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Child Poverty in America Ranked 2nd Highest in Industrialized Nations

child poverty


In today’s blog, Julian Omidi discusses the current epidemic of Child Poverty in the US.

America 2nd Highest Child Poverty Rate in Industrialized World

The U.S. Census reported last month that 1 in 5 children are on food stamps. That means, a total of about 15 million U.S. children are living below the poverty level. That’s only a total of $24,000 in annual income for a family of four. This highlights the sad fact that the U.S. is ranked second for having the highest level of child poverty in the 35 industrialized nations. The question is, are we making progress?

Before the housing crash of 2007, a total of 1 in 8 children were receiving food stamps. So, it would appear we have made progress seeing how those numbers are down. However, in 2014 a total of sixteen million children received food-assistance program benefits compared to only nine millions in 2007. What is the impact of these startling statistics?

Impact of Child Poverty in the U.S.

What is so alarming about these statistics, is that the top 1% of American income earners are on track to own most of the world’s wealth by 2016. Yet, we only out rank Romania when it comes to child poverty? Let’s examine the implication of child poverty has for the future of our country.

The implications associated with child poverty cost a total of 3.8% of the GDP. That is roughly a half a trillion dollars a year. This is because of lost productivity, as well as health and crime costs.

Since 2007, the rate of children living with married parents who receive food stamps has doubled! This clearly shows that the problem, if not addressed, will only substantially get worse. We must do something.

Relieving Child Poverty as a Country

We can no longer turn a blind eye to this topic. The astronomical income gap is making it too apparent that some families are disadvantaged, and their children will need help. If you look towards our capital, there are huge debates on the solution. Both sides want the solution, but are unable to work together on the solution. We must advocate for these little ones in hunger. They, after all, are our nation’s future. If we do not find a way to alleviate these statistics, more children will grow up disenfranchised. That will lead to more cost to the government in the future due to likely costs from crime and poverty relief.

If we can learn to work together, we could be on our way to healing our nation as a whole. Individually, we all can make a difference by working with various charitable organizations that help feed hungry children, whether you donate your time or volunteer. You can also get involved in the political process, by writing you representatives and asking them to take action. There is no reason that a nation as great as America should be ranked second in child poverty.

Be good to each other,

Julian Omidi

(Julian Omidi, along with his brother, Dr. Michael Omidi, and mother, Cindy Omidi, are philanthropists who founded various charitable organizations including No More Poverty.)


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Poverty Rates in United States Rising in Suburbs

Julian Omidi examines the rising poverty level in the United States, which was recently brought to the nation’s attention by the Brookings Institute.

Did you know that poverty in the United States is spreading? According to a study conducted by the Brookings Institute, poverty, which was once concentrated in metropolitan areas, has moved to the suburbs, and disbursed quite thickly.

In the late seventies and early eighties, cities like Detroit, New York, Baltimore and Oakland were centers of poverty and crime, while the outlying districts were relatively calm and moneyed. Today, while these large cities (with the exception of much of New York, which has undergone a major transformation in the past decade and a half) still have their share of impoverished residents, the suburban areas have additionally begun to deteriorate.

The increase of poverty in areas surrounding industrial cities like Detroit and Milwaukee is understandable, since the factory and manufacturing jobs that kept so many families afloat have all but disappeared in the past thirty years. However, the programs that were centered around struggling individuals and families in the cities are not especially useful to people in more remote districts, since it is very difficult for most people to access these services via public transportation, which is remotely adequate considering the distance between many of the newly impoverished districts and the location of the educational, job, and health programs offered for the purpose of aiding people looking for a way out of poverty.

The demographic of the poor has changed too, according to a map developed by the Urban Institute. There is a dramatic increase in poverty among Hispanic populations outside of the western cities of Las Vegas and Phoenix. Also, there are separate sections of ethnic poor, with African American, Hispanic, Asian and White poor populations remaining isolated in their districts; ethnically mixed underserved populations remaining relatively rare.

Although the poverty level officially remains at a family income of approximately $23,000 or less, new studies show that this indicator doesn’t accurately reflect the variable cost of living throughout the United States. In New York, for example, it is estimated that, for a family of four, an income of $90,000 would barely be adequate in order to cover the basic expenses of food, rent, clothing, and healthcare, while in Simpson County, Mississippi, an income of $45,000 is needed to cover basic needs, with no money left over for savings or security. Both incomes are far above what the federal government defines as the poverty level, and both incomes represent what is needed for survival in the very highest and very lowest cost of living regions.

It is very clear that there is much work that still needs to be done in order to address the dramatic rise in economic instability in the nation. Moreover, it is clear that the prevailing methods need to be rethought if we are to be successful.

