Despite all my efforts, here we are at Monday again — another week trying to figure out which end of the pencil actually works, but this morning up here on California’s north coast, it’s cool, calm and collected.
Yesterday, I touched way-briefly on a new report on poverty in the US — a major point was the brand-new face on being poor in this country is white.
(Illustration found here).
The big point in the study, however, was that “80 percent” of US people are in the financial shithouse — the fabled ‘poorhouse‘ having disappeared long ago into a Detroit-like suck hole, with citizens being unemployed or on the SNAP, or just sleeping in the street. Shithouse covers a lot of ground.
Or not. Try living on a McWage, which a whole lot of folks are doing right now: â€œWe have families we have to feed,â€ said the 32-year-old father of two kids, aged 12 and eight. â€œWe have bills, and rent. You have two choices: eat or pay the bills.â€
Just splitting hairs — get with the program.
Nationwide, the count of America’s poor remains stuck at a record number: 46.2 million, or 15 percent of the population, due in part to lingering high unemployment following the recession.
While poverty rates for blacks and Hispanics are nearly three times higher, by absolute numbers the predominant face of the poor is white.
More than 19 million whites fall below the poverty line of $23,021 for a family of four, accounting for more than 41 percent of the nation’s destitute, nearly double the number of poor blacks.
The risks of poverty also have been increasing in recent decades, particularly among people ages 35-55, coinciding with widening income inequality.
For instance, people ages 35-45 had a 17 percent risk of encountering poverty during the 1969-1989 time period; that risk increased to 23 percent during the 1989-2009 period.
For those ages 45-55, the risk of poverty jumped from 11.8 percent to 17.7 percent.
Higher recent rates of unemployment mean the lifetime risk of experiencing economic insecurity now runs even higher: 79 percent, or 4 in 5 adults, by the time they turn 60.
“Poverty is no longer an issue of `them’, it’s an issue of `us’,” says Mark Rank, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis who calculated the numbers.
“Only when poverty is thought of as a mainstream event, rather than a fringe experience that just affects blacks and Hispanics, can we really begin to build broader support for programs that lift people in need.”
Yeah, when white becomes the new black/brown, then we’ll see something — wrong.
Just look at the recent crazed Farm Bill in the US House, passing all kinds of bullshit tips for big agri-business while snipping SNAP (food stamps) from the program all together — what can you do with bat-shit crazy and merciless Republicans.
See the results –Â from Care2 and an USDA summer task of feeding children via school buses:
Think about it: with so many children in the U.S. living in poverty, schools have become the main source of food for many of them. Free-and-reduced-price meals now include breakfast, lunch, snacks and even free backpacks of canned goods, in some cases.
But all that stops in the summer.
On the day that Washington Post reporter Eli Saslow visited, he found that each sack lunch contained two ounces of celery sticks, four ounces of canned oranges, chocolate milk and a bologna sandwich. Each meal was purchased for $3.47 and contained about 750 calories.
There are also strict rules that the USDA implemented: no seconds, no extra milks, no children taking food homeand no free meals for anyone over 18 unless they are disabled.
Turning a school bus into a food truck is certainly better than letting kids starve but, really, is this summer food truck program the governmentâ€™s answer to childhood poverty and hunger?
And to all those Republicans who are fighting so hard to limit abortion rights for women across the country, do you actually care about those babies once they are born?
Does it bother you to know what almost one fourth of the children in the U.S. are living in poverty, and donâ€™t get enough to eat every day?
The U.S. is also a country that wastes food on a regular basis, but you will be arrested if you try and take food from a trash bin.
Banks get bailouts, Big Oil and Coal get tax breaks, and people go hungry.
Whatâ€™s wrong with this picture?
Where did the love go?
A bit of an editorial at the end there, but what the heck.
We need a lot more of that — and the love went out the window long, long ago
And what about being rich, and feeling rich, maybe two different things, then again, maybe not — us regular folks will never know:
Millionaires say they are not so financially comfortable they can do whatever they want, when they want to, a U.S. survey found.
UBS Wealth Management Americas surveyed 4,450 investors with $1 million or more in investable assets and found that most of them said they didn’t feel rich, the New York Post reported.
Just 30 percent of respondents said they felt wealthy — most said they won’t consider themselves wealthy until they have at least $5 million in assets.
I don’t feel rich unless it’s Thursday — payday.
But this is Monday!