Whatever you think poverty today looks like… …it probably doesn’t look much like this In one of the most affluent counties in America… …people are queuing for handouts… …of diapers We’ve had clients come to us that have said… …I’ve rinsed out a diaper and I’ve re-used it… …I’ve turned a diaper inside out and I’ve re-used it Sometimes I’ve left my child in a diaper for far longer than I should have There is no government support in America to help pay for diapers And many poor families struggle to afford them America is the richest big country in the world Its unemployment rate couldn’t be much lower So why does it have so many people living in poverty? In America almost 40m people are living in poverty That’s nearly one-eighth of the population living… …on less than $26,000 a year for a family of four Here’s the thing though… …poverty in absolute terms has actually decreased in recent years But the nature of poverty is changing… …and that change is making it much harder to fight Poverty used to be more of an inner-city phenomenon But as housing costs rocketed, poverty exploded in the suburbs Now there are 3m more poor people in suburbs than cities Yet suburban counties spend one-tenth as much… …to support poor residents as urban counties Which is why some residents of Lake County, Illinois… …depend on charity handouts for diapers Our schedule for the rest of the year So you can come twice a month, just not twice in the same week Ann Marie Mathis is a local mum She set up the charity nine years ago in her basement Initially she distributed second-hand children’s clothes to poor families But soon she found there was an overwhelming need for diapers Diapers costs $70-80 a month per child So that’s an expense that many, many families struggle to afford People are faced with you know not only diaper need… …but by hunger, homelessness It’s very prevalent even here in what’s considered a wealthier community Xavier has been using the diaper pantry for the last few months For her it’s a lifeline Our budget goes on rent and food… …anything that’s not covered by health insurance Let me take this shirt off, you’ve got another one on Clothing is a big thing for five kids There’s a programme, they help out a lot with healthy food And you can get some vouchers with beans, cheese, milk I cook a lot of spaghetti because it usually lasts longer Poverty in America is becoming more concentrated We know that the effect of being poor and living in a poor neighbourhood… …is much worse than being poor and living in an integrated neighbourhood Especially for children, in terms of the kind of school that they go to… …or their exposure to crime And it’s children who are affected the most One child in every six in America is poor I see other families and they’re out enjoying this and they’re at the mall… …or they’re at these events My kids ask and I had to keep saying I can’t, we can’t How did it come to this? To understand we need to go back to the 1960s President Lyndon B. Johnson went on a poverty tour of America And he was so shocked by what he saw he launched an ambitious plan And this administration today, here and now… …declares unconditional war on poverty in America That war involved an array of programmes… …designed to create a safety net… …many of which still exist in some form today These included expanding both the cash benefit for the elderly… …called Social Security, as well as food stamps… …which help poor families buy food And largely they were successful If we look at the data—without the safety-net programmes… …roughly the same number of Americans would be as poor today… …as they were in the 1960s But if you include the effect of the safety-net programmes… …that number comes right down Elder poverty in the 1950s was a huge problem… …but along the way Social Security hugely reduced… …the amount of poverty among the elderly Sounds good, but not if you compare America’s efforts… …with other wealthier countries Before the benefit of safety nets is applied… …America’s poverty rate is comparatively low But with it included, it’s one of the worst performing… …only slightly above Costa Rica In part, that’s because America’s safety-net programmes… …have tended to benefit the elderly more than other groups… …like working-age adults and children Those programmes are not doing as much as they might… …in a country like Finland, for example Finland has a child-poverty rate before taxes and transfers… …that are on par with America And after its safety net kicks in you cut that down to about 3% In America you don’t do that at all Child poverty in America is remarkably high… …for an advanced, developed democracy You have to ask yourself what is the future of a society… …that doesn’t invest in its children? The problem is food stamps, for example… …can only be spent on specific things… …which doesn’t always include the most obvious items Unlike Social Security for the elderly… …whose recipients are handed cash to do as they please It’s lunchtime and back at the pantry it’s been a very busy day We’ve given out 5,925 diapers so far… …with an hour and a half left to go Since Ann Marie started the charity… …she says they’ve given out 1.2m diapers And every week more and more families are registering The safety-net programmes that exist in the United States in general… …do not cover diapers and that’s a common misconception in the community The problem is safety-net programmes are targeted… …so that many people don’t qualify They are restrictive. There are behavioural conditions… …increasingly attached to them… …and all of this can lead to a bureaucratic nightmare of red tape… …from which it’s almost impossible to escape In America there’s an ongoing debate about whether… …giving poor people cash leads to dependency Yet the evidence from other countries… …shows that cash benefits can really help dent poverty Since Canada implemented a child benefit of a few hundred dollars a month… …they have seen their child-poverty numbers decline by about a third It’s reasonable to expect that a programme of similar magnitude in America… …would also generate the exact same effect One candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination… …has even made this a central part of his campaign I’m Michael Bennet from Colorado… Colorado senator, Michael Bennet, has proposed monthly cash transfers… …of $300 for each American child… …as part of wider proposals to help poor people School kids all over this country, they’re living at a time… …when we have got the worst income inequality that we’ve had in 100 years You’ve probably never heard of him… …which tells you a lot about America’s political appetite for reducing poverty Poor people are much less likely to vote… …so their issues are rarely vote-winners If you’re working two jobs… …and trying to make sure your kids are walking safely to school… …in a gang-infested neighbourhood… …are you going to the block party for your member of Congress… …and making a campaign donation so that he or she will listen to you? The pantry’s closing for the day For the families who use it, poverty does not need to be inevitable There is a way out. Other countries around the world have done it It’s really possible Presuming you’re a wealthy country with the resources… …and you have a reasonably strong economy The choice is a political one I know that there’s something better coming… …and then we’ll look back on it like we got through it We’re strong. We’re going to be stronger because of it I’m Anna, the director of this film If you’d like to see more of the journey that brought us to the diaper journey… …you can watch the story behind American poverty… …by clicking on the link opposite The other link will take you to some of the resources that we used… …when we were researching this film… …including other exclusive material Don’t forget to subscribe so you can see all our latest releases… …and if you hit the bell button it will notify you whenever we post a new film Thanks for watching

