Has anyone noticed that no matter how wealthy a country is, there will always be a group of poor people?
Why do you think that is? I've been wondering that for the longest time.
Not Japan. I wonder why.
There are no rich people without a large poor population - be it within their own country or by using resources in other countries.
There are always people who live in areas where there isn't enough jobs or industry to support middle class lifestyles.
Persecution by the rich on the poor, is a universal flavor.
In order for there to be rich, there have to be poor for them to steal from.
The best way to think about this is in terms of the Gini coefficient, which measures (in)equality of income distribution (see link). The higher the score, the more unequal. There is always some inequality, but most industrialized societies are much more egalitarian than the U.S.
Wealth is invariably far more unequally distributed than income, mainly because those with higher incomes can save more.
"Not Japan. I wonder why."
There is most definitely an underclass in Japan.
There was a report on NPR about a year ago that due to the stagnating Japanese economy, more and more Japanese were poor and/or homeless.
This is a link to a list of countries by wealth disparity. If you click on the heading for the right-hand column, you will see the countries arranged by the Gini coefficient for wealth, from the most egalitarian (Japan: 0.547) to the least egalitarian (Namibia: 0.847). The U.S. ranks near the bottom: 0.801; worse than Brazil, but slightly better than Switzerland (where the gnomes of Zurich live).
Japan definitely has homeless people. I visited less than six months ago and you could see camps/groups of homeless - they can be spotted by the bright blue plastic they use as shelter from the elements. Like R7 says, a lot of it is linked to the economic bubble that burst in the early 1990s - unemployment began to rise.
The rich ALWAYS need their servant class.
I'm not religious,but i heed the idea that we shall be judged by how we treat the least among us,
Low demand for unskilled labor. Lack of education. Lack of structure at home. Mental illness. It's not rocket science.
Even the countries that are more egalitarian have poor people. They just have fewer rich people.