Fareed Zakaria to Romney, ‘You need to worry about the very poor.’ (with video)
Zakaria: Mitt, you need to worry about the very poor
Remember Mitt Romney’s infamous “poor” comment? If not, here it is again:
“I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich; they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90-95% of Americans who right now are struggling.”
Well, it got me thinking: Romney was actually being honest about Americans in general. We don’t - none of us - spend much time thinking about the very poor.
But we should, because we have a real problem in this area, an economic, political and moral problem.
By Romney’s calculations, if 95% of Americans fall in the middle class, then there must be less than 5% of Americans who qualify as poor.
The number from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the association of the world’s developed economies, is actually 17.3%.
And how do we compare with other rich countries?
We rank 31st of the 34 countries that make up the OECD in terms of the percentage of our population that qualifies as poor. Of the 34 member states, only Mexico, Chile and Israel are worse off than we are. The UK (at 11%), Germany (8.9%) and France (7.2%) are all much lower. The OECD average is 11%.
(Photo from Fareed Zakaria’s Twitter Feed twitpic.com)
Read more of this excellent article with video.