Summary of “The U.S. Can No Longer Hide From Its Deep Poverty Problem”

Even in the United States, it is no accident that there are more homeless people sleeping on the streets in Los Angeles, with its warmer climate, than in New York.The Oxford economist Robert Allen recently estimated needs-based absolute poverty lines for rich countries that are designed to match more accurately the $1.90 line for poor countries, and $4 a day is around the middle of his estimates.
When we compare absolute poverty in the United States with absolute poverty in India, or other poor countries, we should be using $4 in the United States and $1.90 in India.
Once we do this, there are 5.3 million Americans who are absolutely poor by global standards.
Pakistan has twice as many poor people as the United States, and Ethiopia about four times as many.
All these essentials of health are more likely to be lacking for poorer Americans.
In my own giving, I have prioritized the faraway poor over the poor at home.
There are millions of Americans whose suffering, through material poverty and poor health, is as bad or worse than that of the people in Africa or in Asia.Practical considerations reinforce the argument for recognizing America’s poor in the global context.
The United States is committed to eliminating $1.90-a-day poverty in the world, a target that is not contingent on poverty at home.

The orginal article.