Clip of the Month: Extreme Poverty and the U.S. Government, with the UN’s Philip Alston

“Ethical Markets is grateful to the UN’s Philip Alston and the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International affairs for exposing these shocking poverty conditions here in the USA. We find that in most cases and in many countries, such conditions are caused by perverse government policies, such as the recent tax cuts for upper echelons in the USA while cutting safety nets for the most vulnerable.     ~Hazel Henderson, Editor”

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Clip of the Month:
Extreme Poverty and the U.S. Government, with the UN’s Philip Alston

 

NYU Law Professor Philip Alston is the special rapporteur for extreme poverty and human rights for the United Nations. Recently, he spent two weeks traveling across the U.S. to investigate poverty and discovered appalling conditions, from homelessness in California’s richest cities to open sewage in rural Alabama backyards.

In this clip, he talks about his visit to a San Francisco church that provides a haven for the homeless—one of only two churches in the area to do so—and goes on to discuss the role of government. Today’s policies are the reverse of the New Deal, he says, which assumed that government had a responsibility to look after those at the bottom as well as those at the top. “The problem is that the United States has now become actually the least mobile socially of all of the rich countries,” says Alston.

For the full transcript and audio and more video clips, go to Extreme Poverty in the United States, with the UN’s Philip Alston.

Stephanie Sy and Philip Alston. CREDIT: Amanda Ghanooni