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Scrutiny
  
Slumdog millionaire: firangi style
One look at the First World reveals a much darker side to poverty
25/06/2009

The earmarked poverty line in the US is $22,050 annually for a family of four. This figure is derived by a standard mechanism way back in 1960s, which quite naturally is outdated. A recent survey indicates that the figure will be twice as much today as compared to the one four decades ago. There are about 41 million families in the US, out of which 12.5% are below Poverty Line. The total count below the poverty line is a staggering 35.9 million people; a huge figure, yet better than the averages of 1980s and 1990s. Interestingly, there are over 73 million children in US; and 18% of them belong to the poor families. The poverty rate is 10.8% in the age group of 18 to 64 and 10.2% in the age group of above 64.

The worst off people in US are the unskilled illegal immigrants, a majority entering the country crossing the porous border with neighbouring Mexico. For a long time, the US government has made only a half hearted attempt to stop illegal immigration, as it is highly profitable for US employers to exploit them with less than minimum wages and facilities.

Although these hapless Hispanics have a poverty rate of 22.5%, stunningly, this figure is still lower than that of African Americans, 24.4% of whom languish below the poverty line! The better off Asians and the Whites have a poverty rate of 11.8% and 8.2% respectively.

Across the Atlantic, in Britain, 12.4 million families, which make up 22% of the population, resides below the poverty line. A research has revealed 7 million workers compulsively live at less than 6.50 pounds an hour. In this trying time economic slowdown across the world, poverty is no longer a myth amongst the developed countries, but an alarming reality as is evident in France with 6.2% living below poverty line, while Netherlands has the figure at 10.5%. Any day better than the poverty figure of Africa... 50%!

By:- B&E
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