By Julian Omidi

Suburban Poor in United States

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Julian Omidi Looks at Sustainable Energy for All

Julian Omidi examines the United Nations program to provide sustainable energy in order to help eradicate poverty. Julian Omidi looks at the benefits that this program could offer the world, especially those living in poverty. 

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has organized an initiative referred to as the Sustainable Energy for All project. The goal of this global initiative is to be able to provide all citizens of the world with access to sustainable energy services while also improving the global rate of energy efficiency and increasing renewable energy.

Why are these goals so important to the betterment of our global society? Currently, roughly 20% of people around the world do not have access to modern energy services. It is estimated that as many as 3 billion people worldwide rely on energy sources such as animal waste, wood, coal, and charcoal for heating and cooking. What many forget or take for granted is that energy sources power productivity and opportunity.

Providing the impoverished not just with reliable energy resources, but with those that are sustainable as well, will lead to a way out of poverty for billions of people as well as lead to a solution that will aid in decreasing environmental warming.

According to recent studies the initiative could assist in keeping the rise in global temperature below 2°C and could make a significant contribution in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. By making sure that the provision of energy is achieved through sustainable means it will also help to promote the Millennium Development Goals and help to move the world into a lower-carbon economy. [1]

Making energy affordable and available to all will have significant positive repercussions for the world. Help spread awareness of this initiative by sharing this article via your social media profiles and help the world achieve sustainable energy.

By Julian Omidi

[1] Kirby, Alex. “Climate News Network.” Climate News Network. Web. 26 Feb. 2013.

Sustainable Energy for All

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Julian Omidi Reports on World Cancer Day 2013

Julian Omidi reports on World Cancer Day 2013 and how it is being used to dispel myths and sterotypes. Julian Omidi focuses on how these myths and stereotypes often relate to the impoverished.

Today, February 4th, is World Cancer Day, which focuses primarily on one of eleven targets of the World Cancer Declaration: dispelling myths and misconceptions that are damaging to the understanding of cancer risks and risk groups.

The World Cancer Declaration is a tool designed by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to bring attention of the growing cancer crisis to health policymakers and government leaders in an effort to “reduce the global cancer burden by 2020.” Included in the declaration are 11 targets, which include:

  • Ensure Effective Delivery Systems in All Countries
  • Significantly Improve Measurement of Cancer Burden
  • Decrease Tobacco, Alcohol Consumption, and Obesity
  • Ensure Universal Coverage of the HPV/HBV Vaccine
  • Dispel Damaging Myths and Misconceptions

With deaths caused by cancer accounting for more deaths than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined, cancer has become a significant issue worldwide. The specific goal of World Cancer Day is to focus on dispelling 4 common myths about cancer.

  1. Cancer Is Just a Health Issue No one is denying that cancer is a health issue, but it directly relates to the abilities of individuals and nations in other areas as well. One of these areas is that of poverty, of which cancer can be both a cause and outcome. Between the negative impact that cancer can have on the ability of a family or individual to earn and the high costs of treatment for the disease, many people can be put into poverty as a result. Additionally, those in poverty often lack proper access to healthcare and education, which has been show to increase risk and morbidity for cancer.
  2. Cancer Is a Disease of the Wealthy, Elderly, and Developed Countries – Many people believe that cancer only affects developed, wealthy nations, but that is not the case. In 2008 more than 55% of the 7.6 million global deaths caused by cancer occurred in developing countries. In the case of cervical cancer for example, 85% of deaths from the disease occur in developing nations.
  3. Cancer Is a Death Sentence – While cancer certainly poses a significant danger to one’s life, developed nations have made great strides in treating cancer effectively; just in the US more than 12 million people are living with cancer, the reduction of mortality for breast and cervical cancer has been significant in the last several decades, and there are more cost-effective strategies for treatment than ever before. With commitment and work these same reductions can be seen in developing countries as well.
  4. Cancer is My Fate – Prevention is the best way toward reducing the global burden of cancer, specifically when it comes to lung cancer. By addressing tobacco use, which accounts for almost one-third of lung cancer deaths, the number of people that die or even contract cancer can be significantly lowered. In developing nations, addressing cancer-causing infections is the most important issue, including hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human papillomavirus (HPV).

Help spread the message that while cancer may affect anyone in the world, it is neither a death sentence or fate for you or anyone you love. Share this article to your Twitter or Facebook profiles to spread knowledge of the facts, not the myths, behind cancer on World Cancer Day.

By Julian Omidi

World Cancer Day 2013

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