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United States

Is poverty in America a serious problem? According to U.S. census figures, over 46 million Americans, including 16 million children (representing over one-fifth of the nation’s young people), lived in poverty in 2012. Income inequality is also at historically high levels. Those at the pinnacle of the economic ladder (commonly referred to as the 1 percent) have seen salaries and wages increase 150 percent in the past three decades, whereas the incomes of Americans in the bottom 90 percent have only seen a 15 percent increase in this time period. For some, poverty and inequality are linked and serious. For others, attempts to reduce poverty (e.g., welfare) are worse than the situations that those solutions sought to remedy. Even after the last decade, poverty is ...

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