: Why arms reach easier than education and food in the poor countries?

We need to ask: Why have we allowed rich corporations to dictate all aspects of our life? They even decide how we should think and what we like or don't like, through the media. Yet, we live in the illusion of being "free!"

I am confident that soon the "flash point" will reach and some sanity will be restored - this time for the majority of human beings though!

Glad to meet me here.

Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

Did you see the recent news item that just 85 people in the world control as much wealth as the poorest 3 1/2 billion people in the world? When I read about things like that, and then see pictures of children starving or living in homeless shelters, it makes my blood boil. I feel like I cannot share this article often enough with my followers. It is so well written. I am Tweeting it out again right now!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Goodpal, thank you for your continued interest in this subject. I know from the many articles you have written about this subject that it is close to your heart as it is to mine.

I would like to see every person lifted out of poverty because it is a horrible thing, every bit as bad in its way as cancer or heart disease. I really believe most people want to contribute and support themselves. Most people thrive when they are allowed to develop their knowledge and talents to the benefit of themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods/cities/countries.

Most people do not want a 'free ride' and when given the opportunity to actually do something worthwhile, they much prefer to contribute since just lazing around (as some people imagine all poor people do) is at best boring. I think it is natural for people to want to create and improve on themselves and their environment, but as things are right now, that isn't so easy. Some people give up because the roadblocks are overwhelming.

We are all losing when any person is not able to develop their talents and skills. Yes, even the people who have more money than their great, great, etc. grandchildren will ever be able to spend are losing, and they do not even know what they are losing. It is unknown. The song that is never sung, the book that is never written, the amazing drug that is never developed, and the 'thing' that is never invented, because the people who would have created and discovered or developed these things were themselves never allowed to develop.

Think of all the money the super wealthy could make if the ideas of those people who are not allowed to develop to their potential were instead encouraged to do just that. In our current world one must give the very wealthy a reason to invest in people or sadly, they will not do it.

Goodpal profile image

Goodpal 2 years ago

Thanks very much for your response. I very much appreciate when hubbers share freely through comments. I also noted that you commented on my hub on women empowerment. From your writing, you are really a very thoughtful person who has real concern for others.

Now coming to your issue with my comment. I wrote that:

"A poor in the US is certainly not equal to a poor in India or Zimbabwe, but the human side of suffering is very much the same - helplessness, voicelessness, powerlessness and chronic worries about tomorrow."

You rightly responded, suffering is the same for the poor whether in the richest nation of the planet or the poorest.

What connects the poor humanity around the world is the pain and anguish they go through due to deprivations. A hungry stomach does not know whether its owner is American or Pakistani; Jew or Jain; believes in God or not; white or black.

Poverty is not a disease discovered through some "scientific" experimentation. It is a situation in human life that is frustrating; it is a trauma of not knowing whether next meal is possible; it is not knowing whether the sick child will live for tomorrow, it is not knowing when someone will try to take advantage of or when someone will offer a sincere human smile. It is everything but dignity, strength, peace of mind and assuring.

We need to create on debate on these "universalities" of poverty to focus attention on it as a serious "human" issue. We also need to question the economic model that is stuck at "maximizing profits" by those who have capital; the concept of "development" that is narrowly limited to "economic growth"; and ask why well-being of non-rich people and the environment are secondary.

Thanks Au Fait, for a stimulating discussion on a topic few talk about.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Goodpal, thank you for reading this article, and sharing your knowledge and your thoughts on this important subject. Agree with almost everything you say.

The one thing I take issue with, and I have taken issue with this thinking whenever I have confronted it, is when people say the poverty in the U.S. is not the same, insinuating it isn't as bad as the poverty in India or Zimbabwe. True that we have fewer people living in abject poverty, but the poverty some experience is no sweeter than in these other countries you mention.

More than 50,000 people die every year in the U.S. for lack of access to healthcare. How is it better to die for lack of healthcare in the U.S. in the shadow of the Goldman Sachs Bank than in the blazing hot sun of Zimbabwe? Death because no one will offer life saving healthcare is still death. Where is the prestige in dying in the U.S. because of poverty instead of some other country? Of what value is that prestige, if it does in fact exist, once one is dead?

Dead is dead no matter where a person succumbs, especially death from poverty -- lack of food, shelter, and especially healthcare.

Also agree that this so-called wealthiest nation on earth should be ashamed if even one person is homeless, hungry, or without healthcare -- and qaudrupally so if that person in poverty is a veteran.

What does it say about a country that does not take care of it's own? It's own veterans. It's own children. It's own elderly that have helped to build this nation and now they need a little help themselves. All but those who live a charmed life need a hand up once in a while.

Thank you again for taking time to share your thoughts.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron, for commenting for sharing this article with followers and on FB.

I really think politicians, government program administrators, and people who take advantage of tax loop holes should be drug tested. Yes, and even teachers, not just students. Wonder what the results of that might be?

Goodpal profile image

Goodpal 2 years ago

I am a non-American hubber. In the past, I lived in Chicago for 5 years as a graduate student.

May be I am wrong, but I always felt that the only goal of people'e life in the US was to make money; rest was all secondary. I always felt the nation was run just like a business enterprise, not as a nation worried about the well-being of its people as human-beings. Perhaps the only indication of the human looking face of the government was the welfare programs.

A poor in the US is certainly not equal to a poor in India or Zimbabwe, but the human side of suffering is very much the same - helplessness, voicelessness, powerlessness and chronic worries about tomorrow. This aspect remains ignored in all debates on poverty which by default revolve around money and lack of it. The reason, I guess, is the faulty concept of "development" and "poverty" which is a multidimensional situation that includes lack of money.

Pure commonsense demands that "development" or progress should mean improvement in the well-being of people as humans - "all" the people of the nation. But, in reality, development has come to mean economic growth only, measured in GDP terms; people have become mere tools to achieve it. This is the real problem. Yet, bigger problem is that no one is raising this issue. In democracy, people talk and raise their concerns and their representatives listen and modify policies to make people's lives better. Quite likely, the US democracy is, for all practical purposes, hijacked by few super-rich who control everything.

4 to 6 trillion dollars is likely to be the bill of the Iraq/Afghan military adventure for the US. Money is clearly not the problem nor the answer for the problem of poverty or unemployment in the US.

I feel what is needed is to put "people" at the center of development, rather than economy or wealth creation alone. Nobel laureate (of 1998) Amartya Sen's Capability approach to development advocates precisely this. There are many notable researchers in the US also who are working on similar approaches which put people at the center-stage of development process. The UNDP's Human Development approach is founded on these principles; every year it comes out with a human development index (HDI) which ranks countries. This article might help:

A debate must start in the US on these lines so that the American citizens have chance to live dignified life away from miseries and poverty. It should be considered almost criminal to have even a single poor in the US, given the wealth it possess and influence it wields in the world.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

I just saw something on facebook that says all who are on welfare should be drug tested. Evidently the person who is passing this on thinks all poor people who have the misfortune to lose their jobs are on drugs. My point is some folks think that poverty does not exist.

Anyone who thinks that should read this.

Sharing, and posting on FaceBook.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for Tweeting this article!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Will retweet this using my bookmarks section since I still do not see the share buttons here.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for stopping back and shining a light on the need for charity during Christmas and all year long. Yes, a contribution in someone's name, especially someone who already has pretty much everything, would be a good idea.

Sometimes various facets of HP's programs don't work for me either and restarting my computer can sometimes make the difference. I'm not sure why. Very much appreciate your taking time to stop by and leave a comment.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Donating to charities at this time of year in a recipient's name would make a nice gift and serve a dual purpose. No share buttons! Would have happily shared.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Moonlake, thank you for pinning this article. With so many cities across this country making illegal to be poor, many homeless will be rounded up and jailed. Not a very good solution either . . .

moonlake profile image

moonlake 2 years ago from America

Winter is here and I think of the homeless on cold streets it's just sad. I don't know how they make it living in the kind of winters we have. Pinned.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron, for voting on and sharing this article. People do need to realize that there are a lot of needy people in our country right now. The politicians who shut our government down, and who are taking food stamps and help away from all the poor people in this country really need to be made aware. What kind of person gives themselves $172,000 plus endless benefits while cutting the meager $100 or $200 in Food Stamps a month desperately poor people were receiving??

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

rtburroughs2, thank you for reading and sharing this hub on your FB Writer's page. Also for linking to this article in your own hub. I am especially honored to have my name mentioned in the same sentence with Billybuc.

This issue is getting worse rather than better because we have so many people who are either not aware of this problem ( the U.S. House of Reps and many elected officials in general who have recently cut Food Stamps by 40 BILLION dollars ), or who are indifferent, or who are so self centered they do not care (The Tea Party members), and they prefer to hate rather than help.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Writer Fox, for reading and commenting on this article.

