The Pardu

Posts Tagged ‘poverty’

Mario Piperni: Conservative Leadership

In Beck, Climate change, Hannity, Mario Piperni, Mario Piperni Dot Com, O'Reilly, poverty on September 15, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Re-Blog……Mario Piperni digs deep! 

Most Conservative Leaders Will Never Understand

Upton Sinclair quote - Conservatives  :
Sinclair has it right. I would also add that the understanding is even harder to come by when the people involved are, for the most part, suffering from a personality disorder that “manifests itself in such traits as dishonesty, charm, manipulation, narcissism, and a lack of both remorse and impulse control.”
That’s right – sociopathic behavior.
Which is why these conservatives and their minions…
O’Reilly, Beck, Hannity, Malkin, Ailes, Limbaugh, Inhofe, Savage, Cruz, Drudge, Paul, Palin, Levin, Will, Rove, Krauthammer, Coulter and many others
will never understand…
health care, poverty, climate change, middle class issues, fair taxation, gun control, immigration, marriage equality or women’s issues.
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Medicare Via Connect The Dots USA Part 1

In Connect The Dots USA, GOP, poverty, TPI on September 11, 2013 at 9:32 PM

The elderly poverty rate has dropped significantly since the early 1960s. The Census Bureau chart below illustrates a drop of the US Elderly Poverty Rate from a high of 29% to an approximate rate of 9.5% in 2010.  
We point to the specific chart date of 1965 and the green (Elderly) trend line.  Did you notice anything after 1965 through 2010 (end of chart display period)? \ Read the rest of this entry »

Poverty in America Is A Testament To Poor Economic Policy And A Lack of Caring!

In Congress, poverty, The Obama Administration, US poverty on August 19, 2013 at 9:46 AM

  Brenda Ann Kenneally Photojournalists against poverty
                                         (Images linked to source)
Recent reports about poverty in America shows poverty may be the one demographic that is shared among people of color and whites.  We are providing brief opening remarks to a piece we sought and received approval to report. PolicyMic along with other linked pieces, has delineated a compelling case that poverty is a growing issues that will have to be addressed much sooner than later.
As a sidebar, a quick purview of the graphic below shows the most impoverished in the nation are denizens of geographic regions commonly consider GOP voting bloc states. A reality that delivers a Catchy-22 even unimaginable in Hollywood.  
The GOP members of Congress have recently taken steps to strike SNAP (AKA food stamps) programs from the Farm Bill.  In fact, after returning from their five week vacation, the House is due to consider major cuts in food stamp funding.  At this point the logic goes completely out of the window.  How can a party that has paradigm-ed the deep south to its ideology could so blatantly ignore data showing large swaths of its constituent will suffer from the food aid budget cuts? 
Is the 92% white GOP made up of only well off whites and fewer numbers of well off people of color? Or, are the impoverished so indoctrinated against all things Democratic, they vote to deprive themselves of life sustaining policy and legislation.

PolicyMic Dot Com

What White Poverty Really Looks Like in America

What White Poverty Really Looks Like in America
© Wikicommons
A recent study by The Associated Press indicated that 80% of adults in America, at some point in their lives, face joblessness, poverty, or dependence on welfare. As of 2012, poverty rates in America had reached the highest rate in half a century, yet both the problem and the people who face it are “invisible” in America. The study particularly highlighted the enormous growth of economic insecurity among white Americans, noting that poverty is no longer necessarily an issue of race. However, the image of white poverty that the study presents also reminds us that even among those promoting change, the often inaccurate stereotypes surrounding poverty contribute to America’s failure to support its poor. 
Americans tend to view poverty, especially white poverty, with judgment, derision, and blame. By objectifying poverty, Americans allow themselves to perceive the poor as mere stereotypes of laziness or stupidity, rather than people worthy of compassion and support. Though America has plenty of wealth to go around, even Obama doesn’t “want handouts for people who refuse to help themselves.” As long as poverty equates to laziness and unworthiness in the public mind, Americans can continue to oppose government safety nets by blaming low-income people for their status. This entails two major problems — the first is the willingness of Americans to view their fellow citizens as less-than, and the second is that this tendency allows us to keep poverty at arm’s length. 

