Published on
by

IMF Warns that US Needs to 'Urgently' Tackle Poverty

Nation's increasing inequality threaten its economic well-being, IMF says

 The nation's middle class is at "its smallest size in the last 30 years," the IMF says. (Photo: Gilbert Mercier/flickr/cc)

Invest in the nation's infrastructure, raise the minimum wage, expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, improve paid family leave, and raise the ceiling for social security contributions.

These suggestions, long-advocated for by progressive organizations, are now being encouraged by none other than the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which warned Wednesday of an "urgent need to tackle poverty" in the United States.

While praising the "overall good shape" of the nation's economy, the IMF said in its assessment that "the U.S. faces potentially significant longer-term challenges to strong and sustained growth. Concerted policy actions are warranted, sooner rather than later."

The nation's economic well-being, it said, is threatened by factors including the shrinking middle class—now at "its smallest size in the last 30 years"—as well as "income and wealth distribution [that] are increasingly polarized" and rising poverty. "One in seven Americans is living in poverty," including 40 percent of whom are working, the body added.

Underpinning the IMF's suggestions, which also include non-progressive measures like ratifying the Trans Pacific Partnership, is the benefit of continued economic growth—an idea challenged by some on the left including authors and climate activists Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein.

People Get Ready - Donate now!

The IMF's new findings come less than a month after a paper released by three of its economists concluded that austerity policies were fueling inequality, which in turn hurts growth—"the very thing that the neoliberal agenda is intent on boosting," while the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned at the start of the month of the challenges of rising inequality and called on global governments to take measures to "safeguard living standards for all."

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Share This Article