Sadly, one person is limited in what they can do from a political office. They are so busy trying to keep that office, or their own fannies in it, that they have no time left for the reason(s) they were elected. I think non politicians can actually accomplish more in the long run.

Something a lot of people do not understand is that politicians must first honor the political party they belong to. Otherwise their party will spend hard raised money to get rid of them and replace them with people who will do what they are told. So in fact the party is more important than the individual elected official. No matter how good a politician's intentions, they will either learn to play ball or they will be run out of office by their own party.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Jean Bakula, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! Agree with everything you say and would only add that people are in fact dying regularly because they are poor and therefore denied necessary healthcare that given in a timely fashion would extend their lives with a good quality of life. Instead they are left to suffer and die. People are also being denied food and other important necessities to hasten their death even if they aren't already ill. Evil is about in our society and a lot of people are being taken in by it.

Every time a Social Security recipient who has paid for their benefits has those benefits reduced, elected office holders on every level should get a similar cut as well. When the government is shut down, wages should not be paid to Congress or any other elected official until the shut-down is resolved -- further, no back pay should be given to any elected officials for the time the government was shut down. Let's see how often they shut it down then . . .

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

This hub should wake people up. Especially the one who have their head buried in the TV and can't see what is going on in our own country.

Voted up UAI and shared again. A must get this to everyone to read.

rtburroughs2 profile image

rtburroughs2 3 years ago

After my first comment I did some research. What I found is incredibly disturbing, the number of deaths in America due to poverty, is greater than all Americans killed in combat since World War II combined.

rtburroughs2 profile image

rtburroughs2 3 years ago

Au Fait, I was browsing your hubs when I came across this one, having also written on this issue, I wanted to check this out. Even in my own research, I had no idea of the staggering statistics of death. I linked to this article on my own hub. I also shared it on my Facebook Writer's page. It is great to have authors like you and billybuc, who write what needs to be said.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you moonlake, for returning and for sharing on Tumbir!

Writer Fox profile image

Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

A very thorough and thought-provoking article. Let me know if you decide to run for office. Voted up!

Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 3 years ago from New Jersey

Thank you for writing and researching this important article. People who believe this "Food Stamp Moocher" mentality are just living in their own little bubble. Many of them grew up in wealthy families, with parents who were given a home for a wedding present from their parents, and got good paying jobs from friends. Obama was correct when he said most successful people didn't get there alone, they had a lot of help on the way. I know people hungry in my neighborhood, a middle class one in NJ. People are starving and dying for lack of health care. And this government shutdown is depriving children with cancer the care they need. I think Congress should not be paid for any of the days our country has been without needed services.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Came back to read this hub again and share it on Tumblr.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Deborah-Diane, thank you for your sympathy and kind words. My heart is indeed broken, but not quite the way you might think. We have been separated for quite a while, but never divorced.

My husband was way too young to die and he is the man I am speaking of when I wrote "This High School Dropout Went to Harvard!"

He chose to work for poor people instead of makig tons of money for himself and so he was himself poor too. Because he had no money or insurance they refused to treat his cancer the second time around and so it was left to spread and grow because he could not pay.

He has been in the most horrific pain for months and my daughter told me how the doctors treated both him and her badly. Probably because he couldn't pay. Anyway, even though his pain was controlled in the hospital so that he could be coherent at times, he was moved to a hospice. They OD'd him on morphine, and he was dehydrated and starved because the medication prevented him from asking for water or food. Without requesting it because he was too drugged to be even conscious most of the time, he got none. He lasted only a few days once drugged and forbidden fluids and food.

My daughter tells me he wasn't very comfortable in the hospice. She is just grateful not to watch him suffer any more.

I am angry that he was not considered worthy of treating from the time his second bout with bladder cancer was diagnosed. His father had that and heart disease as well, but he had insurance and money and has lived with both of those diseases into his mid-eighties.

There is no end to the shame this country should have when it comes to the way it treats poor people, especially veterans. My husband was not a veteran, but it would not have been an advantage even if he had been.

Thank you again for your thoughtfulness. Make sure you do not become poor because poor people are the most disposable in our society.

Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

Oh No! Your husband died yesterday?! Oh, Au fait, I am so sorry to hear this. My husband has a serious illness (stage 4 kidney disease). We've been married 42 years, and I hope he is able to make it to our 50th anniversary. I know you must be broken-hearted to have lost your husband. I just wanted to stop by and share my deepest condolences!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for stopping by and pointing out that the U.S. has no aversion to killing people by withholding medical care and food, but feels using gas is wrong. As awful as dying of gas is, it is usually quicker than starving people or letting their cancer gradually take over. Maybe the people in charge enjoy watching people suffer longer.

My husband died this afternoon because he was overloaded with morphine and refused food or water for the last several days. Prior to that he was refused medical care that could have extended his life and quality of life for several years to come. If people don't want their healthcare rationed in this country they better make darn sure they have health insurance or money or they will get all but none.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

In Syria their dictator (supposidly) kills the citizens with serin gas. Here the citizens are killed legally, they have their food taken away (i.e. food stamps, Social Security, Medicare) so that poor people starve.

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Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

I continue to be astounded by the information in this article. Yes, we should be ashamed that we do not do more to help the homeless. We want to pretend they do not exist. I have pinned this, but I plan to share it with my followers again in a variety of ways!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Sgbrown, thank you for reading, voting on, and sharing your thoughts on this subject. I just read in the question/answer program on this site that a city in North Carolina is the most recent city to make it illegal to be homeless or to help the homeless. Can you believe it? What kind of people populate this country that they would put people in jail for being poor or for helping the poor? We should indeed be ashamed that the richest nation in the world even has homeless people, and especially homeless veterans!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

ChristyWrites, thank you for reading, commenting, voting on and sharing this article. Hard to be healthy when a person can't afford any food much less nutritious food or get medical care or even keep themselves clean. Of course not all poor people are homeless, but it's still hard for them to afford the simple things that contribute to good health and of course healthcare itself is often unavailable. Unfortunately all of these things add up to a short, unhealthy life.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

tobusiness, thank you for reading and commenting on this article and for your high praise which I very much appreciate. Agree that there should be no poverty in this age and especially not in the world's wealthiest nation!

sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

This is an awesome hub! I would have never thought that the mortality rate would be this high. I suppose it is something that we don't really think about. We have very few homeless people in my area, so I am not confronted with this very often. It's just horrible that anyone is left out in the cold, being desperate and hungry. It's truly a shame that this is a problem world wide, but especially here in the US. We should be ashamed. Up and awesome!

ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

When people think of poverty, they often don't realize it exists right in our own neighborhoods... Even in first-world countries, there are third-world problems such as homelessness. A shorter lifespan as a correlated factor is so sad... Thank-you for the valuable, quality hub here. I am sharing it today and vote up of course.

tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

An exceptional hub!

This is powerful and informative, kudos for taking this initiative to raise awareness, poverty in the 21 century is an abomination.

Excellent write!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Cyoung35, thank you for checking out this article and leaving a comment. I appreciate your desire to make things better, but not everyone is like you.

Much of the world is aware of the poverty that exists, they simply don't care. Haven't you heard those people complaining about helping single mothers support their children and/or people without health insurance or money? They would rather a million people die than to pay a single penny of their money that they earned in taxes. No need to take my word for it. Ask them for yourself. Several have placed comments on this article. Read them.

If there were more kind hearts in this world like your own, poverty would soon be eradicated.

cyoung35 profile image

cyoung35 3 years ago from Corona, CA

Poverty is like a disease eating away at our society like the plague. We all need to spread the word and make the world more aware of this epidemic. This world is too rich to have any one person go hungry or without a roof over their head.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and this article too! No matter how well off someone may be today, things can change and get ugly in the blink of an eye, so it pays to eradicate poverty for everyone. Even people who think they are immune can fall prey to it and indeed have done so.

Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

This article is so shocking, and I am sharing it with my followers again. People need to know about this.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for the congrats, and for sharing this article again! Oh, and I love your new picture!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Ruchira, for reading and commenting on this hub! It would seem that no one cares about the poor until they become one of the and then it is too late because they are not then able to help themselves much less anyone else.

Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 3 years ago from United States

Well said, and so true!

This is one issue that man is neglecting and is still on the rise!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

I see that this got a well deserved HOTD award. Congrats! Sharing this again!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Jainismus, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment, and for sharing this article with your followers!

jainismus profile image

jainismus 3 years ago from Pune, India

Poverty Kills More People Every Year Than Either Of the Top Killers...

You are absolutely right. This is a worldwide problem and there are many factors working behind this.

I have shared this with my hub followers.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for voting, sharing, pinning, and for your insight. The middle class is indeed becoming the new working class and the ripple affect is going down to where the working class are the new extra poor. The middle class hardly exists even now and will soon disappear if something isn't done.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for commenting and sharing this article. I think what is hurting even more is that those same legislators are cutting assistance programs for the needy at a time when they need to be increasing and/or creating jobs.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Cat (Cantuhearmescream) for reading and commenting on this article.

