According to the US Census Bureau, in 2010, 46.2 million Americans lived below the poverty line, which means that nearly one in six Americans lived in poverty. As poverty in the US has skyrocketed—it is now the highest it has been in fifty-two years—the issue continues to be rarely talked about in public. Why is poverty invisible in the US?

In this video, recorded at the 10th Annual Fighting Bob Fest in Madison, Wisconsin, Senator Bernie Sanders attributes this detrimental invisibility of poverty to the lack of leadership at all levels from the grassroots to the White House and the deliberate media blackout on this issue.

This segment is part of a new video series produced by Video Nation in collaboration with On the Earth Productions featuring progressive thinkers and leaders such as Cornel West, Jim Hightower, and Thom Hartmann. Check back each Wednesday for a new video in the series, and go here to watch the series introduction.

Jin Zhao