poverty

This fall world leaders plan to convene at the United Nations to commit to some sweeping goals: By 2030 they want to eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere. Also on the agenda: End hunger, stop all preventable deaths of newborns and children, and halt epidemics of diseases such as AIDS and malaria.

In 2000 the world's leaders agreed on an ambitious plan to drastically reduce global poverty by 2015. Called the Millennium Development Goals, the targets spurred an unprecedented aid effort that brought lifesaving medicines and vaccines to millions of people and helped slash the share of people in the developing world who live in extreme poverty from 47 percent in 1990 to 14 percent today.

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A government program called Lifeline subsidizes basic phone service for low-income people. Now, the head of the Federal Communications Commission also wants to use the program to pay for broadband Internet connections, which many poor people lack.

When it comes to the Internet, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says there are the haves and the have nots. Ninety-five percent of households with incomes over $150,000 a year have broadband access, he says. But just 48 percent of households making under $25,000 do.

Americans spent $70 billion on the lottery in 2014, according to the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, which looked at spending in the 43 states where lotteries are legal.

The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson calculates that’s more than $230 for every man, woman and child in states where the lottery is legal – more than Americans in all 50 states spent on sports tickets, books, video games, movie tickets and recorded music sales.

Dealing with Poverty

Apr 21, 2015

The idea of poverty strikes fear in many Americans who often ridicule and criticize those struggling to survive.

In this week’s Jen-X, Jennifer Lindsey McClintock looks at how we treat the poor and downtrodden.


On a night last week when the temperature dropped to 17 degrees, Edward Brown, who's 62 and homeless, slept at the bus stop in front of the Jennings, Mo., city hall in St. Louis County.

"It was cold, very cold," he says. "It's so cold I can't really move so I kept playing with my feet — rubbing 'em, twisting 'em, trying to keep warm."

Brown's troubles started when he tried to fight the city of Jennings, and his story shows how court fines and fees can grow, turning an impoverished person's life upside down.

A new report on early childhood development estimates that nearly a quarter of a million children in Oklahoma were living in poverty in 2012.

The report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation also found that about one-third of the state's kids were living with parents who didn't have steady employment.

Five areas across the country have been designated as "Promise Zones" by the federal government. These zones, announced by President Obama in January, are intended to tackle poverty by focusing on individual urban neighborhoods and rural areas.

In the five Promise Zones — located in Philadelphia, San Antonio, southeastern Kentucky, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and Los Angeles — the idea is to basically carpet-bomb the neighborhoods with programs like after-school classes, GED courses and job training to turn those areas around.

What Happens In The Zone?

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