Actually there is plenty of money left in SS, but we have somehow elected a lot of liars or cons to our Congress who want to convince us otherwise for their own purposes.

The problem goes beyond the expense of our Congressmen/women and their benefits, etc., which compared to the overall budget for this country, and even just the budget for our safety nets, such as they are, is pocket change.

A few people with very loud voices do not want to help the less fortunate. They take pleasure in other people's misfortune. Some people are more influenced by the loudness than by the numbers.

For example, 10 people who scream continuously as loud as they can that they want to cut food stamps and medicaid have a greater affect than 1000 people who quietly say they would like to help the less fortunate. With the din in their ears, some politicians have trouble thinking clearly. Hopefully they will be retired in the next election. Voting for change = term limits. :)

We need to get rid of those office holders who have no compassion or empathy for the less fortunate, many of whom are in their current situation because of the Great Bank Heist of 2008. So far, not a single banker who helped cause this world financial mess has been held accountable. Not one. No one even seems to think they should be.

On food stamps? You're lazy and slothful. Stole billions of dollars from the tax payers along with their homes, retirement and jobs? MY HERO! I'm being sarcastic, which has to be pointed out for the benefit of some. No banker is my hero, and poor people work harder than anyone I know because they have to just to survive from day to day.

Agree that people need to experience poverty to fully appreciate it, and a single day isn't long enough.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Denise Handlon for reading, commenting, voting on, and sharing this article, and for the Congrats too!

It is pretty horrible when it's against the law to help a person who is hungry and homeless. Some people who are in authority believe people, like stray dogs, will only keep coming back for more food if you feed them.

It isn't a state law, but rather cities across the country that are passing these laws. Often homeless people live in the city parks and that too, is against the law in many places.

Basically, it's against the law to be poor, and you can go to jail and develop a criminal record for so doing. So far, none of the investment bankers that caused this mess have gone to jail that I've heard about.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you moonlake, for the congrats, the vote, and for sharing. Hope you're having a great summer!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for your comments Aunt Jimi. Straight to the point like always. We've been friends a long time so I'm not surprised. Appreciate your support and your passion for helping the less fortunate.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you PegCole17 for your continued interest in this article. I think it is an issue of semantics because I was not suggesting government should provide everything for everyone as Republicans are fond of lying awake nights anguishing over. I prefer not to get into politics, but of course that is what has created this economic mess we have, and politics continue to fuel a stagnant economy.

I do think our politicians should do their jobs making sure the environment is protected, and that we are not wasting time on matters of the bedroom (I thought Republicans wanted less government not more) such as gay marriage. Another tax dollar waster is rehashing ObamaCare for now the 38th time, and abortion for what seems like the 500th time.

So far not a millisecond of time nor a penny of revenue has been spent in creating jobs as was promised before the last election. It's all about gay marriage and controlling women and their bodies.

If government isn't supposed to take care of us, why is it sticking it's nose into our bedrooms and our medical examination rooms? How micromanagement is that? Next they'll want to legislate what color we should all wear for the different days of the week. Yup, that's their idea of shrinking government and getting it out of our lives. ;)

Lots of people know how to fish and a lot of other things, but there simply aren't any jobs that require those skills right now. Mainly because there aren't any jobs period.

Lots of people living in our prestigious American tent cities have college degrees and even graduate degrees. They were middle class folks just a few years ago. Skills and education are irrelevant when there are no jobs.

Jobs are created when there is demand, and currently people have no money so there is no demand. Would you hire people to make widgets if no one was buying your widgets? No, you wouldn't. Would you buy widgets or put them on your credit card if you had no money and your cards were maxed out? No, you wouldn't.

Demand has to be created and that can be done by investing in our decrepit infrastructure and by modernizing our transportation systems for starts.

We invest enough in weapons to destroy the entire solar system, why not take some of that money and repair and improve our infrastructure and create jobs at the same time? China is way ahead of us in those areas as is India. The U.S. is no longer top dog.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by Sanxuary. Well said.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Justthemessenger, thank you for stopping by and commenting. Your Bible scripture is right on. In fact, the more we all shop at Wal-Mart the lower we drive wages and create a vicious circle. To keep prices low wages must also be ridiculously low. Once wages are ridiculously low people can't afford anything and have no choice but to shop at Wal-Mart. Low prices and low wages feed each other.

Lots of low pay jobs here in Texas thanks to Mr. Perry who is very proud of them. One can almost get by if they have 3 or 4 of those jobs. No access is no longer a problem when you have 3 or 4 of these low pay jobs -- not time or money to see a doc anyway.

No one works harder than poor people. They have no choice but to work hard just to survive and barely at that.

When employers don't pay a living wage they should expect to subsidize people who need food stamps and other benefits. In fact, Wal-Mart teaches their employees how to take advantage of as many public assistance programs as possible, so really, all tax payers are giving multi-millionaire Wal-Mart welfare. Here anyone complaining?

The reason Wal-Mart workers need public assistance is because Wal-Mart doesn't pay a fair wage AND often makes their workers work off the clock -- no pay at all. Do it or the guy standing behind you waiting for your job will do it. Work for free or don't work at all!

It's OK for Wal-Mart to do this to their employees but it's not OK for their employees to apply for public assistance. After all, no one is forcing them to take those jobs are they? Not taking those jobs means getting even more in public assistance, and that would bring screams too. Some people just can't be satisfied.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

Au fait, I had to re-read this, with all its sadness. If only people would read this and understand what the people are doing to the poor, how the greedy want the middle to join the the growing numbers of poor.

Voted up, will share and pin.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Carter06 for the congrats. I was totally surprised to sign in and see my hub as HOtD. Figured I'd already had my turn last November when I received that same shock. With so many excellent writers I didn't think anyone got a second go of it.

It seems to me that all this poverty comes from a few people playing the system and then being applauded for so doing by people who don't know any better. Those people who have never been very good at thinking of others are beside themselves with anger because they see the poverty stricken as a threat to themselves. In fact the real threat is that poverty could happen to them too. Many of today's poor have college degrees and used to have jobs and a house payment in a middle class neighborhood, and the 2 cars in the garage thing going on. Now they and their families are living in tents if they're lucky enough to have one.

All the while the people who brought this financial disaster into being are being applauded as heroes and their victims slurred for being 'lazy and slothful' because there are no jobs.

Our Congress that campaigned on the promise of setting to work creating jobs the second the election was over (2010 -- if they won) are exhausted from lying awake nights worrying about gay marriage and abortion. They are busy with cutting education funding and telling older people that the Social Security program is broke (which couldn't be further from the truth) and trying to think up more ways to screw the people since it has been such a colossal success for the banks these last 5 years.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you BlissfulWriter, for commenting on this article. You are so right!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for commenting thumbi7. Homelessness and tent cities have been pretty common here since the Great Bank Heist of 2008 -- that's where bankers took billions of bail-out dollars from the government and then proceeded to foreclose on homes by the hundreds and retirement was gutted and jobs were lost by the thousands never to return.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you haplesshostess for stopping by and leaving a comment and sharing your thoughts, and thank you for your tireless efforts to end poverty. If everyone did what they could in their own little corner of the world, I think we would see great improvement.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Kathryn Stratford, for reading and commenting on this article. Very much appreciate your congratulations and especially your insightful remarks. I wish everyone would realize that anyone could be poverty stricken and/or homeless but for the grace of God, and so we all need to offer kindness and a hand up whenever we have that opportunity.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for your high praise Kathleen Cochran. Much appreciated. I have received hub of the day previously and all my articles are written the same way. Some are just not as popular as others.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by and for the congrats, Glenda. In fact I have received this honor before. My hub "Getting Your Children To Eat Their Vegetables -- and Other Foods," was Hub of The Day last year on the day before Thanksgiving. Now you're going to have to join HP and become a hubber! Look forward to reading your articles . . . ;)

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping in Cyoung35 and for sharing your thoughts.

Many people prefer to stay in the streets as some shelters are over crowded and people are robbed, raped, and even beaten up or otherwise harmed in shelters. Not all shelters are like that, but some are.

If I were homeless I would prefer my car or some other shelter. I'm not exactly the social type who likes to smell other people armpits and get snuggy with strangers due to lack of space. :) I have never used illegal drugs and the doc has a rough time persuading me to take legal one's that he recommends. I haven't had alcohol since before my daughter was born, almost 25 years ago. My worst habit is probably cussing a blue streak now and then.

Seeing the odd person abuse the help you give them is called 'antidotal evidence.' You can Google that phrase for a better explanation of it. Judging all homeless people by one or two or even a handful is wrong. Would you want to be judged as similar to the worst people who live in your neighborhood or your worst coworkers, or your worst classmates? That's what you do to homeless people when you judge them all by a few that abuse the help you give them.

