The Hidden, Insidious Gears of Poverty Cycles

Have you ever had to replace something that you need as cheaply as possible? Has an emergency ever forced you to give something up on your monthly budget? What if that was the reality of every purchasing decision you make? You would be approaching the daily struggle of being poor.

Understanding poverty means understanding the poverty cycle on both a daily and generational level.… [Read more]

Minimum Wage Votes: What’s Expected For Earners Today

On May 19 of this year, Los Angeles lawmakers voted 14 – 1 to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 by 2020. That makes L.A. the largest city to significantly raise the minimum wage, which is currently at $9.00 [1]. The increase would take place in stages with the first one happening on July 1, 2016.… [Read more]

Poverty: An American Epidemic

It seems hardly a day goes by without another news story about the 1%, the healthcare crisis or picketing laborers. The truth is that a shocking number of Americans are living at or below the poverty line.

By the Numbers

According to U.S. Census data from 2012

  • Nearly 46.5 million people are living in poverty, up from 46.2 million in 2011;
  • 18.9 million are white non-Hispanic, 13.6 million are Hispanic, 10.9 million are Black/African-American, and 1.9 million are Asian;
  • More than 16 million children (under age 18) live in poverty.
[Read more]

Make Them Eat Cake

The US House of Representatives voted to defund  $40 billion dollars from the SNAP program of food assistance for the poorest of the poor. SNAP, better known as the food stamps assistance program, is claimed by some in the House to be a program steeped in fraud.   That’s right — people are stealing a whopping $4.50 a day and some people are getting fat off food stamps, making them lazy.… [Read more]

Thank you, Anthony Weiner.

Thank you Anthony Weiner.

You are probably wondering why I am thanking the tabloid poster boy, ex-congressman and current New York City mayoral candidate. Well, today I received some bad news; an undetected water supply line break to a the refrigerator caused a great deal of water damage in three rooms of my house. As I sat thinking about how I would deal with the repairs and expenses I drifted into despair.… [Read more]

Decisions, decisions, decisions…and politics

I’m putting a new ceiling on our porch and the photo shows what I’m doing. Now, you ask yourself, “What does his porch ceiling have to do with decisions and politics?” Be patient and read on for the answer.

Our old porch ceiling needed replacement so I checked on what I believed were suitable materials that would give me the effect my wife and I wanted.… [Read more]

The Politics of ‘Food Insecurity’

Hungry children are less likely to develop properly and they are far less likely to be able to pay attention and focus on educational pursuits. So, given how pervasive hunger is for children in this nation, doesn’t it seem all the more incredible that children would be forced to throw out school lunches because of an inability to pay?… [Read more]

Dear Mrs. Vera: What’s the difference between Costco & Wal*Mart?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Can you please tell me the difference between Costco and Wal*Mart?  I can never decide where to shop.

Regards, Walton Brotman Anaheim, Azuza, California… [Read more]

Officially Nominated: Thomas E. Perez for U.S. Labor Secretary

President Obama continues to fill out his second-term team, adding to the recent confirmations of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense and CIA Director John Brennan. Today, Thomas E. Perez, currently an Assistant Attorney General heading the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice has been nominated by the president to take over as the United States Secretary of Labor, replacing outgoing Secretary Hilda Solis.… [Read more]

Taking the Good With the Bad

Taking the good with the not so good; isn’t it all a balancing act? As with every other week, there was much on the nation’s calendar to juggle this week; so much to do…so much to fix. This week, we’re wrapping up with a look at a study in contrasts.

During the same week in which there was strong focus on the environment in the form of the International Day of Action for Rivers, we also received word that the US Environmental Protection Agency may delay proposed greenhouse gas limits for power plants.… [Read more]

What Minimum Wage Means to the “Screwed Generation”

Perhaps there was no greater lightning rod in the President’s State of the Union Address this past Tuesday than the following statement:

Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour…let’s tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on.[Read more]

The Forgotten

“Poverty” was not represented in the State of the Union address by President Barack Obama. As I watched and listened, I realized the address is not intended to speak to all Americans but just a select few. There were gun supporters, gun opponents, CEOs and many more in attendance when the President gave his speech, but not one person represented the 50 million Americans who live in poverty.… [Read more]

Minimum Wage

Recently, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey vetoed a bill that would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 an hour. The Governor said he wants the minimum wage to increase in three stages such that it would bring the rate to $8.00 an hour in three years.

It is understandable how the Governor came to veto the bill; Christie and other politicians are so out of touch with the reality of living on minimum wage that they just don’t get it.… [Read more]

Slicing Up the American Pie

I love pie; it’s my favorite dessert. It does not matter the type or the style; if it has golden crust and some sort of filling I can eat pie anytime. I don’t know anyone who does not like pie – and when it comes to slicing the pie it always becomes complicated as more and more want their share.… [Read more]

The Biden-Ryan Debate: Here’s Hoping Biden Brings It

Make no mistake about it: despite Mitt Romney’s changed tone and policy flips during his debate with President Obama, the fact remains that although they will never state it directly, a major political party, the GOP, has built its platform on the backs of the poor, middle-class, civil servants, veterans, elderly, disabled, ‘working stiffs’ and ‘non-elite’ people of this nation — even though unemployment, poverty, illness and disability affects people of all political affiliations.… [Read more]

A Guaranteed Living Wage

I was talking to an acquaintance the other day; she was telling me how tired she was after her week of work. She told me that after being laid off from her job of 28 years with a carpet company in Georgia, she now makes minimum wage on a factory floor standing for eight hours a day on her fifty-something legs.… [Read more]

I’m confused.

Every day on the news, I hear about how government employees and overpaid union thugs like teachers, firefighters and police officers are destroying the economy, and things we used to take for granted – like the minimum wage, decent working conditions and benefits – are causing “uncertainty” among the “job creators” – and that all those things, along with all that un-American socialist “entitlement” crap like Social Security, food stamps, school lunches for poor children, Medicare and unemployment insurance should be taken away from the teat-sucking denizens of the “nanny state” in order to make the “job creators” feel secure enough to create a few jobs somewhere other than Mexico, China, India or Bangladesh.… [Read more]

The Bare Minimum…Wage

Living in one of Americas most expensive cities, and hailing from an expensive city overseas, has often made me wonder what it would be like to live somewhere with a significantly lower cost of living. I’m sure that neither the salaries nor the perks of living in NYC would be quite what I’d want them to be.… [Read more]