Why is there still poverty in America? | The Economist
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100 thoughts on “Why is there still poverty in America? | The Economist

  • October 1, 2019 at 6:01 pm
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    On Friday at 1:00pm GMT we are hosting a live Q&A about the politics of poverty in America. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor will be joining us to answer your questions. What would you like to know? Comment below.

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  • October 1, 2019 at 9:17 pm
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    It always angers me when people who know they are poor STILL have kids. If you can barely afford to feed and clothe yourself, why are you going to bring a child into that kind of miserable situation. I always sympathize with the children that have to grow up in these situations. The one woman said she has 5 kids, 5! You would have so much extra income at the end of the month if you didn't have 5 kids. Stop breeding.

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  • October 1, 2019 at 9:32 pm
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    I don't think it's the government's job to provide its citizens with a financial safety net. I know it is a good thing to have but I feel the government is not the right entity to do the job. I feel if we as a country found a way to replace the government's financial safety nets then we would all be better off.

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  • October 1, 2019 at 9:39 pm
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    Ever hear of Andrew Yang?

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  • October 1, 2019 at 9:45 pm
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    cloth diapers. And dont get 5 kids.

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  • October 1, 2019 at 9:49 pm
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    News flash people who make poor decisions in life have a hard time. More at 11.

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  • October 1, 2019 at 9:59 pm
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    Simple answer is Capitalism. Those who are lucky, and hard working will find a way to make money. Those who aren’t, work for someone else’s dream to be fulfilled.

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  • October 1, 2019 at 9:59 pm
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    reproduction is not a right. it should clearly be a privilege earned.

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  • October 1, 2019 at 9:59 pm
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    “If you give people money, they won’t be in poverty, so problem solved”

    It’s like 3rd grade level thinking

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  • October 1, 2019 at 9:59 pm
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    There are reusable diapers, just saying

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  • October 1, 2019 at 10:00 pm
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    Why not even mention Andrew Yang's, Milton Friedman-inspired, Freedom Dividend?