Most people here are not allowed in the shelters during the day and as you wrote in your own hub, they are only allowed to stay for a few days and then be on their way. Sometimes there just isn't room at the inn.

I prefer to give help to people and let them decide for themselves what they need. I get a blessing for doing the right thing no matter what they do. They will answer for what they do with my help. If I judge them I will answer for so doing and lose my blessing and more.

I can tell you have a kind heart and sincerely care and want to help, but realize that not everyone fits nice and neat in standard sized boxes.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Rose-the-planner for stopping back to Congratulate and leave such kind compliments. Much appreciated. :)

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

As Canyouhearmescream just stated...the lifetime pensions of many serving in government are ridiculous. We have many legislators collecting MANY pensions for serving in various capacities. Most people have to work 20 years or more for a business or even the military to collect a pension. It should be the same for legislators! Trouble is...who makes the laws? Legislators! Do you think that they will be changing them anytime soon? I doubt it.

That explains why millions of dollars are sometimes spent to get entry into an office. If they make it, their future is secure even if they only serve a few years. Sigh!

Sharing this again.

Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Au fait,

I don't want to see anyone suffer, but sometimes I think if everyone had a day with no food, or shelter, etc... maybe they'd be a little more compassionate. It's sad, there are people who have never been without any need, or want for that matter, a day in their life and yet, still want to help others. If you don't care about your neighbor today, they might not care about you tomorrow. This world has some serious problems, that's for sure.

I think I liked being young and ignorant. Now, I realize that we don't really vote for anything. We might go to the polls on election days, but I think it's just a ploy to make us little people feel important. We all know that the big guys with the bigger dollars that pay the way through the campaign trail, will be the ones rewarded once those candidates are elected into office and so, the rich get richer and the poor stay poor. I don't know how many times I've heard empty promises from the people who say they'll change everything around, only to realize the benefits they reap once they don't change anything. I remember reading a disgusting email, years ago, about how anyone who serves in some political office, will collect social security in the amount of their term-pay for the rest of their life and their spouse will receive half that amount for the rest of their life. There's more to it than that obviously and I'm not stating facts, but I remember that was the basic gist of it. No wonder there's no money left in social security for retirees. I guess the key to aging successfully is serving some political term at some point in your life. I really should try to find the article I'm referring to; I'm sure that could make a heck of a hub.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Patty Inglish, MS, thank you for stopping by to congratulate me! That's almost as big a surprise as getting HOtD itself!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

DeborahNeyens, thank you for commenting on this hub, and for the Congrats!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

vespawoolf, thank you for stopping by and for the congrats. The U.S. is no longer the envy of the world, that's for sure.

Aunt Jimi profile image

Aunt Jimi 3 years ago from The reddest of the Red states!

It's as if a lot of people aren't aware that we haven't even partially recovered from the great depression of 2008 when bankers took all that welfare in the billions of dollars while they were stealing peoples homes and jobs and retirement at the same time. Banks are still getting money through the back door.

Isn't it funny how Republicans have no problem paying out billions of dollars in welfare to billion dollar companies and big banks, but hate the thought of helping a poor person who has lost their job as a direct result of these banks and big companies? Corporate welfare is OK with Republicans, but no help for people.

Refusing little children healthcare and food. Voting against helping people and electing selfish mean spirited people like themselves to office to cut programs that help people. Then they call themselves Christians.

I wonder if the punishment will be greater for their stinginess or for masquerading as Christians? Pretending to be Christians turns a lot of people away from God. Non Christians look at people who call themselves Christians and how those so-called Christians are behaving and refusing to do the Christian thing and then say to themselves, "If that's a Christian then I don't want to be one." Being the cause of people turning away from God is one of the worst sins there is.

If Republicans encountered Jesus dressed like people do today in jeans and run down shoes hanging out with the poor, would they set Him down and explain that He needs to get a job and stop being lazy and slothful? How would they treat Jesus today? Would they explain to Him that they know better than He does and their way is better? You know, like Satan explained to God that his way was better before he was kicked out of Heaven? Yes, and he even went around persuading and convincing many of the angels that his way was better before they all got kicked out of Heaven. Would Republicans even recognize Jesus if they saw Him? A do-gooder? A bleeding heart for the poor? A guy who in the Bible went around preaching mercy and forgiveness, kindness and charity, and healing people of their ills. Given a chance, I think He would even heal those Republicans who need to be cured of their hard hearts.

You'll have to excuse me. I'll be on my cloud watching from afar, while these people explain to St. Peter, their wisdom of denying help to the poor. A word to the wise -- that isn't the password to get through the Pearly Gates. Think again before demanding to speak to St. Peter's supervisor.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

Jesus said, what ever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me. This is an excellent hub to show how people. Voted up, +++

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

Excellent information here-well researched. I was most shocked by the fact that it is a crime to feed the homeless in some states. How ridiculous! Thanks for sharing, and congratulations on your HOTD. UP/I/U

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for your interest in this topic Patriot Quest. I think you must live in a fairytale world. I'm flattered that you think all anyone has to do is snap their fingers and a good paying job will appear, but it's not true. Whoever told you that was pulling your leg.

The only jobs available right now, when any jobs are available at all are minimum pay. Wal-Mart often makes their employees work off the clock -- that means for no pay. That is morally wrong.

Wal-Mart employees either contribute their time to Wal-Mart, a needy business, or they get fired. That is unethical at best. Why do you defend Wal-Mart welfare, but attack helping anyone who really needs it?

I agree with my dear friend Aunt Jimi, and I thank you for making it clear why Republicans are so against helping anybody in even the smallest way.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you RueVera for sharing your observations and opinion. I guess, since you've seen several drunk and drugged up homeless people we should adopt your viewpoint and realize all homeless people are exactly the same, and write them all off.

People who work with poverty stricken people every day say it is often the hopelessness of their situation that causes some to turn to drugs and alcohol, but after hearing about your experience, I'm sure they're wrong, and it's entirely the other way around.

I think your son should work in a homeless shelter for perhaps 3 months, or longer, especially at night. I think he may not have gotten the full flavor in just a few hours during the day when most people are not in the shelter. Here homeless people are required to vacate the shelter by 7 AM and cannot return until 5 PM or so.

People get beaten up, the meager belongings they have stolen, and the women (and men) get raped sometimes in shelters. Not all shelters are like that, but more of them, more than you think, are pretty bad. The people running the shelter are often as bad or worse as the ones a homeless person has to sleep beside. A lot of homeless people prefer to take their chances with the dangers on the streets as opposed to the dangers of many shelters.

Thousands of people, entire families, are homeless all across this country, many living in tents, because of the market crash of 2008. Some have graduate degrees. I know news media keep telling us everything is hunky dory, but I know better. There are no decent paying jobs, but even so, to get any kind of assistance a person must be registered with their state unemployment office and they must show proof that they are attempting to find employment -- unless they already have a full time job.

We have tons of jobs in Texas, thanks to Mr. Perry, our governor. A person need only hold 4 of them, or so, to barely get by. Many people with jobs here are still homeless. Yup, showing up drunk and high on drugs every day at work from what you've said. Funny they don't get fired if they're in that condition don't you think?

Those wonderful jobs Mr Perry takes credit for creating are minimum pay jobs, and part -time too, just to make sure no one gets too much money in a pile all at once. Not enough pay for rent or even a security deposit in many cases. And of course there is Wal-Mart that frequently requires their workers to work OFF the clock.

Here in TX, a red state, things aren't quite so rosy for the homeless as you report in Wisconsin, a swing state.

Frankly, I think you have to be there to truly understand what it's like to live in poverty. I know someone who just lost their job not long ago, their unemployment benefits have run out, still no job, and they were shocked at the health care the Chip program here in TX offered their child. Nothing like the Cadillac medical care so many people like to imagine is provided to poor people.

People who have themselves never been poor seem to have an awful lot of misconceptions. Yes, and this same person utilizing the Chip program for her child was offered $16 a month in food stamps to feed herself and her child under 4. With all that money, a person really has no excuse for being hungry or begging do they? Before falling on hard times herself, she had an attitude about poor people similar to your own. Experience can be a beautiful teacher.

Personally, I think people like to believe the poverty stricken and homeless are druggies and alcoholics and mentally ill, because in their minds that is justification for doing nothing to improve things or to help people less fortunate than themselves.

My Stats professor, a staunch Conservative, announced before class one day, that most of the homeless people were "mental cases" and we therefore need not bother ourselves about them. "Forget about them, they don't matter," he said. My classmates (136 of them) audibly gasped. That was the most surprising thing to me given that most of them were Texans (70% or more Conservative).