Even NBC’s story, as it espouses the importance of being attentive to the rise of American poverty, uses as its example a family that is “caricature that is easy to mock and deride.” They resemble the distant “Other” of a country Honey Boo Boo-esque family, held back by a criminal history. The article describes a woman smoking outside, lamenting the difficulty that her past drug conviction presents in finding new work to provide for her family, and the family photo falls neatly into a hillbilly stereotype. It is an image that taps into many Americans’ tendency to judge those they perceive as below them.  
People tend to look at obesity, drug problems, and poverty as choices that could be avoided if people just tried harder. Comments on a New York Times article on poverty and public health indicate how strongly many Americans believe it is possible for all people to choose their way out of such issues. One commenter in particular argues that “people of all economic circumstances need to stop blaming society for their choices.” While accountability certainly is important, the reality remains that “Americans in poverty are more likely to suffer from a variety of chronic health problems, both psychological and physical.” Many Americans believe that  if people cannot recover from devastating circumstances, they are not worthy of better lives, which prevents our seeing fellow citizens as real humans facing real challenges.  
Washington University professor Mark Rank, describing the phenomenon of growing white poverty, noted that it is “no longer as issue of ‘them,’ it’s an issue of ‘us.'” Inherent in this statement is the problem in the way we think about poverty. Making poverty an issue of “them,” whether the “them” means minorities or rural, country whites, enables the “us” to separate ourselves from the humanity of the problem. In 1964, presidential candidates talked about poverty because it was a prevalent issue for which people received support and human compassion, rather than blame. In the 2012 election, it was hardly mentioned, despite poverty rates being comparable. Americans have become “very tolerant of inequality” and fearful of the safety net. By turning poverty into an issue of the Other, we allow ourselves not to see what it really looks like, or how pervasive it is.  
So, what does modern American poverty really look like? It looks like 46 million people in poverty, and 80% of the population at risk of economic insecurity. It looks like something that is far more complex than a simple correlation with race. Though black Americans are about twice as likely to face poverty, white Americans nonetheless comprise 42% of the American poor, relative to black Americans at 28%. It looks like recently middle class Americans who have lost their jobs and homes, and now live out of their cars in parking lots. It may even look like someone you knew in college. Homelessness in college often hides itself well — one homeless student notes that “being homeless doesn’t mean you walk around looking like a bum, or that you aren’t eating or that you aren’t showering,” but it exists nonetheless. Though there are few statistics on the subject, 3,039 college students identified themselves as homeless in the 2010–2011 academic year. In other words, American poverty doesn’t look like some distant other. It actually may look a lot like you.  

Picture Credit: Wikicommons

We pay members of Congress a minimum of $174,500 per year.  We expect better.

Poverty: A US Plague!

In Democrats, GOP, poverty, The Progressive Influence on July 23, 2012 at 4:55 PM

US Poverty is a growing menace, that needs immediate attention. While we are reading about the opulence of the nations Top 20% (ers), the following reality is creeping across the nation.

Huffington Post BUSINESS is reporting…..

The Associated Press surveyed more than a dozen economists, think tanks and academics, both nonpartisan and those with known liberal or conservative leanings, and found a broad consensus: The official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, climbing as high as 15.7 percent. Several predicted a more modest gain, but even a 0.1 percentage point increase would put poverty at the highest level since 1965.

Poverty is spreading at record levels across many groups, from underemployed workers and suburban families to the poorest poor. More discouraged workers are giving up on the job market, leaving them vulnerable as unemployment aid begins to run out. Suburbs are seeing increases in poverty, including in such political battlegrounds as Colorado, Florida and Nevada, where voters are coping with a new norm of living hand to mouth. 

“I grew up going to Hawaii every summer. Now I’m here, applying for assistance because it’s hard to make ends meet. It’s very hard to adjust,” said Laura Fritz, 27, of Wheat Ridge, Colo., describing her slide from rich to poor as she filled out aid forms at a county center. Since 2000, large swaths of Jefferson County just outside Denver have seen poverty nearly double. 

Fritz says she grew up wealthy in the Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch, but fortunes turned after her parents lost a significant amount of money in the housing bust. Stuck in a half-million dollar house, her parents began living off food stamps and Fritz’s college money evaporated. She tried joining the Army but was injured during basic training.
Some source are reporting the levels could top levels back to 1965’s Lyndon B. Johnson and his Great Society social programs.   When you navigate to the link you will see the article is part of a Politics series and is specifically referenced with the word category Progressivism. Johnson’s Great Society programs included the following.

Johnson’s War on Poverty Great Society Social Programs

American liberalism was at high tide under President Johnson.