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  • October 1, 2019 at 10:02 pm
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    Don’t have so many kids if you can’t afford them

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  • October 1, 2019 at 10:05 pm
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    Reusable cloth nappies!!!!! Whattt

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  • October 1, 2019 at 10:08 pm
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    Actually you ought to be asking WHY all these non-profit organizations that are a front for our corrupt government officials and their corrupt multi-millionaire and billionaire elitist friends who use these nonprofit organizations as fronts for their crime syndicated plots…poverty will never end and is only ecellerating ar a faster rate.

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  • October 1, 2019 at 10:18 pm
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    First World Problems in terms of poverty is the lack of reusable diapers 🤔? The country that contributes the most single use items per bulk in the world is plagued by poverty 🤔…..didn't see this coming 🙄🤭😖🤨😑

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  • October 1, 2019 at 10:19 pm
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    Because people can afford $1000 smartphones and $75000 autos. But, can't afford necessities. Image is everything in America.

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  • October 1, 2019 at 10:20 pm
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    If you can't afford diapers, you shouldn't be breeding.

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  • October 1, 2019 at 10:21 pm
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    I've heard people having to wash diapers.. damn what a terrible time we live in. The nature of poverty is changing, because we're getting far too comfortable with modern rich luxuries.

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  • October 1, 2019 at 10:26 pm
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    The video was a huge letdown! The failed to talk about income inequality and how it contributes to the poor getting poorer and they didn’t mention that many poor Americans receiving welfare aren’t financially literate so they need to be equipped with good spending tools to spend a handout correctly

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  • October 1, 2019 at 10:32 pm
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    That is a lie… 4m living in destitution. Sorry but that is cock and bull

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  • October 1, 2019 at 10:37 pm
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    BTW Michael Bennett is who you bring up instead of Andrew Yang’s proposal of giving every US citizen their dividend of $1000 dollars a month for being a citizen of the richest country in the history of mankind, & Andrew Yang is #4 nationally and rapidly growing….you guys need to do a better job with your investigative journalism 😅🇺🇸❤️

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  • October 1, 2019 at 10:38 pm
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    Simple. Work doesn't pay in the US. The hardest working people are paid the least.

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  • October 1, 2019 at 11:03 pm
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    this is easy to solve. STOP HAVING KIDS OUTSIDE OF WEDLOCK. cigarettes, booze and eating out is a luxury, not a necessity. get a job, save your money, plan, get married, save again, plan and then have children. common sense is needed

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  • October 1, 2019 at 11:06 pm
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    Get the hell out of america if you can. It’s a third world country

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  • October 1, 2019 at 11:16 pm
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    Why? Why don't you ask corporate America!!!! Every year it raises prices higher and higher for profit!!!! A good part of Ametican CANT KEEP UP WITH IT! Corporate greed is the cause of it!

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  • October 1, 2019 at 11:23 pm
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    poor people just love having kids. so selfish to have something to love without considering the sadness that child will have to face growing up poor.

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  • October 1, 2019 at 11:27 pm
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    The worst income inequality in a hundred years that sounds like BS.

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  • October 1, 2019 at 11:32 pm
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    First off the average person that's on food stamps and has children also receives cash benefits on their food stamp EBT card.

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  • October 1, 2019 at 11:34 pm
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    I don’t get the question since US is not a developed country anymore.

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  • October 1, 2019 at 11:39 pm
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    In Austria most people use rewashable diapers. They was significantly less in the long run and you can pass them to other friends who have babies. We bought ours used and got some from friends. we used them for 2 years and the cost was the same as buying diapers for 2 months. Not to mention how much better it is for the environment.

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  • October 1, 2019 at 11:57 pm
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    Why is there still poverty in America? Because some people make poor choices continuously.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 12:03 am
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    Why the fuck you talk about No-Name Michael Bennet, and Skip #YangGang?