Yes, I can see your point. Poverty will never end no matter what we do, so really, we should just throw up our hands, turn our backs, vote for our local police to arrest these people so that they are no longer eyesores in our line of vision, and then take a trip to Wisconsin Dells or Disney World and enjoy ourselves.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

How nice you got HOTD while I was away. Congratulations, well deserved. Voted up and shared.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Diogenes (Bobby), thank you for stopping by and sharing info about your NHS. I didn't realize Jesus was limiting Himself to Australia.

Hope all is well with you Bobby. xx

Aunt Jimi profile image

Aunt Jimi 3 years ago from The reddest of the Red states!

Congratulations on HOtD! Went away for a few days and came back to find you've done it again. Was it as big of a surprise to get this honor this time as it was last time?

Read some of the comments above. Thought I would remark on PQ, my buddy and my pal. Isn't he just the perfect guy to be a poster boy for the Republican Party? He fit all the Republican's best qualities into a couple of paragraphs in his comments above.

I've read that a lot of guys devoid of compassion and empathy for other people, not their fault, they're born that way, become serial killers. Guess being a follower of Voldemort instead is the second choice, and that's better. They don't kill anybody outright, they just starve them to death or let 'em die from lack of medical care. That way it's legal, nobody goes to jail and they still get the satisfaction of causing more suffering.

Mike Burgess of Texas, Rep in the TX House, says babies in the womb at 18 weeks can feel pain because they 'do themselves' all the time feeling pleasure, so abortion is now illegal in TX after 20 weeks of gestation. What about the pain they feel after their born? Hunger pains. Why don't Republicans care about that? Why are they cutting food stamps for little children and the elderly? More punishment for being poor? Nice people.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for your support Sam. In fact, most of the men who have responded to my article about who is the better driver have done so in a very defensive emotional way -- which is what men always accuse women of doing and they say it's a weakness that makes us less desirable in leadership positions.

If instead of responding in such a defensive emotional way, men would take the que from the stats and learn instead to control their emotions so that their emotions don't drive them into accidents, their stats would improve and the world would be a better place.

Thank you again, Sam. Hope you're having a good night.

samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 3 years ago

I agree with Au Fait can't we all just read the article and comment without turning this into a male vs female match because the way I see it in the end there is no winner neither men nor women win that fight.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Silkekarina, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub! Yes, it is rumored that the streets in this country are paved with gold. I guess those streets are blocked off for many people.

Here trickle down economics is in play, and personally if the streets are indeed paved with gold, I rather think it is more related to golden showers than anything else. "All that glitters is not gold."

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Cat (Cantuhearmescream), thank you for sharing your thoughts. I wish I knew the answer. I think if you read through the comments on this article, you will see that some people have a very bad attitude about helping the less fortunate. Their bad attitude would seem to be based on misinformation, and assumptions that are wrong. Then there are the traits that some people have such as selfishness, heartlessness, and worse, if anything can be worse than those two.

Our government is corrupt at the administrative levels. The salaries our Congressmen and women get seem pretty nice compared to those of us who can only dream of those salaries, but for them their salaries are peanuts. Why? Because their 'real' pay comes from big business and people like the Koch brothers, who buy their votes and manipulate regulations and laws as a result.

If I won the lottery for several million dollars, the first thing I would buy would be Congress and the President no matter who they were or what Party. A couple million would most likely cover them all, at least for a few months. They're price can be surprisingly low at times.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

pstraubie48, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this subject. You are absolutely correct!

carter06 profile image

carter06 3 years ago from Cronulla NSW

Just one question ' How in hell did it ever get to a point in society where the poor are punished for being poor.. where feeding the poor is against the law..where poverty is shunned???? How did it ever get to this?? God's heart must be broken to shred's at this social atrocity..surely!

Thank you Au Fait for a job well done bringing this heartbreaking concern to our attention.. have really enjoyed following along..cheers

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you carter06 for reading and sharing your thoughts on this important issue. If everyone would do what they can it would surly make a difference. Sometimes a person can help with other means than money. I think a lot of people believe they must give money and sometimes they don't have money to give and are barely getting by themselves. There are other things one can do that are helpful too. Helping someone find a job, recommending them for a job, helping them find clothing for an interview if they don't have them, or sharing a sandwich. It's against the law in many places here to give money or food to homeless people. The powers that be believe that like with stray animals, if you stop feeding them they will go away.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron, for giving serious thought to this issue and sharing those thoughts here. I think we need to help hungry people in other countries and I know we need to take care of our own first. As you say, charity begins at home, and even the Bible says that. Yes, it does.

The Bible also says to whom much is given, much is expected. It further says that when a person is helping the hungry and the homeless they are helping Jesus (Red words). Presumably when a person is not helping the hungry and homeless, but rather complaining about having to help them, they are denying help to Jesus and even complaining that He asked for the help in the first place!

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Hello Au fait. Thank you for the link to my article about life expectancies in your hub. In response to your comment, I believe that it is the job of our representatives to represent us, not look after us. I do agree that they are busy looking after their own interests instead. We need a change in representation if we expect to see a change in the state of things.

The philosophy of "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime" might come into play here. Our education system has failed and without education, as you've pointed out here, the poverty level continues to rise and with it, premature death, disease and misery. The root cause must be addressed rather than the symptoms.

Again, thank you for the kind mention here.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you PegCole17 for sharing your thoughts on this issue. Things really are a mess in this country right now and I really think it's because our leaders are only looking out for themselves, not us, as is their job -- and there's plenty of shame and blame to go around.

Sanxuary 3 years ago

Its not a war on the poor, it's a creation of a multi class society of cheap labor to create top earnings for the wealthy. Cutting all costs to maximize profits and own all capitol is the plan. This completely defeats Capitalism and is nothing but total selfishness and greed driven. The middle class is on a pace to becoming the lower class and the end result is cheap labor a par above slavery. The destruction of all small businesses and consolidation on all markets to have complete control is obvious. Consider the following facts: Fewer hours avoids benefits and lowers wages. This in turn raises earning statements and raises stock values. Stocks look good but the average person is living in survival mode. All investments are stolen from the low end from large investors serving themselves. No corporation has come close to paying even 10 percent of a 35 percent corporate tax rate in decades and still they store billions in off shore accounts. With ever greater percentages of taxable income going to the wealthy who do not pay, is it any wonder that we are 16 trillion in debt. Unwilling to pay their employees a wage or give them the hours to earn enough to get above the cost of living this recession is never going to end. Small business was a huge factor in getting past the last recession and there is barely any small businesses remaining. These small businesses' are the only ones paying 35 percent and often even more after local taxes. Today having a job qualifies you for food stamps and this is a disgrace to society. Capitalism only works when it actually happens. If people were making enough to get ahead it would be enough stimulus to improve the economy. The current system is self defeating and will eventually stall at some point. How can anyone improve their market when no one can buy there trash. The Corporations I noticed in the blogs are not the Corporations that existed in the past. I just do my job but there is nothing honorable in working today. The countless hours spent in pleasing the pettiness of movers and shakers often makes no business sense and does nothing to please customers. Often times it defeats the very principals of business that made them successful in the first place. I love charity write offs and free advertising as countless employees suffer from poverty. Anything better then desperation each day is all we need to write this life style off. There is absolutely no incentive to be above the standards of hard work to achieve nothing in this environment. Performance is unimportant and being good at your job is actually a curse and a reason for abuse. All you can do is live until something better comes along. They have no loyalty to you, so how can they demand loyalty? They do not honor any commitments, why should you commit yourself to them? The ladder of success is an illusion and requires a vision of non-humanity to succeed. If you worship your bank account then you will have a hard time investing in your soul. When you destroy others you will eventually destroy yourself. The backbone of poverty is stronger then you think and idle minds need the rewards of work or they prosper elsewhere in new ideas.

Patriot Quest profile image

Patriot Quest 3 years ago from America

just your conspiracy theory is hogwash! If the market didn't work then why don't all companies just pay minimum wage?? Why do doctors and lawyers make so much? If they are over priced then why do people keep seeing them? Does Walmart send out slave ships to hire those folks? No THEY come begging to Walmart! If they are mistreated and deserve more then why not go somewhere else? My job pays what it does because market dictates it. Great CEOs make millions because the market dictates it! 10th grade dropouts make minimum wage at Walmart because that is what the market dictates! It doesn't matter what profits Walmart makes, that is NONE of your business! If they were not profitable then they would not be the largest employeer in the US! Now I hope you have learned something today!

justthemessenger profile image

justthemessenger 3 years ago from The Great Midwest

Memo to Patriot Quest: Get real. Those "unequal menial jobs" you refer to is how Wal-mart makes its money. The Walton family heirs provide the capital whereas the workers provide the labor. I don't think there are enough Walton heirs to do all that work themselves. So... therefore the employees are providing something of value unless Sam's descendents want to do the greeters, truck drivers, warehouse workers and retail peoples jobs. They are enabling people who are rich via accident of birth family to stay rich and as such ought to get a right share of the company's profits. Also, the" market" you speak of is not some kind of magical force that sets all things right. The "market" is the result of collective decision making that is real choices made by real people. Remember the Scripture says "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required." Luke 12:48 KJV

Patriot Quest profile image

Patriot Quest 3 years ago from America

So many of you gushing over this piece??? Do any of you ever ask yourselfs how those in poverty got there in this country? Why are immigrant Asians the highest paid per capita in this country? They are the smallest minority and yet receive no minority status for business, govt contracts etc.??? Because per capita they are the most educated, hardest workign of all of us!!! Pull your heads out of the sand and come back to reality! Stop feeling sorry for those who get pregnant out of wedlock, drop out of our FREE education system, and are too lazy to ACHIEVE! in the land with the most opportunity!

