From Religion News Summary at Crosswalk.com:
The number of people in poverty in America increased to its highest recorded point last year, and the poverty rate rose to its highest level since 1994, according to Religion News Service. The Census Bureau released data Sept. 16 that showed the rate of poverty increasing 1.1 percentage points to 14.3 percent in 2009. A total of 43.6 million live in poverty -- the highest since recording began in 1959 -- and up from 39.8 million in 2008. Social service programs such as Catholic Charities USA are faced with the challenge of increased needs from individuals and working families, budget cuts and a decrease in individual donations. The Rev. Larry Snyder, president and CEO of Catholics Charities, said that while the statistics were staggering, they did not come as a surprise to those who work with people in poverty on a daily basis, especially after two years of recession.
The United States is not a third world country. But there is a third world country within the U.S., and it is growing.