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  • October 2, 2019 at 12:04 am
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    I get struggling with finances, etc, and that children are sometimes accidents. But I am willing to bet that plenty if these children were planned, which brings up the question of "why did you have a child if you are unable to afford a child?" Yes it is a human imperative to reproduce. But wanting things we can't have is nothing new, and children and pets are a major responsibility that should only be taken on when you are at least at a semblance of readiness.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 12:18 am
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    3,000 years of world history …is the evidence
    Rich Mafia …is a machiavellian parasite …to Humanity

    Epipen in America is $600 – Same Epipen in Canada is only $100
    $ 20 Trillion of America's Debt …is money stolen by the Rich Mafia

    There are over
    1,000 other examples
    Demonstrating beyond all doubt

    Poverty is engineered by the idiotic psychotic Rich Mafia

    3,000 years of World History is Evidence

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  • October 2, 2019 at 12:19 am
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    Why would you choose to use Michael Bennet's proposal as an example of a cash give away program instead of referencing Andrew Yang, who is polling nationally, and his UBI proposal, as well as leaving out any discussion of Sanders's and Warren's proposals in comparison with Canada's or a European country's current systems (like universal healthcare)? What might be the effects of their policies on poverty and middle class affluence?

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  • October 2, 2019 at 12:29 am
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    Why does that lady have 5 kids if she can't afford it.

    A significant portion of the poor people that I know. Need to put down there iPhones and need to learn money management

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  • October 2, 2019 at 12:31 am
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    Where is that lady's husband??

    Where's is the feminists that helped push this

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  • October 2, 2019 at 12:35 am
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    Democrats incentivize single motherhood. Democrats also incentivize unemployment. Why work when you can collect a check from the government? Most of the poverty in the U.S. comes from unstable families though. The Democrat ran education system is also terrible. Entrepreneurs are demonized and taxation is glorified. Wealthy people aren't deemed people to aspire to be, but rather people to be hated. Socialism is already here in this dying whale of a country. Listen to its cries.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 12:42 am
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    Sharing, Justice and Peace for All.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 1:06 am
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    Yes there is a program, it's called WIC it is a social subsidy for Women Infants and Children. This video is an inaccurate and misleading information on the US safety nets. You get massive discounts for baby products and even food through WIC.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 1:11 am
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    Maybe because the high paying blue collar jobs were shipped over seas and to Mexico on the myth of free trade that the economist agrees with.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 1:12 am
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    In some places of India, we don't even have bathrooms.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 1:16 am
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    And America spent trillions of dollars in wars.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 1:18 am
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    So, if I understood correctly, the only underlying reason and fix for poverty is governmental social programs. That seems overly simplistic, there must be other factors. Education? Red-tape barriers to entrepreneurship? Crime? Two parent vs single parent households?
    I would imagine that if one had a better understanding of underlying barriers to exiting poverty, there could be more intelligent programs to help those in need.
    Can we compare the US to small homogeneous countries like Finland? If we do, should we look at their tax rate? Why is populism rising and a move away from some of these social programs happening in Finland?
    This video did address a lack of resources for American youth, I applaud that focus, just the lack of investigate journalism and reporting based on the title.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 1:30 am
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    Michael Bennett? Wtf…

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  • October 2, 2019 at 1:30 am
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    Lmfao😂 NO ONE in the history of babies, has EVER turned a diaper inside out & reused it- _NEVER_. And rinsing 1 would make it explode. If they rinsed it, it was meant to be rinsed, cuz its reusable (what they should b using anyway).
    Lady: clients have said they reused it
    Me: and u believed them? 😏

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  • October 2, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    Just a thought: when I was a child, and all my siblings were children, My parents washed every diaper we used. Always. There were no throw-aways. Not to denigrate the message here, but something to think about what has changed in our society. HOW money moved into the hands of the few. HOW the wealth divide became. jmho.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 2:06 am
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    Cloth diapers,diaper pins should be given. Then the mothers have what they need to care for their babies. Women who decide to have one baby after another should think of their salaries. Cloth diapers are better for the environment.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 2:09 am
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    Poverty in America is afflicting the unimaginative – clearly they need assistance.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 2:12 am
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    Who can send Quaneesha to the mall?!

