Like a monstrous octopus, [poverty] stretches its choking, prehensile* tentacles into lands and villages all over the world. Two-thirds of the peoples of the world go to bed hungry at night. They are undernourished, ill-housed and shabbily clad. Many of them have no houses or beds to sleep in. Their only beds are the sidewalks of the cities and the dusty roads of the villages. Most of these poverty-stricken children of God have never seen a physician or a dentist.
There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we now have the resources to get rid of it.... Why should there be hunger and privation in any land, in any city, at any table, when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life? ... There is no deficit in human resources; the deficit is in human will....
1. adapted for seizing, grasping, or taking hold of something: a prehensile tail.
2. able to perceive quickly; having keen mental grasp.
3. greedy; grasping; avaricious.