Ms. Clark hopes to help bring better understanding and an end to hurtful, downright wrong stereotypes about poverty and homelessness.
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. ScienceDaily reports that recent analysis of these studies found that about 4.5% of all deaths in the United States are caused by poverty-related deficiencies, and that poverty is a contributing factor in still more deaths.
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.
Some Quick Statistics on Poverty in the U.S.
- College graduates live an average of five years longer than people with no high school diploma.
- People with the highest incomes live an average of six and a half 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. every year—that’s one every 12 minutes—because they have no access to healthcare, or because the healthcare they receive is substandard due to an inability to pay. Children make up 10,000 of those 45,000 deaths!
- One in every six Americans is living below the poverty line.
Note: The statistics above come from the 2010 U.S. Census.
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 middle-class 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.
When Everyone Doesn't Have Easy and Guaranteed Access to Healthcare, Diseases Spread Faster
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 (Vermont)
What Are Some of the Social Factors That Contribute to 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 a year or less 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, however, 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.
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 people 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, 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.
- Another factor involves living in 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 Increase the Risk of 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 five years or less of losing their partner unless they make a new connection or bond with someone within six 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. It could also 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.
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. It could also 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.
Racism and Discrimination Contribute to Premature Death
Racism and discrimination are considered social ills that lower the ability of a person’s immune system 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 a woman, 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 five), 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 15.
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
States With the Lowest Poverty Levels 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 National Academies (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.
How Does Poverty Cause or Contribute to Death?
Anyone who has ever been poor surely 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 middle-class people are now barely making ends meet. And some, far too many in this author’s estimation, have become homeless.
Poverty Exposes People to More Violence With Fewer Defenses and Less Support
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.
Being Poor Is a Punishment in Itself
There are at least 2,000 homeless children in the school district where I work. Mine is just one school district out of 14,000 across this country (2010 U.S. Census). Some of the homeless children, like nomads, move from one location to another every day, 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.
Many Homeless People Have Jobs, But It's Not Enough to Lift Them Out of Poverty
Some people who are homeless actually have jobs, but those jobs do not pay enough to cover rent or utility bills or 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.
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?
The 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.
Police "Sweeps" Destroy Homeless People's Possessions and Livelihoods
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 them or throw them into landfills. 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?
Why All the Fuss Over Poor People?
According to the CDC, 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 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 every day, 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 more people not as 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 few seem 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: Deaths From All Causes
- CDC on Childhood Stress
- Bernie Sanders on Poverty
- MSNBC Lawrence O’Donnell on Gun Stats
- Huffington Post on the U.S. Mortality Rate
- ScienceDaily on Deaths Caused by Poverty and Other Social Factors
- CDC Statistics on Death
- Wikipedia: Diseases of Poverty
- MSNBC on Poverty and Sexism
- U.S. News on Poorest States in the U.S.
- Huffington Post on Long-Term Unemployment and Its Role in Poverty
- Business Insider on Poverty in America
- Huffington Post: Poverty Kills
- Wisegeek: How the Poverty Line Is Determined
- Childfund: Children and Poverty
- Huffington Post: Child Poverty
- BBC on Child Poverty in the U.S.
- Children’s Defense Fund of Minnesota on Child Poverty
- UNICEF on Poverty Reduction
- New York Times: The Link Between Poverty and Social Ills
- New York Times: Childhood Poverty
- ACLU on Racial Segregation and Death
- Huffington Post on Heat and Climate Change and Their Effect on Mortality
- CDC on Deaths From Heat
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2013 C E Clark
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 16, 2020:
Peggy Woods, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this issue. So long as the people currently in the majority remain in power, as they are right now, nothing will change unless it gets worse. The Conservatives do not favor social programs of any kind. They don't like to help anyone. They're too busy being good Christians.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 09, 2020:
The current COVID-19 pandemic is shedding even more light on this topic of poverty and those most affected by this virus. Hopefully, after the elections, people in power will start doing something to help remedy the inequities and inequality issues in our country.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 08, 2018:
Jayson, I have answered your question below already. I have told you the best way to go about finding the information you seek. If your real question is, "Am I going to do the research for you and hand you the results free of charge with no effort on your part?" The answer is no. You will have to do your own research. :)
Jayson on August 07, 2018:
I would like to find the numbers of death by poverty in the world, and per country. As well as number of orphans, refugees
needs to be the most actual numbers backed by studies.. do you think you can help?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 31, 2018:
Jayson, I appreciate your interest in this subject. I have several other articles on this subject that may interest you also.
All of my sources of information are listed at the bottom of this article. I always list my sources at the end of my articles. One excellent source for stats on homeless people is the National Coalition for the Homeless. There are also homeless coalitions in many cities and counties across the U.S.
There was an effort to collect information on hate crimes as they relate to homeless people. I haven't checked lately to see how that is coming along. Homeless people experience more hate crimes than people of color, homosexual people, or LGBTQ people combined, but the record keeping is still sporadic so far as I know, because so many people in positions to keep these records still think of homeless people as disposable and unimportant.
I noted that some stats can be obtained from other countries by simply putting the words, "Homeless people's deaths in France," Homeless people's deaths in Spain," etc., in the Google search box. Beyond that I do not know if they have Homeless Coalitions in other countries that would provide good stats.
I do know that in most civilized countries the death rate for homeless people is far lower than in the U.S. Here, we have an excess of people who care only about themselves and many of whom actually take pleasure in the deaths of homeless people who are basically just human rats and human cockroaches in their estimations, and so it is a good solution to the homeless problem in their mean spirited minds.
