Danziger: U.S. is exceptional in its tolerance of poverty

May 30, 2012
A new report by UNICEF found the United States had the second-highest rate of relative child poverty among 35 of the world's richest countries. Relative child poverty, which critics say may not necessarily reflect real hardship, refers to children living in households where disposable income is less than half of the national median income.

The report also found that government spending in some countries in the form of taxes, benefits and other social programs may help reduce the poverty rate -- but the United States is not one of them.

Sheldon Danziger, director of the Ford School-based National Poverty Center, told the Huffington Post that "other countries do more," to support low-income families, such as higher minimum wages and universal health insurance.

"Among rich countries, the U.S. is exceptional," he said. "We are exceptional in our tolerance of poverty."