  • The Wilderness Protection Act saved 9.1 million acres of forestland from industrial development.
  • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act provided major funding for American public schools.
  • The Voting Rights Act banned literacy tests and other discriminatory methods of denying suffrage to African Americans.
  • Medicare was created to offset the costs of health care for the nation’s elderly.
  • The National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities used public money to fund artists and galleries.
  • The Immigration Act ended discriminatory quotas based on ethnic origin.
  • An Omnibus Housing Act provided funds to construct low-income housing.
  • Congress tightened pollution controls with stronger Air and Water Quality Acts.
  • Standards were raised for safety in consumer products.
Please excuse the momentary digression, but Conservatism and assistance to the impoverish are ‘polar opposites’. There is another article we referenced as we looked back at where we are no and from where we came: US History Dot Org. Unfortunately, President Johnson dreams and initiatives yielded disappointing results. 

By 1968, his hopes of leaving a legacy of domestic reform were in serious jeopardy.

The Series continues with hitting the NEXT button at he bottom of the page. 

Multiple sources are reporting on Census Bureau data indicating million are sliding back into poverty. Large numbers of Americans are falling into are doing so at the same time the nations income disparity has grown exponentially.

The following chart piqued our interest.

Income inequality in the United States

This graph shows the income of the given percentiles from 1947 to 2010 in 2010 dollars. The 2 columns of numbers in the right margin are the cumulative growth 1970-2010 and the annual growth rate over that period. The vertical scale is logarithmic, which makes constant percentage growth appear as a straight line. From 1947 to 1970, all percentiles grew at essentially the same rate; the light, straight lines for the different percentiles for those years all have the same slope. Since then, there has been substantial divergence, with different percentiles of the income distribution growing at different rates. For the median American family, this gap is $39,000 per year (just over $100 per day): If the economic growth during this period had been broadly shared as it was from 1947 to 1970, the median household income would have been $39,000 per year higher than it was in 2010. This plot was created by combining data from the US Census Bureau[40] and the US Internal Revenue Service[41]. There are systematic differences between these two sources, but the differences are small relative to the scale of this plot.[42]

The WIKI article continues after a wealth (excuse the pun) of detail. The read also will see a stark prospect form our laissez faire approach to the problem.

Significance of inequality

Commentators, economists, politicians do not agree on the issue of increase in inequality in America or its importance. Among economists and other experts most agree that America’s growing income inequality is “deeply worrying”,[24] unjust,[138] a danger to  democracy/social stability,[199][200][201] and/or even a sign of national decline.[176] 

As the Huffington Post writer indicates, we have a couple of nagging dynamics interference with progress in the ‘war on poverty’. First, we suggest the war on poverty was short-lived. While President Johnson accomplished major legislation and programs to help the impoverished, his work fell shy of full inertia even before he left office.  Quite probably his waging actual combat in Viet Nam proved disastrous for the war on poverty and disastrous for his political career.  Johnson, Carter nor any progressive President has learned from the GOP inertia and models in helping their major constituents: big business, and Top 20% moneyed class. 

Huff Post….

In an election year dominated by discussion of the middle class, Fritz’s case highlights a dim reality for the growing group in poverty. Millions could fall through the cracks as government aid from unemployment insurance, Medicaid, welfare and food stamps diminishes. 

“The issues aren’t just with public benefits. We have some deep problems in the economy,” said Peter Edelman, director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy. 

He pointed to the recent recession but also longer-term changes in the economy such as globalization, automation, outsourcing, immigration, and less unionization that have pushed median household income lower. Even after strong economic growth in the 1990s, poverty never fell below a 1973 low of 11.1 percent. That low point came after President Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty, launched in 1964, that created Medicaid, Medicare and other social welfare programs. 

“I’m reluctant to say that we’ve gone back to where we were in the 1960s. The programs we enacted make a big difference. The problem is that the tidal wave of low-wage jobs is dragging us down and the wage problem is not going to go away anytime soon,” Edelman said.

Hope Yen the Huffington Post writer craftily delineates factors related to the growing poverty rates and how unemployment is literally ‘killing’ the lower portions of the middle class.   (See article details)

After reading the article, there is only one question worth of consideration. “What will it take for the federal government to effectively enact programs to help people who, through no fault of their own, have fallen victim to the ills of our economic demise? If President Johnson’s programs were lapsing to ineffective as he left office, it appears no administration thereafter has matched Johnson’s compassion for alleviating poverty from the American landscape. Despite GOP disdain for the issue and conservative and Libertarian ‘cold-shouldering’ the issue, facts are facts. People are suffering.

