UN expert calls US income inequality 'a political choice'

June 04, 2018 - 11:13 am

GENEVA (AP) — A U.N.-supported human rights expert has blasted the yawning gap between rich and poor in the United States and says the world's richest country "is now moving full steam ahead to make itself even more unequal."

The United Nations' human rights office said Monday that Philip Alston, an independent expert commissioned to examine "extreme" poverty, prepared a report on the U.S. that faults "successive administrations" in Washington for failing to uphold treaty commitments to economic and social rights.

Alston acknowledges "no magic recipe" can eliminate extreme poverty. But in such a wealthy nation, "the persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power. With political will, it could readily be eliminated."

The report denounces U.S. President Donald Trump's $1.5 trillion tax cut passed in December.

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