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President Donald Trump has declared the United States’ economy to be “the best economy we’ve ever had in the history of our country.” His administration likewise declared the nation’s decades-long war on poverty “largely over and a success.” So Center for Public Integrity reporters this summer visited six communities where residents say the crushing effects of poverty and government neglect aren’t improving — they’ve gone from bad to worse. Problems range from broken education systems to unlivable housing to infrastructure fit for the third world. One factor binds them together: a profound lack of political clout on the eve of a critical midterm election that will decide the balance of power in Washington. Here are their stories.

Abandoned in America

The best economy? Residents in six communities say crushing poverty and government neglect went from bad to worse.


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