People will suffer up to a point. That point will move to more serious actions once life becomes completely unbearable. Neither political party will be able to withstand the ‘hell’ if “unbearable” for the impoverished combines with facts related to just how much we spend on ‘policing the world’ and national defense, maintaining the Bush Tax Cuts, and running afraid of Wall Street, get wider dissemination. 

The Republicans and the Democrats can wait until ‘hell’ comes or they can find some way to deal with this growing problem.  Sadly,  the problem will not get address before the November elections.

CBO Confirms Income Divide…… as Dangerous as Shifting Tectonic Plates

In Obama Administration on October 30, 2011 at 4:45 PM

I have written a few articles about the income disparity in the United States and how the gap has widened over the past few decades.  More specifically, I often explore how the nation’s major corporations over-compensate their CEOs, while restricting employee pay and restricting actual filling jobs to an “uncomfortable” level. “Uncomfortable”?  Yes, “uncomfortable” for those who toil in the offices, the factories, the restaurants, the movie sets, the media studios, and any work area where there are middle class income earners.

{For sake of fairness, the nation’s wealthy also includes many of our super hero athletes, actors, and entertainers, but that fact does not mean that many of those people are part of the ‘we have our’s, if you do not have yours, then it is your fault’ crowd. However, most do not seem to be alarmed about the growing inequities in income. An inequity that will eventually boil-over into serious civil unrest}

Read the rest of this entry »

CBO Confirms Income Divide…… as Dangerous as Shifting Tectonic Plates

In CBO study, CEO Compensation, CEO Pay and Class Warfare, class warfare, income gap, Maddow, middle class, Million Dollar Donor Club, poverty,, Rich, wealthy, WSJ Executive pay on October 29, 2011 at 9:41 PM

I have written a few articles about the income disparity in the United States and how the gap has widened over the past few decades.  More specifically, I often explore how the nation’s major corporations over-compensate their CEOs, while restricting employee pay and restricting actual filling jobs to an “uncomfortable” level. “Uncomfortable”?  Yes, “uncomfortable” for those who toil in the offices, the factories, the restaurants, the movie sets, the media studios, and any work area where there are middle class income earners.

{For sake of fairness, the nation’s wealthy also includes many of our super hero athletes, actors, and entertainers, but that fact does not mean that many of those people are part of the we have our’s, if you do not have yours, then it is your fault’ crowd. However, most do not seem to be alarmed about the growing inequities in income. An inequity that will eventually boil-over into serious civil unrest}

While I write about the CEO, I am mindful of the 400 plus people who form what is now being referred as the top 1%. Thank you, Occupy Wall Street, and I stay in your corner and in your streets and standing as beacon in delivering your message across the internet.
The CEO offers glaring evidence of the growing income gap primarily because of required compensation reporting.  The super ‘uber’ rich like the Kochs and their hidden army of billionaires are a much more illusive group to monitor.  The Koch Brothers Million Dollar Donor Club     The illusive  ‘uber’ rich and the CEO are, of course, accompanied by the many who earn enough to place them squarely in the nation’s 1% (ers).
MSNBC, Rachel Maddow Show, has recently broadcast a rather long segment related to the issues associated with a widening income gap.  The video is 10:43 minutes long; the topic  cannot receive proper exploration with detailed analysis.  Before I move to the Maddow segment, I am going to post links to a couple of articles related to CEO Compensation.

The Widen Gap

(As serious a matter as moving Tectonic Plates)
The MSNBC segment is based on a recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO)  report along with information written by Ezra Klein of the Washington Post – WONKBLOG. The report has a very intriguing origin, as it was requested by Senators Max Baucus (D) Montana and Charles Grassley (R) Iowa .
Klein states….. 

Several years ago, Senators Max Baucus and Charles Grassley asked the Congressional Budget Office to whip up an analysis of income inequality in America. It took awhile to piece together, but the report’s now out , and the picture’s quite stark. The incomes of the wealthiest 1 percent have nearly tripled since 1979. Everyone else? Not so much.