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  • October 2, 2019 at 2:12 am
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    A house, food, car, school and clothes? That's upper middle class here in the Philippines!

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  • October 2, 2019 at 2:15 am
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    The landfill is empty – "we have to give out more diapers!"

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  • October 2, 2019 at 2:24 am
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    "Diapers for all!" ~ Michael Bennet

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  • October 2, 2019 at 2:35 am
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    You are dumb and that's why you have 6 children who live in poverty.. poor Children

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  • October 2, 2019 at 2:42 am
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    As an immigrant, never understand that a lot of ppl suffering hunger or dipper, property , but on the other hand , company are dying to seek for employees… Ironically: I make some money with poor English …..

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  • October 2, 2019 at 2:47 am
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    Poverty is one of America's largest imports.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 3:05 am
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    So glad I haven't made the mistake of having children…

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  • October 2, 2019 at 3:08 am
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    Notice the one lady had 5 kids? Give out free birth control.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 3:11 am
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    First world problems! I was actually expecting to see real poverty in America. For starters you should have defined poverty like not being able to afford health care, education or lacking something like tappe water. You just talked about income and those people are not lacking for income, they just want luxuries. Maybe they are victim of economic inequality, but not for poverty. When my mom had me she had to walk a lot to buy food, carrying me with her, she was seize 0, because she didn’t want to eat too much just for later, and she wasn’t a single mother she was married with my dad a surgeon. And that is not even considered poverty in my country.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 3:12 am
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    ANDREW YANG!

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  • October 2, 2019 at 3:13 am
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    if it's a "wealthier" community then why do these people need diaper handouts? And additionally if they can't afford diapers why the heck are they having children?

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  • October 2, 2019 at 3:17 am
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    Yes. Eradication poverty depends on the political will, the world over.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 3:24 am
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    there were no diapers when i was born, why are they necessary today? it is a convenience, not a necessity

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  • October 2, 2019 at 3:34 am
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    why have kids if you cannot provide for them?

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  • October 2, 2019 at 3:35 am
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    Omg those poor people in us probably is rich in China lol

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  • October 2, 2019 at 3:40 am
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    I thought they were gonna say andrew yang too LOOOL i'm like WHO?

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  • October 2, 2019 at 3:42 am
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    Who gives a fuck about other people's kids? Its a zero sum game. Your kids loss is my kids gain. Why else do you think schools give out grades?

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  • October 2, 2019 at 3:50 am
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    because people who can’t afford to have kids do

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  • October 2, 2019 at 4:04 am
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    There is no poverty in the US. Everyone who will minimally cooperate with social services and spend the money given them by welfare agencies, will have enough to survive and more.

    The poorest in the US have phones. If they live in a tent they are still living better than moderately wealthy people 200 years ago. Humans evolved to live without electricity and plumbing and the internal combustion engine. What we call "poor" today are miraculously wealthy for people who lived 100 years ago.

    Modern medicine and transportation makes everyone able to get great medical care. Even the poorest are no longer dying of tuberculosis, small pox, rabies and other terrible diseases. A homeless woman can get treatment and go back to her tent and then go back to the hospital to deliver the next day. She won't die in childbirth. It's practically a miracle. Everyone lived in practically a tent with no electric and plumbing for the majority of human existence.

    Cut off all welfare and social security and let the few idiots die and the rest will find ways to survive and pay for themselves. They'll reconcile with families and the very few who are just insane can live in institutions.

    There is no poverty in America. There are many people who feel entitled to take from the producers and give to the useless.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 4:06 am
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    All Countries in the world has poverty it cannot eradicate but it can Lessen

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  • October 2, 2019 at 4:14 am
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    If you can't afford a kid then don't have sex. Or at least use protection. I see too many single mothers in this video. Where are the fathers?

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  • October 2, 2019 at 4:22 am
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    ive been asking this all of my life, thank you!