Patriot Quest profile image

Patriot Quest 3 years ago from America

Au, while you accuse the wealthy of not paying fair wages and taking care of employees, I would remind you that the wealthy created the middle class and the wealthiest people on EARTH! Why should uneducated menial jobs at Walmart be worth more money? The market will dictate what Walmart should pay, not govt nor anyone else, When those people qualify for better jobs and Walmart can't find help they will pay more. My job pays 6 figures, If it was less I would leave for the competititon because they pay more. Everything you believe has been placed in your brain from propoganda, not truth. Walmart has helped this country and employeed thousands. Consumers save millions and their stores are full of customers daily. What did you do before walmart and what prices did you pay??????

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you 'A Dane in Spain,' for reading and sharing your thoughts on this issue. In 2011 more than 7,000 millionaires paid no taxes at all. Not a penny. Our Congress (60% millionaires) continually gives tax breaks and lower tax rates to the wealthy, while cutting benefits to Social Security recipients that they have paid for, and cutting assistance to people who find themselves still in financial straits as a result of the Great Bank Heist of 2008.

While some people are constantly talking about the lazy slothful poor people in this country, it is really many of the wealthy who are the moochers. They don't pay their share even when they pay anything at all. Many of the wealthy got their money in the first place by not paying a living wage and not providing benefits and not providing a safe work environment. They cut corners at every turn no matter how it affects their employees.

Wal-Mart, just one example of a company that is currently in the news for their low pay jobs, and especially for encouraging and training their employees how to apply for food stamps and Medicaid. Wal-Mart expects tax payers to subsidize their coffers instead of doing the right thing themselves.

With no jobs to be had, and Congress cutting back on social programs all the time, crazy as it may sound, I really think the people who run this country (big business, not government, as you pointed out) want people to die.

carter06 profile image

carter06 3 years ago from Cronulla NSW

Just popped back to say warmest congrats on HOTD!!

Totally deserved this one..


BlissfulWriter profile image

BlissfulWriter 3 years ago

Great job on this article. Poverty is more common than people realize. The lack of healthcare situation is also exacerbating the problem.

thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 3 years ago from India

Scenes of poverty are very common in countries like India. But I was surprised to find the photograph of a homeless family in US.

Your write up is very interesting. Voted up

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

W1totalk, thank you for stopping in checking out this article. I agree that we are all in this together and we are all connected. What affects one affects us all for good or not so good. If everyone would understand that, we might be able to get rid of poverty, but it won't happen so long as some people want to horde everything for themselves.

thehaplesshostess profile image

thehaplesshostess 3 years ago from PA

Outstanding article here, superbly researched. My day-job is for a non-profit agency that works to fight poverty, and until everyone decides to work together, it sadly will remain a problem. Wonderful work you did here to highlight the issue.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by Shyron. There are a lot of people who haven't a clue about poverty or being poor. Not all of them are wealthy, but they have never had to go without anything truly necessary. They sit in judgment only because God has smiled on them -- for now. As long as someone is taking in air they are available for a harsh lesson and should't criticize or crow too loud lest they get that lesson. But some have the luxury of never having to have compassion or empathy for others, and so they never develop those virtues.

Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

When I saw this as the HOTD, I had to read it before I did anything else. Au fait, this is so well-researched, and so sad. You have brought up a lot of good points. I have heard people ridicule people in certain positions, as if all of them are lazy druggies. But that is not the face of the majority, and some people who have never been poor don't understand.

Congrats on HOTD, and also for writing this phenomenal piece.

Have a great day!

~ Kathryn

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago

This is a well-researched op/ed hub and it's Hub of the Day! Good for HubPages and for this impressive writer! Would love to see more like this one.

Glenda 3 years ago

Congrats, but all your hubs should get this honor, all your hubs are this good, don't know why you haven't gotten this before now.

I would join HP if I could write like this. It is in my head but hard to put into a hub.

cyoung35 profile image

cyoung35 3 years ago from Corona, CA

I believe that the best way we can help these people is through education and temporary shelters until they get the necessary skills to get a job. I wrote a hub on how to help homeless people in your area and I truly believe if we start in our local area, then we can help the country as a whole. Take a trip to your local family homeless shelter and ask them what you can do to help. Great hub, hopefully this will help open the eyes of many people. We need to cure this problem as it is a plague in our society and around the world. Congrats on the Hub of the Day!

rose-the planner profile image

rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

I though this was an excellent article when I first read it and I still think it is now. Congratulations on HOTD, well deserved indeed! Take care.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America

Congratulations on HOTD! This important information.

DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 3 years ago from Iowa

Well done, Au fait! What an important topic to tackle so thoroughly. Congrats on Hub of the Day.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you younghopes for reading, sharing your thoughts on this important issue, and for voting on and sharing this hub with others!

vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

Congratulations on a well-deserved Hub of the Day! Your research was thorough and I appreciate all the references you added, too. What a sad commentary on the situation in the U.S.

Patriot Quest profile image

Patriot Quest 3 years ago from America

It is too bad articles like this are wrote. When I see grown adults working at places like McDonalds I have very little sympathy. Why? Because I grew up in poverty. My dad mowed lawns while I was in school so he could attend college, My mother worked 2 jobs almost until I graduated high school AND went to school at night and took care of 2 boys! Both are in their sixties now and both make over 6 figures a year! No excuses, no handouts, no welfare, no free health care, no food stamps, NO OUTSIDE help of any kind! People need to stop whining and WE need to stop ENABLING! This is why America has over 100 million on welfare

ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 3 years ago from USA

In many cases poverty is more a mindset rather than financial situation. It was mentioned that in the majority of cases death of a poor was not caused just by starvation or the like, but more by the involvement of drugs, alcohol etc. USA is maybe the only country in the world that will really help those who want to break the curse.

My son when in college also wrote an essay on the poverty problem and in order to have a bigger coverage of the problem, he found a local shelter for poor people and volunteered to help there for a day. So, if a person is poor, struck by a misfortune, lost a job, a house, etc.... instead of choosing "getaway" in drugs, tobacco and alcohol, which cost lots of money, that person can apply for a shelter, where he and his family can live for free for a certain time, while he is helped to find a new job, to get new training, etc. It's a matter of choice.

When I worked in a hospital, many times I saw drugged, drunken homeless people brought to an Emergency room and no one of them was denied help. After hospital treatment they were sent to rehab center and they were given a chance for a new start... Do they all chose a new start? Of course not. So, poverty is more a mindset then.

Looking at the picture of a woman with two little kids begging for food on a curb, I don't believe it. A family with small children has a great access to different programs that are available only in USA. So, that woman was not forced to begging, it was her choice and what an example is it for her kids?????

One can live on a very low income decently, if they don't overspend, don't buy tobacco, alcohol and the like (I know I do, I live on a very low income but I will never call myself poor)

Good luck to all those who want to break a poverty curse!

diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico

Europe, especially the UK, is both the problem and the partial solution.

The "solution" is the NHS and free health care for all. The "problem" is that a huge percentage of the patients the NHS treats wouldn't be there without addiction - smoking, other drugs and alcohol, accidents caused by speeding on our choked roads, junk-food leading to obesity, heart problems and the rest.

The NHS, in fact, cannot keep up and it's service has deteriorated in 2013 to be unfit for purpose in many areas.

Thank goodness Jesus has appeared again from Australia who is about to sort it all out with "lerv." Sheet!!


