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]

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]

Poverty and Student Achievement

“If you think education’s expensive, wait ’til you see how much ignorance costs.”

These were the words of President Barack Obama this past Friday  in Brooklyn, New York, at a local high school where he addressed students and faculty of the Pathways in Technology Early College High School, a joint venture between IBM and the NYC Public School System.… [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]

School Days

This week hundreds of thousands of public school children all over the South started the school year just as congressional representatives left Washington for a month-long vacation, and in many cases those same representatives will be attacking the state of public education with lies and distortions.

The biggest lie being propagated by right-leaning congressional leaders is that the state of public education necessitates an end to the end Department of Education and compulsory education.  … [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]

The Way it Is

“Standing in line marking time, waiting for the welfare dime ‘Cause they can’t buy a job The man in the silk suit hurries by As he catches the poor old ladies’ eyes just for fun he says, “Get a job”[Read more]

America’s Untouchables

While visiting Atlanta over the past couple of days I talked with an immigrant cabbie from Nigeria. During our conversation we talked about the number of homeless people sleeping on the street around the Georgia Capitol. He told me he immigrated to America from his home so he could enjoy the fruits of America. I asked him if the money being made from oil has trickled down to the Nigerian people, and he told me that poverty and political corruption continued to rule his home.… [Read more]

The “Nuns on the Bus” Immigration Tour Closes Today

Last year, Sister Simone Campbell made quite a splash on national television when she took her mission on the road. She went from around the nation, neighbourhood to neighbourhood, raising awareness about those among us who live in poverty, and she took her fight to congress when she brought attention to how their budget adversely impacts the most vulnerable in our society.… [Read more]

G8 Summit: Avoidance of Discussions about the Environment

The 39th G8 summit is being held in the United Kingdom today and tomorrow.

Representing approximately 15 percent of the world’s population, 65 percent of the global gross domestic product and two thirds of international trade, the G8 is an informal group of advanced economies that meets once a year at a Summit of Heads of State and Government.… [Read more]

Homeless

This week’s “Say It In Song” pick is “Homeless,”performed by Paul Simon on the album Graceland.

“Strong wind destroy our home Many dead, tonight it could be you Strong wind, strong wind Many dead, tonight it could be you”

On any given night in this country, 700,000 to 2 million people are homeless.… [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]

Fixing Food Stamps

Part of the fallout from our current recession has been the growth of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), neé ‘Food Stamps,” participation throughout the nation. This Federal program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Food & Nutrition Service and the states, provides non-cash food assistance to households in impoverished financial distress.

Republican conservatives regularly use SNAP as a poster child for lambasting ‘welfare’.… [Read more]

When We Look Back, What Will We See?

Beginnings, endings and periods that mark great changes occur during every moment of every day. Wrapping up this week, a few events in history that took place on February 24th caught my attention:

  • In 2008, Fidel Castro retired as the President of Cuba after nearly fifty years, and his brother Raul Castro was unanimously elected.
  • In 2011, the final launch of Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103) took place.
[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]

Jeff Sessions wants to balance the budget by cutting food stamps

Try to stay with me here:  According to Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, the food stamp program has quadrupled in the last ten years hence the food stamp program is clearly being abused hence the food stamp program should be cut back.

“One in six Americans are now receiving food stamps,” Jeff Sessions told Soledad O’Brien.  “.… [Read more]

If they don’t want to be part of the social contract, let them go.

I met a woman recently and she asked this question: Why should the government have the right to tax people and tell them how much they should pay in taxes for things they do not want, like feeding the poor?

She did not believe the government should be in the business of taking care of poor people.… [Read more]

Time Keeps On Slippin’….

“Fly Like An Eagle“….the lyrics mean as much today as they did when the Steve Miller Band released this song in 1976. The political parties have spoken and their platforms are clear; it is now up to the citizens to decide which party plans to address the needs of the hungry, the elderly, and the homeless…not just the select few at the very top of the economic ladder.… [Read more]

Distracted by Conservative Ugliness

Monday night, I knew exactly what I was going to write about:  The third and final presidential debate on foreign policy, with Romney acting a fool and a typical blunderbuss (when, that is, he wasn’t telling the American public that, when it came to President Obama’s foreign policy, he wouldn’t change a thing).  And then there were the post-debate Tweets from conservatives which demonstrated, without question, that right-wingers are in the grip of demonic possession.  … [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]