At Oxfam “we believe poverty is about power, not scarcity,” says Raymond C. Offenheiser, Oxfam America’s president. “America has long presented itself to the world as the model of successful, inclusive growth. ...While that was true during the decades after World War II, it is simply no longer the case. It’s time to tackle this injustice head on.”
America’s poverty rate is now at its highest level in two generations:
- Fifty million Americans live on incomes below the federal poverty level (i.e., $11,722 for an individual and $23,497 for a family of four)
- Children bear a huge burden, with more than 16 million of them in poverty.
“Poverty and inequality, and the social exclusion they breed, are wrongs to be righted, whether they occur in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, or the United States,” continued Offenheiser. “We need a lively national conversation about how we can right this wrong here at home.”
Voices on US Poverty: Right the Wrong is an initiative to spur discussion about domestic poverty issues. It begins with a series of essays by advocates, economists, journalists, military and faith leaders—all of whom are eager to bring issues of economic and social justice into the national debate.