Silkekarina 3 years ago from Germany

Since I was a child, and that was during and after the last world war, we have always been made to believe that the USA is a nation to emulate. I suppose you could say 'A land of milk and honey'. It took a long time, a lot of reading and following of the news, to come to the conclusion that we were having the wool pulled over our eyes. No country is perfect, but I prefer the European idea of affordable health care even when you are jobless and homeless. An extremely well researched and written hub, thankyou.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Elias Zanetti for reading and commenting on this article. Appreciate your sharing your thoughts also. Most people are not aware of the poverty here. It's rarely spoken of in the media, and many of those people who were not much affected by the crash of 2008 are unaware anyone is suffering since they are themselves still comfy and cozy. If you would like to see more about America's shameful tent cities, just Google that phrase and there they will be complete with YouTube videos. The are all across this country and nobody cares.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping in Diogenes. What you said is so true. xx

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Gypsy Rose Lee, thank you for reading, voting on, passing this on, and especially for sharing your thoughts.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Mhatter99, thank you for your kind praise and for sharing!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

SpaceShanty, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub. That's a very complicated issue you raise and a lot of people don't understand it and don't want to understand it. To get a better reception you really have to explain why it doesn't work as well as people think and make the explanation as simple as possible or you will only get nasty attacks in return. You might consider writing a hub about it.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you rajan jolly for reading, commenting, voting on and sharing this hub! Poverty means no medical care in many cases and so the base cause of death is poverty because one can't get medical treatment for the disease. One can't afford a healthful diet and there are many other things that hasten death when poverty is a problem.

Poverty is itself considered a disease in many cases.

Homeless people die much sooner than they would if they were not homeless because they do not have good food, medical care, or shelter from the elements or from the danger of other people.

Here I am not speaking of people who are staying with friends or family and are therefore considered homeless, but people who must live in their car if they have one, or worse, in the streets.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

TIMETRAVELER2, thank you for reading this article and for sharing your thoughts on this subject. You are so right that when people aren't able to develop their skills and talents we all lose out. Who knows which person might have found the cure for cancer or diabetes, or whatever if they had been able to get the education they needed?

The truth is that we are spending Billions of dollars every month to kill people and break their stuff. Why not spend that money instead to improve people's lives and help them live? (Medical Care)

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you rose-the-planner for reading, voting on, and sharing this hub. Very much appreciate you sentiments also. With so many big companies not paying a living wage -- for example Wal-Mart makes their workers work off the clock regularly and their pay is piddly even before employees are forced to work for free. There are no benefits and Wal-Mart helps their employees apply for social benefits like Medicaid and Food Stamps. Yet our Congress is giving the wealthy tax cuts to where I actually fall into a higher tax bracket than people like Warren Buffet! I make less than 12,000 a year. Thinks are indeed messed up in this country.

Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Au fait,

Ugh... I'm not feeling any better about the situation after returning hear and reading your remarks... of course, I am fully aware that it is no fault of the messenger's! :D

Like you, I am more or less 'anti-conspiracy theories', but if what you're saying and I'm hearing is true... then I guess that wouldn't be much of a theory, but rather an apparent fact or sad truth? It's too bad that people are coming with price tags and their value and worth is little or nothing to the people that pull the strings. It's sad that taking pride in being a 'hard worker' will no longer get you anywhere. It's too bad that I, and thousands of others have degrees that mean nothing and guarantee nothing but years of debt! It's sad that people fight for our country and then have to fight to survive because the country doesn't fight for them! It's sad that we have thousands of dollars taken from our paychecks for our entire working lives and promised that is will help us survive when we later need it, only to find out that the money has already been spent on us.

What will be the answer? What is our future?

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Cat (Cantuhearmescream) for reading and sharing your thoughts on this important issue. Thank you for voting on and sharing this article too.

Unfortunately we are a rich nation filled with poor people, more than at any other time in our history. The wealth is held by the top 1%.

Currently as technology improves more and more there is less need for workers and therefore such a big population that will never have work and will need assistance is not desirable.

I wish it weren't so, but many of us are considered expendable because we have no use. We don't manufacture here much anymore and there are only so many floor scrubbers and nannies needed.

With the 3D printers getting closer and closer to being like the replicators from Star Trek, before long people with money (to buy the replicators and raw materials for its use) will be self sufficient. Poor people will be even less of an advantage than they are now.

Given that many people are today poor through no fault of their own but as a result of the Great Bank Heist of 2008, and given that no jobs have yet been produced to speak of, and given that our Congress is cutting back on social programs to the extreme considering the number of people who are suffering, I would say they want people to die and that it is their plan that people should die because there is no longer any use or hope of use for so many people, educated or not. Education is being cut back radically too, in case you didn't notice.

I have read about these things of late. I'm not into conspiracy theories as a rule, and I don't really think this is a conspiracy. 'They' are being pretty up front and blatant about what they are doing it seems to me. A lot of people either aren't paying attention or they don't realize what they are seeing and hearing. Cutting benefits to SS recipients who have paid in all of their lives? That makes no sense. The money belongs to the elders so why are they being denied their own money and cutting back on their healthcare too?

60% of our Congress men and women are millionaires. There is a lot of ugly stuff coming, wait and see.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Europewalker, thank you for reading, commenting, and voting on this hub! Agree with you completely.

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

This is such a powerful and important message. It is everyone's problem..

And there is NO reason why it should exist.

Thank you for bringing attention to this in such a thoroughly reported article.

Angels are on the way to you ps

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Diogenes, for taking the time to stop by and "skim" this article. Hopefully you will return to read it more deeply as there is good information here. Appreciate your sharing your thoughts.

Hope all's well with you, Bobby. Take care . . . xx

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W, for reading, voting on, sharing/pinning/tweeting, this hub, and especially for sharing your thoughts on this issue.

Some people have compared giving Food Stamps to feeding the animals. They say if you feed them they'll just keep coming back and making more babies.

I agree that it's unconscionable that being poor and homeless is now against the law as is giving food or money to the poor. Even charity workers in some places are being arrested and charged for trying to help homeless people in any way at all. It's just my opinion, but I think some people are not even slightly human, which explains their lack of compassion for the less fortunate.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

Au fait, you are right about helping other people, but I don't think that means ignoring our own poor. I know there are some who would take away everything that the poor get now and, for what? For whom?

carter06 profile image

carter06 3 years ago from Cronulla NSW

This is an insightful & powerful read Au fait.. I was in San Fran some years ago now and was completely saddened & gob smacked @ the amount of homeless lining the streets..just was so overwhelming to much thought & opinion about this very difficult to solve heartbreaking problem..

I say we stop criticizing and pull together for solutions, might never be complete answers but there is always hope for reducing poverty in society if enough of us care..surely???

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

DDE, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

I think it is unfair to say most Americans look down on the African people. No country sends more aid to help the poor in Africa than the U.S.

According to the Huffington Post, we recently sent 531 MILLION dollars to Tanzania, 580 MILLION dollars to Ethiopia, 625 MILLION dollars to Nigeria, 625 MILLION dollars to Kenya, and 1 BILLION 557 MILLION dollars to Egypt.

That's a total of 3 BILLION 918 MILLION hard earned tax dollars given to the people of Africa that you say we look down on. It's hard to fathom why Americans would gift the African people all that money if we were looking down on them.

Our president is not a magician. He can't cast a spell and make all the poverty go away. Our president is not a dictator. He cannot give an order and suddenly it becomes the law of the land. That was true of George W. Bush and it's true of Obama. This country has a president, not a dictator.

Had Obama stayed away from Africa, not a speck of the poverty here would have lessened much less gone away.

Our Congress makes and passes laws. So far they have not offered or passed any bills for the president to sign into law that would alleviate the suffering of the people in this country. Even as people here at home continue to suffer, we continue to send aid to Africa, the people you say we look down on.

While we're talking about gifting our hard earned cash to other countries even as we're suffering ourselves, many people in this country homeless and hungry and without necessary medical services, we have sent Croatia, a tiny country, 320 MILLION dollars, and it is expected that more will follow.

After sending all that money to various countries including yours, your response is to criticize our people and our president. The U.S. sends more money to help alleviate suffering in countries around the world than any other country.

Some people here would like to stop sending foreign aid to other countries because they say it is not appreciated. They say after we have done so much for people around the world, all we get in return is criticism, complaints, and sometimes even attacked by the very people we reached out to help.

A Dane in Spain profile image

A Dane in Spain 3 years ago from Torrox, Malaga. Spain

Hi Au fait. Scaring to hear that the mainstream media in the US is not covering these issues. I must say the European news keep quite a low profile on these matters as well. At the moment I am watching RT ( ) which cover lots of things from the US and Europe that never reach the headlines on mainstream news.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

I see the commercial a lot where a rich actress asks, what would you do if you saw a child right in front of you crying frome hunger. Then she asks us to send 50 cents a day to help starving children but I think she is talking about children in other countries. While I do feel for anyone who does not have food. I also think about the saying, charity begins at home and I wonder why she does not talk about how many children are starving in our own country and nobody (except you) about the POLITICIANS who want to end the Food Stamp program, and everything else that benefits the poor.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you billybuc, for stopping by and offering your support. Agree that we have to keep pushing this message because from what I can tell all but no one is talking about this in the mainstream media.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Tillsontitan for reading, voting on, and sharing your views on this issue. I think it makes sense to credit those politicians who want to privatize and cut Social Security benefits and who want to cut Medicare. They are and have been from the get-go, the Republicans. If you don't want this to happen then you will have to see them for who they really are and vote accordingly. I usually don't like to talk about politics, at least not on this site, but the truth is what it is.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron, for reading, commenting, voting on, sharing and pinning this hub! If not for food stamps and Medicaid/Medicare the number of people who would die from poverty would be much higher, no doubt about it.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you mperrottet for reading, commenting, voting on and sharing this hub! Those states that have rejected ObamaCare will not be expanding Medicaid to people who cannot afford insurance, and in many cases have no access to healthcare. My friend Aunt Jimi has recently written about ObamaCare and just added information about the states who have declined Medicaid expansion. There are quite a few.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

I see you are getting some great and thoughtful comments here. We could be doing so much more for our own people. Like Peg Cole stated...what sense is there in continuing to give our money to unstable countries...even those who generally hate us...when we could so readily use it at home? When it comes to budget cutting...that is one of the first places that I would start!