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  • October 2, 2019 at 4:23 am
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    They should be giving out reusable cloth diapers to those poor moms.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 4:27 am
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    People that have financial issues should not have 5 kids.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 4:46 am
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    we 're poor and obese

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  • October 2, 2019 at 4:50 am
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    Money from taxpayers go to war for oil.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 4:52 am
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    Lowest unemployment in history. Almost 20% of children living below the poverty line. And your solution is to improve social security? These parents work! How about ensuring they get living wages? How about zero tax for the low income families? How about setting minimum wages on federal level so that a retail employee could support a family like they could in the 50's or 60's?

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  • October 2, 2019 at 4:55 am
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    If this is poverty then our country is poor as shit.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 4:58 am
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    "For revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival."
    – Frederick Douglass, July 4, 1852
    This was true back in 1852 and remains true to this day.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 4:59 am
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    In what affluent county was this filmed?

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  • October 2, 2019 at 5:13 am
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    Interesting how poverty is defined. In the U.S., it's under 26,000 a year, which is about $71 a day. In China, it's $10 a day. It's important to look at perspectives.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 5:25 am
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    I'll never get why people have babies they cant afford!? They should be handing out the pill instead!

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  • October 2, 2019 at 6:00 am
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    this is the capitalism that so much the 1 percent of the rich population Christan says defends

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  • October 2, 2019 at 6:18 am
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    6 Reasons Why Cloth Diapers Are Better Than Disposables https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YxIvhjkC7g

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  • October 2, 2019 at 6:44 am
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    How on earth do you keep having children when you can't afford to feed and clothe the children you already have? Heard of family planning?

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  • October 2, 2019 at 6:48 am
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    Eye opening video

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  • October 2, 2019 at 6:52 am
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    Notice how they have more than 1 child under 5 yr old? Dont pop out kids like a cat if you cant afford diapers. Many excuses not to work more, use cloth diaper or save money better but no effort to control baby factory.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 6:54 am
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    The elderly are the ones in america that reliably vote. Thats the real reason why programs are geared towards the elderly.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 7:05 am
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    #YangGang Andrew yang will solve this problem

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  • October 2, 2019 at 7:35 am
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    Widening Income and Wealth Inequality aswell as rising living costs and falling real wages

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  • October 2, 2019 at 7:36 am
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    "Poverty" in a first world country is not comparable to poverty elsewhere in the world.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 7:43 am
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    this is not poverty !

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  • October 2, 2019 at 8:10 am
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    Why have 5 kids if you’re struggling to make ends meet

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  • October 2, 2019 at 8:22 am
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    US is a bankrupt country. USD 700 billions spend on military budget every year.
    $5.9 trillions of dollars spend in Iraqi, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan since 2001.

    this month it will be 18 years of war in Afghanistan. They should just stop all the stupid wars.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 8:33 am
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    doesnt diapers have plastic in them and spreads micro plastics into the environement? why not use cloth diapers which can be reused instead of feeding a capitalist diaper company who designs products for one time use only ? most importantly why have more then one kid if you cant afford to have them schooled and fed and properly maintained? it seems like most of them have poverty summoned by their lack of family planning more then an issue about child care costs

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  • October 2, 2019 at 8:34 am
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    Why have kids you can’t afford? Your selfish for bringing children into poverty!

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  • October 2, 2019 at 8:35 am
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    Our country is not so much a country as it is a 'country club' it’s very much a members-only affair. Our duty, as Americans,  is to serve our oligarchy for as long as we can remain useful to them. After that we are free to blow our brains out or  die on the streets as homeless bums.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 8:36 am
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    people who can't even afford diapers are having kids they can't afford. that's why there is still poverty in america

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  • October 2, 2019 at 8:44 am
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    Why is there still poverty in America?
    This Documentary is not answering the Question.
    Talk about inequality. Talk about who's getting rich by raising prices and stagnating wages. Talk about tax evasion.

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  • October 2, 2019 at 8:46 am
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    If you're poor, don't have kids. Pretty simple. And don't have 5 of them like the lady in this video

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