Last month, the United Nations released a report about poverty in America. A single researcher spent two weeks in our country, visiting four states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. His report was harshly critical, condemning America for “punish[ing] those who are not in employment,” among other farcical notions.
Everyone knows there is poverty in America. …
… But as the United States ambassador to the United Nations, my job is to help protect American interests and tax dollars at the U.N. It is patently ridiculous for the U.N. to spend its scarce resources — more of which come from the United States than from any other country — studying poverty in the wealthiest country in the world, a country where the vast majority is not in poverty, and where public and private-sector social safety nets are firmly in place to help those who are.
Instead, the U.N. might have studied poverty in the Congo, where 60 percent of the entire population lacks the basics of food and electricity. Or Burundi, where the typical annual income is $280. Or Venezuela, where narco-state dictators have driven a once prosperous country into the ground with an inflation rate over 25,000 percent, and where diseases that were once thought eliminated are now reappearing.
When there are many dozens of countries where poverty consumes most of the population, and where corrupt governments deliberately make the problem much worse, why would the U.N. study poverty in America? The answer is politics.