(CBO Report PDF File)  (CBO Director’s BLog linked)

Klein published the following CBO graph to illustrate his points about the growing income gap. He published with associated verbiage, but I am going to link the Maddow segment for purpose of explanation.  For some easier to listen and watch then assimilate for verbiage only.  NOTE: The graph only goes through 2007, Klein makes a clear point that the top 1 % possible took significant hits during the resent financial collapse.

It does not take a Masters in Business Administration, a PhD in Economics or PhD in Statistics to see that  something very intriguing took place in 1979 through 2007.  Outside of Klein and Maddow, I ask that you remain mindful of who served as president during the period of the CBO report. In this order, Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States of America, from 1981–1989,  Bill Clinton 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001, and George W Bush, 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009.    The financial environment post 9/11 (2001) had a deleterious effect on income growth but it only took a brief period or time to recover back to a consistent incline in ‘higher’ growth.  Also note that two of the listed presidents presided over periods of uncontrolled spending despite their mantra of fiscal conservatives, and the other president delivered a balanced federal budget to his predecessor as he left office.  The graph shows that Clinton’s Years also included significant growth in income disparity.

As indicated by Maddow, something very perplexing and , in my opinion, possible sinister, happened in the early 1980s.  If Maddow’s comments about how American Policy changed, we are now seeing the downsides of such a policy shift. The word policy is a powerful word in the context that it is being used by Maddow.  It is powerful because it could denote that we have a political party and a population sector that has managed to develop the income divide.  The problem for me, and I am sure some of you, is why would the nation’s conservatives, GOP, GOTP, many independent find it accepted to drive financial barrier between the nation’s middle class and the nation’s “rich”.
Policy is also dangerous as it provides a platform for governance, management and for life.  If there is a class of people who can by policy and practice establish a paradigm of acceptability for their class separation, how can said policy/paradigm benefit the greater populace? “Let Them Eat Cake“, was proven to give an impetus for disaster for a former leader of a nation.  How is it that the American society can become divided and separated by ( socio/economic) policy?
Separation by policy (equals paradigm), has been effectively established via tried and proven method. If I can paint you as bad, unAmerican, ‘the other’, “we do not have the same interest”, “minority vs non-minority”, I can set up barriers to cohesiveness necessary for people to combat the developing (developed) divide.    When you and I are fighting over the ‘bread crumb’ issues stated above, the 1 % (ers) quietly and with much acuity increases their worth like a self-serving  “million dollar donor club”.  Momentum  then feeds the greed, administrations and government bodies benefit from the greed, and policy has become a way of life.  I offer a few examples in the form of questions.
* Why do we have an far-right organizations like Americans Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)? GOP congressional representatives both state and federal attend the councils conferences. I believe I read that a could of conservative members of the Supreme Court attended past ALEC meetings.  WHY?

ALEC Exposed (The Nation)

* How is it possible that the SCOTUS could possible reverse Law that forbade unlimited corporate contributions to campaign sponsorship? Yet, people who subscribe to conservatism seem to relish in the fact that Citizens Untied was decided in favor of corporate America.  And, it can be done in complete secrecy!  The greatest effect of stacking a Court over a period of decades to the detriment of the nations citizenry.
* Does it surprise the nation’s older citizens that the policy laden GOP reaches back to a time combating FDR as he fought for Social Security, or reaches back to rekindle a Medicare fight that LBJ fought tooth and nail?
* Policy also leads to a political party that ignores the wishes of the majority (60 plus per cent) who feel that the wealthy should pay a higher tax rate.
If as stated the questions and comments are existential and accurate, is there a surprise that we have a growing income disparity?  How much of a reach is it to lay blame for the growing disparity squarely on the shoulders of the manipulated; we are responsible.  

The 1  %  (ers) will not work to return fairness to the nation. it will be left to you and me. Moreover, is it a disparity (gap, divide) that people can even influence anymore. Is it reversible?

What the CBO has published, what is being reported almost daily on neutral and progressive media, what has manifest via an administration driven by and supportive of such “policy’, and what clearly must be checked and reversed is at the roots of the Occupy Wall Street movement.  The real tragedy is,  those who are in the 1 % and those who are protecting the 1 % do not seem to recognize the OWS has worldwide support or events. It is a serious problem comparable to  the magnitude of a 9.0 Richter Scale Tectonic Plate earthquake.
One last point, what will Baucus and Grassley do with the CBO data? Conservative minds cannot demagogue away this report with irrational mantra and mind altering lies. 

(No, I did not misspeak, I consider Baucus a conservative).

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