The U.S. has more poverty than any other “advanced” democracy in the world, yet this place is billed to the world as a beacon of freedom and opportunity. While physical poverty here is less extreme than in developing nations, it is just as extreme and prevalent. Why is this?
America’s wealthy gain immense riches by exploiting the poor. But how could this be when the government spends billions on social programs? The problem is that these government programs are only a band-aid. Unfortunately, they don’t work to eliminate poverty.
For example, two of the biggest U.S. anti-poverty programs are the Earned Income Tax Credit and housing vouchers to subsidize rent. Both have been widely denied to Black Americans because most families who benefit from this are six-figure white families.
401(k) savings exploit even more money from low-income workers, inflation is on the rise, and the cost of living is skyrocketing. It is not our fault that American capitalism functions this way.
The economy is built on a system of exploitation. The only hope for liberation is for us to imagine and work toward a future where our survival depends on our community, not profit.