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

This interesting and well documented article brings out a lot of facts that are so relevant to our social situation today. As "A Dane in Spain" has pointed out, there are many disparities which confound the country, such as military spending, public debt that keeps growing, and gifts of money to unstable countries despite the needs of our own citizens who exist in poverty.

According to the statistics, my elderly Mother falls into the category of "poverty" levels despite working for a living for many years. Which brings about another difficult subject, that of cutting benefits to seniors who've contributed to the system all their lives. Promises are changing along with our leadership, including a different set of rules for those elected officials who are recipients of a Cadillac health program and exemptions from the rules.

Very interesting article, here, Au Fait. Lots to consider.

A Dane in Spain profile image

A Dane in Spain 3 years ago from Torrox, Malaga. Spain

This was an article that needed to be written and you did it very well! Voted up.

As a non American Hubber and born in Denmark, which has had a very high level of social welfare and awareness, compared with most places in the world, I must admit that I have been gob smacked by the disproportion between rich and poor in the United States, ever since I visited the U.S. for the first time in the early eighties. The whole concept of not having free medical care for everybody, in a country that never seems to be short of cash, when it comes to military actions, is beyond my comprehension.

”The richest nation in the world”? Hmm, I think, it’s a fading truth. Let me quote Wikipedia:

“On April 2, 2013, debt held by the public was approximately $11.959 trillion or about 75% of GDP. Intergovernmental holdings stood at $4.846 trillion, giving a combined total public debt of $16.805 trillion.”

And it certainly isn’t "The land of the Free" either anymore! A fact, I think most people around the world acknowledge right now, while Edward Snowden is being criminalized for telling the truth about the “Big Brother is watching you-scam” that the U.S. Secret Service is pulling on American citizens and the rest of the world. Just imagine the cost of reading everybody’s emails?

I think the question that needs to be asked is; Who is in the driving seat in the U.S? From my outside position - looking in, it doesn’t seem to be the government!

W1totalk profile image

W1totalk 3 years ago

This is a good way to help people understand we are all in this together and to respect one another. Good article.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

It is surprising how many people in the United States live in povrety. This needed to be told, and you did a great job on telling it.

The only thing is the rich will never know is the feeling of hopelessness and helplessness, unless they have been there, without food or money to pay for it.

younghopes profile image

younghopes 3 years ago from India

What an eye opening hub, with so many good inputs, it is indeed true poverty is a massive killer especially in developing countries where everyone finds it so difficult to make both ends meet. Voted up and shared too.

Elias Zanetti profile image

Elias Zanetti 3 years ago from Athens, Greece

I guess this is one of the cases that statistics don't lie. The number of poverty is huge (something you wouldn't believe to exist in any western country even a decade ago) and it is only natural that among this group the longevity rate drops while the number of deaths caused by poverty increases. Thanks for shating this informative hub, Au Fait.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico

space shanty...the point is that capitalism does work, for the wealthy


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up. Thanks for sharing this eye opening hub on poverty. Frightening statistics. Hopefully people become aware of this before it's too late. I think if each person helps in their own way and everyone starts a chain reaction there may be some hope. Passing this on.

Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

You id an outstanding job on this. this info must be shared. (I did)

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Very interesting stats and quite surprising so many people die of poverty than disease. The other stats are disturbing as well. Voted up, useful, interesting and shared.

SpaceShanty profile image

SpaceShanty 3 years ago from United Kingdom

Excellent page. Maybe it is time the USA and most of the western world realise that capitalism doesn't work.

TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 3 years ago

I have often thought that among the poor lives that one person who could discover the cure for Cancer or some other dreaded disease. These figures are appalling and also frightening because every day more and more Americans slip below the poverty line. We need to stop spending big dollars that go into political, sports and entertainment venue pockets and star redirecting them to the poor. This whole situation is a disgrace, and I thank you for shedding such good light upon it.

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rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

This is my question. Why on God's Green Earth do we even have poverty in affluent countries? The fact is that everybody lives in their own little safe and secure worlds without giving any thought or consideration to what is happening in their own backyard. How the hell are we supposed to help those in third world countries if we can't or won't take care of our own? This has always been a serious issue and yet here we are in 2013 and it seems to be getting worse. Excellent article with eye opening statistics! Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Au fait,

Wow, I was frustrated at the top of the page by the very first statistic! You wouldn't think that poverty is a disease, but maybe it is... let's hope there's a cure!

I would think any person with just a little compassion and maybe some humanity, would think this is tragic and be outraged. If compassion and humanity isn't their fuel, then I would hope selfishness would at least do something on the positive side for once, especially since it's in abundance! You talked about how everyone is affected by the 'sickly' and I hadn't even put that connection together. If the people around a healthy person are sick, that makes the healthy person vulnerable, doesn't it?

Not to mention, desperation often leads to acts of desperation. Mental illnesses, substance abuse, addiction, increased violence and crime rates! How are people having a hard time seeing the problem here?

Are feeding the homeless like feeding the deer? How can that be an arrest-able offense? How about just being poor? Is it any wonder so many nations think what they do of America when we walk around proud of who we are and how to get things done, yet fail the people who live here? How can we be a rich nation, filled with poor people?

Voted up and others ~ Sharing too!


europewalker profile image

europewalker 3 years ago

It is beyond shameful the poverty in this country. This country has so much but yet the people that need help the most go hungry and never receive medical care. Excellent article, voted up.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico

The only things the greedy understand are cobblestones and machettes. In other words, revolution. The gap ever widens between the rich and poor. The lackeys of the accumulators, the politicians and their "dogs of war," the army and police are reasonably well rewarded to keep the masses in their place. Anyone who doubts this scenario should read a book like "Ragged Trousered Philanthropists." I feel like vomiting when I see all the toadying around Britain's stuffed royalty and all the others who live by the philosophy of the divine right of kings.

While unemployment and inflation rages here, our government has awarded ministers a 10% pa yrise and the queen another 10 million a year from the public purse to fix up all her property. It's madness: why the young don't take up cudgels I will never know.

Good hub which I skimmed through and will read properly later

Bob x

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

This should be a wake up call for many. I had no idea that the statistics were that high. It is shameful that we cannot seem to do something about this. Making laws against feeding homeless people? Amazing...also cruel. Like you said...there but for the grace of God could be any one of us if circumstances in our lives shifted just a bit.

You have written so much in this hub touching on many subjects related to poverty and its effects as well as other subjects like losing a spouse, etc. I'll be thinking about this hub of yours for a long time.

Up votes, sharing, tweeting and pinning.

DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Most Americans look down on the people of Africa but being like the richest place on the planet it is really sad to see so much of poverty going on in America, and there is Obama trying to make things right in Africa when his country is falling apart. Such an opener to the world

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

It is a national shame and a clear indictment on us as a society. Keep writing about this, as will I, and hopefully by raising awareness we will see changes happen. Excellent message!

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

This is a powerful hub Au fait. People tend to turn a blind eye to the homeless and yet they are the most heart breaking segment of our society. How can anyone, in good conscience refuse to feed any person, homeless or otherwise?

If this country doesn't soon wake up there will be more homeless seniors. Government assistance is not government control. People pay social security tax and Medicare tax yet the government wants to do away with them? Perhaps politicians need a dose of reality; pay for their own healthcare, no lifetime benefits upon retirement, etc.

Voted this up, useful and very interesting.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

If not for Medicare and Social Security I might be one of those stats. And just think there are those who want to take that and 'FOOD STAMPS' away. That is like taking food out of babies mouths.

I hope everyone reads this hub. Voted UP, UAI, shared and pinned.

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mperrottet 3 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

I knew that so many people were victims of poverty - what a sad state of affairs. I'm hoping that when the affordable care act kicks in that things will get a little better. Compelling article on why we should all care about poverty - voted up, interesting and sharing. Well done!

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    Au fait profile image

    C E Clark (Au fait)595 Followers
    139 Articles

    Ms. Clark hopes to help bring better understanding and an end to hurtful, downright wrong stereotypes about poverty and homelessness.

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