International aid agencies often run ads showing emaciated children, most often from African or Asian nations, children with bellies swollen from starvation and in their last days of suffering before death. The ads, of course, are intended to play on our sensibilities and to motivate us to send money, usually a small pittance that most of us would not miss or could manage quite nicely without. It’s easy to look away, even to say, “It’s not my problem.” Would we feel differently if those children were Americans? Is it possible that such a thing could happen in the richest nation on earth? Having an income that pays the bills, keeps a roof over our heads, provides medical care as needed, and puts food on the table, is a blessing that too many of us take for granted. Some TV programing shows us how the wealthy live and that can provoke a bit of jealousy, but imagine the other side of the coin, being a parent and trying to sleep after putting your children to bed hungry night after night. Well, according to the World Bank, if your household income is $10,000 a year, you are wealthier than 84 percent of the world. If its $50,000 or more a year, you make more than 99 percent of the world; that’s right, internationally speaking you may be in the top 1%! But don’t order that new yacht just yet! The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services annually reports on the “Federal Poverty Level” that is calculated in conjunction with the U.S. Census Bureau by comparing pre-tax cash income set at three times the cost of a minimum food diet in 1963. That threshold is updated annually for inflation. Crunching those numbers the U.S. federal poverty level as calculated for 2017, for one person is $12,060, and for a family of four its $24,600.