I'm sorry I can't be more helpful. Unfortunately many people with the ability to keep stats on the homeless do not consider it important enough to do so with reliability. I know of no easy way to obtain the information you seek, but I wish you luck.
Jayson on July 30, 2018:
Hi where did you get the stat how can i get the number of poverty death per country?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 26, 2018:
Peggy Woods, thank you for coming by. A light definitely needs to be shed on this issue until it's resolved. I think it could be if enough people cared to do it. Temps are a little lower, low 100s, high 90s. Hope all is well with you too!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 24, 2018:
Your title really says it all! Coming back to comment and shed more light on this topic. Hope you are staying cool up there. This summer heat is certainly excessive this year!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 29, 2017:
Shyron, thank you again for commenting on this article. I really think there is a conspiracy of sorts to lower our populations around the world. I think it is because automation and technology are taking the jobs that people used to do and those jobs are not going to come back. The wealthy do not want the burden of supporting a huge population that cannot support itself because there is no work for them to do that with, so I think they are wanting the population to shrink to avoid a situation where a huge population cannot support itself. So I agree with you.
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 18, 2017:
Au fait, this is the sad truth, the rich want to see all poor people gone, not just out of sight but gone on to the next life.
Blessings my friend.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 06, 2016:
Shyron, thank you for your tireless support and for all that you do!
Shyron E Shenko on September 21, 2016:
Congratulations on your Hubbie award. You deserve many for your wonderful articles.
I hope all is well with you.
Blessings and Hugs
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 03, 2016:
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 from Texas on August 29, 2016:
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
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 11, 2015:
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 Woods from Houston, Texas on November 02, 2015:
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 ministries...giving 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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 15, 2015:
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 from Texas on September 14, 2015:
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
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 14, 2015:
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.
Deborah Carr from Orange County, California on June 11, 2015:
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!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 20, 2015:
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.
Ronnie wrenchBiscuit on April 19, 2015:
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 from Texas on December 04, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 04, 2014:
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!
Deborah Carr from Orange County, California on November 26, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 26, 2014:
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!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 23, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 22, 2014:
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 Woods from Houston, Texas on November 16, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 25, 2014:
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!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 24, 2014:
Peggy W, thank you for Google+ing and sharing this article!
Pamela Dapples from Arizona now on July 23, 2014:
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 Woods from Houston, Texas on July 22, 2014:
This is such an excellent hub! Sending this to G+ and once again sharing.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 21, 2014:
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?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 17, 2014:
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.
Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on July 16, 2014:
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 from Texas on July 16, 2014:
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
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 26, 2014:
Pharmc117, thank you for stopping by. Glad this article was helpful!
Pharmc117 on April 13, 2014:
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
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 29, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 25, 2014:
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?
Janis from California on March 24, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 24, 2014:
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 from UAE on March 21, 2014:
This makes sad reading, but its more accentuated in the third world and Africa
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on March 20, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 02, 2014:
Thank you Peggy W for pinning this article!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 29, 2014:
Pinning this again...this time to Awesome HubPages. Important topic!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 26, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 24, 2014:
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 on January 22, 2014:
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 from Orange County, California on January 22, 2014:
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!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 14, 2014:
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 on January 13, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 13, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 11, 2014:
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 on January 11, 2014:
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 from Texas on January 07, 2014:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 04, 2014:
Thank you Peggy W for Tweeting this article!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 01, 2014:
Will retweet this using my bookmarks section since I still do not see the share buttons here.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 06, 2013:
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 Woods from Houston, Texas on December 03, 2013:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 04, 2013:
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 from America on November 01, 2013:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 23, 2013:
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??
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 18, 2013:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 17, 2013:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 16, 2013:
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 from Texas on October 13, 2013:
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.
Robert Burroughs on October 12, 2013:
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.
Robert Burroughs on October 12, 2013:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 12, 2013:
Thank you moonlake, for returning and for sharing on Tumbir!
Writer Fox from the wadi near the little river on October 09, 2013:
A very thorough and thought-provoking article. Let me know if you decide to run for office. Voted up!
Jean Bakula from New Jersey on October 07, 2013:
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 from America on October 06, 2013:
Came back to read this hub again and share it on Tumblr.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 09, 2013:
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 from Orange County, California on September 09, 2013:
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!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 08, 2013:
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 from Texas on September 08, 2013:
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.
Deborah-Diane from Orange County, California on September 08, 2013:
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!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 07, 2013:
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!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 02, 2013:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 31, 2013:
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!
Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on August 30, 2013:
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!
Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on August 30, 2013:
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.
Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on August 28, 2013:
An exceptional hub!
This is powerful and informative, kudos for taking this initiative to raise awareness, poverty in the 21 century is an abomination.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 27, 2013:
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.
Chad Young from Corona, CA on August 24, 2013:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 22, 2013:
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 from Orange County, California on August 21, 2013:
This article is so shocking, and I am sharing it with my followers again. People need to know about this.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 16, 2013:
Thank you Peggy W for the congrats, and for sharing this article again! Oh, and I love your new picture!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 12, 2013:
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 from United States on August 10, 2013:
Well said, and so true!
This is one issue that man is neglecting and is still on the rise!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 10, 2013:
I see that this got a well deserved HOTD award. Congrats! Sharing this again!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 05, 2013:
Jainismus, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment, and for sharing this article with your followers!
Mahaveer Sanglikar from Pune, India on August 05, 2013:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 05, 2013:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 04, 2013:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 04, 2013:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 03, 2013:
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.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 02, 2013:
Thank you moonlake, for the congrats, the vote, and for sharing. Hope you're having a great summer!