A Journey Through a Land of Extreme Poverty: Welcome to America

Counter Information

The UN’s Philip Alston is an expert on deprivation – and he wants to know why 41m Americans are living in poverty.

By Ed Pilkington

December 26, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  We are in Los Angeles, in the heart of one of America’s wealthiest cities, and General Dogon, dressed in black, is our tour guide. Alongside him strolls another tall man, grey-haired and sprucely decked out in jeans and suit jacket. Professor Philip Alston is an Australian academic with a formal title: UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

General Dogon, himself a veteran of these Skid Row streets, strides along, stepping over a dead rat without comment and skirting round a body wrapped in a worn orange blanket lying on the sidewalk.

The two men carry on for block after block after block of tatty tents and improvised tarpaulin shelters. Men and women are…

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