Back in December, I took note of a new Report out from the UN -- apparently it was just a draft -- supposedly addressing "extreme poverty" in the United States. The Report was the work of a British guy named Philip Alston, designated the UN's "Special Rapporteur," who had just conducted a two-week "visit" to the U.S. during December 2017, and had supposedly in that brief time discovered to his horror the existence of pervasive "extreme poverty." In my post, I stated that the Report was characterized by an extraordinary level of both "malice and ignorance," giving multiple examples of same.
Well, come June 1 the UN -- in particular, the so-called "Human Rights Commission," naturally -- decided to issue a somewhat modified version of this thing in final form, under the title "Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights on his mission to the United States of America." Believe me, despite some revisions, the Report has gotten no better. It is either completely uninformed and ignorant on the status of physical-deprivation poverty and redistribution programs in the U.S., or intentionally fraudulent as to same. I would go with the latter, but you be the judge.
More significantly, the Report was promptly seized upon by a group of some twenty Senators and Congresspersons of the Democratic Party -- led of course by none other than Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren -- who sent a letter on June 12 to UN Ambassador Nikki Haley expressing "deep concern" about the "findings" in the Report. The problem for Sanders, Warren, et al., is that, unlike Alston, they are not able to fall back on possibly being uninformed or ignorant on the U.S. poverty statistics or on the extent of redistribution and anti-poverty programs already in existence. With one-hundred-percent certainty, they know that Alston's Report is so much hooey. Therefore, their reliance on it is fraud, pure and simple.
Alston's technique is basic bait-and-switch. First, he titles his Report to latch onto the UN's concept of "extreme poverty" -- a concept officially defined as living on less than $1.90 a day, or about $700 per year. Next, he notes that the U.S. "official" poverty rate is 12.7% (or about 41 million people). And then Alston immediately starts talking about those 41 million people using the UN's term of "extreme poverty," without noting that the definitions are completely different. (The U.S. "official" poverty rate definition is about $7000 per person, or about 10 times the UN standard, and counts only "cash income," thereby omitting the effect of nearly all the U.S. anti-poverty and redistribution programs.) Most significantly, Alston then dismisses the approximately $1.2 trillion per year in annual anti-poverty and redistribution programs in the U.S. as merely "the meagre welfare arrangements that currently exist," never quantifying or even mentioning that these redistributions come to some $30,000 per year per person for every single person said to be "in poverty" by the U.S. official measure.
In other words, Alston did not "find," or even pretend to find, some pervasive "extreme poverty" in the United States that somehow everyone else had previously missed. Instead, all he did was to cite the well-known U.S. official poverty definition, deceptively throw around the phrase "extreme poverty" in connection with it, and shout "THE HORROR!!!" You would think that nobody could possibly be fooled by this.
There is no possibility that Sanders, Warren, et al., were actually fooled. However, they are certainly hoping that you will be. Here are a few choice lines from their letter:
We write to express our deep concern regarding the findings included in the United Nations [R]eport by the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights released on June 1, 2018. Specifically, the [R]eport notes, "in a rich country like the United States, the persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power." . . . We believe the massive levels of deprivation outlined in the [R]eport -- as well as the immense suffering this deprivation causes -- are an affront to any notion of the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Given the breadth of poverty outlined in the [R]eport, these rights are simply illusory for millions in this country.
Well, here is the unavoidable issue for Sanders, Warren, et al.: You people are in the Congress, in the case of many of you for decades. You have created the anti-poverty programs of the U.S., and have defined what programs will be funded and the levels of funding. You have provided as funding for these programs amounts on a per capita basis on the order of 30 times the international definition of "extreme poverty" for each and every person said to be "in poverty" by the U.S. official definition. How is it possible that you could spend 30 times the level of "extreme poverty" without having eliminated it? At this point, it's just not possible to try to blame someone else. The responsibility is yours.
Of course, the fact is that they have no interest in actually eliminating poverty in the U.S. They need the persistence of poverty in order to maintain their positions and continue to demand more funding and more programs, none of which will ever be admitted to work. That's how the game is played. A complete fraud.